In the second half of Book II, Socrates is put on trial, reluctantly defending justice against the false accusations of the Athenian brothers, Glaucon and Adeimantus. He suggests they examine the question of justice in a larger way, not like men who are squinting at small letters from a distance. Socrates proposes that they watch … Continue reading Plato’s Republic Book II (Part II): The City in Speech
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 Act II scene 7 of Shakespeare's As You Like It, we encounter one of the more fatalistic and artful monologues in all of Shakespearean literature, Jaques's famous "All the world's a stage" soliloquy. Drawing on Ovid, Shakespeare uses the character, Jaques, to compare the totality of human life to the charade of a play, … Continue reading “All The World’s A Stage” Considered
Scene 1 In Act II, the longest of the five Acts in the play, we are redirected to (presumably) the Forest of Arden where Duke Senior praises the innocence of the noblemen's new idyllic life. He calls it "sweet", "free from peril", and without the "penalty of Adam". He hearkens a golden age, but not … Continue reading As You Like It, Act II
In the Isha Upanishad (perhaps meaning hidden or enveloped in the lord or ruler), there is an acknowledgement of the distinction between the 'transient' and the 'eternal.' In the opening line, the eternal is identified as superior to the transient. One who dwells exceedingly on the latter will descend into darkness, but one who acts according … Continue reading Notes on the Isha Upanishad
The word "Upanishad" comes to us from the Sanskrit meaning 'to sit at the foot of' -presumably referring to a student or a disciple sitting at the foot of a master, eager to consider his esoteric wisdom. Other translations interpret the Sanskrit to mean "to sit below" or "to sit near." The Upanishads are the highest texts of … Continue reading Introduction to the Upanishads