"Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon" -fictional proverb The year was 1948. The New Yorker Magazine was celebrating its 23rd anniversary when it published a disturbing little story called "The Lottery." The story was to cause decades of controversy. At the time, The New Yorker apparently did not distinguish between works of fact or … Continue reading On Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”
Plato’s famous dialogue, the Symposium, takes place the day after the tragic poet, Agathon, wins his first and only award at the Lenaia in 416 BC, the year before Alcibiades’s failed quest to Sicily. The dramatic setting occurs among a group of Athenians gathered at Agathon’s house in Athens to celebrate his victory. The party is … Continue reading What is Love in the Symposium?
In Aeschylus's The Libation Bearers, we are first introduced to Orestes, the son of the late and betrayed Agamemnon. He appears, hidden, before the grave of his father as his sister Electra is making libations in her father's honor. This second part of the trilogy takes place an unknown number of years after the murder … Continue reading The Oresteia: An Affirmation of the Noble Lie
Regarding the question of nature, or rather the “not-natural” we recall Shakespeare’s use of the word ‘natural’ in King Lear. In the play, political nature has been upset and Shakespeare freely uses the word "nature." If we accept Aristotle’s famous pronouncement that “man is a political animal” in his Politics then indeed human nature has … Continue reading Nature in the Nicomachean Ethics
In Book III of Herodotus's Inquiries, we encounter a problem among the Persians. The untimely death of the insane king Cambyses has led to a power vacuum filled by the corrupt Magi. When the Persians finally instill a revolt against the Magi, a conspiracy of seven men decides to storm the palace and regain power. However, … Continue reading Darius and the New Persian Regime