Monthly Archives: December 2010

The Only Thing That’s Constant is Change

Change is the only consistency that we can be sure of in life. We are constantly evolving and transforming. The Metamorphoses’ collection of stories all demonstrate transformation. The stories give examples of actual bodily changes; things such as women transforming into tree’s or cows. I still look at these changes metaphorically. For instance, in Apollo and Daphne when Daphne turns into a tree I don’t look at that as her literally turning into a tree. Instead I look at it as her becoming one with the earth and becoming numb to the fact that she was being pursued by an unwanted suitor. We all transform in one way or another when we are dealing with a stressful situation. A new job, a new child or living on your own for the first time can cause a person to spread his or her wings and become a butterfly. It is up to the individual to decide how they will let a situation to affect them. Daphne let her situation break her, she turned into a tree, she preferred to be an immobile life form instead of facing her problems. Stressful situations add to my growth. If I feel threatened I turn into a bull, if I’m feeling sad I turn into a timid little puppy with those big sad eyes. But, on an everyday basis, I like to transform to a lion; the “king of the jungle,” looking all danger and troubles in the face.

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Homosexuality, Then & Now

Now it was clear to see that once Gilgamesh met Inkidu it was a match made in heaven. They were made for each other. But one can’t overlook the homosexual undertone of their relationship. The seemed way too close for comfort, at least for my comfort. The way that their love toward each other was described was very peculiar. With that being said, you would think that we wouldn’t have such an issue with homosexuality to this very day. Why is it still taboo? People fighting in the army have to keep their sexual preference to themselves or they can be discharged. These people can fight for their country but must hide their true colors from their country. Gilgamesh and Inkidu were very powerful men, both part god, their relationship with one another didn’t weaken them nor did it cause people to look at them differently. Their bond caused them to want to do “manly” things such as fight and conquer. Their fear, when it was time to fight Humbaba, wasn’t them being feminine, it was them being human. It’s crazy how the first written story had traces of a homosexual relationship and now thousands of years later the Gay Rights moment is still being fought in the “land of the free.”

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Sita Sings R&B

I love Sita and all that she stood for but I would have never been able to hold on for as long as she did. For me to be loyal to a man only for him to accuse me of being unfaithful is so unfair. Then after she proved to him that she was indeed faithful Rama allowed rumors to again sway his decision. Sita Sings the Blues was a great interpretation of The Ramayana. The blues gave it a modern touch and I enjoyed that. But back to Sita… she devoted herself to a man only to be asked to prove herself to him over and over again. That’s just unfair, she could have just given herself to Ravana, you never know, she may have eventually liked it. Keyshia Cole’s “I Should Have Cheated” talks about a women being accused of infidelity even though she is innocent. If I could create an adaptation to Nina Paley’s work I would give it an R&B twist and Keyshia Cole’s song would be the headliner. I wonder if it ever crossed Sita’s mind that she should have been unfaithful being that Rama didn’t believe her anyway. Considering that Rama felt Sita must have been unfaithful it makes one wonder about his extracurricular activities while he was away from his her.

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The Diary of a Mad Woman

So Medea isn’t a mad “black” woman per say but she was mad indeed. I would be mad to if my husband decided to wed another woman and kick me out of my home. Tyler Perry’s movie “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” has many similarities with Medea’s story. This is sort of ironic considering that the main character of all of Tyler Perry’s works is a powerful woman named Medea, although in this particular story the woman scorned is Medea’s niece. So let me break down the story, Helen is the devoted wife to an attorney, Charles. Helen has put her mother into a nursing home and severed all ties with her family because that’s what her husband wanted her to do. She has no education and she supported her husband while he was going through school.  The drama starts when Helen goes home one night and sees new clothes in her living room. Assuming it’s hers, she becomes overjoyed until Charles come’s homes and tells her it’s for his fiancé/the mother of his children. He tells Helen he wants a divorce and that her stuff is in a moving truck outside of the house and she needs to leave right away. It’s beautiful how works like Medea could inspire current stories such as Diary of a Mad Black Woman. It’s even more amazing how Medea could still be so relevant to the lives of women today.

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Marie de France

Even though Marie de France integrated loyalty and honor into Chevrefoil and Lanval, the poet writing Sir Gawain and the Green Knight elevated both loyalty and honor to exceed previous works. Marie de France was able to have a gloomy outlook on love most of the time, but they also defied the traditions of love within the church. She wrote about adulterous affairs, women of high stature that seduced men which gave the idea that women can have sexual freedom. Even though that was very much untrue! She even wrote lais that supported many mistresses, all of which were against the traditions of the church and the idea of virginal love and marriage. The lais also exhibit the idea of a stronger female role and power.

Her story of Sir Gawain was a simple story of a woman who loved another man and would leave the bed of the man she was married to for the knight. Marie de France made it dark and creepy after the killing of the bird occurred and then the sharing of the bird. Once that took place the story changed from a possibly sweet love story to a shady and very odd one. Overall Marie de France was a strong feminist that proved to men that woman are stronger and can withstand any obstacle that they endure.

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Io and Jove: Men.

Io and Jove was a story of metamorphosis and love. Io was an innocent woman until she met Jove. After meeting Jove her whole world transformed. Literally. She was turned into a heifer to cover the the fact that he was up to no good and going against his wife. He was a strong man, a God, and it was in his mind that he was able to act they way he did just because he was a God. God or not, one must love their wives.

Another male figure that was disappointing was the father of Io named Inachus. When Io finally told her father of her misfortune he was very unsympathetic. He was actually more concerned that he wasn’t able to get a son-in-law or a grandson because of her transformation. He rambled on about her problem and never once thought of a solution to counter her curse. He was also very much into being a God as well by stating that he was in so much grief that he would kill himself but he wasn’t able to because he was a God. The men of the story was very disappointing! They lacked compassion and love instead they acted in power ranks and were selfish.

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Rustom and Sohrab

People today are proud and are honored of their family’s history. Sohrab and Rustom are family members engaging in a single combat that would end in the death of one. However, when Sohrab lies dying he declares proudly of his ancestral lineage. Families will always fight and argue over disputes because they care about each other but is death pushing it a little bit? I understand Rustom wanted to make his point across but family should never kill each other no matter how difficult the situation may be. One thing that I found interesting is; just before Sohrab died, Rustom demanded for proper identification so he can know for a fact that he did kill his only son. I think the main problem in the story is that it symbolizes the struggle between the generations, and identity. Even though Rustom wasn’t allowed to see his son. It should have been his responsibility to still keep in touch with his child. Even the problem today that occurs when one looses custody of a child. Even when that happens the government allows part of the parent to remain in touch with the child. This is relevant because, even though Rustom doesn’t want to see his child because of the dangerous situation; The main concept of a parent seeing his child is to maintain the child’s identity and its generation. In this story, Sohrab has a hard time configuring his own identity and whether to fight his own father. Another part that think is interesting is the battle between Gordafarid and Sohrab. Their battle symbolizes betrayal. When Gordafarid fights Sohrab twice; she keeps commenting on his fight. By making Sohrab realize that he is loosing against a woman; she deceives him.

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In old age Greece, was one of the places known most for fighting and people focused much on who would surrender and who would win. However; war and fighting wasn’t the only and entertaining show to watch, but the winner would be a hero and be honored for defeating the opponent. A warrior was looked at as almost powerful as God and was treated with respect throughout the city. Achilles was a hero of the Trojan War, the central character and greatest warrior of Homer’s Iliad, which takes for its theme, not the War of Troy in its entirety, but specifically the Wrath of Achilles. These legends state that Achilles was killed in battle by an arrow to the heel, and so an Achilles’ heel has come to mean a person’s only weakness. Today we respect those that fight for our country and protect us however; we do not praise war as they once did in Ancient Greece. Ones fighting in Iraq are often worried for because there is a chance they may not make it back but the country is not always honoring the ones that succeed either. I think that when a soldier returns from war, people talk highly about them. However; after a few comments the praising fades. The only people that appreciate them is their primary family. On the other hand Achilles was so praised upon, people looked up to him. Every mother wanted to have a son like Achilles. The point is, that most people extended their praising about the warrior; and made him look as strong as God, or for some he may be God.

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It is very strange as many people would label Madea as a  protagonist, when in the end she performs one of the most cruelest act that a mother can do to her child.
Just like in the society today, cheating leading to divorce, and revenge took place in Greek Mythology. Many women of today are cheated on, divorced and seek revenge on their ex-lovers by either suing, taking the kids, or other ways to emotionally damage them. However, in Medea, Medea goes the extra mile to murder her own children and kill her ex-husband’s new wife and father-in-law. This action wouldn’t be accepted today not only is it wrong to kill another human being but the act of killing one’s own children is immoral and people cringe of the thought. Today some would be angry enough to kill the ex’s new loved ones as a heat of passion crime but is one insane to kill her own children as well or was she trying to save them? I think that Medea believed that she was intending to save her children from the life of living without a father but at the same time she was mentally insane to think that killing them would be the way to save them. Even though today’s society differs from the times in Greek Mythology, the morals in killing a family couldn’t be too dissimilar. I chose the picture below, because it is one of the most horrendous and gruesome pictures that one may see. Automatically when someone takes a look, they would most likely feel sad and be hysterical. They may frown on the person that may have caused this to happen. In a similar way Madea has almost created a similar act as the person who has killed the child in the picture. This connection is important because it brings a question to many minds. Why is Madea still favored so much to be named as a protagonist? When she has performed one of the worst acts that questions its moral dilemma.

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As Beowulf becomes a heroic figure in the early age of 700 A.D; people believed in non-realistic creatures and that there are people with super natural powers. The unknown Anglo-Saxon writer who wrote Beowulf, created a story about a man that was impossibly huge as a heroic figure to be used as an influence. Beowulf was a symbol of courage and strength so many looked to follow his footsteps. The difference is today we don’t look at stories and myths to give us a hero and to help us find strength; but instead we look at people around us and see people doing positive things and using mental strength in order to have a hero. Today stories like Beowulf are used for entertainment and fun and not to find a role model. Beowulf also signifies how the civilization during the early period of time starts believing that it is possible to kill a monster with bare body without any armor. He believes that, the only way that he as a human will win the fight is only if he fights the same way the monster Grendel brings destruction to the king Hrothgar’s land. It is interesting because comparing the hero Beowulf with natural super powers to any hero today, no hero today will be able to fight without armor. Just like the unrealistic gaming picture, in today’s world it is necessary to fight any enemy to use up to date technology and methods of destruction.

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