Contemporary Social Issues From the Past

This scene is a tragic scene from the show, One Tree Hill, and depicted a high school shooting. In this scene, a teen by the name of Jimmy Edwards has brought a gun into the school and taken a couple of other students hostage out of fear of what he has done. He knows that he has made a major mistake and is fumbling over his next actions subsequently making more mistakes. In this scene he is confronted by the uncle of one the main characters in the show, Keith, who tries to talk him down from doing anything else to make matters worse and talked Jimmy into letting a student he had previously accidentally shot go. It is here where Jimmy reveals his motives for bringing a gun into the school; over the years Jimmy has been constantly battered with bullying because he is the lame kid in school. He is the kid that the popular kids target to get their fill of name-calling and beatings. He is depressed, all out of hope, and he believes himself to be an outsider who is all alone; he is the Other.  In the end, jimmy knows he has put himself in an impossible corner and that his life has little chance of getting any better, and he chooses to instead take his own life. He ends his hellish nightmare of a life by turning the gun on himself and pulling the trigger.

The contemporary social issue that this scene perfectly depicts, and is still very prevalent even today, is the issue of bullying, depression, and suicide. It promotes awareness for people to keep an eye out for anyone that may be having a hard time waking up everyday or someone that has had too much that they become a danger to everybody, including themselves. This scene tells students and teenagers to not specifically target people to make fun of or pick on, and to not treat anybody like an outsider or this very plausible situation could come to pass. This show was placed in a setting that was prime for tackling social issues, due to the fact that it was based around teenagers in a small town.

The contemporary social issue connects to the story of Euripides’s Medea because Medea addresses practically the same issue. In this play, Medea was the outsider, she was the foreigner, she was the Other; she came from an exotic land that was a significant distance away from Greece. Amongst other problems she was faced with, including Jason dumping her like trash for another wife, she faced this predicament as well. Jason treated her like trash and basically threw he away, even after all she had done for him, and not many people would offer her help due to her not being from Greece. Like Jimmy Edwards, Medea was an outsider, and this issue was one of the things that tipped her over, made her go mad, and kill her own children, and Jason’s new wife and father-in-law.

In today’s world there are many people who experience depression and bullying, this is especially true for teenagers. Every year, the world loses countless lives due to many people being treated unfairly and horribly by other people. In the end, within both stories, tragic events came to pass due to the treatment of the characters that can be regarded as “the Other.”

Sean, Team Ares

 

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Snow White and Medea

In the movie, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the Evil Queen is jealous of Snow White’s beauty. The Evil Queen wants to be known as the “fairest in the land” but Snow White’s beauty surpasses her own. Clouded by hatred and jealousy of Snow White’s beauty, the Evil Queen pretended to be an old lady and gave Snow White a poisoned apple which causes her to die. However she was eventually saved by a prince.

The contemporary social issue that the movie, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, shows is jealousy and hatred. In the movie, the Evil Queen is shown to be extremely jealous of Snow White’s beauty and acts upon it by trying to get rid of her. Jealousy and hatred is a contemporary social issue that is common in modern day life because people are always compared to one another. Children are an example of people always being compared to each other. Children compete against each other at school to see who is smarter and better. While the ones who do better aren’t jealous, the ones who do poorly may become jealous of the smarter kids and begin to hate them.

The movie, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and the issue of jealousy and hatred can also be connected back to the play, Medea. In the play Medea, Medea also acted upon her hatred on her ex-husband, Jason, and the princess he was going to marry. Medea poisoned a crown and dress to give the princess as a present in order to kill her and anybody who touches her similar to how the Evil Queen poisoned the apple to get rid of Snow White. Medea is jealous of the princess because Jason left her for the princess. Not only that, Medea became a fugitive and left her country in order to be with Jason while Medea is considered a fugitive, Jason gets to live handsomely.

-Alvin Zhao, Team Venus

David: A Reinterpretation of Greatness

David and Goliath: Art1010 Unit 3

1 Samuel 17 tells the story of Goliath of Gath the biblical warrior defeated by the young David in the Book of Samuel. David, a young man, who never fought in a war in his life, defeats not only a champion, but also a giant who everyone fears. It’s a true show of mental and spiritual strength. The biblical story of David closely relates to Donatello’s David in the Bargello, Florence and Michelangelo’s David in Galleria dell’Accademia, Florence that we both covered in class.

Donatello’s bronze statue of David (late 1420s – 1460s) showed him sword in hand, with one foot on Goliath’s head, while Michelangelo’s David (1501 – 04) a marble more heroic nude stand-alone sculpture showed him as victorious and mighty leader and warrior. Michelangelo’s David was a depiction of the biblical hero was unlike that of earlier Renaissance depictions of David, however Donatello’s depiction of his David best represented that of the David in biblical terms. Donatello’s statue was bare and so much more intimate. It was simple and told the true biblical story of David, the young shepherd.

Both of these sculptures were similar. Both Michelangelo and Donatello’s David’s represented war victories: the victory of the Israelites. Both sculptures were made to highlight an accomplishment in history. They are both nude and contrapposto statues. In Donatello and Michelangelo’s artwork, both David’s represents Florence however there is a difference in each Goliath, In Donatello’s, Goliath represents Milan. Michelangelo’s represents Rome during Medici power.

Michelangelo’s David was High Renaissance whereas Donatello David was Early Renaissance. Both statues differed in height: Donatello’s David stands at 5 ‘ 2 and Michelangelo’s stands more than three times that at 17’. The material used by Donatello: bronze differed from the marble Michelangelo used for his. Donatello’s David’s shows humility whereas Michelangelo’s does not.

 

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David and Goliath: Old Stories Made New – Classics Unit 2

The story of David and Goliath can be related to our Classics class in that it’s a story of many retellings. An old story made new with relatively similar social and/or economic issues. In the article that I read “David and Goliath, A Modern Retelling” by Bryan Allain, the writer was able to capture the story in such an interesting way – Football: American that is. He took the story to a more analytical perspective with the use of a sportscaster. He managed to tell the story using todays understanding. He used football terms that weren’t known then (I doubt “American” football was even known then) such as “David sprinting towards the 50-yard line to meet Goliath, … looks like, umm, an iPhone case?” He incorporated objects and narrative that weren’t used then with ones used now and made the story flow nonetheless. It connected with the original biblical story and brought a new perspective on the social issue.

In the play, Medea the main protagonist of the story has many social issues: passion and rage: revenge and pride. Her husband is leaving her and marrying King Creon’s daughter. She is in misery and doesn’t know what to do. Her social issue is that she shall now be alone and further cast out as a barbarian (foreigner) of the land. – Her social conflict.

The story of David and Goliath speaks of different social issues but social issues nonetheless. Faced with the charge of the Philistines in the Valley of Elah, Saul and the Israelites faced the issue of regaining their land. In the biblical story, “Goliath, the champion of the Philistines comes out between the lines and challenges the Israelites to send out a champion of their own to decide the outcome in single combat, however Saul and his people are afraid of him – their social conflict.

This story of David “Old Made New” comments on the social issues of religion and the capacity at to what it can do. Although the social issues in “David and Goliath” and “Medea” are different, they’re both social issues in everyday lives. King Saul has to deal with burden of Goliath and the Philistines. Medea has to deal with the conflict of being an outcast and being shunned from her community and husband. The search and overcome for solitude best reflects the similarities both pieces have in modern day society.

BTS, old made new.

BTS- Blood Sweat and Tears

Everyone has been saying my obsession with this Korean boy band is unhealthy, but I can prove otherwise. While its true that especially American singers don’t have much meaning to their songs, I could argue that BTS (방탄소년단) is different. The more songs they release the more I realize there is a connected story between all of them and that they are trying to tell us something other than just the song. In this blog I will be discussing their hit song of 2016- Blood, Sweat, and Tears (피 땀 눈물) While its true that it is aesthetically pleasing to look at, we shall focus and dig deeper.

To begin with, they are in a museum. Aside the fact that there are several sculptures that were inspired by Hellenistic and Classical periods, there is a big painting that caught my attention.This painting is ‘The Fall of the Rebel Angels’ by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. There is a certain theme of Fallen angels and temptations throughout the Music Video.

The painting this person (Jin) is looking at is very intense. The way I see it is a battle of hell and heaven. Its intensity and emotion reminded me of a painting by Giulio Quaglio, located in Ljubljana Cathedral in Slovenia.

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Both of these paintings give a feeling of darkness, as if there is a battle. They are both very intense. Furthermore, this painting by Guilio Quaglio is painted on the ceiling, just like what? You guessed it. Just like the painting in Sistine Chapel, by Michelangelo.

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We are not only a minute into the video, but I already found so many things that come from early Renaissance period that started in Florence. This is all about revival, old things made new. I really appreciate how they [BTS] are able to incorporate so many complex things into their music video.

Additionally, fast forward to 3:46, the music video shows someone blindfolding one of the members, and the lyrics go:

Kill me gently,

Close my eyes with your hands,

Cant resist it anyway

Cant even run away anymore

You just too sweet too sweet too sweet

As I previously mentioned the painting of Sistine Chapel, I think there is one fragment about the painting that can be applied here. It would be the fragment of temptation of Eve wanting to bite on the forbidden fruit.

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Also, the very beginning of the music video, to tie into the theme of temptations we encounter this fragment:

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Behind the neon lights, we see the painting which shows ‘The lament for Icarus’ by H. J. Draper. As we know, Icarus was warned by his father to not fly neither too low, because the humidity of the sea will melt the wax, neither too high as the hot sun will do the same. However, he disobeyed and listened to his temptations and did as he pleased which caused his death as his wings melted and he crashed into the sea. Similarly, both Adam and Eve knew they shall not eat this apple, as it was prohibited by God. Again, they just like Icarus disobeyed and followed their temptations and ate the fruit of knowledge.

Later in the music video, we see one of the members uncovering his eyes, and he walks to a giant statue.. And kisses it. I believe that is him making a pact with the fallen angel, from that point he was able to see everything as it is. Similarly, after Adam and Eve ate the forbiden fruit, they were able to see truly, they recognized their nudity and felt ashamed. Not to sound too cliche, but they were finally able to truly see.

I would like to use this great opportunity and tie in my classics post here. As we learned, ancient Greek theater was always religious, and they would tell stories already known by everyone. As you can see, this music video contains many religious aspects. Just like the ancient Greeks, the producers of this music video in a way retold a story that many of us read in a Bible. They presented it to us in a new way, yet were able to deliver same meaning. Another very interesting scene that I would like to mention is the “Last Supper” scene. 

Here we see them gathered by the table, with all sitting but one. That one that was contemplating through out the entire music video. He has been seen looking at the painting in the beginning, he is also the one to start seeing things as they are, and now he is the one looking into distance. Why is looking into distance significant you may think, well it is significant because he seem to either know or anticipate something. Similar to the “Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci.

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This is a painting of Jesus eating his last supper before crucifixion. Jesus was aware of his fate, upcoming betrayals and what is awaiting him. Just like this member he knew something was going to happen.

So, this is the end of my analysis. This video contains a lot of symbolism, and it is just impossible for me to thoroughly go over all of them. I gave brief points that I found interesting and similar to our both art and classics classes. It is very complicated, and I advise all of you to watch the video and make your own conclusions. Do you see the similarities I see? You have different theories and analysis? Whether we share similar opinion on this topic or not, the truth. I tried my best explaining, and I hope you’re not confused. 

  • Diana, Team Mercury.

Seeing Clearly


Lex Luthor is a well known villain in the comics published by D.C comics Inc. Lex Luthor is a billionaire scientist in constant battle with Superman. Many don’t know what has caused Lex Luthor to grown to hate superman with such a passion, him being a man coming from power and wealth what drives his hatred for superman. A common characteristic displayed by Luthor is his arrogance and unwilling to acknowledge Superman as the hero he is. There is many variations of what has caused this intense hatred for one another whether it be from the comics or film series but, one similarity between all of them is that Lex Luthor main goal is to eliminate superman to achieve his goal of world dominance. But in one specific animated film it goes deeper than that. Lex explains how Superman, who is not even a man because he is not human and was born on a distant far planet. This is almost similar to present day society where many people lack of respect for others from different origins around the world. Lex Luthor later claims that he should be called Superman for his intellect and vast superior mind. But as the film continues and Superman’s impending death , from the cancer he was diagnosed with, Luthor soon realizes why Superman deserves that title. During an interview with Superman’s alter ego Clark Kent ,Luthor was told if he and Superman were to put their differences aside how much they could’ve accomplished and how many they could have helped, but seeing nothing to gain from that Luthor would never join forces with his archenemy. Luthor’s is similar to that of Oedipus, Both being metaphorically blind to realize they are the destruction of their respective societies. Not until it is all too late to realize they are at fault do they realize what they have done. In Luthor’s case being blind by hatred has caused him to stir away from benefiting society. Oedipus being the cause for all the suffering in Thebes and neglecting the words said by the blind prophet Tiresias that Oedipus himself is the murderer of the former king himself and the cause of the plague. Luthor however did not realize until he gained Superman’s powers including Superman’s advanced sight that he sees all beings are connected and as he states “we are we’ve got”. He realizes how superman sees the world and why he is called superman and why he always follows the greater good. But as soon as he realizes his faults and loses his powers ,he demands superman return the serum to gain his powers back but as superman claimed Luthor could have helped even before gaining his powers to which Luthor agrees and sees the error of his ways. Oedipus after realizing he has succumbed to his destiny of murdering his father and being with his mother blinds himself out of despair and begs for his own exile as punishment. Both at one point being powerful men reduced to nothing.

-Al-Bishr Askar, Team Hephaestus

Batman: Now and Beyond

Batman is a character that is very prominent in our culture. The costume alone symbolizes the vigilante who didn’t necessarily follow all the laws in order to do what he found to be right. Throughout the years, many depictions of him had been made in order to adjust to the times. One version him was a teenager that Bruce Wayne had mentored in series to take his place. It was a refreshing change because since he was high school age, the issues this Batman had were relevant to the experiences of a high schooler of the times. The episode, “The Winning Edge” is a good example of this. In the episode, there was drug called venom circling Gotham and it had reached the three students on the . If compared to drugs prevalent at the time, the drugs they were taking were like an exaggerated version of steroids. Steroids were especially a common issue amongst athletes in the nineties, when the the show was made. The episode showcased their aggressive behavior and their need to keep taking more in order to gain more strength. It’s an episode that would offset anyone from taking performance enhancers.

This is comparable to the play, “Antigone,” it was relevant to the people of the time because it was very wrong to fight against your city. Since, Creon’s nephew did that and died, he refused to bury him, preventing his soul from traveling down to the underworld. It creates a sort of battle of conscience in the audience being that it’s easy to see how it’s wrong that he wouldn’t bury his nephew although his nephew did defy the state. Overall, the rules of the gods mattered more than Creon’s rules of state and his disobedience caused him a great deal of loss. It related to the audience by furthering the idea that the will of the gods is more powerful than anything else.

Nothing Is Impossible For A Possible !

Kim Possible is an average teenage that spends her free time, fighting crime. . In most of the episodes she and her sidekick Ron Stoppable work together fighting one to fight her arch-nemesis Draken. In one of the episodes, Draken creates a machine, that could control the world. Kim Possible jumps in, to fight Draken’s sidekick Shego, while Ron attempts to fight the scientist himself. She ends up winning, and everyone is safe.

Kim Possible fighting crime, was a way in which she not only protected herself and her family, but also the community.   Crime is a social issue that affects many communities today. And unlike the show Kim Possible, instead of having a teenage girl to protect our communities we have police officers. We also have various issues against the people who are suppose to protect us, sometimes in the form of police brutality. In the reading of Sophicles Antigone, them main character Antigone takes on a different social issue: social injustice. After the death of her two brothers as the result of them fighting for the crown, her uncle Creo becomes in charge of the kingdom. Her uncle then decides that one of her brothers didn’t deserve to be properly buried. She was really upset, and decided to take the law into her own hands. Her sister however didn’t want to get involved and she didn’t help her. Things unfortunately didn’t go well for her as she ended up being arrested. Interestingly, though her sister tried to take the fall for her, out of guilt. Antigone however ended up dying alone, not her sister. She died though, fighting for what she believed in, even after being let down by her own family. Her actions showed that she wanted to be remembered for her bravery and loyalty. Both Kim Possible and Antigone in my opinion,  showed tremendous selflessness and fearlessness. They understood that certain sacrifices had to be made, if certain actions were taken.  I think although they both fought for different social issues, they’re still heroes in they’re own unique way.

Sharifa, Team Hestia

 

 

Discrimination: A universal flaw in society

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While issues related to racism and discrimination are increasingly evident in modern society, individuals aiming to educate the public about the harmful effects of hate are working towards a more ideal, equal living space. In “Troq”, an episode of the popular mid-2000s animated series “Teen Titans”, the Titans assist an alien named Val-Yor on his quest to defeat robot aliens known as the Locrix. Throughout the episode, Val-Yor is seen engaging in friendly interactions with each of the Titans, with the exception of Starfire. Upon their initial meeting, Val-Yor seemed welcoming (and borderline cocky) with the team but hardly acknowledged Starfire, opting to question why the team had “A Tamaranian”. Later in the episode, he repeatedly referred to her by a slew of derogatory names such as “Troq” and “Troqie”, which we later find is equivalent to “Nothing”, or a lack of value of a Tamaranian.

This can easily be compared to the use of racial slurs and derogatory terms today that are used not just to demean individuals, but to group them together and portray them as “other” or people worthy of separation and inferiority, which is not the case. Just this past year alone, we have had hundreds of racially or hate-motivated conflicts ranging from the murders of innocent black people by cops to white supremacist and neo-nazi riots, targeting of LGBTQ+ individuals to revenge reporting of individuals to ICE based solely on appearance rather than legal status, along with other increasingly violent or inappropriate actions that have led to rising tensions between Americans.  People may witness racism, like Starfire’s friends in the episode, and not see or know anything was wrong, which is okay as long as you take the proper steps to educate yourself on the issue and prevent further incidents to the best of your ability. As shown in the clip attached below (follow the link), Cyborg used what he thought was a term of endearment for Starfire, “Troqie”,  but quickly realized his fault and the weight of the word once she explained it had negative connotations and was offensive to her and all Tamaranians.

In Euripides’ Medea, both Jason and Medea fled from Colchis to Corinth to seek refuge after attempting to disconnect themselves from the trouble and bloodshed they left behind in their old city. The nurse speaks of Medea’s travels and wishing she “would not have come to live here on Corinthian soil with her husband and children, winning over the citizens of the country she had come to as a refugee, and obliging Jason in every way.” Unlike Medea, whose travel was seemingly surrounded by death, Starfire brought good to planet Earth and remained a useful member of society. However, both sought refuge from their past, Medea for selfish reasons and interest in wealth and fame, and Starfire after escaping her captors known as the Gordanians after being traded away as a slave by her sister Blackfire. While both were accepted by the people of their new homes, they faced times when foreigners were seen as inferior or less than human, a recurring topic of debate between clans all throughout time.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rc-Jh3Oe0Gc

– Natalie, Team Vesta

Freedom is Power

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Freedom is a fundamental concept in the United States; but what if the desire for power triumphed over this basic human right? We get the dystopian world described by George Orwell in his novel 1984. The protagonist, Winston Smith, lives in a society constantly under government surveillance. “Telescreens” are installed in every citizen’s home to observe everything they do and say. Citizens can’t do anything which might allude to having individuality and free thought- crimes against the government punishable by death. In the book, Winston must sneak a diary into his home and write in it without the telescreen catching him. When entering his apartment, Winston drops the diary, sliding it past the telescreen to his chair which is out of the telescreen’s range. This complete control over the freedom of speech resembles the North Korean regime. The North Korean government is thought to listen to people’s conversations through their phones and monitor them thought cameras and microphones hidden in public places. George Orwell wrote his book to warn people of an oppressive future. He knew that if people didn’t stand boldly for their freedom, it could be easily taken away by a totalitarian government.
Power is also a central theme in Oedipus the King. Oedipus seeks power for the protection of his people but doesn’t heed other’s warnings because he thinks that they want to steal his power, ultimately leading Oedipus to his demise. Of course, we see different parties struggle for power in our government. Sometimes it seems that they don’t even take their constituents into account when making decisions. Power corrupts- that is the true message of Oedipus. Both 1984 and Oedipus warn us of the future and urge us to contemplate it through the stories they tell.

Elene T., Team Mars

The Relevance of the Past and Future’s Contemporary Issues are Sympathetically Similar

 

Contemporary society issues are numerous in number and they continue to grow by the year. Many varying outlets in media tend to state their own opinions on certain issues via T.V. shows, movies, books and articles. One such example of a modern T.V. show having its take on contemporary society issues is Arrow. Specifically, it talks upon the issues of gun control and gun violence. Gun violence has been a constant issue over the past years in our country and no there seems to be no resolution in sight. While both opposing proponents of gun violence have valid reasons, it’s a difficult problem to find common ground on. In season 5 episode 13 of the Arrow, a tragedy occurs in which a gunman invades City Hall and injures 24 people along with killing 5. The video below shows a brief snippet of the argument that some of the main characters have following that tragedy. Shootings are becoming more and more common in our country and the sudden tragedy it unfolds is something that the show captures perfectly. Even though the way it’s presented certainly has varied likeability, the fact that gun control is a shown issue is incontrovertible.

On another note, the play of Antigone tackles its instance of contemporary societal issue in a darker and compassionate tone. Its primary issue of women’s place in society and their treatment when compared to men comes to a resolution of sorts at the cost of a heart wrenching sacrifice at the end. Now, while the issues brought up in Arrow and Antigone are different, they both tackle their problems somewhat similarly. In both show and play, the gravity of loss is needed in order to fully understand and comprehend the meaning behind their respective dilemmas. Antigone opened Creon’s eyes at the end when she took her own life and the blatant loss of life in Arrow makes Oliver Queen immediately take action as mayor of Star City. However, due to the difference in time periods and written perspectives, Antigone’s outcome comes off as much more tragic due to the emotional attachment the reader develops towards her. Though women’s place in society didn’t really alter at that time, the play still sent its message of whether or not women deserve to be ‘secondary’ in most of life’s primary respects.

Bailey Seemangal, Team 5, Hephaestus

 

 

Belongs In The Trash?

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I found this picture on Google, and I was taken aback from this, I had to share. This was taken on Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, and as you can see, this statue was thrown in the TRASH! What even, who does that?! This isn’t some random everyday object that one can just throw out. It is an object that has some historical significance. The way the elegant statue sticks out like a sore thumb amidst the trash is just too weird. Why would one just throw something like this? I am honestly quite surprised that no one has stolen this unattended statue. This completely contradicts the beauty of Aphrodite. This displays Aphrodite as some worthless garbage, just as replaceable as the rest of the mass of plastic, food, and commercial products. On the hymn, she is described as being elegant, and worthy of admiration, as seen in lines 161-163, “When he entered the bed, he took off the jewels off her body, the curved brooches, and earrings, and necklaces”. This delicate woman, someone who one should be tender to when having intercourse with, should be treated with fragility. But then, we see, in this photo, her being thrown away like trash. One can attribute this to a real life experience today, one of where a partner simply throws away their significant other, as if they were just trash. These juxtapositions serve to teach us that Aphrodite has been treated two completely different ways.

“Muggles”

With the large amount of contemporary social issues in today’s world, it was to be expected that J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter books, would place similar issues in her story. The setting for Harry Potter takes place in our own realm including two different worlds, the wizarding world and the muggle world. The term muggle refers to the normal humans who are unable to perform magic. Some see the muggles’ inability to perform magic to be an inferior trait and, therefore, see them as lower than the witches and wizards. This setting enables the creator to make villains who torment and, in some cases, kill innocent muggles. The contemporary social issue in the story is discrimination. The muggles are seen as unimportant and even ‘dirt’ to some of the witches and wizards who are typically portrayed as evil. Some of the witches and wizards go as far as calling magic-users who have a muggle parent ‘mudbloods’. A similar theme arises in Euripides’ play when Jason abandons Medea, his wife whom he has children with, for another woman. When Medea gets upset Jason states that she is just being overemotional and that all women are the same. He then states that the world would be trouble free without women. Because of her sex, Medea is being discriminated against, and treated as if she has little value. These themes of discrimination are shown in both of the readings and form the main plot in creating and shaping the stories.

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In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows there is a scene in which Voldemort, and those who follow him possessing the dark mark, laugh after killing a fellow witch. They take pleasure in killing her simply because she studied muggles and believed that they are equal to magic users. There is another scene where Harry, Hermione, and Ron enter the Ministry of Magic and see a huge sculpture of wizards standing over Muggles who are being crushed at the bottom.

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Defying Justice: Lapis lazuli

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The story of Antigone was written as a tragedy, about a woman who had two brothers that were cursed to kill each other to become the King of Thebes. This resulted in several things of which one her uncle, Creon became the King of Thebes, he decided that Eteocles would be given a proper burial but denied the other brother, Polyneices a burial. On lines 35-36, Creon ruled that “for anyone who does one of these things, murder by public stoning in the city is ordained.” And with that in mind Antigone decided to bury her brother consequences be damned, as a result, she was imprisoned.

Lapis lazuli made her first appearance in the animated series, Steven Universe as a gem trapped in a magic mirror. After she convinced Steven, a half human, half gem to free her she attempted to destroy her captors, the Crystal Gems, who were also Steven’s guardians. After being subdued by Steven, a tentative bond grew between the two even as she kept her distrust of the Crystal Gems because she believed that they betrayed their home world, by protecting Earth and choosing to fuse. While investigating some of the technologies left on Earth by the gems of home world, the Crystal Gems found out that home world gems were heading for Earth. These gems included; Jasper and Peridot, who were sent by their leader to capture the Crystal Gems and along with them Lapis lazuli.  While on board the ship, heading for home world to be prosecuted Lapis accepted her fate while her other companions chose to fight. It was during the final battle between Jasper and the Crystal Gems that Lapis was freed but was shortly captured by Jasper, who then gave her the opportunity to exact revenge on the Crystal Gems for imprisoning her for thousands of years by fusing with her. While fused with Jasper, Lapis took the opportunity to capture her by imprisoning them both under the deepest depth of the ocean.

This reminds me of the story of Antigone because just like Antigone Lapis was caught in the middle of a war between two people she cared about, and if they had followed the wishes of their superiors, they would have been saved but instead they followed their judgement and as a result were imprisoned.

Panem: A Greco-Roman empire wannabe

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In the post-apocalyptic setting of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, citizens of the new nation of Panem are divided into one of twelve factions and the “Capitol”. Each faction specializes in a different field ranging from textiles to fishing, grains to coal mining. The setting of the story allows for the exploration of poverty, power, censorship, and wealth in a budding society. Each year, a boy and girl from each district ages 12-18 must be sent to a Roman gladiator style fight to the death known as the Hunger Games while the rest of Panem watches, allowing the President of the new nation to instill fear in those he leads and show them what he pleases. Victors, as well as those in the richer districts, are seen as icons and are showered with fame, money, and increasing notoriety. In the film, a massive party was thrown in the Capitol in Katniss and Peeta’s honor after having won the 74th hunger games. Similar to the upper-class citizens and aristocrats in ancient Greece, victors and wealthy individuals in Panem had a greater influence on society and often had access to privileges that everyone else didn’t. While those living in Katniss’ home district, District 12, were starving and could barely afford a loaf of bread, people in the Capitol would eat till they were full, purge, and eat again simply because they knew there would always be more food available to them. Additionally, children from districts 1, 2, and 4 are trained for the games since birth being that participants are deemed heroes and idealized, much like athletes were in ancient Greece.

In Euripides’ Medea, Medea states “And I share in this fate myself: because I have skills, I suffer the envy of some, and to others I am a rival; But I am not so very clever. And then you are afraid of me. What harm can you suffer from me?” In the text, she is speaking to King Creon about her banishment from Corinth after she vowed to get her revenge on her former husband Jason. In The Hunger Games, Katniss is seen as a rebel to President Snow after she became a symbol of outspokenness and courage among those in Panem, especially after showing her humanity after Rue’s death. In reference to the imbalance of power in the Capitol, President Snow had sought to extinguish any form of individuality and motivation to deter from social norms. Medea was seen as “Quick-tempered” and too open about her anger, leading to several attempts to banish her from the city, though like Katniss, she prevailed and got her revenge.

Video: https://youtu.be/do1smOv8rf4

 

– Natalie, Team Vesta

Family or the State

In the world of One Piece it’s pirates against the Marines. The most interesting thing is that protagonist of the story, Luffy wants to be the pirate king so the marine’s are often shown as the antagonists with few exceptions. In this world often times sins of the father are laid on the shoulders of the son. When the father can’t be reached it is the son that the marine’s go after in a bid to uphold ‘justice’. After all their fathers were ‘demons’, a threat, so clearly the sons are the same. Luffy’s older brother Gol. D Ace was the son of the previous pirate king Gol. D Roger. Once the man was executed there was a manhunt for his pregnant lover so that his unborn child could be killed. Before his execution Roger asked Garp who was Luffy’s grandfather and the only man to have ever come close to catching him to look after his lover and unborn child on the fact that his child was innocent. Ace’s mother who held him in her womb for 20 months out of willpower to protect her son died at his birth from the strain and Garp looked after Ace when he saw that sacrifice.

 Garp stands in front of his grandson Luffy.
“Luffy I consider you my enemy.”
 Luffy punches his grandfather and continues onwards to save his brother Ace.
(One Piece ep.480)

There came a point in One Piece when Ace was to be executed not because he was a notorious pirate in his own right but because he was Roger’s son. And that was bad because clearly he had the blood of a demon running in his veins never mind that Ace denounced Roger as his father and claimed his only father was his captain Whitebeard. This was a difficult position for the man who secretly defied the law despite being a marine and took Ace in. Garp is a vice admiral of the marines and a powerful man. He also loves his adopted grandson Ace but he had to make a decision. Save the boy he saved and saw as his own blood or follow the laws he fought to uphold most of his life. Family or the state? When this battle to save Ace is fought there are many parallels that can be seen between this fictional world and the world we live in today. Despite the marine leaders’ goal to keep the peace and put an end to piracy there is rampant corruption and fanaticism that comes with it. We have that here too. Not just in the United States but also in many other places in the world, corruption runs unchecked and no one does anything about it or whatever they try isn’t enough. Another parallel would be the complacency. In both worlds people are complacent and complacency often times leads to apathy and an incomplete story of what’s really going on.

Iseme: What can I do, wretched one, if things are in this state,
by loosening or tightening the knot
Antigone
See whether you will join in the toil and the deed with me.
Ismene
What dangerous enterprise? What ever are you thinking?
Antigone
Whether you will lift the corpse with this hand?
Ismene
What? Do you intend to perform rites for it, a thing forbidden the city?
Antigone
For my brother, certainly, and yours, if you will not.45
I for one will not be caught betraying him.
(22)
Ismene
Headstrong! When Creon has forbidden it?

In the play Antigone, Antigone tries to convince her sister Ismene to bury the body of their brother Polyneices. Ismene quickly points out that Creon has forbidden this though Antigone says that she will not betray her brother. Creon their  uncle is the king and essentially head of state and he is also harsh. If anyone breaks the law even if it is his family he will punish them, as as often times the punishment was banishment or death he most likely would have executed them. Both girls went through the same thing. The loss of their parents and both brothers in a relatively short period of time and now because one brother is condemned to having his soul wander around because he wasn’t buried is too much for Antigone but Ismene doesn’t want to lose her sister who is all she has left. There is a definite loyalty that each sister has and each sister refuses to budge from. And the both aren’t wrong. But when do they know which loyalty comes first and when to go against the state when they are wrong. Often times loyalty is divided because of separation between family and state and that divisions can lead to tragic situations.

Fatema Islam
Team Jupiter

 

Commentary on Morality and Justice

Futurama is a show set in the year 3000, however it is laden with subtle social commentary usually expressed through satire. Despite being set in an alternate future reality, its societies’ beliefs and preconceptions mimic that of our modern society. In one particular episode titled “A Taste of Freedom” the crew is out celebrating a holiday called freedom day, where you are basically free to do anything. On this holiday Dr. Zoidberg eats the flag. Later he is sentenced to death after refusing to apologize. He refuses to apologize because he believes he performed an act of freedom. Whereas everyone else see’s him as a traitor. This makes a huge commentary about our justice system; it shows the hypocritical values of freedom. Where we are told that we are the land of the free, but, if one man does not want to participate in the national anthem it causes an uproar with people calling for his termination, and etc. It rises the question of how free can you actually be?

In Medea the main character murders her children and others to take revenge on her husband’s betrayal. This can also be applied as a commentary of the justice system, both past and present. One of the most historically famous rules is an eye for an eye, does the betrayal of her husband warrant her to cause him suffering? However adding her sons into the mix just like the nurse in Medea “ Why do you entangle the sons in their fathers wrongdoings?” can prompt the more modern question of mental illness in the rulings of crimes. For people who commit murders there is the option of an insanity plea. Who gets to have the insanity plea? Should people be exempt from jail time due to a mental condition? Does Medea’s uncontrollable sadness and anger justify anything? To me Medea’s sorrow should not justify any of her actions but then again it is all up to the audience’s interpretation.

-Zunaira Naveed, Team Mars

Respect Across All Galaxies

Far, far away, but not too far in the future, is the world of Pandora, where humans have just arrived. In the movie Avatar, by James Cameron, there is a race of human-like creatures called the Na’vi. These people rely heavily on the Hometree, which connects them to their ancestors and all things spiritual, many even live here. Sadly due to the greed of the humans who have landed on the planet, the Hometree of the Omaticaya clan gets destroyed. This movie makes many different comments on contemporary social issues. The biggest ones are our treatment of our planet, our treatment of other earthlings, and our treatment of traditions and spiritual customs. The destruction of this tree demonstrates how humans have little respect for nature. It also goes deeper to show that we have little respect for the cultures of others and the rituals they perform. This tree was incredibly sacred to the Na’vi people and was more than just a home. They were connected to their past and future lives through this.

Similarly, in Sophocles’ Antigone, the brother of Antigone, Polyneices, was denied the religious ceremony of burial. Antigone fought against this, doing what she knew was right, and buried him multiple times. Creon disrespected the traditions and customs that were incredibly important to Antigone. This was more than just the act of covering her brother with dirt, it was a sacred act that she needed to do to show respect.

In both of these works, power and greed was put above the importance of honoring traditions and respecting those around you. The humans in Avatar wanted the riches that lay beneath the Hometree, so they took it. Creon in Antigone was desperate to keep the power he held as ruler of Thebes, so he denied the funeral rites to Polyneices and left him to be looked on in shame. Hopefully, we can learn from this social commentary that we need to respect each other and the world around us.

Sheila Kelly, Team Saturn

Walk of shame

In the fictional television show Game Of Thrones, many contemporary social issues are explained within the television series. In the fifth season tenth episode, a scene in which really captured my attention and made me think about how women are treated and how public the walk of shame was when Cersei was forced to walk through the streets of King’s Landing naked in order for her to “redeem her sins”. The scene shows how Cersei was kept in a prison and leading up to her walk of shame, she was “bathed” and cut from the long hair that she had. She was then brought outside of the prison where she was being held in and in front of all of the citizens of King’s Landing she was forced to strip and walk through the streets. While walking naked, a woman behind her in robes walked with her and she would say “shame, shame” and then ring a bell and repeat this over and over. The citizens of King’s Landing that saw what was happening at first were shocked but then started to call her names and profanities and they all started to throw anything they could at her like food scraps and feces.

This scene of Game Of Thrones made me think about how nowadays women are treated and also how instead of keeping one’s problems to themselves people now instead spread their troubles and problems to others around them. This scene can be compared to how now people on social media use these platforms to talk about how their partner cheated on them and therefore use social media to humiliate them and lets others comment their thoughts and opinions about the partner or situation. Like in Game Of Thrones people use the public to humiliate others and “teach” them a lesson. The scene also reminded me of both plays of Oedipus and Medea. In the Oedipus play the way that the Chorus was outside the home of Oedipus and publicly announced that the people of Thebes wanted a solution for their starvation and lack of reproduction was similar to how Cersei was made to stand in front all of the citizens of King’s Landing and pay for her sins.

Similarly, in the play of Medea a connection that I found was how both Medea and Cersei were made to be seen as objects and not people. In the play of Medea, since Jason wanted to marry another woman of higher class and basically used Medea it made me think that Jason did not think of her as a person but as an object that he could just use and then throw away when he wanted. Like Cersei, Medea felt like an object that was thrown away and had to face the critics of those around her about her failed marriage.

Judging Shouldn’t Be Your First Sense

Judge

The show Save me a Seat is about a boy named Ravi- a short Indian boy who is fresh to America. He goes through many difficult obstacles such as his teachers not being able to pronounce his name, nobody understands him and people judge him because of his vegetarian lunch he brings with him to school. Through his 5th grade experience, he felt like an outcast. This show is divided into 5 which are each day of the week from Monday- Friday. The center piece of the show is social habits on food and how cultures can be identifies based on their foods they eat.

An issue in our current society is that many tend to immediately judge a person based on their appearance or an action they make. This is a major issue because nobody knows exactly who a person is just because they dress differently or because they eat a different type of food. Nobody is perfect in this world therefore we cant always expect anything to be perfect or right. Everyone is special in their own way and we must all accept that in ourselves and others regardless of race, culture, gender or religion.

This issue can be compared to the story of Medea. In the story, her husband Jason marries another woman named Glauke. The reader automatically judges this woman as a negative figure because she is the one Jason went for because of her power. Just based off the story of Medea, we don’t know much about Glauke. Many may judge Glauke as a negative figure because she has power and many compare power as something that bring evil. But in history there have been great powerful people.

In class, we discussed the story of Medea and nobody seemed to say anything about Glauke. Although she isn’t very relevant in the story, we shouldn’t think of her as a bad figure. Therefore, the story of Medea and the show Save Me A Seat go hand in hand on the issue of judging people before knowing who they really are.

-Adam, Team Ares

 

Somewhere in Neverland

Image result for tinkerbell in cage

The character I chose to write about would be Tinkerbell in the book and movie, Peter Pan. In this story, Peter Pan, a boy who could fly and never grew up, takes Wendy and her siblings to the world called Neverland, a mythical land where Peter, Tinkerbell, and other magical beings lived in. Tinkerbell was a small fairy who followed Peter and Wendy’s journey through Neverland. Throughout their journey together, Peter is found falling in love with Wendy. However, Tinkerbell, who liked Peter, started to realize this as well. Jealousy grows on Tinkerbell and the thoughts of sabotaging them grew as an idea in her head. However, her plans on sabotaging them fell through as she was discovered and was punished in the end.

This can be tied to Medea because, during the play, Medea is married to her husband and has a family as well. Medea’s husband is caught cheating on Medea with other women and she is seething with both jealousy and anger. As her anger overtook her, she began to plot vengeance on her husband and the women he was with. This jealousy went to that extent of her killing off her own children just to show her husband how she felt after he left her for another woman. This is similar to Tinkerbell as they both plotted revenge due to jealousy, but of course not to the extent of her killing Wendy or Peter.

Love can be such a blessing yet a curse. It can be such a happy and sentimental moment in life until something hits and you’re suddenly thrown into a turmoil of jealousy and sadness. Jealousy is a poisonous feeling but it’s a normal reaction and most likely can’t be avoided in a person’s life time. It doesn’t even have to be jealousy in love, it could happen in simple situations such as, someone getting more allowance than you, or them being able to go to an event you wanted to go badly. Although jealousy may be a normal reaction, it may lead to many actions that can be regretful later in time.

Death of Tadashi (BigHero6)

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In the movie, Big hero 6, Hiro just lost his own brother and doesn’t know how to face it. The pain of losing someone important is just terrible to feel, especially since Hiro is just a child. The scene i’m picking is the aftermath of Tadashi’s death(Hiro’s brother). Hiro started to close in and the movie shows him shutting out everything. The movie’s color scheme really showed the great sorrow that Hiro was going through too. The mood was dark, gray and dull making the scene, just so overly emotional and depressing. The audience watching this would feel the same and even cry a little for Hiro. In this society, when people die, it’s normal to feel sad because they were important. So like the norms in society, when people watch this part of the scene, they will either feel sad or pity for Hiro. 

 

In contrast to Oedipus, he saw his mother/wife die and he had a total meltdown. He was extremely sad that he was so foolish and ignorant. The same with Hiro, he went into a total meltdown mode and couldn’t stand up until he met Baymax. When compared to social contemporary, both are sad and tragic. The tragedy of losing someone precious is something no one wants to feel. However in their case, Oedipus realize he can’t run away from fate and Hiro have to face his problem. Everyday in this world there is tragedies and sadness, it will never disappear because if there is light then there is darkness too. It’s the whole yin and yang factor of the world that makes it balance. I believe that there is no such thing as a perfect world because this is reality. Reality can be very cruel and people have to accept reality. Just like Oedipus, he accept his fate at the end and Hiro too. By blinding himself, it symbolize his foolishness and inability to escape fate. Therefore, both Oedipus and Hiro was hurt because of the death of their love ones. Since Tadashi died in a fire, which was caused by somebody and Oedipus’ wife done taboo. Both are issues and they are related to the modern world because people have different opinion on taboo relationship especially with family. Also criminality can be justified as evil for a lot of people. So in perspective both are evil and hurtful. 

Sons of Anarchy

abel

Charlie Hunnam goes by the name Jax Teller in Sons of Anarchy. He plays a very important role as the vice president, eventually becoming the president of his motorcycle club. Single father Jax Teller finds his loyalty to his outlaw motorcycle club tested by his growing unease concerning the group’s lawlessness. While the club protects and patrols the town of Charming, Calif., keeping danger away. However, the club earns their money through an illegal arms business.

A social issue is a problem that influences a considerable number of the individuals within a society. It is often the consequence of factors extending beyond an individual’s social issue is the source of a conflicting opinion on the grounds of what is perceived as a morally just personal life or societal order. There are many social issues in the show sons of anarchy, particularly kidnapping. Kidnap is to take (someone) away illegally by force, typically to obtain a ransom; kidnapping is one of the felonies that have a larger social impact in a population. Jaxs son Abel, was kidnapped by the Irish gangster and IRA traitor Jimmy O. Jimmy killed Abel’s adopted family and abducted Abel because he thought Jax killed Jimmy’s son. Eventually, Jax retrieves Abel and takes him to a safe place.

In the play, a woman named Medea has many social issues, they’re anger and violence. Her husband is leaving her and marrying King Creon’s daughter. She is in misery and doesn’t know what to do. Medea was furious, she decided to take action. Medea said “best the straight route in which I am most skilled — to take them off with poisons” line 385. This quote foreshadowed Jason’s two daughters and wife death. Medea left Jason alive to keep him in misery.

Although the social issues in Sons of Anarchy and Medea are different, they’re both social issues in everyday lives. Jax had to deal with Abel being kidnapped. However, he overcome the obstacles and obtained his son. Medea was in rage with anger because of her Jason leaving her. Her actions were incorrect and could have been a better solution.

Mohammed team Vulcan

I want to suck your blood!!

I want to suck your blood!! That’s right I’m a vampire. No, I’m the one and only Druuuuuulaaaaa. That’s a dramatic entrance right? Well imagine that same statement said over and over and over again since the REAL Dracula existed?

The story of Dracula originates from a Romanian King, Vlad. The name literally means “Son of the Devil” which was no laughing matter. In order to defeat the Ottomans and scare them off, Vlad’s war tactic was to kill his own people by way of impairment. Innocent citizens were oiled and impaled alive so that their screams of pain and agony would scare about the larger army of the Ottoman’s. The story of Dracula is so gory the only way to understand it was by making Dracula a monster later called a vampire- demon who sucks blood to survive. What is true is that Romania exists from the bloodshed of their own citizens.

We see examples of Dracula in movie series like Twilight, The Count Dracula in Sesame street or my favorite Count Chocula.

Dracula, like Medea are vengeful and scary characters. Both make hasty decisions for the list of their family and and up killing their own blood. Medea enters the play having killed her father while Dracula, taken as a child for a rival army, kills his brother. Similarly, the United States is at war with itself struggling to determine which part of history to acknowledge. Recently there was the murder of a college student in Charlottesville who was at a protest to the removal of a statue of General Robert E. Lee. Today, without second thought we harm and even kill our fellow human beings (citizens of the USA or not) because we have different scales in which we determine what is right or wrong. Medea thought killing her child was good to save them from humiliation in being abandoned. Dracula sought vengeance in killing his family for not protecting his parents and protesters are killed because of hasty and emotional decisions. 

Wrongful Convictions

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A social issue is any problem which affects a good number of people in any given society. Its an undesirable condition that people believe should be corrected. Several contemporary social issues such as terrorism, child marriages and corruption have been witnessed in the Game of Thrones but the scene below portraits a wrongful conviction and execution.

In this video Ned’s execution, The Lord of Winterfell Eddard Stark who is pictured above was wrongfully convicted and executed due to the influence of higher authority. He knew about the illegitimacy of the Queen, Cersei’s children and was stopped in his tracks before he could prove himself. He believed in himself and fully knew who was to be crown King after the death of Robert I Baratheon. Because of this, Cersei ordered his arrested and made sure he agreed to her terms that Joffrey Baratheon is the one and only true heir to the Iron Throne.

Antigone suffered the same fate for what she believed in. She believed the Divine law always over rules the State law . She felt Creon did not have the authority in the matter of burial in lines 441 to 445,

Creon,

“You! you there, hanging your head to the ground, do you say

you did these things, or do you deny them outright?”

Antigone,

“I say I acted. I do not deny acting.”

Creon,

“You may remove yourself wherever you wish,

free of a heavy charge.

Now you, tell me, not at length but concisely,

did you know that these were forbidden by proclamation?”

Antigone,

“Yes. Why would I not? It was public.”

Creon,

“And you dared anyway to transgress these laws.”

Antigone,

“Yes, Zeus was not the one who issued these proclamations

for me, nor did Justice, who dwells with the gods below,

define such laws among mankind.

I did not think your proclamations so strong

that you, a mortal, could overstep

gods’ unwritten and unshakable traditions.”

Creon was a dictator and used his power like Queen Cersei and ordered that since Polyneices attacked the city, he will not be given a proper burial. Anyone who buries him will be punished by death which is evident in the lines above. Even though Antigone knew this, she said in a conversation with Ismene that,

Antigone,

“For my brother, certainly, and yours, if you will not.

I for one will not be caught betraying him”

Ismene,

“Headstrong! When Creon has forbidden it?”

Antigone,

“He has no part in keeping me from what is mine.”

Creon did not listen to counsel from Teiresias, the priest even though he predicts his actions will lead to his death and suffering (in lines 988-1090). He still would not change his mind after Haemon, his son pleaded not to execute his fiancee (in lines 635-765). Creon also refused to recognize the family love that is shared between Antigone and Polyneices. Both rulers displayed poor judgement and leadership without thinking of long-term consequences of their decisions. Creon threw away the laws of the gods (Divine Law) in favor of rational laws of men (State Law).

Antigone was imprisoned for what she believed in and decided to commit suicide something the Greeks believed was noble to do than allow your enemies finish you. An artistic comparison can be done with the use of the sculpture below, Ludovisi Gaul Killing Himself and His Wife.

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The picture above, shows a Gaul (an enemy/barbarian) in the act of committing suicide by piercing his sword into his chest looking backwards while he supports his lifeless wife with his left arm and leg. His enemies, the Greeks were closing in on him and thus he killed his wife, to prevent her capture and violation as she could’ve been raped, and will be a slave. Due to the remaking of these sculptures and time, the blood can not be seen. This, compared to Antigone hanging herself shows how the Greeks were ruthless with their enemies. Antigone the law breaker and the Gaul an intruder preferred death by their own hands than at their enemies hands.

Ned Stark also died for standing for his beliefs to doing what is right and for his daughter. Sansa Stark and Catelyn Stark in the video are reflections of Eurydice and Ismene when they found Antigone dead.

Richard, Team Vulcan.

 

 

 

The Sphinx’s Riddle

Sphinx

The Sphinx, according to Greek mythology, was considered to be a woman with a lioness’ body, eagle’s wing, and a serpent’s tale. She was known to be a mystical creature who brought about terror and destruction. The Sphinx is a popular character who was also used by J.K. Rowling in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the fourth of the seven-book series. (Excerpt from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.)

In Oedipus the King, the Sphinx was known to terrorize the people of Thebes. She was sent by the god Hera as punishment for the unresolved crimes of King Laius. The Sphinx sat between the city of Thebes and its people, refusing to let anyone in or out unless they successfully answered her riddle. Those who failed to were either eaten of flung off a cliff.

Similarly, in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the Sphinx was used to guard treasures and was known to become violent when anything threatened the treasure. In the Third Task of the Triwizard Tournament (a large contest held between three wizarding schools), the Sphinx guards Harry’s closest route to the Triwizard Cup, which Harry must get to before the other contestants to win the tournament.

Both in Oedipus and The Goblet of Fire, the Sphinx represents terror, violence, and eventually, the protagonists’ confrontation with their destiny.

Oedipus left Corinth, his hometown after he received a prophecy that he would kill his father and marry his mother. As he’s passing by Thebes, he comes across the Sphinx and her riddle.“What is it that has a voice and walks on four legs in the morning, on two at noon, and on three in the evening?” “A man”, Oedipus answers. With the riddle being solved the Sphinx plunges off the cliff, and Oedipus is welcomed into Thebes as a hero, is married to its queen, and becomes the new king. Unknown to him, however, is that the moment he solves the Sphinx’s riddle, he falls into the trap of the gods, and comes face to face with the fate he’s been running from. Not much later, the city of Thebes faces a plague, also a form of punishment for an unresolved crime; the murder of King Lauis. Oedipus’ pursuit of truth leads him to realize that it was he who murdered King Lauis, his father (when he was traveling from Corinth to Thebes) and that he had married his own mother, the Queen.

In the Goblet of Fire, after Harry solves the Sphinx’s riddle and crosses by her, he too, like Oedipus, has to confront fate. He faces a duel with Voldemort (the main antagonist). In the first three books of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter thrice avoids a dangerous, fatal duel with Voldemort, the darkest wizard the entire magical world has seen. However, once Harry gets past the Sphinx and gets to the Triwizard Cup, he falls into Voldemort’s trap, and upon contact with the cup (a portkey, which is an enchanted object that can transport someone to a specific location), faces the fate he and everyone that loved him was trying to save him from. Harry finds himself fighting Voldemort in a duel.

In both stories, after defeating the Sphinx, the protagonists find themselves facing the fate they originally are running from. The Sphinx in both stories represents fear, violence, and an arrival to the true fate. 

 

Cruel Women and Scum Men

Please jump to 1:40 and watch to 4:50, that is the whole story of her.

Today I’m going to talk about a character story from the game Elder Scroll V: Skyrim. I think of many other possible TV shows that may somehow related to the articles of Medea, Oedipus, and Antigone but the reality is I don’t watch TV shows much so I decided to use the character background in the game Skyrim to do my blog.

The character’s name above is called Muiri, as you can see in the video above Muiri is somewhat similar to Medea, who both take revenge on their lover (Medea killed her ex-lover’s wife and his sons, Muiri killed her ex-lover and also killed the family member who abandoned her). In my opinion, the revenge from them is acceptable, because when you pay so much to a person you love and that person just used you to achieve something, and then abandon you, I can’t really say the revenge is totally wrong. If the person you loved said that we can’t get together at the beginning, that is a different case. But these two men in stories are total scum, used their lover then cruelly threw them away, I would say their revenge is right. But I it will be best if they don’t involve other people in the revenge. At the end, this kind of men is are scums, but the revenge from these 2 girls (aunties) is just too cruel, and if a man is loved by this kind of girls, I can only say good luck to him.

Do we need more Antigone in the world?

Antigone is an ancient literacy work by Sophocles. Its a proof of how genders and people were treated Creon, the king of Thebian who believed himself as everything. For him, his world is law and he is the ruler for people. In that society, Antigone dared to question him. She challenged the rules in society which brings up the social status and importance of women in that era. As we read the story of Antigone we see Ismene, the sister of Antigone stating that “we were born women, who should not strive with men” She explains Antigone and the audience that as women they have no right to go against of the word of men. It shows how equality did not exists and there is no way for a woman to rule king or any man in their lives. Although, women were clearly shown to be lower than men Antigone didn’t care about any rule or how the society expects her to act. She still burries her brother against the king order. She was strong enough to go against the world to show what she believes in “Creon has no right to keep me from my own”, she was the type of citizen to do anything for justice. In 21st century, we expect the world to be different and more open for everyone. Most of us look back at this reading and believe that time has changed. There are people who are unaware of the fact that inequality still exists in the same way as it existed in Greek time. Just like Antigone, women in eastern countries and in muslim world are still forced to keep their mouth closed and their identities under men. They are forced to dressed a certain way and speak in a different manner. No matter how advanced the world is, women are still not allowed to speak their minds or participate in things they believe in. There is fear and terror that lives in women hearts that needs to be changed. Antigone was someone who had the courage to speak up. Women around the world are treated as men properties and actions needs to be taken to save them. Just like Antigone, we need more women to speak up and raise their voice against inequality. They need to unite and come together to fight for everything they believe in. It takes courage to fight, and its the only way for women to be free. Fizzasaeed,Team HermesGender_Inequality

Babbling about Plays

In the second season of Star Trek: The Original Series there is an episode called  ‘Journey to Babel’. In this episode, the crew of the Starship Enterprise, the famous Federation starship, is in charge of bringing ambassadors from various planets to the planet Babel, which is essentially a science fiction version of the United Nations. The problem is that many of the planets hate each other due to economic differences and harmful stereotypes of each other, among other things. This leads the guests to fighting amongst each other and the eventual murder of one of the ambassadors. It also shows how the character Spock, who is half Vulcan (alien) and half human was tormented by his Vulcan peers because he is different, the same way many second generation immigrants are teased and tormented as well.

The xenophobia, the fear of foreigners, is similar to that displayed in Sophocles’ Antigone and Euripides’ Medea in the sense that they were tormented for being foreigners. They were called ‘barbarians’ and their misfortune was blamed on the fact that they were from a different country rather than their actions or the actions of others.

This Star Trek episode aired in order to highlight the problems hating another country causes.  This is similar to what the Ancient Greeks did with their plays. The Ancient Greeks used their plays in order to discuss the political issues of the day such as immigration (this is the issue discussed in Antigone and Medea) or a plague (this is one of issues discussed in Oedipus). The difference between ‘Journey to Babel’ and the plays of Ancient Greece is that the Star Trek episode was made so that we think about the problem and take actions to figure out how the problem could be solved. The Greeks, however, used their plays as catharsis, as a way to feel like they are solving the problem without actually solving it.

Hinda, Team Mars

If Oedipus Lived In Suburbia

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According to a NYTimes review, the “experimental Irish theatre company” (Brantley) Peter Pan has staged a show called “Oedipus Loves You,” which takes the original Greek story of Oedipus and places it in modern day suburbia. The story, told in “latter-day drag” (Brantley), opens up telling the audience that the show is meant to be shown “in an age of postmodern theory and the birth of postdramatic theatre” (Brantley), and it aims to examine “the metaphysical,political, and quasi-religious aspects of the Oedipus myth as it has been applied in recent theater history” (Brantley). We talked a lot in class about the importance of theatre to Athenian life, and how ALL theatre performed back then had a religious context. Peter Pan’s production does exactly that, but molds the well-known myth for a modern day audience. Someone going to see a original production of Oedipus in Ancient Athens would probably be going for the same reasons someone would go see Peter Pan’s re-staging of Oedipus Loves You; for commentary on political and religious issues in the safe space of an artistic sanctuary. According to Brantley, the actual production of the story is amusing in relation to the themes of the original story; the major difference being the show’s use of Sigmund Freud’s major concepts, like the Oedipus Complex, which obviously wasn’t talked about while Ancient Athenians went to see the play. As the show is shown in modern times, it has become much more of a comedic story then a drama, due to the absurdity of events in the original story. Ancient Athenians might have seen events in Oedipus as common occurrences, but Peter Pan’s production plays on the how amusing the events are, and “also considers the tenacity of the hold of that story on the Western imagination” (Brantley).

Brantley, Ben. “Oedipus Loves You.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 24 May 2008, www.nytimes.com/2008/05/24/theater/reviews/24oedi.html?mcubz=0

Camille, Team Diana

 

Wonder Who Man

Women’s position in society has drastically improved from being a housewife to generally being respected and seen as an equal in the workplace. Although the circumstances are much better, there are still some who think of women as inferior to man.

Wonder Woman is the most iconic female superhero of our generation. Known also as Diana Prince, she is the daughter of  Queen Hippolyta and Greek god Zeus. Recently a live action film, Wonder Woman, was released retelling her origin and involvement in World War I. Diana is the living embodiment of all the capabilities of a woman, she is strong, fearless, preserving and compassionate.

One scene from the movie that caught my attention was when Steve introduced the team.  In this scene Steve’s friends are are so dumbfounded that Diana is going to join them on the battlefield they laugh at how outrageous the suggestion sounds. This scene is a prime example of how men underestimate women and think that they are not capable of doing the same work as them.

In this scene Steve’s friends are are so dumbfounded that Diana is going to join them on the battlefield they laugh at how outrageous the suggestion sounds. This scene is a prime example of how men underestimate women and think that they are not capable of doing the same work as them. After this interaction, Diana quickly changes their mind as she flips a man who was about to fight them, onto the floor. This scene portrays how women shouldn’ t be treated differently from men and be generalized as weak and frail.

In Medea, Medea’s husband, Jason abandons her for Glauce causing her to seek revenge on him. To enact this revenge, Medea kills her sons as well as Glauce and her father the King. This play is a portrayal of Medea’s struggle with the male dominated society. Her husband leaves her for a more beautiful woman while Medea is left to provide for her sons by herself, a very common tragedy even in today’s society.

Both Wonder Woman and Medea are prime examples of women taking the situation into their own hands and breaking the rules put upon them by men. However, Medea enacts revenge in a very cruel way whereas Wonder Woman puts an end to World War 1 and brings peace.

Shakiba Ghaffar, Team Vesta

Love Has No Limits

Love is a driving force in many forms of media, such as books, movies, and television. A very famous story of being blinded by love is the story of the Joker and Harley Quinn. Harley Quinn has been in many different comic books, TV shows and movies, in the many different adaptations of her character she almost always is doing anything and everything for the love of her life, the Joker. In Suicide Squad, a 2016 movie, Harley Quinn will do anything to prove her love to the Joker. She jumps in a pool of acid which could’ve killed her and she also shot someone who got in between them, this relationship could be a bit toxic or abusive at times, but she doesn’t care because she was driven by the thought of them being together.

Medeas story is also strongly driven by love, she loved her husband so much that when he left her for another woman, she went to extreme measures to show how committed she was to prove how hurt she felt by his wrongdoing. She ends up killing his new wife and her children just to prove that to her former husband, Jason. Although she didn’t want to get back with Jason this story is very similar to the Harley and Joker dynamic, in which they will both do anything to prove how strong their love is or was for that one person.

In todays society there are so many people that are blinded by love, they either are in an abusive relationship (like Harley’s) or would do anything to prove how strong their love is. They are blinded by the thought of a relationship and don’t care how unhealthy their actions are.

Love makes people do crazy things, that is present in both real life and countless plays and movies throughout history.

-Aiden Ferris

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Hell Hath No Fury

The scene is dark with an impeccable consciousness of regret hovering over you as you eat the third handful of buttery, salty popcorn. A few kernels spill over failing to make it to your mouth but your eyes are pasted onto the pail nonpareil actress holding a tendentious expression over the angry, frightened Reverend. The remnant taste of a cola you sipped four and a incessant seconds ago is still lingering off of your tongue and that’s when the phenomena occurs: scary salemWhy did I choose THIS net-flick?! Why does anyone choose a series to binge and who on earth in 2017 can relate to the Salem Witch Trials or a woman stuffing a rat down her husband’s throat?! Apparently a flock of WGN America’s Salem fans including myself.

Salem is a television show about the contras’ of freedom. We all have freedom to do whatever we please but the consequences are not so lithe or agreeable- often objectionable. Arguably, a young woman in love and separated from her true love by the religious tyranny of the Puritans, Left alone with a bastard child she enters the world of satanism to rid herself of child. She is later unable to alter her choices when her lover returns with burdens of his own. Torn between reviving Satan in hopes of creating a new world of peace and leaving her duties to be a mother and wife in an autonomous state.

Continue reading

What would you do for revenge ?

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Spider-man, known as Peter Parker is one of the greatest superheroes of all time and is known for his bravery and protecting his fellow citizens. However he runs into a major problem with his girlfriend Mary Jane who he has come to love dearly. One of Peter Parker’s former best friends known as Harry Osborn has set up a plan to break Peter and Mary Jane’s relationship apart. As far as Harry thinks, he believes that Peter has killed Harry’s father and therefore now wants to take away something that Peter loves which is his girlfriend. Harry then approaches Mary Jane and threatens her for her life saying that if you continue to talk to peter you are going to end up badly hurt.  Mary Jane then goes up to Peter and does exactly what Harry told her to do which was to break up with him, leaving Peter heartbroken.

Medea is also in a similar situation where she finds out that her husband Jason is leaving her and is marrying King Creon’s daughter. Medea has never gone through something like losing a husband and does not know what to do at first. As she is furious and anger is rushing through her body, she is now looking for revenge. She comes up with a evil plan that she believes will put Jason in misery for the rest of his life. She ends up killing her two children, King Creon  and his daughter by poisoning them, however leaving Jason alive.

Medea left Jason devastated and let him wishing he were dead. Jason never saw this coming and would of  never left Medea if he knew this was going to happen. Medea let her anger get the best out of her and did not seem like the type of person to commit this horrendous act. She showed no signs of this cruelty that she committed but when one is at at troubled time they show their true colors.  Medea had no right to do what she did and showed humans are capable of terrible things. This relates to spider man as both Harry and Medea had committed disastrous acts ruining people’s lives to get back in spite of them. This shows that seeking revenge is  the not the proper way of getting out of situation and can be handled much differently.

#OldisNew #CLAS 2 # TeamVenus # Medea

Disposable Women and Unfaithful Husbands

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    In this scene, the main character in Call The Midwife, a young midwife named Jenny, is going on a home visit to a local woman named Pearl. Pearl is an impoverished young mother with a few young children. She has recently suffered a late-term miscarriage because of an STD, which she contracted from her husband and his infidelities. When Jenny asks Pearl how she’s coping, she replies in a mournful voice “You can’t win them all” and asks if she can have her milk dried up. She insists on making Jenny a cup of tea as she “has to keep going.” She takes out a china teacup, the only one in her cupboard, and tells Jenny her grandmother left it to her. Jenny goes to sit down, and Pearl warns her not to sit on that chair, as her youngest son had peed on it. Pearl comments to Jenny, who comes from a middle-class upbringing, that she must think poorly of the local women. Jenny replies “As a matter of fact, I think you’re all heroines.” Pearl smiles and tears up, then turns on the radio and looks out the window.

    Call The Midwife takes place in the poverty-stricken East End of London in 1957, and many of the show’s plot lines revolve around misogyny and inequality in the home. At the beginning of the episode, a heavily pregnant Pearl was seen in a verbal argument that turned physical with her husband’s mistress, who was also pregnant.  To someone who doesn’t understand poverty or just how dependent women were on their husbands in the 1950s, Pearl may seem like a bad or irresponsible mother—but she had little choice other than to attempt to scare off her husband’s mistresses, as she and her children quite literally would have starved without him. The fact that she was refusing to rest after the immense emotional and physical trauma that comes with a late-term miscarriage is a testament to the amount of responsibility that was put on women to care for their children, as well as how little responsibility was put on men, who could and often did walk out their families with little or no consequence.

    The woman, Pearl, in the scene in Call The Midwife, and the antihero in the eponymous play Medea, both face similar challenges caused by social issues of their times, despite their stories taking place thousands of years apart. Both Pearl and Medea’s husband’s cheat on them, as they live in societies and periods of time that view women as disposable, and infidelity as men’s right. The most striking similarity in the challenges the two women face is the burden of childcare, which is a burden that they as women must carry alone. Although Medea’s sons have a nurse that cares for them as well, when King Creon banishes her from Corinth, her sons are banished as well. Medea is left with little time and very few options to find a new place for her and her sons to live, as she earned herself many enemies while helping Jason obtain the Golden Fleece. Meanwhile, her husband, Jason, with his newfound status betrothed to the princess, does not even think to help his wife and children find a new and safe place to live.

-Maggie, Team Hermes

Medea and Daenerys Targaryen

Game of Thrones is one of the most popular TV Shows. One of the important characters, Daenerys Targaryen, is shown to be dependent of her abusive older brother (named Viserys). In Season 1 of Game of Thrones, we see that Daenerys is under complete control of her male counterpart, her brother. He marries her off to a powerful Dothraki warlord named, Khal Drogo, in return for an army to support his decision to invade Westeros.

This scene shows the societal issue of a male dominated hierarchy. Daerneys, before she becomes rebellious, lacked the motivation and courage to go against her brother, Viserys. But upon the progress of the series, we see that Daerneys relentlessly pursues revenge upon those who oppose her. In Medea by Euripides, Medea, upon being banished from Corinth by Creon, plots to get vengeance for what her husband, Creon did to her. Medea, just like Daerneys at the beginning, was dependent on her husband Jason. Now, without Jason to support her and her sons, she loses everything. Another similarity is when in Game of Thrones, after Daerneys father was killed, and she was banned from the kingdom, she vowed to reclaim her position as the rightful heir to the empire. Both Medea and Daerneys were exiled from their countries. Both also are bent on getting revenge towards their opposition. For Medea, it was towards Jason and Creon and for Daerneys, it was towards all who tried to usurp her reign.

 

Supergirl and Xenophobia

Xenophobia is a problem that has been around for many years. It is the fear of outsiders, of something unknown and unlike yourself. It’s closely related to racism, because fear of difference can lead to treatment of said outsiders in a negative way. This issue has been tackled by many people from different angles.

The CW show “Supergirl” aired an episode (2×03, “Welcome to Earth”) in which Mon-el, an alien from Krypton’s twin planet Daxam, has arrived on Earth. Supergirl is suspicious of his motives, saying that if he is from Daxam then he cannot be good; she thinks he is colluding with her enemies. She tells the DEO (Department of Extra-Normal Operations) that Kryptonians have a saying about Daxamites: “May tex kolor Daxam,” which Supergirl refuses to translate, implying it is highly derogatory. The following exchange takes place between Supergirl and Mon-el; he is in a holding cell and she questions his recent actions.

Supergirl: …Your entire race thinks nothing but themselves.

Mon-El: And you would know all about my race, Kryptonian? Judging by that self-righteous glyph on your chest. Hey, so shouldn’t you already have all the answers?

Supergirl: What’s that supposed to mean?

Mon-El: Well, I know how your people feel about us. High-and-mighty, “enlightened” Krypton. Looking down on us lowly peasants ever since you attacked us with no provocation. […] You’ve already made up your mind about me. So, it seems kind of pointless to keep talking to you.

More of this scene can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Se35j9PKRE

Mon-el demonstrates his awareness of her attitude toward his people. He knows that Supergirl has condemned Mon-el simply because he is not from her planet. She stereotyped his race and jumped to conclusions about his actions. He resents her judgment but thinks he is powerless against it. This is a perfect example of how xenophobia/racism works, and the parallel to modern society is obvious. It’s clear the show intended the episode as commentary on today’s America.

Nowadays there is rampant xenophobia in the United States. Under the Trump administration, racists are proud of their misguided beliefs. All the fear of immigrants and/or terrorists is xenophobia at its extreme. A lot of right-wing Americans are afraid of the newcomers having a negative impact on their own lives, like taking their jobs or attacking them, even when there is little reason to expect such a situation. The modern political climate in America is very xenophobic.

But it’s not just nowadays that people have had this attitude. In Euripides’ “Medea,” Jason and Medea are both exiles from their respective lands, taking refuge in Corinth. The king of Corinth doesn’t trust Medea around his daughter, and although this is because she is the psychopathic ex-wife whom nobody in their right mind would trust, it’s possible it was also impacted by Creon’s subconscious mind telling him to beware this outsider. Also, in some translations, Medea asks Jason, “Whither can I fly, since all Greece hates the barbarian?” She, as an outsider, will not be welcomed anywhere, even if she leaves the place from which she has been banished.

At the time it was written, “Medea” was intended as a social commentary on Athens’ treatment of foreigners, and the Athenian belief of the superiority of native Athenians. Athenian imperial propaganda perpetuated the myth of autochthony, pretending Attica had always been populated by the same people, in much the same way Americans forget that no one has “always lived here” because life didn’t originate on this continent. “Newcomers” are simply newer than you are; at some point, your ancestors were newcomers too. Xenophobia is unfair to the victims of its warped perception because it hinges on the belief that you belong here and they do not. Really, no one “belongs” any more than anyone else.

It’s just a matter of who got there first, really. If Mon-el had landed on Earth before Supergirl, would she have been protective of Earth from him? Probably not. She would be the outsider stepping into an unfamiliar setup. Supergirl’s mistrust and suspicion stemmed from her prior integration into Earth culture. When American citizens are concerned about newcomers, they forget that their family was once in the same position, coming off the boat or plane into a country filled with people who already had their lives set in place. Would they dare say those other people don’t belong here?

Xenophobia is an issue, deeply rooted in flawed perception of yourself and others, that has unfortunately been around for thousands of years.

Chaya, team Venus

Breaking America

Walter White, the protagonist of the hit TV show Breaking Bad is an average white middle- class ,middle-aged man who has just found out he has lung cancer. In this video you can seen how Walter White transforms from the loving husband, father, cancer patient to the criminal kingpin who is Heisenberg.

The story of a person who goes from being “good” to becoming “evil” is a story that has been told numerous times. An example would be the story of Maleficent. Maleficent was a good and pure being who protected her home but when she is betrayed she becomes a nasty vengeful villain (antagonist). Much like in the play of Medea by Euripides, She is a mother of two and a loving wife but when Jason arranges to marry someone else she becomes enraged and determined to get her revenge.

American society is much like this ongoing story of people going from good to bad. Even in the beginning stages of Walter’s methamphetamine business he still has good intentions in earning money to leave to his family incase the cancer did end up killing him, but greed and ego take control and he does not stop making and selling meth until he gets killed because of it. Greed, revenge and ego are very dangerous and when they engulf your mind they change who you are. Walter says in the video, ” life is a cycle…it is growth, then decay and then transformation.” Americans go through this cycle too. They go through growth, which is their successes and ambitions , and then something changes which is much like the decay, and from the decay they transform into something who they are not.  Walter went through this and so did Medea. This story is a tale as old as time. It can be connected to a lot of stories and characters. Some more examples that are recognizable are: Darth Vader (Star Wars), Syndrome (The Incredibles), and Peter Pettigrew ( Harry Potter).

Luisa Reynoso- Team Hermes

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Heartbreak: Will it make you or break you?

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In the hit show Scandal, Olivia Pope, head of Olivia Pope and Associates, is a powerful, clever, and compassionate woman who runs her own crisis management and communication firm. She uses her skills to help those in immoral crisis’ to get justice for what she believes is right. Along with running her firm, she also works in the White House with the most powerful man in the country: the President. Olivia’s history with the President of the United States, Fitzgerald Grant III, dates back to before he even became president. She worked 24/7 to make sure he successfully became the next president, and she does so for 2 terms. Unfortunately for Fitz’s wife, Mellanie Grant, he had been having an affair with Olivia for years while he was office. Mellie eventually finds out about the affair and wanted to divorce Fitz but Olivia insists that she shouldn’t because it’d be in everyone’s best interest if she doesn’t follow through with it.

Flash forward to this important scene, Mellie is now running to be the first female President of the United States. She asserts to Fitz that she had earned everything she has on her own and implies that everything Fitz has was handed off to him. She emphasizes that he wouldn’t be the man his is today without the help of everyone around him, especially her. He had been complaining about the negatives of being the president, he forgot to appreciate it. Over the years of being neglected and cheated on by the man who was supposed to be the love of her life, Mellie was able to become independent and grow the confidence to run for the presidency despite the constant negativity around her.

I believe that this relates to the play Madea. Madea’s husband, Jason, had run off to marry Creon’s daughter and left his two children behind. Madea fell deeply in love with Jason and when she found out that he was leaving her for another woman, her heart turned bitter and it changed her entirely. Her thirst for revenge consumed her and led to her killing her own children. Both women experienced heartbreak but the way each of them handled it were complete opposites. Mellie allowed it to make her stronger while Madea made it break her down and bring out the worse.

-Estrella Roberts, Team Vulcan

Perspective Puts a New Spin on Old Stories

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Works of literature and cinema which focus on life in societies before our modern world offer fascinating insight into those time’s values and beliefs. However, it is also important to take into account whether these works are a primary or secondary source because the portrayal of characters can be changed to fit the mold of any society’s views. Reign, a modern TV show, and Medea, written in ancient Greece showcase this significant difference of viewpoint.

Reign explores contemporary issues through setting. In episode 10 of Reign, Mary, Queen of Scots explores the idea of the freedom of religion. She and her fiance encounter pagans in the woods through which they are passing. The setting of the forest was needed to create a hostile tone around the pagans and makes the revelation at the end much more dramatic. Mary, a Catholic, is quick to call them heretics, as the pagans are known to make human sacrifices to their God. Her fiance explains that only a small sect of the pagans go as far as sacrificing humans, which gives their religion a bad name. Mary realizes that it is wrong to attribute the actions of a few to an entire group and apologizes for generalizing the pagans and their religion. An important concept in today’s society, freedom of religion was not a widespread belief in mid-sixteenth century Europe when the English throne was divided between Catholics and Protestants. Mary’s story in Reign is told through a  modern lens. No doubt that the real Queen Mary would have the pagan heretics burned at stake. Certain qualities like open-mindedness can be written into characters like Mary’s to make them more appealing to the audience and give them a sense of transcending through time. Oppression of religion was a significant hardship for the people in the sixteenth century and continues to be a hardship today. Reign showed that people should not be viewed as a homogeneous being even if they practice the same religion: a lesson that many people still need to learn today.

In comparison, the story of Medea is told from an Ancient Greek point of view and therefore portrays contemporary social issues very differently. Medea explores the themes of betrayal, revenge, and the relationship between husband and wife, all relevant topics in today’s society. Even though everyone would agree that killing her children was too wretched an act to commit even for a woman who was abused by her husband, the modern audience will still have a bit more sympathy for Medea than the Greeks, who didn’t spare her the slightest but if pity. Today, feminism is an important ideology that advocates the equal treatment of men and women, the complete opposite of how Ancient Greek civilizations functioned. Jason is never held accountable for his abuse and Medea is deemed as the “bad” character. However, today’s audience will recognize that Jason deserved some of the blame for the ruin of his children. Had he not left Medea, she would not have gone mad with grief and anger.

Reign, which is told from a modern perspective, forces modern ideologies on its characters. Medea is told from a Greek perspective and condemns Medea for killing her children in an ultimate betrayal of her husband.

Elene T., Team Mars

Rickety Split

Rick Sanchez from Rick and Morty may just look like a common cartoon character but his true nature is that of a diabolical world ending being who has no respect for the rules and norms of the world. Even at the age of 70 he is still considered to be the most dangerous thing in the know galaxy constantly fighting off people he has wronged and creating new conflict wherever he goes whether it be on an adventure with his grandson or a simple day working in his garage. Using his unmatched scientific skill and knowledge he is able to best and outsmart any of his numerous enemies. Add this to his apathy and egotistical cynicism, he emerges safely from any situation regardless of the the danger and without thinking of the consequences or any thought for his own safety.

The scene posted above is from an episode where an occupying alien force has taken over earth. They are portrayed in the same manor that any government on earth would be except for some obvious exclusions such as all of the space and alien elements. The Galactic Federation as it is called is shown to run like the U.S. does for example they show that the the government is a part of all aspects of the Sanchez families lives such as the law they must follow and the criminal charges against Rick, the type of employment given if unemployed, and the currency they must use. The government that is also portrayed is also shown to have the same type of flaws as the U.S such as the numerous amount of incarcerated people they have, the corruption and greed, and how in the end if the value of their currency where to suddenly drop completely the nation would topple in an instant.

In the first scene shown it is revealed that Ricks most significant invention his portal gun was not created until there was an intervention from outside sources i.e. himself from a different dimension. Rick who was not always a troubled soul he is shown to be a family man at first but due to the anger and pain from losing his family he chooses to run away for years to gallivant around the galaxy for decades fueled by his anger all the while running away from his responsibilities to his daughter who had survived the blast. Even though he could have returned or even if he had never left he still chose to run away. The one true character that Sanchez could be compared to would be that of Jason from Euripides-Medea, a true hero who in the end ruined everything in his life because of the the decisions that he made, who chose to abandon his family for a better life as if he no longer needed them. Unlike Ricks wife however who is normal Medea would be considered deranged from her grief at Jasons betrayal. Like Jason who needed to find tools to help his quest such as the golden fleece, Rick goes on impossibly difficult adventures in search of items and materials that can further help his scientific work. Ricks reasoning for leaving his family is somewhat similar as well, he could have stayed and tried to somehow save his family, but like Jason he believed it would be easier and simpler if he moved on. He does eventually return to his home like Jason, however where Jason came to question Medea on her actions only to find that his children where murdered by her as well. Rick returns to his home after years apart and his return is not as gruesome as that of Jasons he only finds that his superior intellect was not passed on to his family and that they are no where near as smart,destructive, or irresponsible as him. However unlike Jason Rick does not know who the culprit behind the murder of his family member is, he never seems to look for the mysterious killer in any given episode. In the end of the first scene shown he tells his enemy it was all fake but it is revealed later on that it was not fake at all. We are lead to believe that he in fact showed more of the truth then he would have liked in order to be able to lie to his captures.

#LongAgo #FarAway #CLAS2 #Euripides #Jason #Rick/Morty

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Videos-

https:/www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7gmZxP5TKs&feature=youtu.be

https:/www.youtube.com/watch?v=mweTc7tDO3I&feature=youtu.be

 

The Game is On…?

To weigh power through intelligence is merely how human beings have separated themselves throughout human history. Scholars tend to be the higher class, while someone of lower educational level most likely will be in some form of poverty. The strength of intelligence can be found in a rendition of Connor Doyle’s: The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes, the BBC TV Show, Sherlock. The show depicts the world’s most popular detective in a modern setting instead of the usual early 20th century setting. The character of Sherlock has been replenished numerous times, with this show being one of the first to take him into contemporary society.

The clip shown from the show is of the detective Sherlock getting into a heavy and life threatening argument with his nemesis, Moriarty. This scene sort of reflects the tension that exists in modern society, being similar to how the leader of our government deals with other countries such as North Korea. It seems like a stretch but both characters are on edge, ready to pounce, and prepared to do anything necessary to out due the other. The way these two converse can be easily compared to President Trump and his rivalry with North Korean dictator, Kim Jong Un. Straying away from political issues, a more social dilemma involving this kind of tension can be seen in the fight between the alt-right white supremacists and the equal rights activists. Both groups are passionate about their social standings and fight much like the two masterminds in this scene when they collide

While observing issues in contemporary society, we can also observe contemporary issues in the play Eurpides’ Medea, as discussed in class. In the play, Jason, Medea’s lover, has acted unfaithful against her, pleading to marry another woman, and Medea is not happy once so ever. An issue of the time was how woman were seen as inferior to men, so this treatment of Medea could be seen as something of little to no importance in mythological Ancient Greece. Medea’s thirst for revenge can be compared to Moriarty’s relationship with Sherlock. Moriarty, while VERY insane, secretly loves Sherlock in a sense, and wants him destroyed not only to get rid of him, but challenge his intellect. Medea loves Jason so much, when she is betrayed go to extreme lengths to show her sorrow and anger that she was betrayed. Both are very similar yet crazy relationships that we can analyze.

Sean Reilly, Team Artemis

Sherlock vs Moriarty

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A Cross-Cultural Take on Oedipus the King

“The patients become the playwright’s plague-weary Thebans, the playwright’s grim and fearful chorus. Like the cast, they are all black, and the resonant but never stated implication is that they have AIDS.”

“…As a result, his fall has an element in it of just deserts, as though he were being punished for his hubris, and this robs from the mounting human tragedy that gives the play its brutal power.”

These quotes are from a 2001 New York times theater review of an adaptation of Oedipus the King set in contemporary Africa.

As a result of setting the play in Africa, the context of the story changes, meaning that there are different reasons as to why events in the play occur. The writer of the review, Bruce Weber, notes that instead of going through a devastating plague, the people that Oedipus rules over are struggling with AIDS. A plague as gruesome as the one that the Athenians were concerned with at the time of the original Oedipus story is not an issue that would concern anyone today, or in 2001, and so it is understandable that this detail would be altered for a modern adaptation. The use of AIDS instead of the Athenian plague makes for a much more relevant comment on modern African life for that time period, as in 2001, when this play was written, AIDS was prominent issue in Africa. The ideas are similar enough for the use of AIDS in the story to seamlessly work in the story – the people are upset that something so horrible has spread, and so they turn to their leader, Oedipus, for guidance. The story of Oedipus himself and his prophecy continues from there.

Furthermore, Weber observes how Oedipus’ weakness is still hubris, but his fall is somewhat different in this adaptation, which could also affect the theme. Weber claims that “…it’s hard to imagine him as a revered leader. He’s Oedipus the Prince, someone who suffers on his sleeve, who doesn’t have layers of self-certainty to be peeled slowly and inevitably away as his heritage and his fate are revealed to him.” Oedipus in this adaptation is a young, privileged, and somewhat lucky character. His demise is only seen when he blinds himself at the end. In the original play, Oedipus’ decision to uncover the killer of Laius by any means necessary in order to help his people is a noble one, and the audience can pity him when his fate is revealed, which adds to the purpose of the play itself – to find a “reason” for the Athenian plague. In this contemporary version, there may be a comment being made about leadership in Africa and how the situation regarding AIDS may have been handled poorly. There is a change in theme and purpose.

Citation:

Weber, Bruce. “Timeless Tragedy, Transported in Time.” The New York Times, 30 Jan. 2001. Accessed 5 Sept. 2017.

Link:

Tags:

OnStage, CLAS2, Euripides, Sophocles, Antigone, Oedipus, Medea

 

 

 

Nothing Is Ever Done

cinderelly

We’ve all seen Cinderella or at least heard of her , there have been over two dozen cliche movies of the poor orphan child who’ s evil stepmother makes her life miserable , but she overcomes the obstacles and succeeds beyond the means she was born with. To be frank , through discussion with others many feel like she does have to much to offer and at one point I did too. Well , THEY ARE WRONG. In fact, Cinderella has some wise words to offer in Disney’ new and old movie , as seen in scene in the video ( link below)  she shares with us this quote “just because its done, doesn’t mean its what should be done”. This quote couldn’t be more fitting to today’ contemporary society with such publicized political hysteria spreading and with Antigone in Sophocles’ famous ancient play Antigone .

Likewise in both the play and in today’s society revolutionary individuals take a stand against what has been placed in effect by a higher authority . In the play, Antigone goes against Creon’ wishes  , the king of Corinth and her uncles, by burying her dead brother  Polyneices and performing his death rights . Antigone believes it is the wishes of the gods , more specifically Hades , to perform rights on Polyneices’ dead body , the commandments of god illuminate higher importance compared to mere man/Creon. Correspondingly , in the current political weather many similar circumstances are being assembled where many social activist are battling against the government and other groups. For instance , many progressives are fighting against icons of white supremacy displayed throughout the U.S. . Even though it happened doesn’t mean it is right and sometimes change is infinitely possible.

The moral of my overall analysis is , the scene where Cinderella drops a bomb of wisdom “just because its done, doesn’t mean its what should be done”, is an incredibly ominous scene considering that the overall message could be utilized in the past and present , such as with Sophocles’ play Antigone and in current politics. When a lesson has no age or time period boundaries its able to infiltrate a larger audience making it powerful and that is what the scene is able to do.

Sincerely , Samantha , Team Minerva

Citations:

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Caroll Marketing Executive at Callboxinc.com | Blogger | Online Marketer, Judy. “7 Important Business Insights from the Granddaddy of Animation.” Callboxinc.com – B2B Lead Generation Company, 7 Oct. 2015, http://www.callboxinc.com/thought-leaders/7-important-business-insights-from-the-granddaddy-of-animation/

Video

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMF8M8-OZYE         Time: 00:00:30

“Youtube.” Youtube, 11 Feb. 2015, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMF8M8-OZYE .

Who Am I?

In Mulan, Mulan sings the song Reflections which is all about who she is as a person. During this song she contemplates who she is and what other people think she should be. When I was watching this I realized this searching for your true self is very prevalent in contemporary society. We are constantly looking for ourselves, the transgender movement is an example of this. Transgender people are looking for who they are. They are discovering who they are meant to be regardless of what other people say or do, to look inside themselves and recognize that they aren’t necessarily supposed to be what they were told they were.

Similarly, in Oedipus the King, Oedipus is so focused on what the oracle and the prophecy says he ends up fulfilling the prophecy by accident. Oedipus was so focused on other people’s predictions and views that he was steered into making decisions he wouldn’t necessarily make for himself, like Mulan, when she is steered into marrying for the honor of her family. While Mulan pushes against the constraints on her and follows her heart by saving her father, Oedipus tries to defy the fates as well but ends up in their clutches at the end. Both of these stories, while very similar have different endings they both reflect on how outside influence can affect a person to a very deep level. Making someone who thought they knew themselves turn out to be something entirely different. This is reflected in today’s contemporary society with the transgender movement, people finding who they are regardless of society’s opinion of them.

 

 

Social Issues Present in Pixar Films

zootopia

Pixar, a subsidiary of Walt Disney, continues to produce new ways to teach modern day children about social issues through brilliant computer animation. One of their recent releases “Zootopia” fearlessly addresses sexism and racism. This is accomplished through Judy Hopkins, a rabbit who follows her dream of being a police officer rather than joining the family business of carrot farming. The plot continues with Judy stuck in a colorful world littered with setbacks and oppression. Of people telling her shes too small, too slow, too stupid, too feminine. But as a theme in this film, we set our own goals, and through Judy’s persistence and relentlessness she overcomes the limitations and expectations set upon her by others, more specifically by society; and she continues to strive for more challenging projects.

The message is clear. Our destiny is not predetermined based off of our race, gender, or culture. It is created by us and the goals we set for ourselves. Just like in Trevor Noah’s book, Born A Crime, Trevor and his mom didn’t let their society’s biased point of view, and condescending judgement hold them back just because of their color, they went against the tide and did what they wanted to do. Trevor’s mom took writing classes and broke into the white collar field even if it was just at the bottom rung, holding a mere secretarial position, Through persistence, belief, and hard work you can overcome obstacles placed by society.

In Sophocles’s play Antigone, Antigone does what she believes is the right thing to do, and she goes out and gives her brother the most proper burial she can, given the present circumstances. Even though it is unaccepted and frowned upon by her peers, more specifically by Creon, she does what she knows is necessary. Because she knows that you cant adjust your preferences to society, you have to let society adjust itself to you, it may take some time and some imprisonment but slowly but surely, we can be thankful that we have reform.

Eye for an Eye?

Image result for he got game

 

Jesus Shuttlesworth is a highly recruited basketball player that had many scouts drooling over his skills. Top basketball programs were offering him scholarships to come and compete for their schools. Even though his future looked bright many people weren’t aware of the events that have occurred in his past. Six year earlier his father, Jake was convicted and sent to prison for killing his wife Martha (Jesus’ Mother). Ever since that moment Jesus never looked at his father the same way. The governor offered Jake less time on his sentence if Jake can convince Jesus to commit to a university of the governor’s choice. Jesus would later find out his father’s real intentions and had the choices of either listening to his father and help him reduce his sentence or he can commit to another college and watch his father spend the rest of his life in prison.

Revenge was a major theme in the play Medea. Medea was a former barbarian princess who fell deeply in love with Jason. In the near future Jason was given the opportunity to get married to Glauce who was the daughter of the King of Corinth. Jason agreed to leave Medea and marry Glauce. Medea couldn’t believe what Jason was doing to her and she was quickly filling up with rage. She felt that she needed to get her revenge and make Jason feel the way she felt. Medea ended up murdering Glauce and some of her children in hopes that it would hurt Jason and make him regret leaving her.

Naim Nuvel, Team Vulcan

 

 

Never Succumb

Resident Evil is an action/horror movie, all about the zombies and how the main character, Alice survived in the terrible situation. it seems fancy and not relevant to the plays we read. But first, I wanna talk about the movie. It’ s based on the game called “Resident Evil”, the first chapter came out in 2002, the final chapter released last year. It’s been 15 years. Alice is stronger and stronger in the movies. I really like the character, she is brave, determine, powerful; reminds me of the character Antigone.

I really like this scene. Alice was fighting with the umbrella corporation. She is so badass and make them pay the price. The corporation is reputed for its evil and ruthless nature, sacrificing anyone and anything in their quest to achieve perfection with the T Virus. They were a major pharmaceutical company before the global outbreak. I can see the contemporary issue from the movie suck like the greedy businessmen such as the umbrella corporation do terrible things for their own profits, money and even wanted to control the world. Alice was one of the victims. Luckily, she was not infected but more powerful, and did not succumb to the umbrella corporation. So did Antigone. Even their backgrounds are different, generations are different, but both of them were facing the formidable opponent. Antigone attempted to bury her brother Polynices, but it’s against the law and her father was threatening her not to do so. but she said,”A specious pretext. /I will go alone/To lap my dearest brother in the grave.”, “O waste no fears on me; look to thyself.”. When she was facing the threats and death, she had no fear, stick to her own belief, never bowing down to evil forces.

Blinded: figuratively and literally

In this specific scene from Spider-Man 2, it’s clear that Harry Osborn, the son of Norman Osborn, has an unhealthy relationship with Spider-man, soon to be revealed as Harry’s best friend, Peter. Harry, unable to understand the truth, is strongly convinced that Spider-man murdered his father. Although Norman Osborn was portrayed as a gifted, inspirational, and successful man to society, in secrecy he was the city’s villain–the Green Goblin trying to destroy Spider-man. In trying to do so, the Green Goblin’s advanced technological glider mistakenly kills himself. No other to blame but the city’s hero, Harry begins to grow hatred strong enough to blind his judgments. Unaware of his surroundings, Harry willingly makes a deal with the city’s new villain, tritium for Spider-man’s capture.

Similar turn of events arise in Oedipus the King, where the country’s savior, Oedipus, becomes a slave to his emotions eventually leading him to his downfall–the loss of his family, sovereignty, and eyesight. As the play progresses, we can picture the city of Thebes being darkened by sickness. The only way to free the people of such ill is to banish or expiate the murderer of King Laius. Oedipus, desperate for answers, interrogates Teiresias to find himself a victim of accusations. Teiresias states, “I say with those you love best you live in foulest shame unconsciously and do not see where you are in calamity”(422-424). His argument with Teiresias ignited spite and fury resulting in Oedipus’s constant blame on Creon and Teiresias; simultaneously, his actions portray the dangers of too much passion. For example, instead of analyzing his position very carefully, Oedipus –figuratively blind– ignored the truth and ultimately became a catalyst to his demise.

This perfectly reflects North Korea’s perpetual hatred of the United States. During the Korean War, North Korea suffered twice as much compared to South Korea because of constant attacks enforced by U.S. troops. Since then, our interference sparked North Korean propaganda against the United States. Propaganda eventually progressed into threats of nuclear attacks that still persist today. These set of emotions enforced by the North Koreans endanger millions of lives, including their own. Blinded by aversion, led by ignorant leaders, and brainwashed by demagogues, North Koreans have looked away from the truth to whatever fits their agenda.

  • Amirjon, Team Juno

 

Lost In Space

lost-in-space-dvd-cover-24

“Lost in Space” is a movie that came out in 1998 about the Robinson family being sent into space with a pilot who specialized in space war. Their trip in space takes a turn for the worse when someone is payed to destroy the space ship and the Robinson family. This attempt would have worked but the 10 year old son hacked into computer system and stopped the shipped from completely being destroyed. While all this is happening the space ship is heading right toward the son and the only way to escape with out hitting then sun is to open a gate that can lead anywhere in space. The gate is opened but now they are lost in space no where near where they were supposed to be, if it couldn’t be any worse there are creators   trying to kill them and get on the ship. This is when problems arouse between Professor Robinson and Major Don the pilot because both have different ideas on what to do to survive.

The setting of this movie takes place in space September of the year 2058 in an unknown galaxy. The setting of the movie plays a huge role on contemporary social  issues. For example, in this movie the setting is lost in space trapped on a ship yet there are still social issues being faced. One example of a  social issue faced in the movie “Lost in Space” is the fight for power. Being in a situation in where many lives are in danger brings out the  best and worst in people, in this case it brought out the worse in Professor Robinson. Professor Robinson began acting as a dictator on ship and this started to become a problem when Major Don makes a decision for the safety of the family. This causes problems because neither wanted to admit that they were wrong and admit that neither knew what they were doing. The setting played a huge role in creating this problem because if they were not  lost in the middle of space they would not being issues on how to get home or find their way.

The play “Oedipus the King” setting is in Thebes during the time the plague was spreading. This also caused social problems like it did in the movie “Lost in Space”. Oedipus like Professor Robinson didn’t handle a time of crisis too well he also was fighting for his power again Creon who he thought was aspiring against him. The setting contributed this this problem because if it wasn’t during the time Oedipus wouldn’t have sent Creon to the gods and the prophet wouldn’t have came and Oedipus wouldn’t have accused Creon of trying to go against him.  Setting plays a huge role on social issues  in a piece of writing or work.

Dina Becaj Group Athena

 

Between Madness and Love

 

In the tomb scene of Romeo and Juliet, Romeo takes his own life because he believes that his beloved is dead, then Juliet discovers what happened and she decides to kill herself to be with her beloved. In human society acts of madness for love have been seen from antiquity to modern times. Today many people, mostly young people, have attacked their lives or the lives of “people they love” because of problems in their love relationships, either because of infidelities, because they are not reciprocated or because something bad had happened to those they love. Some cases that have become popular in the news are people who kill their partners because he or she has been infidel, also young people who end up committing suicide because they are not loved by whoever they want to be loved. Acts of madness are not always related to death, there are also many cases in which a person begins to commit crimes or to follow certain customs not his/her own only to be accepted by the person he/she loves.

The subject of committing madness for “love” is presented in the story “Euripides’ Medea Translated by CAE Luschnig” when Medea hurt by the situation that is happening with her husband, Jason, begins to see life in a dark way, saying that she hates her life, looking for a way to end it, losing her head and hurting, not her enemies, but those beings who loved her, the ones she should have taken care of and love, her children.

Jamilex Dominguez, Team Mercury.

The Absolute Bollocks of Society

Blackadder

Blackadder Goes Forth is a kind of old British TV Humor show set in the Trenches of World War 1. The Main Characters, Captain Blackadder, Lieutenant George, and Blackadder’s Batman (Servant not Batman though) Private Baldrick. The show kind of presents the characters as being Lieutenant George being a person leaning to the right of the political spectrum who is misguided by what is going, Whilst Private Baldrick represents the other end of the spectrum being on the political left and having a clue something happened whilst its so chopped up and garbled its confusing

The treatment of each other and other peoples views even when opposing to your own has become a hot button and topic issue. In America there is a consideration that there are only two sides to politics has introduced a if you’re not with me your with them. Despite only around 50% of Americans being either a Republican or Democrat those two parties receive nearly 95% of the votes. Lieutenant George can be used to represent the Republicans in that he is aware of what is going on and why they are going on however they are mixed up. Private Baldrick represents the left wing in that he is aware why things are happening but now what is happening and he has everything confused (I.E the whole Ostrich thing). Both men are convinced in their own minds that what they know is the truth and that this is how it happened. Meanwhile Captain Baldrick noticing their abrupt lack of knowledge as to what is going on that got them in this situation has to inform them that it is not Imperialism from the Germans nor is it that an Ostrich got shot because the Duke of Austria was hungry. In an attempt to bury the problem of what they knew Captain Blackadder had to explain what was wrong with their point of view. This is partially reflected in the story of Antigone where she tries to bury her brother however is prohibited from doing so by Creon. (These respectfully represent one of two wings) However Creon’s son even after the rescindment of the death sentence of his lover Antigone still decides to kill himself to bury this whole event.

To further the issue a later line in the clip said it was simply too much effort not to have a war. Antigone furthers this by it was simply too much effort not to bury Polynices

#CLAS2 #Antigone #TeamHepaestus By David Gelman

 

“Then, Everything Changed When the Fire Nation Attacked. You will Learn Respect, and Suffering Will be Your Teacher.”

 

Television Show: Avatar, The Last Airbender

Season and Episode: Season 1, Episode 12 “The Storm”

Character Focus: Prince Zuko, his father, Fire Lord Ozai and his sister, Princess Azula.

In Relation To: Medea.

Show Description: This is an animation televised on the Nickelodeon Network based around a fictional world where the planet is divided into four nations, each with special earth aligning abilities. It is divided between the Fire Nation, the Water Nation, the Earth Nation and the Air Nation, all with people that are given special ‘bending’ abilities allowing them to control the elements of their alignment. The Avatar can control all elements. The Fire Nation believes that they should be in complete control and they decide to try to wipe out and take control of every other nation because they believe that they are superior. The show focuses on the protagonist, the Young Avatar, Aang and his journey to save the world with his friends along with the parallel story of Prince Zuko, the young teenager that tries to defeat the Avatar because his father has convinced him that it’s the only way to restore his honor, after her banishes him.

Episode Description: In this particular episode of the first season, “The Storm”, there is a terrible storm that has hit and it is a pivotal episode because this storm triggers flashbacks for both Aang and Zuko, both enemies from the beginning with parallel stories of abandonment and  purpose. Aang’s flashbacks make him feel guilty about running away and neglecting the responsibilities of being an Avatar for one hundred years, causing the Fire Nation to start and win the war; while Zuko’s flashbacks are of his father punishing him for speaking out against his grandfather in the father’s room and presence. He punishes Zuko by forcing a father and son duel, Zuko refuses to fight and Ozai permanently scorches and scars his eyes with fire and banishes him from the kingdom.

“Avatar: The Last Airbender” has always had underlying themes of war scattered throughout every episode and every setting that the characters ever dwell in. It’s in the dialogue, the setting and also laced heavily in flashbacks. One character in this episode says, “I guess I might have just imagined the last one hundred years of wars and suffering.” This particular episode was an episode that dealt with a lot of flashbacks, so the audience got to peer into the dynamics of the start of the war, and the people that controlled the war, not just the people on the receiving end. Looking at the dynamic of the Fire Nation, it is very similar to European Imperialism and it is showed in the imagery and setting throughout the entire show, like a divided a world in the title sequence and the Fire Nation flag hanging over other nations as a sign of conquer. They both deal with a world power wanting to dominate weaker nations to benefit off of them and remain the most powerful. It shows how a need for a resource can turn into greed at any moment and that when a little taste of victory is won, it is very easy for a nation to become power hungry.

The effects of imperialism still exist strongly within the world today, and now the goal is to subtly maintain power in the world. America has rose as a nation and unfortunately to stay on the top of the world, the requirements are to maintain some control over the rest of the world, whether it be military bases, territories or the media. As someone that grew up on the Caribbean Island of Trinidad and Tobago, I always watched American television. It was what was shown in nearly every household in my country, even American news would talk priority over the news of my own country. American media circulates the world and I think that shows a very subtle bit of power that is injected into multiple countries so that the world, whether consciously or subconsciously, engages and submits to American culture, standards and social norms.

Besides the global issues, the ideas of domestic violence has always been a struggle that society has had to deal with as a whole. Each nation throughout time has had to deal with the problems of domestic violence within the individual home and the problems of abuse, neglect and revenge. There’s often been so many instances where parents have taken out their stress and feelings of anger on children, minds that aren’t fully develop enough yet to deal with the wrath of an angry parent.

In ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender” in this specific scene that I am focusing on, Prince Zuko has spoken out to his grandpa in his father’s war room.  Prince Zuko’s father is the son of the fascist man that started the war with the other nations. I would even go so far as to comparing Fire Lord Sozin, (Zuko’s grandfather) to Hitler, it would not be surprised if the attitude of that character was modeled after any fascist ruler. In the war room, Fire Lord Sozin was speaking about using an entire faction of new soldiers in his troops as a decoy to distract an enemy while the more experienced soldiers snuck in from the rear. Prince Zuko spoke out against his grandfather and said that to sacrifice all of the new soldiers on the front lines without their knowledge is an act of betrayal. It was true what he said, and it showed that Zuko, even as a kid, understood empathy, a very important characteristic of his, extremely important to his growth in the show. Zuko’s grandfather and father were disrespected and so his father challenged him to a fight where Zuko refused to fight the man that created him. Before burning Zuko’s eye, his father says, “You will learn respect, and suffering will be your teacher.” It’s something that even my father says to me now, the idea of learning from experiences that you’re told will be painful. But not everyone experiences life the same way, and suffering is not always the teacher, nor does it mean that it’s the parents job to inflict suffering on a child just because they were taught harshly by their reality.

The troubles that must come mentally with being a fascist ruler is grand, and to take that out on your son is terrible. Ozai permanently scarred Zuko’s eye and banished him from the kingdom, sending him on what he thought was an impossible mission, awaiting his failure. While this happens, Zuko’s sister, Azula watches on with a sick smile on her face, stifling a laugh. Similarly, Medea has taken out her vengeance with her husband on her kids. After committing the act of murder on multiple people around her, she has finally indulged in the ultimate act of revenge, killing her own children. Like Azula, Medea has no sense of remorse or human feelings of regret and empathy.

Children are developing seeds that need to be nourished and filled with vitamins, not hatred. Children are not born with feelings of animosity in their hearts and are so symbolic of innocence. Her act of killing them extended beyond revenge, it turned into self-hatred, like Zuko’s father let his own cruelty poison his child.  She let the hate turn her heart so cold that she could not see the beauty in her own products, only the side of them that she didn’t want to see and the pain that she knew it would cause their father. Madea, like Ozai, did not care about the outcome of the child. She did not care about their futures, or the fact that they were kids. No matter what, a parent should never take out their anger on a child, especially if the situation that caused the anger was not directly inflicted by that child, whether that be in fiction or modern day. Children now still deal with the issues of a parent’s misdirected anger and it’s the leading cause of child depression and child abuse. It can cause much more harm to a child because their brains cannot fully make sense of things, only the idea of hatred that they’ve put onto themselves. They begin to blame themselves for the way that their parent has treated them. Their ideas of love become warped and they’ve lost a sense of their innocence because it is robbed by a selfish adult that has experienced hardship and decides to inflict that hardship on a child and possibly ruin a portion of that child’s life, or his/her life forever.

 

#Medea #TheLastAirbender #CLAS2 #TEAMAPHRODITE #Longlongagoandfarfaraway #Elsewhere #Euripides #Euripides’Medea

The Parallels of Masculinity and Gods

God of War 3 – Zeus Final Boss Scene

As time changes so do our views and portrayals of deities. One prime example would be Zeus. Back when Homer’s epic of Iliad first came about, Zeus was portrayed in a more fatherly way. He had more of a paternal interest when it came to other mortals. He was more rewarding of truth, charity and fairness. He had even gone as far as to send someone to tell Achilles, his son, to release a mortal’s body so that he may be buried honorably. This can be seen in the Iliad epic, the 24th book specifically, in lines 65 and 75 where it states, “Hera, be not thou utterly wroth against the gods; the honour of these twain shall not be as one; howbeit Hector too was dearest to the gods of all mortals that are in Ilios. So was he to me at least, for nowise failed he of acceptable gifts. For never was my altar in lack of the equal feast,” and “’…that I may speak to her a word of wisdom, to the end that Achilles may accept gifts from Priam, and give Hector back.’ So spake he, and storm-footed Iris hasted to bear his message, and midway between Samos and rugged Imbros she leapt into the dark sea, and the waters sounded loud above her.” In this scene he is basically sending someone to tell Achilles to release Hector’s (the mortal’s) body so that he may be buried with honor and in return he would receive tribute and offerings. This shows his care for the mortals, his fairness.

This is unlike how he is portrayed in a more recent setting, such as in a game known as “God of War”. God of war mains a spartan man named Kratos who within the game is the son of Zeus while originally Kratos was supposed to represent strength and power in Greek mythology beside his siblings who represented victory(Nike), force(Bia), and zeal(Zelus). The four siblings were seen as the enforcers of Zeus. The other difference within the game is that Zeus was more antagonistic. Rather than supporting Kratos after he was mistreated and misuded by Ares, Zeus betrays him and uses Kratos all the while seeing him as an evil. He basically saw the vengeance in Kratos and used that to further his control on other mortals. He had little to no care for mortal life and saw them more as creatures, as tools that were below him, compared to old Greek mythology where he looked upon mortals as his own children. The video is an example of that.

This also shows us how our idea of masculinity had shifted. Back when Iliad was first made, when Zeus wasn’t just a fictional character but was still considered a deity, as a living breathing god there was more to masculinity. There was more of the paternal figure/father figure, fairness and compassion. Of course, he had his flaws, such as his many affairs/infidelity yet he also had his merits as mentioned before. While in a more contemporary setting, he is portrayed in a way that focuses on what is now known as toxic masculinity, an idea where we see men as more prone to violence rather than reason, that they believe they are higher among others. Basically, any merit is gone or there is less importance put around it, all that’s left is that toxicity. He would treat woman as tools or as a weakness in the game, “a downfall” as the video mentioned.

Point being that in our efforts within the battle of equality, we have vilified masculinity over femininity to the point that we are forgetting that masculinity used to have its own merits. The portrayal of Zeus in God of War shows a man of little to no merit, a man with an ego who only cared for what he owned, a man who solved his issues with violence and led with violence. Even the main character, Kratos, went through his journey with a vengeful and violent drive. Although in the end what he wanted more than anything was redemption for taking his family’s life through a fit of rage. The next game that has yet to come out showed that Kratos, who was one of the prime examples of this “toxic masculinity” is learning to be a father to his son, a son he wants to show affection to but does not yet know how. He now has a responsibility and is letting go some of that blood rage to raise this child. He still preforms violent acts, but now it’s not so much for vengeance as it is for survival. This shows that we may be moving to an age that is slowly beginning to acknowledge those merits once.

Zeus: GreekMythology.com – Sep 03, 2017
Kratos: GreekMythology.com – Sep 03, 2017
Homer, , Robert Fagles, and Bernard Knox. The Iliad. , 1998. Print.
Santa Monica Studio. Stig Asmussen, Todd Papy. God of War III. Sony Computer Entertainment, 2010. PlayStation 4.

Frank Underwood: Modern Day Creon

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House of Cards is a well written and critically acclaimed Netflix series created by Beau Willimon that delves into the darker themes of politics that nonetheless still accurately portrays Washington in some ways better than others that goes into societal issues on power and control. House of Cards follows Frank Underwood (played by Kevin Spacey) as a South Carolina congressman who ruthlessly rises through Washington to become President of the United States to gain more power as the man in the highest office in the world. As a character, Frank Underwood had always been a ruthless, egotistical sadist since the beginning, but as the series continues, he becomes more involved with his pride and his yearning for more power. The show demonstrates how people yearn for power and control over others and how Frank Underwood exemplifies this character trait. Even though many of Frank Underwood’s actions, such as murder, are exaggerated from real life politicians, his ruthless tendency for power and control over the course of the last five seasons reflects on present day politicians with their own paths to control others through fear and power. Many politicians aim for the highest offices in their country to impose their own self-rule through various tactics, such as gerrymandering, to round up their own supporters and silence opponents, and political corruption to abuse the power of the government to increase his or her control over others. Underwood has shown the issue of ruthlessness and hunger for power. For example; at the end of the first episode of the second season, Underwood monologues to the audience about why he murdered a certain character. Underwood, even though he had a strong sexual and secret relationship with this character, murdered her with no remorse because she had become a problem in his path to gaining power; she had transitioned from a “kitten” to a “cat”. The metaphor that Underwood is expressing is to show that the character who started out as innocent and obedient, become independent and rebellious, something would potentially become a problem for Underwood. The character may have meant something to him initially, but to him, she was simply another problem needing to be fixed. In the scene, he says, “For those of us climbing to the top of the food chain, there can be no mercy. There is but one rule: hunt or be hunted.” His speech about the murder of the character demonstrates his extent to gain power and shows off his ruthless nature. Even though he cared for her, Underwood murdered her in cold blood simply because she became a threat in his conquest for political ambition.

The scene further demonstrates and comments on how Underwood would do anything to further his political venture to control more power; much to the similarities today, Underwood displays an exaggerating action to tone down the actions of modern day politicians. Where Underwood directly caused the death of this character, politicians today indirectly cause physical harm through inhumane policies and rhetoric that Underwood would support in his Washington. In Sophocles’ Antigone, Creon, the King of Thebes is blinded by power and is shown as arrogant, ignorant, and cruel. King Creon used his the role as king to rule by his own will, not for the people’s will at heart; Creon rules as if it his unquestionable right to rule as king, ruling as a leader who displays himself as the sole power and authority of the state. In his role as king, Creon had not only acted as the power hungry leader: he acted displayed a sort of cruel ruling that came with his leadership, such as how he treats his watchman with such disrespect (lines 315-326), his ignorance by not listening to his son, Haemon (lines 726-765), and the cruelty in his arrogance when speaking to Antigone shows him as a cold person (lines 497-525). Throughout the society that is shown in Sophocles’ plays, leadership is shown as an egotistical array of arrogance, ignorance, and cruelty, particularly demonstrated through Creon. Creon’s hubris (or his excessive pride) was his tragic flaw, causing his downfall. In a similar fashion, Frank Underwood’s hubris is what led to his inevitable downfall; his pride got the better of him and his grasp on power gradually fell out; his power as President was swept from beneath him because of his ignorance, arrogance, and hubris, similar to Creon’s downfall as king. Sophocles wanted to show the reader how power leads to ignorance, arrogance, and cruelty, and that a person’s tragic flaw, such as a person’s hubris, will to their demise. In today’s society, the same view applies; as politicians gain power, their become more arrogant, more ignorant and increasingly cruel. As a result, present day media displays the same view of power that Sophocles had; in a way, Sophocles writings have become full circle in our society.

#OldisNew, #CLAS2, #Sophocles, #Antigone, #TeamSaturn, #HouseofCards, #IgnoranceArroganceCruelty, #Power

To Commit, You Must Take Sacrifices

 

Garfield

Garfield, the fat orange cat known for his smart mouth, laziness, arrogance and love for food, who lives with his owner Jon. Jon decides to expand his family by bringing in a dog named Odie who is lovable but Garfield despises because Garfield feels that Jon is giving Odie more attention than him. This was very difficult for Garfield therefore he decides to kick Odie out of the house which resulted in Odie going missing and ending up in the wrong hands. Garfield then realized what he has done and decides to rescue Odie. Feeling alone and lonely is a major issue in society today. Many people who experience these feelings can feel as if nobody cares for them or a sense of betrayal. However, that doesn’t give the right to pass on the negative message to other peoples lives. How should we react to difficult situations in our lives?

Medea felt betrayed by her husband Jason as he married King Creon’s daughter to gain power. Medea is put in a tough situation where she is furious and wants revenge. This anger resulted in her killing her own children, King Creon and his daughter by poisoning them. She did not kill Jason as she left him to witness everything he has lost and what he has caused. The end result of this entire situation are multiple deaths from a single decision of an individual. Jason left it upon himself to make the selfish decision and therefore has to face the consequences due to his actions to gain a bigger image for himself.

Medea had a feeling of betrayal and felt the urgency to commit an action to seek revenge. Although many emotions arise at certain situations, one must always collect themselves and not pass on the negativity to others because that only makes matters worse and consequences will be faced. This relates to Garfield as he felt betrayed and lonely. His emotions caught to him and took out his anger on Odie. That resulted in a negative setting for Odie which was scary and dangerous. There was then a sense of regret that went through Garfield after he realized what he has done. As a result, Garfield now appreciates Odie’s presence and now is more responsible as he learned from his mistakes.

-Adam, Team Ares

Translating Henna words in a different way

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When I was looking through the back of this Henna, I saw that there Bengali and English translation. While I was reading the English part,  I saw that the henna didn’t fully translate what it was said on the Bengali part. If a none- Bengali were to use this Henna, then they wouldn’t able to understand what it was saying on the Henna or how to use it. Even if a Bengali were to use this Henna, then they would be really confused. They would be really confused because the translation of the English it says, “Discovering the ancient art of Henna body decoration”. But in the Bengali language, it was translated different way because it saying more than just body decoration. In Bengali, it saying that there are many colors in the Henna. Also, how long the Henna needs to kept for. If this was not-Bengali, then they wouldn’t able to understand that how long they would have to keep the Henna. The translation from Bengali to English isn’t even accurate. There are still mistake with the English translation. In the English translation, it should be saying more than just discovering ancient art.

The translation wasn’t just different in the Henna but well as readings we had done so far. For example, in the excerpt “Oedipus Rex” it states,  “Strophe There is no clash of brazen 17 shields but our fight is with the War God, 18   May Phoebus who gave us the oracle 180 come to our rescue and stay the plague. [ Exit all but the CHORUS.]” (line 17- 18). The same line was translated to as follows to this,  “Strophe There is no clash of brazen17 shields but our fight is with the War God,18  who so among you knows the murderer by whose hand Laius, son of Labdacus, died- I command him to tell everything 245 to me, — yes, though he fears himself to take the blame”. The translation was translated somewhat similar but it didn’t fully. The translation one talks more about how Laius was murdered by the son of Labdacus. It also translates more about how the son of Labdacus scared to take the blame of the murdered. But without the translation, it doesn’t talk about the fear that son of Labdcus had.

-Mantaha, Team Vulcan

 

Break Ups: Transcending Time and Universes

Steven Universe takes place on a Earth that allows for different kinds of relationships to be explored without emphasis on the fact that in our reality it may be strange. While full of many queer characters, this scene tackles the usual awkward break up in the simplest way ever, taking away from the fact that these two characters are male and dives deeper into the feelings that they share and the love that was between them. Obviously hidden underneath the guise as just an act, the characters are heavily implied to have once shared a romantic relationship. The “ambiguity” of their relationship only highlights this universal experience- no matter what century we’re in or who we’re into, there will always be exes. Relationships that just can’t work out no matter how much you’d like it to might as well be the circle of life. It may not be the biggest issue in the world we live in, but effect all of us at some point or another unless we’re the few lucky ones.

This scene is comparable to the feelings Medea held for her husband Jason. In essence, he had stepped out of a relationship that was no longer working and she held on to the feelings of heartbreak. While he was over the relationship, he displayed a respect for her as a former lover and as the mother of his children. Their complex situation wasn’t working for her and she sought the cruelest form of revenge to amend her broken heart. While we won’t murder our own children (hopefully not) in the name of lost love, there are many feelings attached to former relationships and both forms of media explore the aftermath of it.

That’s So Ignorant

In the television show of That’s So Raven, in one of the episodes called True Colors, Raven and her best friend go together to a job interview for a fashion store called “Sassy”. During their interview both Raven and her friend gave fashion advice to a client and while Raven gave great advice and the client ended up loving her makeover, her best friend didn’t do so well and the client did not like her fashion choices. When it came to make a decision the interviewer ended up only giving the job to Raven’s friend and the reason why was because the interviewer did not “hire black people”.

This scene in particular was very significant because usually in a Disney show that is made for children, it usually does not discuss about racism. This episode was one of my very first encounters with what racism really was and even nowadays it is still a very serious issue in America. Nowadays especially with the new laws and regulation that the government has issued over the past few years, many people of a darker skin complexion from all types of backgrounds are living in constant fear of being discriminated against and possibly be physically hurt because of their skin color. The interviewer in this episode of That’s So Raven, reminded me of the types of people in America that believe the same thing that the interviewer believed in, which is that people of color are less than or “not superior”. There are still some people in America that believe that because a person is not a fair or light skin color, then that would automatically mean that they are uneducated or worthless. This interviewer in this episode also reminded me of Oedipus and how he believed that his authority that he gained from answering the riddle given by the sphinx gave him the power to look down upon others. Oedipus constantly boasted about how he saved the people of Thebes and was blinded by his pride and stubbornness to see that he was also the one that was also causing his people to suffer. Both the interviewer from That’s So Raven and Oedipus shared their ignorance to see that instead of seeing just the surface one should see the skills of a person.

 

Jealousy and Unhealthy Relationships

A fictional character, Snow White from the movie, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs lives with her stepmother, wicked Queen who doesn’t love her. The Queen is jealous because she wants to be known as “the fairest in the land,” and Snow White’s beauty surpasses her own. Snow White takes refuge in the forest in the house of seven dwarfs to hide from her stepmother.The dwarfs grow to love their unexpected visitor, who cleans their house and cooks their meals. But one day while the dwarfs are at their diamond mine, the Queen arrives at the cottage disguised as an old peddler woman and persuades Snow White to bite into a poisoned apple. The dwarfs place her in a glass coffin in the woods and mourn for her. The Prince, who has fallen in love with Snow White, happens by and awakens her from the wicked Queen’s deathlike spell with “love’s first kiss.”

The contemporary and social issue portrayed in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is the jealousy and hatred of the queen towards her step-daughter. This jealousy and hatred takes the queen to such an extent that her inner self forces her to kill her daughter to be the fairest lady in the world. This societal issue is also visible in today’s modern society where children often face detestation and envy from their step parents which often affects their lifestyle growing up as a child. They are rarely considered as the real children and don’t get sufficient care from the step-mother. Sometimes, new parent in a child’s life is a whole other person with a different perspective and expectations and this imbalanced and unhealthy relationships affects both mother’s and child’s life.

This imbalanced and unhealthy relationship is also illustrated in the Oedipus. Oedipus murders his father, Laius and marries his mother, Jocasta and have children with her. It was his fate that he had no knowledge about his identity and the reality. This unhealthy relationships between Oedipus, Jocasta and Laius is similar to the imbalanced relationship between Snow White and the Queen because it was all in their fate to be with each other and also everyone dies at the end. The portrayal of jealously in the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs depicts the lack of love between the step mother and the child. And, the portrayal of the unhealthy relationships between Oedipus, the king and the Jocasta, his mother and his wife depicts the fate and the lack of the knowledge of his identity. It can also happen in today’s society where a child is not loved by the step mother or a male has illegal relationship with a female.

Gurleen Kaur, Team Venus

How trustworthy are humans?

In the movie The Dark Knight, The Joker has a scene where he’s being interrogated by Batman. In this scene, The Joker is physically beaten but manages to win the altercation simply through words. He says “You see, their morals, their code, it’s a bad joke. Dropped at the first sign of trouble. They’re only as good as the world allows them to be. I’ll show you. When the chips are down, these… these civilized people, they’ll eat each other. See, I’m not a monster. I’m just ahead of the curve.”

Interrogation Scene

Recently, the Syrian Refugee Crisis has affected millions of people throughout the world and at a time where morals should’ve helped, instead people turned on one another. Millions of people required safety but instead, countries would close their borders and let people suffer. Everyone would like to claim that they’re helpful and kind, generous people but as soon as trouble showed up, all their morals were dropped. Realistically, no country could simply accept millions of people into their society with no consequences, however, banning entry and deporting people back to a place in turmoil is simply put, an immoral thing to do.

In the play “Medea”, human morals would go against the murder of others, especially children. However, Medea, who is going through a troubled time of her husband leaving her, breaks this moral by murdering her own two children. Before her husband left her, Medea assumingly would’ve never imagined committing such a horrendous act. However, as is clearly shown, a time of trouble or uneasiness can change people and cause them to do terrible things. This may be an extreme example but shows that rules and morals are easily broken. Humans are capable of doing terrible things to one another and are not as trustworthy as most of us assume.

A modern take on Antigone

“You get the feeling that it’s not just the ill-fated souls of ancient Greece that this sun looks upon. It’s staring straight into the audience as well. That stately drumbeat that we hear every so often is marking the pace of everybody’s death march.”

“It may be Mr. van Hove’s intention to show that even the most adamantine souls can be brought wailing to their knees by life’s blows. The point registers, for sure. But like much else in this thoughtful but strangely detached production, it’s one we register in our minds but not in our hearts.”
       In regards to the quotes from the article connecting to the play, death played a major role in Antigone, as it essentially sets the stage, and is the driving force between the main character, Antigone’s, desire in the play. With the death of her brother she yearns to pay her respects, despite the king’s authority telling her not to, and these issues and themes most definitely connect to a contemporary, and ancient Athenian audience. These issues are similar to what the Ancient Athenian audience might have been thinking about, as they enjoyed plays that had a central theme, and those that had a deeper meaning. Fate and rules, which are themes of Antigone both have relevance to a contemporary audience and ancient Athens. Fate because of the fact that it was beyond Antigone’s control that her brother Polynices had died, but felt as though in her heart it was her duty to honor him by burying his body, despite defying Creon’s wishes. To a contemporary audience, fate is something we can all understand too well, when we often have to make a decision between two important things. Rules can most definitely relate to an ancient Athenian audience, as it played a major role in society, In regards to theater, it was often used as a form of tax, as wealthier citizens would pay for theater production, and also the housing and feeding of the actors. However some differences in issues that the ancient Athenian audience may have been thinking about is a play’s particular relevance to their daily live, and the times in which they would attend to go see a play. In ancient Greece, theater was apart of a religious festival, so while it was used for entertainment, similar to modern day, it also had an important purpose, which can be considered sacred on some level. 


Brantley, Ben. “Review: In ‘Antigone’ at BAM, Agony and Despair in Inexorable Motion.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 27 Sept. 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/28/theater/review-in-antigone-at-bam-agony-and-despair-in-inexorable-motion.html?mcubz=1.

Showing What is Right From Wrong

 

In the Harry Potter series, Hermione is known to be a very smart woman and is sacred to get in trouble. She is not afraid to show how she feels about certain topics. She tends to do things for the goodness of them. In their society, Draco Malfoy is usually a source of some problems in the school.In one of the scenes in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Hermione sees Draco and his friends making fun and waiting for Hagrid’s pet to be executed. Hermione sees them and she believed what they were doing were wrong. So, she goes to put a spell on Draco, but she decided not to. She, instead, punches him showing how she is standing up for what she thinks is right. In all schools, they have a rule where you would get suspended or expelled if you punch someone. So, Hermione basically sacrificed herself to getting suspended or expelled to show how wrong Draco and his friends are. Hermione actually ends up not getting expelled nor suspended.

In comparison to Antigone, in Sophocles’ Antigone, the society show how men think that women don’t stand up for themselves because they think they cannot. Antigone buried her brother herself, which is a crime to bury someone. Antigone’ sister, Ismene was going to confess the crime that she did not do. Antigone does not want her sister to confess it so she sacrifice herself to go confess the crime and she did. Antigone was trying to prove that she has buried her brother to Creon, but Creon wouldn’t believe it because she was a female. Antigone was then sent to prison where she killed herself.

#OldisNew #CLAS2 #Sophocles #Antigone #Team Cronos

“Skadoosh”


Kung Fu Panda is a movie franchise I’m sure many are familiar with. It follows the exploits of a gluttonous Panda, Po, who goes from being an enthusiastic fanboy, to the humble leader of the Furious Five and the defender of China. A common theme in the movies is the concept of fate, or rather the inability to avoid fate. This concept is first shown in Po, who, despite being reluctant to accept his role as the Dragon Warrior ,eventually lives up to the title, many times over. However, the concept of destiny and fate seems to apply to all of the many characters in the series, good or bad, one of the most prelavent examples being Shen. Shen makes his debut in Kung Fu Panda 2. He is a Peacock King, obsessed with fighting fate, more than any other. Seeking to maintain his rule and high standing as a king, he constantly consults the ‘Soothsayer’, a foturne telling goat, for advice. When faced with the possibility of his kingship being threatened by “a warrior of black and white”, as told by the Soothsayer, he eliminates everything in his path, this being any Pandas and even his own parents. However, his mad rush to quickly silence any possible threats, leads to his own downfall, with Po eventually defeating him in a final confrontation. Though as expressed by the Soothsayer, Shen could have certainly maintained kingship, his arrogance, cruelty and paranoia lead to his demise. In the end, he, a black and white warrior himself, fell to his own schema.

Shen’ tale is one eerily similar to Oedipus. They both exemplify an arrogance and greediness that leads to their downfalls. They try to fight fate, which in of itself isn’t terrible, but their methods ultimately seal the tragic fate which awaits the two. A lack of desire to humble oneself and control their violent tendencies makes them susceptable to the tradgedies of their fates. In the world of Kung Fu Panda, the pressure and stress of fate is known not solely to Shen. All of the characters, even his ‘conqueror ‘, Po, know the cruelty of fate. Though Po felt the stress of fate and its expectations for him, expectations which he at many times tried to run from, through humility he was able to accept and eventually conquer the obstacles which fate laid out for him favorably. Shen, his polar opposite in the movie, lacked this humility needed to shift his fate favorably. The raw and unbridled desire to dominate fate led to an equally harsh end. Such is true of Oedipus. He also lives in a world where many people are subject to the fate which the gods bestow upon them and the will which they hold over them. Even the gods of Greek Mythology themselves are subject to the strings of fate. However, there is a stark difference in the reaction. Odysseus, a ccontemporary king of Greek myths, also was reluctant to accept  his fate, which, in his case was engaging in war. However, a humility towards the gods of their world allowed him to endure the obstacles  and ultimately be rewarded. Oedipus knew no such humility and as retribution, was made the most humble and pitiable of humans or any beings for that matter, by the end.

In contemporary society, crime tells the story of both Oedipus and of Shen. Instead of fate though, we have Law. The Law(federal and religious), acts as the overarching aspect of society which all of us must submit to. Those who commit crimes, be theft, rape or murder, are those who refuse to submit to the law, just as Shen and Oedipus did not submit to fate. All of us, whichever the country, are subject to the law and all people have felt the harshness and unfairness of law at some point of another. However, we acknowledge that it is a necessary force in order to maintain some semblance of peace in the world we live in, and we are better off for it when following it. People who commit crimes, justifiable or unjustifiable may have also felt the sting of law prior to committing crimes, yet feel they have the authority to go against it, as though they alone have felt the unfairness or constrainment of it. They fail to show humility in the face of the law, both federal and religious, and suffer for it, either dying or being sent to prison. By that point they may feel humility in the face of law just like Shen and Oedipus with fate, but by that time, it is too late.

https://youtu.be/QuLUZIvf-l8k

Skaie Cooper,Team Ares

Oedipus and His Position of Power

 

We’ve spent time discussing Oedipus’ fatal flaw: Hubris. His prideful manner led to his downfall. He was rash in his decisions and quick to anger. What we haven’t asked ourselves is; what made Oedipus a tragic hero? As quoted by Ben Brantley of The New York Times; “Power makes a freak of those who wield it”. Oedipus, alone at the top, was presented with a problem that was his to fix. A Plague had spread throughout Thebes leaving its citizens devastated and Oedipus is committed to finding the cause of it. Tiresias the oracle reveals that Oedipus himself is the curse. Proud as ever, Oedipus immediately refuses to accept this as truth and threatens to kill Tiresias. We see here how power has affected his mindset. Oedipus is so focused on using his power to fix the problem that he is blind to the answer right in front of him. In addition, his pride doesn’t allow him to see the god Apollo’s truth as greater than his own. We see these traits fairly often among modern day politicians. One example of this is in recent events, when president Putin of Russia decided to invade Crimea and the Ukrainian mainland after being warned by the western nations not to. This resulted in heavy sanctions being placed upon Russia and its people. The sanctions were placed on the import of Russian oil and export of food to Russia. This resulted in the inflation of the ruble and lack of food for the public. Similarly to the people of Russia, the people of Thebes were suffering because of decisions made by their leader. When a leader only listens to himself and does not heed the advice of others, he will find himself much like Oedipus, “Lonely both at the top and at the bottom”.

Gabriella, Team Hestia

Brantley, Ben. “THEATER REVIEW; Private Horror Made Public.” Nytimes.com, 6 Oct. 2000, http://www.nytimes.com/2000/10/06/movies/theater-review-private-horror-made-public.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Ftheater.

 

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Free will, prophecies, and fate- themes that seem to transcend time and weave themselves into our stories and literature, begging the questions of whether they truly exist and where they come from. Shakespeare’s Macbeth explores the three in a tale of trying to “play God” to one’s fate and, in doing so, meeting it tragically. In the play our protagonist Macbeth encounters three witches (shown above) who prophesy that he will one day claim the throne. Intrigued by this prospect, Macbeth informs his wife who then manipulates him into murdering the current king, Duncan, and framing another. Although Macbeth’s ploy is successful, Macbeth and his wife grow mad with guilt- the former slew in battle and the latter driven to suicide.

We see a similar turn of events in Oedipus. Born to Jocasta and Laius, the infant Oedipus is prophesied to one day murder his father and wed his mother. In an attempt to avoid this fate, the king and queen exile Oedipus and sentence him to death. Through what can only be fate (wink wink) Oedipus avoids this untimely death and grows up far from his home and parents. Once a man, he travels far and away to Thebes- unaware that this is his home- accidentally slaying Laius and later marrying Jocasta- unaware that these are his parents. Upon realizing his sins Oedipus gouges out his eyes, physically and metaphorically blinding himself. Where Macbeth tries to achieve his fate, Oedipus runs from it. Still the fate of both men is met- each shrouded by carnage and tragedy.

The scene I have chosen from Macbeth addresses the contemporary yet not-so-contemporary issue of free will. In the scene Macbeth is, literally, approached by his fate: the three witches (to which we can draw the parallel of The Fates who appear as three witches in Greek lore). The witches then tell him his fate of kingship, raising multiple questions: Was this always his fate, or has the act of them telling him this prophecy created this fate for him? Had he not been told this would he become king? Would he be murdered for his treachery? Would Lady Macbeth kill herself? Similarly, in Oedipus we can ask ourselves whether any of the events would transpire had the prophecy been withheld from Jocasta and Laius. Does the act of telling the prophecy set it into motion? Or has it always been in motion, with the act of telling simply a means of propelling it? Can we escape from our fate once we have become aware of it? Or will we always find our way back to it as we run away? These questions are simultaneously ancient and contemporary; we have been pondering these truths since civilization began and continue to do so today. We have sought answers through religion, philosophy, and literature. The question of free will versus fate is one that is explored both in Oedipus and Macbeth. It is one that continues to plague us today as we must each ask ourselves whether we are the commanders of our own minds or if there is another- a greater, incomprehensible thing which permeates us completely and decides the past, present, and future. These are questions to which we have infinite answers and no answers, and questions we must continue to explore through Shakespeare, through Sophocles and through those few and far between.

#OldisNew #CLAS2 #Sophocles #Oedipus #TeamJuno, SophieShnaidman #Macbeth

Long Ago and Far Away: Star Trek and Race (1968)

In Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek a common social issue that is regularly commented on is the issue of racial equality in 1960’s America. Having a white man and a black woman in the same workplace was so incredibly taboo that the only appropriate setting would be the deck of a Starship. This allowed the breaking of barriers, both physical and metaphorical.

The scene comments on the contemporary social issue of racial equality. The setting of the scene consists of the two of the main characters acting in a play, where Willliam Shatner’s character must kiss Nichelle Nichols’. This episode was aired at a time when interracial relationships of any kind were often frowned upon by the majority of Americans. Laws called anti-miscegenation laws that banned relationships and more importantly marriages between interracial couples still existed in dozens of states, mainly in the southern and mid-western states. This scene directly and intentionally challenged the very fabric of these laws and the building blocks of racist society. The push to help dismantle the complex issue of racially equality and systematic oppression in the United States took many hits in the year 1968 with the assassinations of both Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, but took a step in the right direction with the inclusion of this cultural milestone.

In comparison to the play “Oedipus Rex” by Sophocles both use the theater as a medium to address complicated topics that would be too dark or be considered to sinister or inappropriate to be discussed in an open setting. An example of terrible and perverse topics in “Oedipus Rex” are acts committed by Oedipus which include patricide and incest which were frowned upon by the society. The parallels that are shared between both Star Trek and Oedipus Rex are not the messages they share but the use of similar mediums that are used to display their individual messages.

Old stories made new through abandonment

Peter Parker is a fictional character that has been portrayed multiple times in film. Peter is depicted as a young adolescent and an outcast. He goes to school and faces the teenage struggles of fitting in, being liked, and getting girls. When he goes home, he finds himself living in a household with only his aunt, as his uncle was murdered and his parents left him when he was a boy. The viewer knows that he is left because, “We see the pair leave a young Peter with Aunt May and Uncle Ben, telling the future web-slinger, ‘There is something your mom and I have to do’”  (Eason, Comic Book Resources). Peter is forced to cope with the betrayal of his parents every day and knows that he will probably never see them again. This is also seen in the opening of The Amazing Spider-man, where Peter is brought to his Uncle Ben and Aunt May. His father says that he has business to attend to and scurries off with Peter’s mother.

The contemporary social issues that Peter faces are similar with the contemporary issues in our society. Just like Peter, people in today’s society are brought up on one person households where there isn’t a significant other. All humans at some point have been abandoned and have had to deal with this loss for a long time . A large amount of adolescents think highly about fitting in and being with the “popular crowd” just like Peter Parker.

The contemporary social issues that Peter faces are similar with the contemporary social issues in Euripides, Medea. Medea is a figure in Greek mythology that was faced with abandonment as well. Medea was left by her husband Jason for Glauce. Faced by this tragedy, Medea is also abandoned by her home in Corinth, as Creon forces her to leave and never return. She is forced in a position where she has to deal with the loss of her home and the man that she loves so much.

 

Euripides’ Medea.” Www.dropbox.com, http://www.dropbox.com/s/gwhelzt22z65x7y/Euripides%20Medea.pdf?dl=0.

Eason, Brian K. “The Secret History of Spider-Man’s Parents.” CBR, 11 Aug. 2016, http://www.cbr.com/the-secret-history-of-spider-mans-parents/. Accessed 4 Sept. 2017.

Fate Or Free Will

In this specific scene the iconic character of Anakin Skywalker, who has been recreated numerous amounts of times (cartoons, books, comic books, movies, etc.), faces a glimpse of his universally known destiny…of becoming Darth Vader.
The fate of the great Jedi, Anakin Skywalker, is a well known story.  He was once regarded as a legendary war hero for the great republic by the mass population of worlds that had heard tales of his exploits.  But not only was he known as a hero, he was also known as “The Chosen One”.  The being that would inevitably bring balance and peace to the force.  The Jedi Order had raised Anakin on this great prophecy that had been foretold over the millenniums, that the Order had existed for.  This prophecy had been so ingrained and burned into his head that he spent nearly all of his life attempting to live up to it.  For any being, that is a measure that is difficult to live up to.  Being hailed as practically a messiah is not easy for anyone to live with because they have to constantly try to live without exhibiting any flaws, which for any normal being is impossible.  This prophecy would inevitably break Anakin, because like the average person, he had many flaws.  He was emotional, temperamental, caring, loving, compassionate, and much more.  These attributes albeit don’t really seem all that terrible for a person to have, but for someone such as Anakin especially with the powers that he had, was dangerous.  Which is why it was a common rule for Jedi to try to abstain from producing strong emotional ties, for fear that such ties would lead them down the path of the dark side.  In the end his predetermined “fate” of becoming the Chosen One did not come true.  The story of Anakin Skywalker constantly begets the philosophical question of whether or not if we all have our own predestined fates or if we have the power to choose.  Anakin ended up choosing his own path, choosing to seek forbidden and ultimate power, and choosing to be corrupted by the dark side and transforming into Darth Vader.  

The question is an issue that many people face in the modern world, especially millennials.  I myself am unsure of whether or not I have my own predestined fate that is slowly fulfilling itself as my time on this earth progresses or if I have free will and am making my own choices.  Do we have a fate and if so, will anything we do cease to change our fates?  Or do we have a choice and does every choice we make end up changing what inevitably happens to us in the end?

     This motif or theme is very prevalent in the story of “Oedipus Rex”, otherwise known as “Oedipus The King”.  But unlike Anakin, Oedipus wasn’t able to choose his own “fate”.  In the story Oedipus, who was orphaned as a child because of his father being told of the prophecy that his own son would end up killing him and marrying his wife, was told of the infamous prophecy while on his adventures.  Oedipus would then spend a good portion of his efforts trying to stop the horrible prophecy from happening.  Which in the end would be futile, as he had ended up killing his father, marrying his mother, and subsequently manually relinquishing his sense of sight (taking his own eyes).  Like Anakin, Oedipus knew his “fate” so-to-speak, but because of the fact he ended up self-fulfilling and sealing his own fate.

I believe that Sophocles wanted the reader of this epic to ponder on the question of fate and free will, amongst other things whilst reading “Oedipus Rex”.  

#OldisNew #CLAS2 #SEAN #TEAMARES #Oedipus #Sophocles

Is Being too Determined a Bad Thing?

The two main characters in the film, The Prestige, Alfred Bordan and Robert Angier were both determined to become the greatest magicians. They were obsessed to out perform each other. Their determination has lead them to make extreme sacrifices in their lives. For example, Angier wanted to sabotage Borden while he was performing by shooting a real bullet during Borden’s trick to catch a flying bullet. This lead to Borden cutting 2 of his fingers off, due to how serious the injury was. In order to get revenge on Angier, Borden decided to ruin Angier’s trick of a disappearing bird by tweaking the cage that led to Angier killing the bird on stage and the cancellation of the show.

This scene reflects on today’s human society because there are some individuals that are way too determined to achieve their goals that they have to sacrifice many valuable things in their lives in order to reach that goal. Lets take sports as an for example, a lot of younger kids in today’s society want to be able to be professional athletes when they grow up due to so much exposure to sports. However, they’re not even aware of the sacrifices they would have to make in order to achieve that goal. They are so determined that they start training like adults athletes from morning to night. While barely being able to balance that type of work ethic with school work at such a young age. Adding on, they don’t even have the proper time to take care of their health. This could be the reason why kids end up getting injured or suffering from mental illnesses. They aren’t allowing themselves to rest properly. Their pure determination may be the reason for possible failure in their future.

In comparison to Antigone, Antigone was also extremely determined to risk her life in order to bury her brother. The main reasoning for this determination is because she feels as if it’s her duty to bury Polynices body since he is her brother. Also, it was against the Gods and considered as immoral to leave bodies unburied. Therefore, If Antigone didn’t bury him she would’ve felt guilty and offended the Gods. This lead to her decision to violated Creon’s law by not leaving Polynices’s body to be consumed by animals in the wild.  By doing this, she sacrifices many consequences in order to bury her brother. Consequences that would eventually leads to the death of Antigone. This may have been prevented is Antigone wasn’t so determined to bury Polynices, but because of her stubbornness she had to face her downfall. Similar to the film, The Prestige, both main characters, Robert Angier’s and Alfred Borden’s determination to be the best magicians has lead them to their own downfalls.

The Power of Ignorance

In this scene from Insurgent it was revealed that Divergents were never the problem to their society, but actually the solution. The leader of Erudite, Janine, refuses to believe the truth because she follows her own thought that Divergents’ who are so different from others would end up destroying the five factions. In reality, she is the one who is creating chaos between the factions. Her ignorance blinds her from the real truth and similarly in Oedipus the King, Oedipus also is put in the same situation.

Thousands of people are dying as the plague spreads across Thebes. Oedipus, the king of this land tries to find a solution to the disease and to stop it from killing more citizens. In order to do so Oedipus must find who Laius’ murderer is. The prophet Tiresias arrives at the scene, he knows the truth but does not say until anything until Oedipus started to insult him. He slowly begins to reveal the truth about the murderer/curse “[…] you are the land’s pollution” (line 400). The blind prophet hints Oedipus that he is the one who is the main problem, the one that cursed the city into plague. However, he continues to taunt Tiresias and it led to an official statement that Oedipus is the “[…] murderer of the king whose murderer you seek” (lines 415-16). This angers the king and refuses to believe in the prophecy because it is not the answer he is looking for. At the end of the play Oedipus finds out that he is the one that killed Laius, his father. His ignorance towards the Prophet’s vision led him to finding out the truth in a harsher way, it also hurt and involved more people than he intended to. In today’s society, some people are too selfish to see that what they do can often lead to controversies and chaos like in Insurgent and Oedipus. 

 #Hera #OldisNew #CLAS2 #Oedipus #Insurgent #ignoranceisnotagoodpower

 

 

How to win the Game of Thrones..?

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Game of Thrones, a very popular TV series by HBO has just released new season which absolutely rocks! The series take place mainly in the continent known to us as- Westeros. Westeros is the home for several major houses in the series, as well as home for King’s Landing. As the name suggests, King’s Landing is the place where the king and the royal family is located. As you can see on the map below, King’s landing is fairy small compared to the other kingdoms, and yet has control over all of them… Right? Well, that was the case before Cersei Lannister got the power. First of all, only Kings were the true rulers of the Seven Kingdoms, but many dramatic events have made her one and only Queen of Westeros.

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Long Before Cersei sat on the iron throne, she already have played her Game of Thrones, How? Well after king Robert tragically passed away, their son – Joffrey had been crowned and therefore announced to be the king. Due to the fact that he was still young and unknowing of the crown matters, his mother – Cersei was technically ruling instead of him. However, not long after he was associated. That was very heartbreaking for Cersei, but she still had another son that could take a place of Joffrey. And he did, Tommen- youngest of Cersei’s kids became the new king. He was way too young however, thus making his mother the undercover ruler of seven kingdoms. After sometime, Cersei has destroyed something that he dearly valued, which led him into taking his life. Left with no other descendants, she became one and only ruler of seven kingdoms. Now that you know a brief description of events led to Cersei’s reign, I can take you to my next point.

Throughout the history, humankind have faced several dictators, most of which have been eliminated. Most of the time, dictatorships are practiced in the closed societies. What do I mean by that? I mean societies are that not welcoming new ideas, and new people; Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler are the few of the dicatoators that practiced their reigns in such societies. What both of them have in common other than living in a closest world away from everytone? Well, people under their dictatorship feared and despised them (although couldn’t really show it due to the fear factor.) Another common trait? They did not concern themselves with the opinions, suggestions and such of the common people, or anyone else really. Sooner or later this kind of behavior leaves people no other choice but to bring them down, which ultimately stops their reigns. Why am I saying all this? Well, although some world-class dictators have been eliminated, some still remain. For example – Kim Jong-Un. North Korea is one of the undeveloped , closed to everyone countries. He is arguably one of the worst dictators yet to exist. People in North Korea are suffering, dying of hunger and other aspects while he lives perfectly fine. Sounds similar… similar to Cersei Lannister! She, just like Kim Jong-Un, does not care of the well-being of her common people, making herself a perfect dictator. History repeats itself, and as long as people won’t find courage to rebel, the dictators will live their life as selfishly as ever before, and people will continue suffering.

In the play given to us – Antigone, Creon, arguably is the dictator. He demands that one of the son’s body mustn’t be buried, which goes against God’s will, and anyone’s moral standard. Antigone, certainly felt that it was wrong to left dead body unburied, and she did what she had to do – burry him. “I urge no more; nay, wert thou willing still, I would not welcome such a fellowship. Go thine own way; myself will bury him.”(Antigone, 69-72)As things progress, he realized that if only he did not command that, everything could have been fine. But, what happened – happened, and let to awful outcomes. Chances are that people would still do something they believe is the right thing to do, even if it was said not to do so.  Everything he cherished and valued has shattered right in front of his nose, and they happened faster than anyone would predict. The point being- If you do not concern yourself with concerns of commoners, (or anyone actually), you WILL lose everything you love. Cersei never considered anyone has ever suggested to her, not even her two brothers, the result? Both brothers turned away from her, all three kids dead, and she lost her rule over half of the kingdoms in Westeros. Moral of the story- be open-minded, see different approaches to situations, and most importantly, consider suggestions of others. None of the personas mentioned above will ever succeed, their reigns will only continue while people fear them. Cersei is not an exception, her Game of Thrones just might be over on a near future.

Diana Dubitskaya, Team Mercury

#Elsewhere #TeamMercury #GameofThrones #Antigone #CLAS2 #Dictators

Once Upon A Blog Post

Growing up, many people associate the Big Bad Wolf with the idea of a villain. This character has been portrayed often in the media as someone who is trying to harm others. The Big Bad Wolf has made an appearance in classic fairy tales, such as the Little Red Riding Hood and the Three Little Pigs. However, in both stories, he plays a frightening character that causes trouble for others.

In today’s society, people are constantly surrounded by propaganda. The media uses propaganda to influence the way people look or think about things, which can also cause people to have many misconceptions of the reality of the world. For example, on Facebook, there is a section called “Trending Now..”, which shows users the latest headlines of news. However, this does not mean Facebook users are able to see all of the news because the trending topics are subjective. Facebook may be putting a bigger emphasize on specific news articles in order to hide the harmful ones. Misconceptions do not lead to a happy ending in society because it affects the way people see things. It doesn’t allow people to have a clear perspective on things.

In the play, Medea gives a gift to Jason’s wife as a form of apology after she had caused a scene. This led Jason to believe that things were okay between Medea and his wife. However, things were the complete opposite because although Medea had done a nice gesture, the present was covered in poison. This proves that everything is not always what it seems.

– Rebecca, Team Jupiter

Hopelessness is not an Excuse to Cause Tragedy

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Sarabi, wife of the lion king Mufasa and mother of Simba. Mufasa was murdered by his brother Scar as the movie went by. Sarabi became a single mother. Even she didn’t knock down by this unexpected change, she came forward against Scar to defense the kingdom. Single parenting is one of the biggest issues in nowadays society. It is hard to raise a child even with both of the parents’ effort, bring the child up in one person’s effort is multiply harder because all the responsibilities are on this person’s shoulder. Even the situation is hard, something in common of all parents is the love that they have toward their children, like Sarabi she was very brave to face the situation.

Medea, she was abandoned by her ex-husband Jason and became a single mother. Medea and Jason were refugees in the king Creon’s kingdom, but Jason abandoned her and got married with Creon’s daughter because of power. Medea and her two children will be exiled soon because King Creon worries that she will hurt the princess. Angry and lose drive Medea crazy, she took action to revenge, she planned to kill the couple and the king Creon by using her own children to realize her conspiracy. It might be hard to be a single mother at that time because people live in their land, leaving their homeland means to lose their protection. She was refugees to Creon’s kingdom, now being exiled is definitely hard for her, especially she is carrying two children. However, what she decided to do is not to leave and plan what to do for her children. Instead, she killed them just because she wanted Jason to regret what he had done.

There are many reasons of why Medea killed her own children, being abandoned and became a single mother was one of the main reason. Single parenting is hard, comparing with Medea, nowadays single parent can have a lot more help from the society and government. In the U.S., there is abundant help from the government for single parents, programs, services, benefits, welfare, etcetera. Their situation might still be hard, but with all of these available help and offers, their life can be easier than Medea at that time.

 

Kong Skull Island: Reality Awaiting us?

Towards the beginning of the recently released film, Kong: Skull Island, the expedition crew lead by a division of MONARCH, start dropping bombs on an island recently discovered to “map out” the surface if the island.  In doing so, they cause very large amounts of destruction onto the island, killing animals and ruining the habitat, while also looking greedy in doing so.  The environmental impact is completely ignored.  That is… until King Kong starts attacking them.  When Kong attacks them, this then leads into another scene involving Kong battling the planes, while the captain (Samuel L. Jackson) thinks Kong is in the wrong (second video).

This scene can relate to contemporary social issues today in how we want to control and form nature into our own image, especially in this political age.  In this age, Samuel L Jackson and the others dropping bombs are like Trump and environment destroyers, while King Kong can be seen as the scientist trying to stop global warming and save our planet.  In an earlier scene, which involves one of the scientist talking about there plan, Tom Hiddleston’s character says that the scientist are “dropping bombs”.  The scientist are quick to correct him to say they are “scientific instruments”. The setting, Skull Island, is completely unaffected by humans, yet we destroy and attack it because we feel the need to, even though the people here are doing it for “scientific reasons”.  Even though we have come a long way to see the impacts we have made upon nature, there have recently been greedy people wanting to ignore what the scientist have said about environmental issues and go back to our dark ways.  This can be seen as in with the recent election we had.  Donald Trump is trying to convince many people that climate change is not real.  This has lead to him electing Scott Pruitt, long time climate change denier, to become in charge of the EPA.  This has lead to constant setbacks recently including the loss of US involvement of the Paris Climate Agreement, possibility of new coal mining operations that would destroy natural landscapes, and recent discussions of public lands such as natural parks being opened for mining.  To top it all off, this was supposedly done to help get new jobs, or to cut spending, as Trump puts it.  Supposedly, much like the scientist exploring Skull Island, who are dropping bombs to “map out the island”, certain politicians want to destroy the environment to help with coal miners and their jobs, or other things that sound good on paper to cover up evil deeds.  And much like how Kong attacked the planes for invading his home, we too may face consequences unlike any we have dealt with before if we continue down this path.  Kong can also be a comparison in this in how he is simply trying to stop the humans from destroying his home, but in that, he is attacked simply for doing what he feels is right.  This is similar to all the scientist that are having trouble trying to produce their work today, as they are ridiculed and made fun of for trying to prove a point.  Much like Kong, they know who is in the right and what has to be done, but yet are still attacked and taken on by those above them since they dare to defy what is being done.

Much like the play Medea, the character Medea too wants to deal with doing things she believes is necessary to get revenge on her husband.  One of the things in which she plans on doing is killing her children, as mentioned even very early on in the play.  The play itself starts off with the Nurse mentioning how “How I wish the Argo’s sails have never swept through the dark blue Clashing Rocks, into the land of the Colchians; I wish the pine trees had never fallen in the groves of Pelion,…” (Euripide, Lines 1-4) almost trying to compare how the bad luck in nature coincide with the bad things Medea had done to her family.  It is also shown later on that even though the children have done nothing wrong, Medea still wants to kill them, as she feels it is the best way to get revenge on her husband.  Much like Samuel L Jacksons character in the movie, or Scott Pruitt and politicians like him, what they have in common with Medea is a complete lack of understanding who is wrong, and how others around them are telling them so.  In Skull Island, the crew and Samuel L Jacksons characters lack of acknowledgement of their destruction to the island not only affected the environment, but caused Kong to come out and killed many members of their crew.  Kong was just wanting to defend his territory, yet is deemed the bad guy for getting in the way of their operation.  Scott Pruitt’s denial of Climate Change, and others like him such as Trumps, can cause numerous damages to our nature, which in the end can lead us to losing it, and even our way of life, since we rely on nature.  The scientist and others affected by environmental issues are trying to tell them they are wrong and what must be done.  yet they are looked at as crazy and need to be quite.  They are trying to be shown as the bad guys, even though Trump is in the wrong.  Medea’s lack of acknowledgement of how her life itself will be destroyed by killing her children comes up to late by the end of the play.  By the end of the play, she has no one left to love her.  Her children are dead, her husband is gone, and now her whole world is destroyed.  Everyone tried to stop her before hand, yet they come up to late by the end.

#OldisNew #Drama #CLAS2 #Medea #Scott, Team Cronos

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Temple of the Sea VS. Temple of the Earth

“Pokemon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea” (Video)

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In the final scene of Pokemon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea, the main characters. Ash and May, attempt to save the temple of the sea. The temple/palace of the sea, also known as Samiya, began to deteriorate and flood when a crystal was stolen by a pirate. Without the crystal, the palace becomes in jeopardy of being lost in the sea forever. To save the temple, the characters find and place the crystal back to it’s rightful place.

 

This scene also reflects on the current state of the Earth’s environment. The stealing of the temple’s crystal can be compared to human greed towards the Earth’s resources. People have taken natural resources such as food, water and minerals, without balancing out their actions. Human consumerism may blind our indirect actions of harming the natural state of the world. When issues such as pollution, deforestation and climate change arise, people are forced to realize that there has been little actions towards replenishing the environment. Factors such as politics, finance and cultural differences also hinders the protection of natural resources. This then causes a bigger impediment on finding a way to improve the environment to a stable state for the future. Similar to the scene of Pokemon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea, people have acknowledged the harmful changes in our surroundings. However, society has yet to step away from personal greed and to take actions for the common good.

 

In comparison to Medea, Medea was a victim to her own selfishness and greed. Throughout the play, her motive to seek vengeance on her ex-husband escalated quickly. As Medea faces the reality of her husband leaving her for the princess of Corinth, the audience is able to see Medea’s anguish grow. Her mental state changes from sorrow, bitterness, to anger. When Medea forms her plan to kill her children, husband and the royal family of Corinth, Medea reflects on herself when she sees her children for the last time. “Go, go on. I am no longer able to look at you. I am overcome by wrongs” (Euripide, line 1076). This portrays how Medea has allowed her emotions to take over her mind and actions. Despite understanding the repercussions of how she will hurt those around her, Medea continues with her plan of revenge. She disregards everyone around her in order to meet her goals, and this form of greed leads to her own downfall. At the end of the play, Medea was left childless, husbandless, and filled with loneliness. She had fulfilled her plan of inflicting pain on others, yet, she cannot escape the pain she had inflicted on herself. Her acts of outrage was a facade that temporarily allowed Medea to forget the sense of betrayal of those around her.

#Drama #CLAS2 #Medea #Vicky, Heremes

A 100 Years Later and Still No Advancement

In today’s world there are several social issues one being rigid divided lines between certain countries. Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, and several more countries are some examples of the divided groups. People today in some areas have a very hard time accepting other crews and nationalities because they don’t learn and understand from the past. While there have been improvement from 100 years ago it still is not enough. What about another hundred years from now?

In this scene from the show the 100, one can see the clans fighting each other to the death to decide who get to survive the next round of world radiation. In the show a constant issue is the division of the clans; the setting for this show is in the future after a nuclear war and in North America a several clans have survived. There are over twelve different groups and only rarely do they get along.. The people from the sky come down and with their technology are viewed as the new enemy. With this setting it is back to times with no electricity, plumbing, and basically everyone is a barbarian. This is a contemporary issue in the fact that today there are several groups, from the more underdeveloped areas, who don’t get along and are alway at eachother’s throats. At the end of the episode the winner announces that there will not be just her clan in the bunker but all the clans. The issue remains that there isn’t enough to hold everyone, so each group must select 200 from their crew; those who are selected will become part of a the one new clan. In the play Medea, Medea is able to get away with her actions because Athens will accept her and she is protected. The setting helps her survive she is able to avoid consequences because she can get to a new place. Greece is a united country but the towns are in a way their own clans. Her original “crew” Corinth can not punish her so long she stays in her new “crew” Athens. In the play Aegeus, King of Athens, tells Medea,” if on your own you come to my home, you will remain there under protection and I will not deliver you up to anyone,” (Euripides, line 728). In the show it is different though because if one is banned from a clan or dishonors them no clan will accept them. Both of these settings are very similar because in the background of the 100 one can see massive pillars which look a lot like Greek architect; this also relates to the contemporary issue when groups fight or don’t get along that things get destroyed. Also in both the play and the show the killing is very gruesome and there isn’t technology like today. So the 100 has drawn from Greek culture and done a spin off of it which is very interesting. In the end both the play and the show have the contemporary issue of group divisions and the effect it can have on the world; in Medea a murder can live free and in the 100 it can be the downfall of mankind.- Emma

The Agony of Complacency and the Despair of Resignation

Amidst the horrifying complacency of our daily lives, resignation to one’s supposed ‘fate’ has become a disturbing norm. Whether or not fate exists though, it’s true that many live life while blindly following hypothetical outlines and miserably prideful constraints. In fact, the depths of our history contain those that met with grim fates due to the complacency they found meager shelter in. A modern example of retelling a tale that consists of falling victim to self-satisfaction is Seneca’s “Oedipus” by the Theater of the Blind. The review by one Honor Moore intricately describes the perfectly construed agony of the modernized play. This in turn makes the events of the play relevant and sympathetic to the contemporary audience. For one, Moore states that “there is no wisdom except through resignation to one’s fate, becomes true not only for a blind king in ancient Thebes, but for each of us, in our blindnesses, as well.” This statement is certainly true to many who blindly accept veiled truths without question and live within a shell. Fate is quite a beloved concept as it states that we have a path we’re ‘meant’ to follow in life. Those of ancient times embraced this and many in modern times embrace this as well. After all, isn’t it better to be blind to the harsh truth rather than to accept said harsh truth? Life is difficult and without certain guidelines, one can get lost. Those in ancient Athens accepted the harshness of their degradingly strict society just so that they would be satisfied with having a set path in life. In comparison, those in modern times do this as well. Whether you have strict parents that regulate you or illusions that prevent you from pursuing your true dreams, many blindly accept and follow the paved road in front of them instead of building their own. In a way, it’s sort of heartrending. We haven’t changed at all. There are those that stay blind or become blind and resign themselves to ‘fate’, just as Oedipus did.

Additionally, Moore also states that “just five actors play all the characters and double as the chorus, the production gathers intimacy as we come to know the performers as human beings who both witness and endure the play’s tragic events.” The importance of this quote is how it correlates the usage of ‘masks’ by people in present and ancient day. Yes, while the modern actors themselves had masks to play several parts just as the ancient actors did, it’s also true that the characters themselves have certain ‘masks’ they wear in order to portray different aspects of themselves to the appropriate people. Oedipus for example, wears the mask of a ruler and the mask of a husband. Everyone in real life does this as well. Depending on who you interact with, you act a certain way. It’s a simple yet true fact of life. However, with time those masks can break. Those masks can shatter and your core can be bare to the world. Those in contemporary society wear masks and all of those masks can very well break. It can either be due to trauma or despairing resignation but it’s still very possible in a variety of several other events. When the actors switched roles and masks on stage, they themselves were experiencing the tragedy they were unfolding along with the character’s breaking masks. Seeing Oedipus accept his literal and metaphorical blindness at the end of the play can easily connect to the audience as it shows that beneath all the masks that someone has, there is a core that contains all of your vulnerabilities and truths. This is as true for me as it is for you.

We can never truly know how the Ancient Athenian audience felt about anything they wanted to keep secret. The masks they unconsciously wore and the blindness they embraced might’ve been things that they never fought or thought about. Though we can infer since these convoluted plays existed back then. Women definitely must’ve had dilemmas with the masks they had to bare to the world. They were homemakers and weren’t intricately involved with many outside of the house. They were also consistently ignored and treated as convenience tools for the upkeep of home. There were most definitely times when women questioned their blind devotion to the man-made laws they had to abide to. After all, agonizing blindness to one’s self can make you question the state of things and cracking masks can easily break from repressed rage. It doesn’t matter if it was ancient times or not, feelings still existed and it would’ve caused women especially to have outward and internal conflicts about their place in life. They were more suppressed than men were. Were they just going to live life on a moving road that they themselves didn’t even construct? Living the way they wanted to was a pipe dream however, as illusions to resignation were as common then as they are now. There must’ve also been men who didn’t want to participate in war. Not everyone has the same ideals and hopes. While war was a relatively constant reality, there had to have been other aspects of life that they enjoyed. Some may have enjoyed those other aspects more than war. Despite all of the tragic acceptance and selfish toleration that those in Ancient Athens felt though, we can certainly infer that since they’re human, they had to have faced identity and role crises just as we do today.

Moore, Honor. “The Oedpial Anguish Illuminates the Darkness.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 14 June 2005, http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/14/theater/reviews/the-oedipal-anguish-illuminates-the-darkness.html

Bailey Seemangal, Team 5 Hephaestus

 

Antigone is Still Relevant

THEATER; An Ancient Drama Whose Wisdom Is Always Modern

The themes of Sophocles Antigone is still relevant today as it was 2500 years ago. The NYTimes review of, “An Ancient Drama Whose Wisdom Is Always Modern” describes how the themes of Antigone is relevant to a contemporary audience. Lydia Koniordou, who plays the title role in this modern staging of Antigone says, “’the audience knows what the play is about…but they’re not just here for the story. They’re here for the poetry that comes out and for the depth of the thought as regards ideas and problems and dilemmas that are part of our civilization today.” This might be similar to the matters Ancient Athenians thought about because, in both civilizations, theater tackles issues that reflected the society at large. And these issues were able to link the audience to the story of the play. The review also emphasizes how artistic elements such as costumes, masks, the poetry and the songs presented in the play attracts both audiences and transcend time through its elaborate and unique aesthetic.

Another theme of Antigone that is relevant to the contemporary audience is that the play “doesn’t divide the world into black and white” as said by Ms. Koniordou. In modern-day where there is such diversity in our culture, religion and personal perspective, the line between rights from wrong is often blurred. What is right in one culture, might be revolting in another, thus the play inspires the audience to not divide one perspective as being right and the other wrong. The Ancient Athenian audience might have had similar thoughts while watching Sophocles Antigone which performed in 438 BCE, right after the Samos Revolt. The Ancient Athenians punished the Samians brutally, and the theme and plot of Antigone as she rebels against Creon to perform her duty to her brother and God might have reminded the audience of their action. The play transcends the barrier of time as it makes both Ancient Athenian and the contemporary audience think of these issues in society.

Wolf, Matt. “THEATER; An Ancient Drama Whose Wisdom Is Always Modern.” The New York Times. 27 Oct. 2002.

Masuma, Team Mercury

#CLAS2, #Onstage #Sophocles, #Antigone

Fighting for What’s Right

Women were often looked down upon by men, the more you go back in time the more you see how women were often treated as less than equals often saw taking care of the babies and cleaning. You go even farther back you see how women had no say or no power on what happens to them, they had no vote and no voice. But if you look more recently women have been fighting for equality and have been for a long time they are succeeding little by little so now what use to be is changing. Women don’t have to stay home with a baby she can go and work, get an education, speak for themselves, and fight for themselves.

In this scene in the movie Wonder Women you see her walk across a battlefield even though she was told not too. She walked right in the middle of a battle to fight for what she believed was the right thing to do because she couldn’t just watch people suffering. Most people couldn’t imagine women on the battlefield let alone fighting back. Now we look at the play Antigone by Sophocles. One of Antigone’s brothers were not buried properly and this meant he couldn’t go to heaven so she did what she believed in and sprinkled dirt on him it wasn’t a proper burial but it would at least let him rest peacefully. Similar to Wonder Woman she didn’t listen to what others said. Antigone followed her own morels and did what she thought was right. But Unlike Wonder Woman who was praised and celebrated after standing up for what she believed was right, Antigone was punished the king Creon said to her “Go below now…While I am alive, no woman will rule me”( Antigone, lines 524-525). We can see from the play that women were treated differently and punished for acting out of line and not listening. In the movie though we see a total difference response to a women fighting alongside men. We can see how society has been changing and how issues from back then are getting better and the progress society is making on equality.

Francesca, Team Cronos