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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Lanval by Marie De France is a love story between Lanval and a Fairy Lover. Lanval, who was a knight that served in the court of King Arthur, did not receive any riches and land that the king was giving out. By not being the first born he would not be able to inherit any land neither. When feeling upset about about his social status as a “poor man” he meets a fairy and they fall in love and she gives him all the riches he desired. Later in the story Lanval denies the attempted seduction by the Queen Guinevere and she accuses him of having no desire for women. Lanval breaks his promise to his fairy lover when he is questioned by King Arthur about who his mistress is. He later reveals it is a fairy. Saddened by the fact he will never be with his love again Lanval becomes depressed. Two damsels tempted Lanval and he ultimately rejects them as well. This proves his loyalty and was also a test by his lover and she appears and she takes him to Avalon. Avalon, according to legend, was an island paradise which played a major part in the legend of king Arthur.
Both Medea and the Ramayana have different and similar views on feminism. Medea and Sita are strong willed women who both represent feminism. Although they might seem like polar opposites they share a lot of personality traits. Sita is a woman that is very much in love with her husband Rama, so much that when he is banished to the forrest for fourteen years she comes along. On the other hand there is Medea. It doesn’t look as if Medea loves Jason on the level of Sita and Rama but in reality she does. Why else would Medea be so hurt and filled with anger if she wasn’t madly in love?
Both stories always have themes of distrust. In the Ramayana, Rama is unsure if Sita stayed true to him when she was kidnapped and held captive by Ravana. If Rama would just realize how much Sita cared and loved him, he wouldhave no doubt that she did not do anything to damage their relationship. In the play Medea, of coarse the distrust occurs when Medea learns of Jason leaving her for the Princess. Medea had no reason to trust Jason after she finds out and truly takes revenge in the worst way possible. Both stories have similar themes of feminism and distrust even though they were written centuries and worlds apart.
Othello is one of William Shakespeare’s famous epic plays. Othello is a general who is in love with Desdemona who is the daughter of Brabanzio. Iago and Roderigo cries out to Brabanzio, telling him that Othello has stolen Desdemona away from Brabanzio and has married her secretly. Brabanzio is enraged and seeks to find Othello and tell him off. Othello soon caught, admits that him and Desdemona are madly in love together and that he has not stolen Desdemona away with witchcraft and the marriage was not one sided. Othello also brings up that Brabanzio treated Othello like a son before he knew about Othello’s relationship with Desdemona but once Brabanzio found out about their relationship, he has treated Othello with utter disrespect just because Othello was black. I found watching Othello a lot easier to understand than reading the text because the text itself is very complicated and watching the scenes as the characters talk are a lot easier to understand. I am able to see their emotions and watching their actions helps me comprehend the scene more clearly and vividly. Watching the scene where Brabanzio tries to accuse Othello for witchcraft stood out to me because Brabanzio did not treat Othello with disrespect before he found out Othello was married to his daughter. Brabanzio’s actions were only done because of Othello’s skin color. Brabanzio does not accept that fact that his daughter has married a black man which was very significant to me.