Thursday, October 27, 2011

Man on the Moon


I was looking up the man on the moon, and this is all that I found when I Googled it. Apparently it is just a household tale that Dante alludes to. Cain apparently was forced to circle the world as the moon and see what he could not have due to his betrayal.

One medieval Christian tradition claims him as Cain, the Wanderer, forever doomed to circle the Earth. Dante's Inferno alludes to this:
"For now doth Cain with fork of thorns confine
On either hemisphere, touching the wave
Beneath the towers of Seville. Yesternight
The moon was round."

6 comments:

Shaina Lu said...

I think it is really interesting how today we use a lot of phrases and sayings without even stopping to think about them. It's almost like we take these sayings for granted without really appreciating their roots. However, it's really cool when you stumble upon something in the classic literature we have been reading and then start to question if that is the origin of these sayings.

Ravin S said...

I never even knew what the Man in the Moon phrase meant. I kinda just heard it. It is really weird that it comes from the bible with the Cain and Abel story. Everytime I think of the saying, I think of the DreamWorks Animation studios logo with the little kid sitting on the moon fishing...

christine said...

This kind of also links to popular music today. An example is kid cudi's "man on the moon". So much of our current trends are relatable to history and we're not even aware of it most of the time.

mere said...

Ha! Yes Christine I feel like the Kid Cudi reference is actually really relevant as Kid Cudi is such a "wanderer" or "loner" like Cain.

sara pendleton said...

It's funny to think that this is where this common expression comes from. It's also funny that it adds another pagan element to early christianity; it's almost like Cain is personified by the moon, like some kind of diety-like figure that perhaps glorifies him in a kind of mytic story rather than demonizes him by say, making him burn in the Inferno for example. I always thought the man in the moon meant that the craters formed some kind of face. As far as popular music goes "Man on the Moon" by REM is pretty awesome.

Ravin S said...
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