Antigone and Aeneid: theme of leadership in both
...Greek society had strict standards as to what qualities males should possess to be called “leader”. There were four major components to the character of a man: courage, honor, virtue, and manliness. This concept was called arÍte. While courage finds its most prominent display on the battlefield, facing up to difficult leadership decisions can also be a method of showing courage. Honor, a key part of arÍte, can be obtained by honoring the gods, thus staying on their favorable side. By serving one’s community and state, one may also earn honor through either humble or glorified service. Virtue, perhaps the most interesting of the arÍte qualifications, has nothing to do with the modern definition of virtue which one might compare to morality, but rather involves looking out for the best interest of one’s state. Finally, manliness served as a key qualification of leadership in Greek society. In the very patriarchal Greek society, it is not surprising that manliness would be found as a qualification for an effective leader...
Anti-Heroes in Beowulf
...In the famous masterpiece Beowulf both characters Grendel and Unferth have almost the same roles of anti-heroes; by this technique the author sort of establishes amplifies the purpose and meaning of Beowulf. Most obviously these two characters are tarnished by acts of fratricide which make them social outcasts. Unferth is never given the opportunity to explain his action, and Grendel himself did not physically commit Cain’s crime, yet both are punished. Beowulf tells that “It harrowed him to hear the din of the loud banquet every day in the hall,” until Grendel came to Heorot for the purpose of joining the crowd. (ln. 87-89)
Also, a significant component of each of their downfalls was pride. Grendel, greedily lusting for human blood, was too proud for caution in his last deadly fight. Unferth, too, became the target of Grendel’s malice in Gardner’s novel through his self-righteous pride. Desirous of a glorious death in defense of his country, Unferth assumed his opponent to be very primitive. He was instead rewarded with public humiliation and the disgrace of being continually spared from harm...
...In my opinion Beverly Clearly is one of the most influential and fascinating children’s writer. She was able to communicate with children through her book on a very intimate level, delivering knowledge and wisdom of her age to the young ones. Clearly had a usual childhood which we will be looking into more deeply further. When a girl was old enough to begin school, Cleary and her family moved to Portland. When Beverly Cleary began grammar school she soon found herself experiencing something that many of us, or someone close to us, have experienced. Cleary suddenly found herself struggling to read and comprehend material at the proper grade level. In first and second grades, Cleary hated reading. She was performing at a lower level than her classmates. This gave Beverly Cleary insight into one of the major problems encountered by children. She also realized that these problems could be conquered. With the aide of her mother, by the third grade Cleary was reading at grade-level, and spent much of her childhood either with books or on her way to and from the public library. Before long, her school librarian was suggesting that she write children’s literature when she grew up. The idea appealed to her. Cleary decided that someday she would write the books she longed to read but was unable to find on the library shelves...
Analyzing “The Family Portrait”
...Kozain manages to depict the environment in which him and his characters live so that the reader receives a vivid picture of the scene where everything happens. Looking at the title one understands the general topic of the poem. It takes a similar format to a family portrait; different characters in the same setting, held together as a family and bound by circumstance. There is perhaps a hint of bitterness in the title as a family portrait is likely to be idealized and sentimental. The poem contradicts this notion by present a harsh reality, with the focus on the darker elements of life, using references to crime, drugs and so forth to emphasize this point.
There is use of South African terms and ideas, evident in the use of language such as “braaivleis”. The reference to mandrax is also more localized since it was particularly popular in South Africa amongst the poorer “classes”. This emphasis on the setting stresses the particular relevance of the subject to South Africa, sending its message to those who populate the country, and evoking the atmosphere which is so unique to the poverty-stricken underbelly of South African life...
Moral Struggles of Great Expectations
..Pip is the main character of the novel desires to fulfil his expectations and the world he lives in does not gladly provide an easy way to his dream. Joe is his brother-in-law and his angry sister’s husband who treats Pip much better than her, just because he happens to have a bog heart. In the beginning of the novel, prior to Pip being exposed to the world he feels that he can satisfy his expectations, Joe and Pip are equals – the humbleness and loyalty that Joe displays are often similar to that of a child. Joe is comfortable with who he is and while he desires to learn from Pip once he becomes educated, he does not seek to be anything other than what he is. This, ideally, would have been a priceless lesson for Pip to learn, as it would have spared Pip from losing himself in a complex and corrupt world. Sadly, yet pivotally to the intrigue of the plot, it is only once Pip realises the error in his ways that he can see the true gentleman in Joe. Interestingly, it is something he identifies early on when he comments that “[I] was looking up to Joe in my heart” (49). This is not simply an affection of love, yet one of admiration and respect. It is once Joe repays Pip’s debts, and leaves to save Pip the ‘embarrassment’ of associating with him, that Pip realises the quality of Joe’s character. Joe embodies the true gentleman; while not of class, his character is class, and he continually displays qualities of loyalty and fidelity that Pip believes can be embodied by outward displays of wealth and education. Pip learns from Joe – albeit in hindsight and through his own personal crises – that wealth and class are not fundamental to being a gentleman...