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Free research essays on topics related to: classical literature

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  • Oedipus - 731 words
    Oedipus is a play written by Sophocles that many have heard. Few, however, would not be surprised to discover what Oedipus has discovered at the end of the play, that our tragic hero has killed his own father only to marry his mother. Many ask how this play could be a tragedy? What is the definition of tragedy? Aristotles The Poetics, is a work in which he tried to define what tragedy was. Aristotle decided that the hero, or at least the main character in a tragedy must be centrally good, but must bring about himself his demise, due to a fatal flaw, known as hamartia. The character must show traits of nobleness . Were the character not noble, the audience would not care about the person, and ...
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  • To Kill A Mockingbird A Discussion Of Major Themes Within The Text - 1,177 words
    The novel To Kill a Mockingbird is a rich text consisting of themes that were the harsh reality of the novels setting; rural Alabama during the 1930s. Racism, discrimination, prejudice, and hatred are all among the issues that author Harper Lee deals with. In addition to these weighty and unsettling topics in the novel, Miss Lee revolves her plot around the life of a young girl named Scout Finch. Scout is telling the reader the story in retrospect when the novel begins. We learn she is six years old and has an older brother named Jem. Central to the plot is the childrens innocence. Their relative naivete can be observed through the simple ways in which they play and pass the time. Jem and Sc ...
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  • How Dickens Criticizes Victoriana In A Christmas Carol - 952 words
    How Dickens Criticizes Victoriana In A Christmas Carol Everybody has an obligation to scrutinize, dissect, or otherwise work towards reform in his or her given society. The status quo should always be held up to a highly critical eye, as it is perpetually flawed. Dickens, more so than most people of his time, was well aware of this duty to arrest the progressively growing feeling of complacency within his culture. He saw the danger in contentment (especially how it would hinder growth and betterment), and decided he had to do something to undermine its adverse effects. So Dickens used his literary prowess to appeal to the masses, thus awakening them from self-satisfaction. In his landmark wo ...
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  • The War - 309 words
    The Renaissance brought about a renewed interest in the literature and art have Ancient Greece and Rome. It was also a time of religious struggle as the new Protestant Reformation threatens the hold of the Roman Catholic Church. With all of this, a new sense of being able to conquer even death has arisen in the literature The seeming rebirth of interest into classical literature began in Italy but eventually did spread to England where it was fostered by members of the monarchy such as Elizabeth I. With men such as Leonardo Da Vinci with incredible breadth of learning and interest, the ideal for the time moved away from the warrior persona. Now labeled the Renaissance Man, the ideal was an i ...
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  • Leonardo Renaissance Man - 1,935 words
    The great turning point of Western civilization called the Renaissance, the rebirth of literature, art, architecture, and philosophy in Europe, marked the emergence of the modern world from the dark ages (Aston 11). The Renaissance caused educated Europeans to develop new attitudes about themselves and the world around them. This intellectual cultural awaking influenced European thinking by a concept of humanism, which emphasized the worth of an individual (Aston 12). This attention given to the development of an individuals potential during the Renaissance brought with it a new emphasis on education. The people of the Renaissance believed a person should not be bound to one specific discipl ...
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  • Walden Summaries - 1,427 words
    For all the greatness of literature, there is a greater language of life, the language without metaphor. It is the language where things happen: rays of light shine through the window, the bean plants blossom in the garden, the birds flit through the house. "I love a broad margin to my life," Thoreau writes . Attention to the present moment will make life as exciting as a novel because life then becomes the entertainment. Time is no longer divided into units, but flows between past and future, pausing as we experience the present moment. Thoreau's house was on the side of a hill, surrounded by fruit, trees pushing leaves on tender boughs, and limbs breaking from the lush weight of berries. H ...
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  • Fferent Types Of Criticism And Literary Movements In Short Stories - 1,098 words
    ... remes without their genius. This created unfortunate results among many later writers. Later in the 20th Century, Romanticism was wherever faith in the individual and his freedom from rules, restraints, systems, or even rationalism appear. Transcendentalism was a form of American Romanticism. It took place from around 1835 until the Civil War. These writers stressed the importance of intuition and subjective experience in scientific naturalism (Gale). They rejected religious belief and texts in favor of mysticism and scientific naturalism. They pursued truths that lied beyond the colorless realms perceived by reason and the senses. These people were often the social reformers in public e ...
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  • How Humanism Contributed To Rennaisance Ideals - 393 words
    Through the groundwork laid by the Hundred Years War, the Black Death, and the Protestant Reformation, Italian Renaissance humanism nearly single-handedly allowed for the modern concept of individuality. The rebirth of classical literature, and especially the attempts among the philosophical elite to translate this literature, helped bring this enlightening knowledge to the gradually more literate masses. Also, the frenzy for education of these masses allowed the concept of individuality to spread to all social classes. Even peasants, the dredges of European society, believed (and were allowed to believe) they could achieve a level of intellectual intelligence equal to the great classical ph ...
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  • Renaissance Education - 1,651 words
    Amidst social unrest and intellectual stagnation, 14th and 15th century scholars argued, emerged the Renaissance, the rebirth. It did not take long for this pervasive and intriguing way of life to escape from the confines of small 14th century city-states in Italy to receptive Europeans around them. The new avant-garde outlook adopted by Europe as a whole encompassed an array of ideas, beliefs, and means of expressive creativity. The humanism of the Italian Renaissance gave birth to the modern concept of individuality. New individualism spurred learning, artistic vision, burgeoning interests in cultures and sciences, and a love of antiquity. The values and purposes of Renaissance education w ...
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  • Themes And Analysis Of Dante's Inferno - 1,003 words
    Dantes Inferno by Dante Alighieri is a classic tale that involves Christian morality, and mythological and classical literature. In this tale we watch Virgil guide Dante through the circles of hell in order to reach heaven where Dantes beloved Beatrice awaits. Dante created this tale in order to give the world a visual image of afterlife and to explain the Christian belief of sin and punishment. He explicitly takes us through each circle of purgatory describing what it looks like, who gets sent there, and what punishment they receive. Through this story Dante is preaching the perfection of Gods justice. He shows that Hell exists to punish sin and the sinners suffer punishment to a degree bef ...
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  • An Introduction To As You Like It By Shakespeare - 1,959 words
    Traditional classifications of drama normally started with the basic distinction between tragedy and comedy, a separation common in Greek and Roman drama, and clearly established by Shakespeares time. Of these two styles, the easiest to define initially was the former. Tragedy was understood as the dramatic portrayal of a great mans suffering and (almost invariably) his death. The hero might be a great villain or famous for virtue (a historical or Biblical character, for example), but the main purpose of the play was to focus on his career, especially the final chapter: the events leading up to his death, his death, and moral reflections upon the story (tragedy lent itself often to fairly or ...
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  • The Serpent And The Flower In Shakespeares Sonnet 55 - 1,437 words
    Romeo and Juliet, Act III, Scene II, Line 77 JUL: O serpent heart, hid with a flowering face! Macbeth, Act I, Scene V, Line 63 LADYMACB: Look like the innocent flower, But be the serpent under t. Pericles: Son of Tyre, Act I , Scene I, Line 127 PER.: And both like serpents are, who though they feed On sweetest flowers, yet they poison breed. The serpents trickery of mortals is a theme which echoes tirelessly in the art, literature, and theology of both the Judaeo-Christian and Eastern philosophies. The instinctive illustration of the image of the serpent as a symbol of deceit for Western interpreters is the biblical (Genesis) creation story--putting forth a falsely kind face in order to urge ...
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  • St Augustine And Classical Education - 1,024 words
    Saint Augustine and Classical Education In Saint Augustine's deeply personal work, Confessions, he shares the story of his life up to his eventual conversion to the Christian faith. His odyssey through life is, at times, one of bitter inner conflict between his intellect and faith. Augustine's classical education had a profound affect on the way he viewed the world, and eventually had a major affect on the way he approached Christianity. He is definitely an "intellectual" Christian, and viewed many aspects of his faith from this perspective. Augustine's attitude towards classical literature and thought was at times slightly self-contradictory. It is clear, however, that although he was grate ...
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