The Clouds, first performed in 423 BC at the Dionysia, is Aristophanes's masterpiece, though it received only third place at the festival. Aristophanes's earlier plays had all been a string of successes. There is a rumor that, in anger at his loss over the Clouds, Aristophanes edited the original manuscript. This is referenced in the … Continue reading Socrates Ridiculed in the Clouds
Don Quixote (1955) by Pablo Picasso In Plato's Republic he describes an ancient quarrel between poetry and philosophy, with both claiming to be the true educators of virtue. The poets claim to possess a greater power to impel people to do great things. And who can disagree? Where would the Venus de Milo or the … Continue reading When Poetry Conquers Philosophy: Reflections on Don Quixote
To recount the Biblical narrative thus far: We are given an account of origins, in which the humans fail to follow the law, and God's frustrations are continually repeated to human beings (scattering them and confusing their languages, before ultimately deciding to destroy them in a flood). He saves the human beings through the lineage … Continue reading Joshua: A Book of Conquest
Steinbeck's East of Eden is a heavy book. Not simply in terms of form, as the book is some 600 pages long, but also in terms of content. When reading the book, the reader is taken on an extended journey through the time and place, from ancient Israel, and Old-World Europe, to the United States and … Continue reading The Troubling Concept of Timshel in East of Eden
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 with a group of Athenians gathered at Agathon’s house in Athens in celebration of his victory. It is a … Continue reading What is Love in the Symposium?
There has been a longstanding debate, dating back to Aristotle, regarding the purpose, or telos, of a tragedy, and whether or not the "tragic" element is the result of is the result of a unique or particular character flaw stemming from the central protagonist. In other words, is Oedipus, indeed, a flawed human being who has brought about … Continue reading Aristotle, Oedipus, and Greek Tragedy