There has been a longstanding debate, dating back to Aristotle, regarding the purpose or telos of tragedy, and whether or not the key "tragic" element is the result of a unique or particular character flaw caused by the protagonist. In other words, is Oedipus merely a flawed human being who has brought about the destruction of himself, his … Continue reading Aristotle, Oedipus, and Greek Tragedy
Cavalcade (1933) Director: Frank Lloyd ★★★☆☆ Cavalcade is a good film, though a curious choice for the winner of Best Picture (one of many future curious choices). Despite mediocre acting and its requirement of a highly patient audience, the film's redeeming qualities are its powerful montage sequences toward the end in which the chaos of … Continue reading Cavalcade
Unlike the "archaeology" undertaken by Thucydides, Herodotus gives a survey of cultures and customs across the known world by scribing a book whose purpose is to "show forth" the "causes" of the Persian War so that humans will not forget the deeds of great men. I believe it was Strauss who once remarked in a letter … Continue reading An Inquiry into Herodotus’s Project
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
The Tao Te Ching, sometimes translated as the "Classic of the Virtuous Way", is rumored to have been written by Lao Tzu. He is said to have been a sage of the royal court, or also a magistrate or astrologer, perhaps during the Warring States Period, though others claim he was a contemporary of Confucius. In … Continue reading Important Reflections on the Tao Te Ching.
Helpmates Director: James Parrot (1932) ★★☆☆☆ Helpmates is an amusing early Laurel and Hardy film lasting just over 21 minutes. It was released by MGM and tells the story of Ollie, a chubby married man, who throws a large house party while his wife is away on vacation. He receives a telegram from his wife … Continue reading Helpmates