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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“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.

****SHORT DESCRIPTION

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.

artsandclassics.wordpress.com

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

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

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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

 

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.

 

 

 

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.

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

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.

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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

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

Lost In Space

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“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

 

“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

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.

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