Friday, December 25, 2015

merry christmas


Saturday, December 12, 2015

How to get away with Murder

The show I'm currently obsessed with on Netflix is How to Get Away With Murder. (The show is about a lawyer who solves murder cases and it tells you what the person did wrong. This show does not actually just list ways on how to get away with murder.) While I was studying for my exams I took a break and watched an episode. I had just finished studying Hamlet for the day. All i kept thinking about was how perfect Claudius executed the murder of Hamlet Sr. He made it seem as if poison killed the king and made sure no witnesses were around, so he thought. Claudius got caught because of 3 things. 1) He had the motive: If there was any inkling of suspicion that Hamlet Sr's death was murder, his brother could be a very eligible candidate because of the crown. Claudius wanted to be king so bad that he killed his brother.  2) The wife: Every murderer likes to keep some sort of trophy from their victim. Claudius took his brother's wife. If he didn't want people to suspect him, he should have kept his distance from Gertrude, at least for a bit longer than only one month. 3) The witness: So obviously the one person who knew Claudius killed the king was the king himself. They didn't teach me how to deal with the dead coming back in How to Get Away with Murder, but they do teach you to get rid of all the evidence and witnesses are evidence.

The Globe Theatre

Over the summer I spent 10 days in London with my mom and my sisters. When we were there we visited the Globe Theatre. The theatre was built by Shakespeare's playing company in 1599. The theatre I went to was not the same one built by Shakespeare himself because the original was burnt down. While visiting the globe my family and i were actually able to see a play being performed. We watched Shakespeare's play Richard II. Honestly, I was still very jet lagged and could barely keep my eyes open, but I'm sure it was a great play. I brought this up because we read one of Shakespeare's plays, Hamlet. Hamlet was originally performed in the globe theatre. It was very interesting to see this magnificent theatre and read about all of the history.

Favorite reading so far this year

My favorite thing we read this semester was probably Hamlet. Shakespeare is one of my favorite poets/ play writes. I enjoyed Hamlet because I love revenge stories. I sympathized with Hamlet because I know I would want to kill my uncle if he killed my dad and then married my mom. The only part that really got to me about hamlet was his whole debate. I don't think that I would have that much hesitation with deciding wether or not to take revenge on my father's murderer. I will definitely be using Hamlet as one of my exam essays. I will probably focus on Hamlet's debate as the theme for my essay, I just need to find quotes.

Promiscuous Brownies

I was thinking about what we've recently discussed in class, and since we had a party on Friday I guess the last thing said was promiscuous brownies. SO.. in Candide, let's think of all of the promiscuous moments. Well, starting our action was Candide and Cunegonde's promiscuous actions after dinner. So if you think about it, all of the action in Candide was started from one single dirty/incestuous act. I find it really funny, because Ashley's promiscuous brownies were the perfect snack for a post Candide party. Other relations between our party brownies and Candide's plot include, Pangloss's experimental physics and the Baron's relations with the Jesuits. tehe i just wanted to have a post about those brownies.


As I was studying, I came across something we had talked about that I find interesting. St. Francis rejected dualism, both Cartesian and Platonic. (For a reminder, Cartesian dualism deals with body and soul and Platonic dualism deals with earthly vs. perfect forms like in the Allegory of the Cave.) To me, dualism kind of presents a barrier. For example, when Descartes said "I think therefore I am," he implied that one must consciously make the decision to act. I think this suggests a definite disconnect between mind and body. It makes sense that St. Francis rejected dualism when you really think about it. His whole thing was the fact that he was so connected with nature. He didn't believe that any plant or animal was less worthy than any human being. Unlike the Dominican order, St. Francis encouraged the Franciscan order to go out and live among normal people. He still wanted them to take vows of poverty, but he did not want them to be separate from the masses. There was no sense of dualism in his beliefs. He thought that all things and people should behave as one. He definitely believed this when it came to God, too. In one of Giotto's paintings, St. Francis is presented in front of the public, naked, reaching up towards God.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

TIME's Person of the Year

I was watching the news yesterday morning and there was a story about Time magazine's person of the year. This year's top nominees were: Angela Merkel (the Chancellor of Germany), Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi (leader of ISIS; former al-Qaeda mastermind), Black Lives Matter activists, transgender woman Caitlyn Jenner, Travis Kalanick (CEO and co-founder of Uber), Russian president Vladimir Putin, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

The most shocking candidate to me was Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. How could someone who has organized so much terror be named the person of the year...? But I thought about it and did some research. I actually found out that the criterion for this award is "the person or persons who most affected the news and our lives, for good or ill, and embodied what was important about the year." ISIS has definitely impacted the world for ill. The Islamic State (of Iraq and the Levant) "has risen from an Al-Qaeda franchise to a self-proclaimed state and one of the most potent threats in the Middle East." According to data collected by the New York Times, there have been 51 attacks directly linked to ISIS since September 2014. The data also showed more than 30 arrests before an attack was able to take place. So who knows how many more attacks would have been possible? Assuming the worst, if each of those 30 individuals had planned their own attack, that would be 81 attacks in 15 months. That's around 5.5 attacks each month, or more than 1 attack each week.

I though Merkel was a random candidate, and she only narrowly beat Al-Baghdadi. Certainly Jenner, Trump, BLM, and Al-Baghdadi would have caused controversy if they had been named. Interestingly enough, 736,000 people voted online who they thought should be TIME's person of the year, and the most popular answer was Al-Baghdadi. Now I know 736k is only .002% of the United State's population of 318.9 million, and not everyone would agree. At first I was surprised to see these results, but upon further consideration, I think Al-Baghdadi definitely deserves to be named the person of the year since he has impacted our whole country and other countries in so many ways.

I'm not saying Merkel isn't deserving of this honor because she has actually done a lot for the European nations out there, but I have a feeling Time magazine gave her this award as opposed to another candidate to avoid widespread backlash from the rest of the sensitive population.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

ISIS or Voltaire

ISIS is defined as the "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or simply Islamic State, is a Wahhabi/Salafi jihadist Islamic extremist militant group."  ISIS is known for their intent to change others' beliefs. Voltaire, based upon that essay prompt, is also trying to change people's beliefs. He was vying for people to see a more realistic approach rather than a philosophical one. I'm not saying Voltaire is a member of ISIS....but they have a lot in common....hmmm.... (just kidding) But really: both ISIS and Voltaire are trying to change the way people see things, except that ISIS is violent and Voltaire is not. :)

Monday, December 7, 2015


Having read Candide, I think my favorite part of the novel is when Candide shoots the lovers of two women. These lovers also just happen to be monkeys! I looked up this term and it is called "animal love," or more commonly bestiality, defined as "relating to recurrent intense sexual fantasies, urges, and sexual activities with non-human animals." Apparently, "zoophiles," want to make love to animals. This is very strange, since only a few animals have sex for pleasure - dolphins, humans, apes, and bats to name a few. I was appalled at the two girls actually being in love with animals, and the phenomenon "zoophilia" is actually a real concept shocks me even more. In many countries and certain states in the US, this is still considered legal. Read more at: and

Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Glass Is Half Empty

I can say Martin is my favorite character in Candide probably because I would say I'm mostly a pessimist like he is. Now, I don't go looking for the bad in things, but I think it's impossible to always try to look on the bright side of a situation because sometimes the circumstances are just shitty (excuse my language). The other day in class I said that pessimism is just as bad as optimism--and this is true. Constantly searching for good news is just as tiring as looking at the negative side of things. I'm not arguing that people should be pessimistic rather than optimistic, but I'm going to give my explanation of why I think being pessimistic is just a more realistic route. NOT TRYING TO OFFEND YOU OPTIMISTS OUT THERE.

If something good happens to a pessimist, he/she is like "Woah, that was great!" He/She wasn't expecting anything to happen, but because it did it was a bonus. And if something bad happens, he/she is like "Oh okay, well I had a feeling this was going to happen." With an optimist, if something great happens he/she is like "Awesome! Knew it was gonna work out like this!" Or if something not so great occurs, he/she is like "Noooooooo how could this happennnn:((("

What I'm about to say is probably going to lose some people in this discussion but try to bear with me (I even confused myself trying to put all of this into words)... The definition of pessimism is "a tendency to see the worst aspect of things or believe that the worst will happen." Though I identify as a pessimist and I do sometimes lose confidence in the world around me, I think too much negative thinking is annoying and I'm not promoting that. My pessimism comes out when I'm thinking realistically. Would this make me a pessimistic realist? (Is that even a thing?) For a real life example, I'm applying to specific universities I know for a fact I'm not gonna get in based on the fact that they don't accept students with test scores below a certain number. I'm just being real! I can't be positive about it and pretend that I'm going to get in because when I don't I would be sad. I definitely think positive thinking is a key to finding success, but you can be a pessimist and still do well in life, too.

I feel like pessimists get a bad rep--people think they're insidious or depressed. Maybe some of them are haha I don't know (no worries, I'm not), but to be honest they're just being rational. It is impossible to just ignore the bad news in the world and pretend like everything is perfect. Being an optimist might help one sleep better at night, but the truth is that there is bad in the world and it can't go unrecognized.

We were all annoyed with Candide (the optimist), but I don't recall anyone saying they didn't like Martin (the pessimist)! 🐸☕️

I'm expecting some heated rebuttals in the comment section...

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Hamlets Delay vs. overphilosophising

Throughout Candide, the characters in the story analyze how the events coincide with their personal philosophies rather than dealing with the situation and focusing on what to do next. Pangloss is constantly blowing things off as the best thing that could have happened as if it doesn't really affect him, instead of taking action to improve the circumstances - this reminded me a lot of Hamlet and the issue of Hamlet's delay- Hamlet would overthink all of his decisions until he talked himself out of them. The only real difference is that hamlet overthinks while Pangloss overphilosophises. I'm sure that both stories would have wrapped up a lot more quickly if those things were taken out of the stories. I think it's interesting that both stories deal with the human condition and how we deal with situations based on action versus thought and what is the perfect balance between the two?

From The Play

After watching the play based on Voltaire's Candide, almost everyone agreed that they weren't happy with the play's choice to make Candide and Cunegonde so dumb sounding. I found the choice to be funny because Candide is this dumb in the novella. First off Candide has fallen in love with a girl, Cunegonde, purely from looks, and he also wants to marry her. Next, Candide doesn't think through his actions, Candide runs around almost aimlessly to find Cunegonde around the world. He also doesn't think when he uses his money, instead of bargaining with Vanderdendur, he just shows his wealth from the beginning, making the price rise and eventually gets robed. Most of Candide's misfortunes are from him not using his brain and I feel that the play did a proper presentation of his character.

Friday, December 4, 2015





In the beginning, I felt bad for Candide because so many bad things would happen to him and he didn't deserve them. As the novella progressed, Candide became a little more deserving of his punishments (see my previous blog post for an example). At this point, I am completely over feeling bad for Candide. He's so annoying with all of his obsessing over Pangloss' theories, Cunegonde's love, optimism, etc. I'm not sure if Voltaire was trying to evoke this feeling from the reader or do the complete opposite. What do y'all think his intentions were?

Thursday, December 3, 2015


The play that we are watching is very different from the original Candide. While it's not necessarily a good or bad thing, I noticed some things that I would like to share:

1)  The play emphasizes the comedy in the story, and the more depressing elements (war, murder, torture, rape, etc.) are largely presented in a comical way and with all the dark aspects removed. The many downfalls of all the characters are also depicted as sorrowful rather than miserable.

2) Many of the characters are very different from Voltaire's characters (and certainly not what I expected). The Old Woman, for example, is not so old here and seduces many men along the heroes' journey. She is also very healthy and does not catch the plague.

3) The play doesn't seem to include Voltaire's bitter attacks on his contemporaries.

4) Since the play only has two hours to present the story, a lot of the transitional events (for example, the main characters' travels) are omitted or very quickly narrated.

What do you think?

The Road to El Dorado

The Road to El Dorado is a animated movie from 2000. It is about 2 friends who travel to find El Dorado, "the lost city of gold." Once they find the gold their plan is to get back to Spain as quickly as possible without getting hurt or killed and to live a life of luxury with their newly acquired wealth. (The link to the trailer: I remember watching this movie as a kid and wondering if El Dorado was a real place...not like a real city made of gold/utopia, but just a regular town that people fantasized about, or if it actually was magical like Atlantis. I had totally forgotten about this until we started reading Candide. Having another viewpoint of El Dorado, I want to go back and watch this Dreamworks animation to see if there are any underlying references to Candide! I love being able to make the connection between a animated movie and a classic work of literature.


The definition of satire is the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues. That's what google says any way. In class the other day we were trying to come up with common forms of satire and Scary Movie came up. I thought of another example that may not be as common. "Not Another Teen Movie" is one of my favorite movies from the early 2000s. This movie makes fun of the typical love story that's portrayed in literally every single teen movie. There is this jock and he tells his friends he will be prom king and his date would be queen, this is already very stereotypical if you can't tell, so his friends make a bet that he has to make any girl they choose the queen and if he can't then they win. So of course, the friends pick the nerdy girl with glasses and a ponytail. She takes her hair out of a ponytail, whips off her glasses, he realizes she's really beautiful and they fall in love. They take parts of every famous teen movie and makes fun of it, its a great movie but it is R soooo viewer discretion is advised. feel free to go watch the movie, or even the trailer is really funny and gives you an idea.

Candide's Misfortunes

I will not deny that almost everything goes wrong for Candide and that he has several unfortunate experiences. For example, in an effort to protect the two naked girls from the monkeys, he actually kills their lovers. Candide had good intentions--I don't think he should be blamed for not knowing the status of their relationship. But I can't feel pity for him when bad things happen to him as a result of him just being an idiot. Namely, when Candide "spoke at length of Cunegonde" to the abbe, the abbe asks if Candide has received charming letters from her. As Candide tells the abbe that she has not sent any letters, I don't understand how he is not suspicious of the letter that comes from Cunegonde the next day... Because up to this point they have never exchanged any correspondence... This made me angry. How does he not realize that the timing is almost too perfect? Does Cunegonde even know where Candide is?! How could he possibly think this letter is actually from her! I did not feel bad for Candide when he was set up. He kinda deserved it for being so stupid. He's also carrying around millions, so I think he should be more aware that greedy people will try to woo him and take his money.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Candide's Travels...A Modest Candide ?

As I was reading Candide last night, I got the vibe that I was reading Gulliver's Travels or A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift. Interestingly enough, Mrs. Quinet touched on this idea in class today when we were discussing Simplicius Simplicissimus. It makes sense that I would have thought of these two pieces of literature because they are works of satire like Candide. Satire, as we defined today, is "a type of writing that ridicules/critiques a human weakness, vice, or folly in order to bring about social reform." Satire, whether light-hearted or serious/scathing, was huge during the Enlightenment. The whole point of these authors writing about pressing issues was to bring the public's attention to them. I find their use of wit and humor to do this absolutely genius.

A Comparison

I know y'all just finished Hamlet, but I hope I'm not too too late with this.

Meeting Hamlet for the time, we see that he is sad and full of despair. His reaction to his father’s death is normal, but he struggles with it and also the marriage of his uncle and mother. Onika Miraj (Nicki Minaj was born in 1982 in Trinidad and Tobago. Her family struggled living in New York once they moved. She struggles with the mental diseases her father had. Basically, the father she knew died and was replaced by an emotionally unstable shell.

Onika Miraj created Cookie, her first alter ego, to escape the troubles and to understand her life and her father. Similarly, Hamlet continually questions his existence to understand his world.

The Harjuku Barbie, also known as Black Barbie and also known as Barbie, is Nicki Minaj’s famous alter ego that is fun and flirty. Barbie struggles to find love because sometimes she likes to act like she’s in love rather than actually be in love. Hamlet acts like he’s in love with Ophelia, true or not, but unlike Barbie he does it with a purpose. Ophelia plays a huge role in the Hamlet's emotional roller coaster. Hamlet tells Ophelia that he loved her once but then tells her to leave him. This scene establishes that Hamlet has become 'crazy' in love. (similarly, Nicki Minaj has a song titled so). Later, Hamlet says to Laertes that he loved Ophelia more than he ever did, but he also makes her feel bad when he pretends he doesn’t love her.

Hamlet becomes crazy when his father tells him the truth of his murder. The late Roman Zolanski is Nicki Minaj was most vocal alter ego. Zolanski has been described as a gay man from London, England, characterized as being far more outspoken and oftentimes more malicious than Nicki. He is considered crazy, but really this is due to the situations he’s been placed in. Hamlet ends up killing his Laertes after being poisoned by the tip of Laertes sword. Hamlet also kills his uncle. Hamlet is not a killer but his craziness has taken over due to the situations he has been placed in. Whether or not he is acting, he looses complete control of his sanity. Hamlet's emotions progress towards complete insanity and lead him to killling Polonius, Laertes and eventually Claudius.

Nicki Minaj has different egos and does not progress towards one. She bounces around her egos without much reason. There is no progression in her egos, only sporadic changes. Hamlet on the other hand has a much clearer progression.

Saturday, November 28, 2015


Right now, my mother and I have been caught in a marathon of the show on Netflix called "Reign." It centers around Mary queen of Scots and the drama surrounding her reign. Her husband, Francis, his mother is Catherine de Medici - of the Medici family we have heard so much about while studying the ninja turtle artists. In the show, the family is recognized as the funders of the art community, but they also use it as a secret organization of spies to know what's going on with the other royals. I found that extremely interesting and made me start to wonder if the artists we spoke of really knew all of the gossip of the different families and whether or not they were caught up in it or maybe even inspired by it. Another thing I thought of is that the show portrays king Henry as super mean and ends up going insane -I wonder if he was truly mad and if Catherine de Medici was truly as terrible as this show makes her out to be- the show has been a pretty good help for the history and people of power surrounding and inspiring these artists, but I wonder how much is accurate, and I hope that they will bring in one of the artists that we've spoken about.

Anybody else starting to feel bad for Candide?

So is anybody else picking up a series of unfortunate events kind of vibe from this story? While I was reading Candide, I started to feel bad for the guy. Though he had a incestuous incident with his cousin, it all seemed pretty innocent at the time. First he gets banished from the "greatest castle on the face of the earth" or something like that.then he gets taken in by those Bulgar people, Who with him like 4000 times, and almost gets excuted.  Then the poor dude finds out that his love (I know I t's really weird because it's his cousin, but he still loves this girl come on), gets brutally raped and disemboweled by the same people who flog him. Then he gets yelled at for begging to a guy who preaches charity, at some point I kinda just wished that Voltaire would cut the guy a break. We did meet James the Anabaptist which was a nice break to Candide's misery, but I have a feeling that these poor "effects" are still  on the way for Candide.

Incest in humanities: part 12,683

This year we've already seen evidence of incest in  works like One Hundred Years of Solitude, Oedipus, and I'm sure a few others that I'm forgetting. This year has had more stories containing incest than I have ever seen. Once again in Candide, we see evidence of incest… Again. for those of you who didn't read, Candide and his cousin, Cunégonde, have a little kissing sesh after dinner one night and get caught. This instance of incest sparks the rest of the satire's  plot. Without the relations between Cunégonde and Candide, his adventure outside of the Baron's castle would not have happened. Just wanted to point out this other instance of incest we will discuss come Monday.

More information on David, for all you Michelangelo buffs

The research that I did on Michelangelo's David sparked more interest in the piece that I had previously had. This is excess information that I had and couldn't fit into a brief presentation on my favorite piece of renaissance art. Like said before, David is a marble statue approximately 18 feet tall and six tons. It was completed and 1504 and placed in the public square outside of the Palazzo Della Singnoria, and later moved to an art gallery in Florence. Something that I really couldn't get into too in depth on during my presentation was the original project from the Florence Cathedral. The overseers of the office of the Cathedral wanted to build 12 large Old Testament sculptures that would stand on the buttresses of the cathedral. In1410, Donatello started the project with sculptures of Joshua, the biblical character. Other artists also contributed to the project, Agostino di Ducco completed a statue of Hercules, and began to work on the David. After cutting out the shape of a man, he passed the project to Antonio Rossellino. After Rossellino's time cutting the statue, the project as a whole was abandoned. Michelangelo resumed the statue of David, solely because no one wanted to see a giant piece of marble go to waste. The original idea for Florence Cathedral was something that I found very interesting and wasn't able to share during my presentation. I just wanted to give a little more background info rather than just reading off artist names who contributed.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Ham Sandwich Hamlet

I know I can't be the only one who thought of a ham every time I saw or read "Hamlet." It led me to think about Shakespeare and all the words he invented that we commonly use today. ("Ham" isn't one of those words.)
When I was little I would come up with some pretty stupid words and they, of course, did not stick around. I have to commend Shakespeare for his intelligence and influence--he came up with over 1700 words for the English language by "changing nouns to verbs, changing verbs to adjectives, connecting words never before used together, adding prefixes and suffixes, and devising words wholly original." Below is a list of some of the few words Shakespeare coined. I think he certainly transformed our language and expanded the scope of what could be accomplished through literature with his contributions.

Hamlet's Justification

I think that Hamlet has no blame at all for the deaths of Gertrude, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Claudius deliberately sends people to murder R&G (although it could have been a misinterpretation on the executioner's part), and Gertrude inadvertently drinks the poison that Claudius prepares in his evil plan to murder Hamlet. Hamlet's intention of killing Claudius could also be justified by the fact that Claudius tries to kill him throughout the whole story.

We can agree that Hamlet does not kill Claudius during his prayer at least partially for fear that Claudius might enjoy a good afterlife for his repentance. We should also notice that Hamlet contemplates life and death a lot, and does not know what anyone's afterlife would be like, or if there is an afterlife at all. At first, he fears that heaven could be real and Claudius might go there, and fears his own death because he does not know what will happen afterwards. But at the end, he is finally determined to carry our his revenge and is ready to face his own death, so he goes to the fencing match that Claudius hosts even though he is extremely suspicious of it.

Thursday, November 19, 2015


The whole play focuses a lot on the idea of repentance. Hamlet is very concerned with this whole concept, often making choices and judging situations based on whether or not someone has repented before death. Hamlet's father is in purgatory because he did not repent before he was murdered. Hamlet is angry at Claudius not only because he killed his father, but also because Claudius did not allow time for his father to repent. Hamlet also begs Gertrude to confess her sins. He seems worried about what will happen to her in the future. Also, he does not kill Claudius in the moment he sees him praying because he does not want to grant Claudius the favor of access to Heaven. As concerned as Hamlet is throughout the play about this whole idea of confessing, he doesn't seem to stick to that when it comes to his own death. He basically tells Horatio, "Whatever happens, happens. I don't really care if I live or die." This is kind of a spur of the moment decision because he does not sense his death coming until he actually arrives at the dual. He lies till the very end, telling Laertes that it was his "madness" that drove him to kill Polonius and claiming that he himself is a victim. If he would've followed through about his belief of the importance of repentance, I don't think he would have acted so hastily.

Hamlet and Gertrude

As we have pointed out, in the clip we watched from Hamlet the other day, Hamlet acts very aggressively towards Gertrude, and the clip even suggests some sexual undertones between the two. It's interesting to think about whether Hamlet is actually jealous about Gertrude and Claudius being together or whether he is genuinely upset. Personally, I think he's just upset. If my dad died just a few months ago and my mom was already remarried, I think I'd have the same feelings as Hamlet. Hamlet tries and tries to get Gertrude to acknowledge her sin because he actually cares about her (as in a mother/son relationship). He probably doesn't want her dying without repentance like his father did. He also tries to convince her at the end of the scene that he is not mad. We don't see Hamlet trying to convince anyone of else of this. Gertrude seems to be the only one Hamlet actually trusts with the truth (or at least part of it)... When the ghost appears he even tells her to look because his father is standing right in front of them. Remember that he asks his friends not to tell anyone about the ghost. So, overall, I think that while Hamlet is upset with his mother, he cares about her and doesn't want anything bad to happen to her.

A master key vs a crappy lock

"A key that can open up many locks is a master key, but a lock that can be opened by many keys is a crappy lock." 

This is quote is referring to men and women and the acceptance of gender norms. Men are the keys and women are the locks, obviously. I think it is so weird that in so many years nothing has changed. If one man sleeps with many women he is looked at as a hero, this is simply not the case for women. A woman who sleeps with many men is seen as a slut. This was the same in the Renaissance times. Women were expected to be virgins when they got married while men had no expectations at all. Why have double standards survived for so long? The fact that in the 21st century women are still expected to be virtuous and men still have no shame.

Odd Couple

Although I know most of you did not go see Odd Couple, but our discussion today reminded me of my character Florence. We talked today about how dependent women are on men for various reasons and how that has carried over into today. In the play, Florence wants to commit suicide because she broke up with her husband. It's crazy how she wants to throw her whole life away just because she lost her man. Imagine how it would have been for women of the Medieval times if that were to have happened to them. They would not be able to remarry because men only want virgins. They would be alone forever. On the other hand, Florence, although she thinks she will never find anyone else, ends up getting two hot spanish guys. Like seriously, quit whining you got a really good deal. However, Florence is also really broken up because she has two children with her husband and she explains that being a mother has been the best thing that has ever happened to her life. This reminded me how women were only worth something if they had children  in the Renaissance and Medieval periods. For Florence, she feels that her worth is gone now that she cant raise her kids in a normal setting, but for people of that time, they would actually not be accepted as a woman fit to be married to and would be tossed aside if they did not have children. So Basically, Florence acts as a modern example of the old Medieval standards and values for women, especially since Florence prides herself on cooking and cleaning and raising children, as would be the only tasks of those women during that period, The play even have a line that says "If only Florence was alive 200 years ago, she would be appreciated in that world."

If I Were a King

Today in class we were talking about how women in the Renaissance were thought to be less than men. We were talking about the queen's speech when she is talking to her army before the Spanish Armada. She says  It is crazy to think about the extremity of those times but if you think about it, times haven't changed that much. Beyonce came out with a song in 2008 called If I Were A Boy. The opening lyrics to her song are,

"If I were a boy even just for a dayI'd roll out of bed in the morningAnd throw on what I wanted and goDrink beer with the guysAnd chase after girlsI'd kick it with who I wantedAnd I'd never get confronted for it'Cause they stick up for me"

The first three lines of the song remind me of the primary source when it talks about all the women being "fluffed up" and the only thing they care about is putting rings on their fingers and parting their hair the correct way. And then the men just roll out of bed and they are ready for the day because they are concerned with more important things then their looks. The next few lines about chasing after girls and never getting confronted for it reminds me of the whole chastity issue with women. Men can just run around and sleep with who they want and no one says anything about it. But the SECOND people find out about a woman sleeping around it is the end of the world and they are no longer suitable for marriage. I just think it's strange that really nothing has changed.

Sexual Tension

I wondered if Renaissance actors would have acted out sexual tension between Hamlet and Gertrude. This might have been an element made up entirely by the director of the film we watched, but the play is certainly open for that interpretation. It would resemble the subject matter of incest (specifically with one's own mother) in Oedipus, which would make sense since the Renaissance involved a revival of classical arts and ideas. If so, do you think a 16th century audience would have been disgusted by that?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


I found the articles we looked at today in Humanities so interesting today. My favorite article was about Luther. I had never read that article before, and it surprised me that Martin Luther would have given such a strange tidbit of advice to a woman. He basically told his subject, "if your husband does not impregnate you, tell him that he has to give you consent to get impregnated by one of his brothers so that you preserve both your and his honor." I was so shocked at Luther saying this, because I feel as if this is almost deceitful; people would think that the child was the offspring of the husband and the wife, when in reality the child is the product of the wife and a third party (with consent by the husband...but still!) Knowing that everyone in class today found this article to be the most impressive, I wonder what the reaction was in Luther'a time.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Does Hamlet feel guilt for wanting to kill Claudius?

Near the end of the story, Hamlet is convinced that he must kill Claudius to revenge his father, although he may not know about Claudius' plans of killing him. He decides that a man must fight to the death for his honor, even if the reward is a straw. Do you think that Hamlet feels guilty at all for wanting to murder his uncle? I'm not saying that he should or shouldn't, but since he has such a sensitive conscience, do you think that he would?

To kill or not to kill...i guess

Hamlet questions suicide in his famous "to be or not to be" soliloquy. In the speech, he explains the fear of the unknown that keeps people from committing suicide. Because people are unaware of what is waiting on the other side, they do not follow through with the sinful act. It is their own cowardice that saves them. Hamlet also goes on to express his personal beliefs towards suicide and sin.
I like to think that Hamlet is relaying this cowardice and belief of sin towards his revenge against Claudius. His ultimate delay could be caused by the same kind of cowardice that he relates to suicide. I'm really not sure but this thought came up to be while reading. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Film adaptation of Hamlet

I am very pleased that we got to watch scenes of a movie version of Hamlet in class. I had not imagined how differently I would view the personalities of the characters as they were portrayed in the film and play. For example, Hamlet in the movie was much more comical and 10x more savage than I had thought he would be like when I had been reading the play. He actually seemed a lot more insane to me in the movie, too (meaning his "acting" didn't seem like much of an act). Also, when reading, I certainly did not expect the scene between Hamlet and Gertrude to be filled with so much sexual tension. It was entertaining to visualize the scenes as I was following along in the play. Because I was able to see the scene being acted out, I obtained a lot of new perspectives. The film brought the words to life (as it is supposed to do) and it affected me significantly. Interpretation can make or break the adaptation. It is up to the director and actors' discretion to determine how the scenes will go, and every one of their decisions influence the viewer. If the creator had decided to go in a different direction, it is interesting to think of how you might think of something.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Hambeth (Maclet)

Yesterday, I was helping one of my friends who goes to Rummel study for Macbeth. I had to review the story because Hamlet is obviously at the front of my brain. The similarities between Hamlet and Macbeth are very open. Macbeth and Hamlet both are somewhat power hungry, and kill people to get to the top. Macbeth is openly driven by greed, whereas Hamlet says he is going to kill Claudius to avenge his father's death (which just so happens to also put him in power). Both Hamlet and Macbeth also kill innocent bystanders along the way of rising to power. Both plays also heavily rely on ghosts to move the story along (Banquo in Macbeth, the spirit/possibly the dead king in Hamlet). I'm sure there are many other similarities between these two works of Shakespeare!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Hamlet's Delay

I completely understand the argument of Hamlet's delay. He seems to hesitate multiple times and make up many different excuses for why he hasn't killed Claudius yet throughout the play. However, I also feel as though the argument isn't entirely valid for multiple reasons. First of all, I would absolutely hesitate before killing someone. I'm pretty sure that most sane people would. But even more importantly, he legitimately attempts to kill Claudius but it ends up being Polonius. That fact was actually what made me ponder this whole argument in the first place. These critics are arguing that he keeps trying to hold off on killing Claudius but he full on stabbed a human thinking that it was Claudius. To me, it seems like he truly has intentions to kill Claudius, and actually attempts it, but also just has the nervous hesitation about killing a human... I just don't know if the whole argument is entirely necessary.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Shakespearean Conspiracy

As I was thinking about Hamlet, I was wondering whether Shakespeare really truly wrote all of the plays like everyone says he did. Now, there are a ton of conspiracy theories out there on good ole Bill Shakespeare. They range from him being a woman, to him being gay, to him being a group of people that wrote under the name William Shakespeare, to him stealing plays from other people and writing them down as his own. Then I thought about the last one, and decided it really is not too far from true. He technically did just recycle an old play, Amleth, instead of Hamlet. Here are two crazy interesting links on Shakespeare conspiracy theories in case anyone else is interested!,8599,1661619,00.html

Saturday, November 7, 2015


Here I am, at homecoming sitting at the front table in Saints Hall writing my 3rd post for the week (in the home stretch right now, we can do it!). I'm just writing what comes to mind about Hanlet. I currently have no idea where this post will go. So already in hamlet, I've seen a couple things that recurs through just about every work that we've read since freshman year. Just in the first few scenes we've already seen death, sex, religion, reputation, revenge, cowardice, and more. Hamlet is a typical work that we've read. We still have a long way to go to before this play ends ,and we'll probaly see lots of more significant points that we've seen before.  Frankly I just can't wait till we can get to "to be or not to be."

The Lion King pt. 2

Of course I have to write another Lion King post! The popularly accepted belief among internet users and Lion King fans is that the movie The Lion King is most similarly related to Hamlet the play. The most glaring similarity, I believe, is the relationship between the prince and the evil uncle. Both Scar and Claudius (the brothers of Mufasa and Hamlet Sr., respectively) were jealous of their brothers' power over the kingdom and killed them in order to acquire that power for themselves. Simba and Hamlet, the princes, are, therefore, both fatherless :( and Mufasa and Hamlet Sr. each appear to their sons in the form of ghosts. Both Simba and Hamlet have love interests--Simba develops a crush on Nala, while Hamlet develops a relationship with Ophelia.

Since we haven't read the whole play yet, I cannot write every similarity and difference there might be, but I will probably comment on this as we read further with updates!  

Fortuna fortibus favet

"Fortuna fortibus favet" was one of our verba sapienti's in Latin and it translates to "Fortune favors the brave/bold." Our discussion on Fortune's role inspired me to blog about this. Fortune was the Roman goddess of luck, chance, and of course, fortune. She might grind good fortune/luck but she might also bring bad fortune/luck. She is usually depicted holding a cornucopia, which indicates her ability to give the gift of prosperity. In other representations, she is holding a ship's rudder that symbolizes how she is able to control people's lives. She wears a blindfold to represent how sometimes she brings good luck to those who don't necessarily seem like they deserve it. One day someone could be really lucky and on top, and then the next day they could lose everything and be on the bottom. I thought that this verba sapienti was interesting because Fortune doesn't really favor any specific type of person. It is all random. Fortune works in mysterious ways and no one is prepared for what She might do next.


In class yesterday we were talking about Polonius's character. I think the general conclusion was that he was really concerned with his own reputation and gave his son some really cliche advice, implying that he may not care all that much. However, I kind of actually see him as a caring guy. He did give his son some really common advice, but honestly who's parents don't do that? I'm sure your parents have all told you to "follow your dreams," "study hard,"not drink and drive," etc. My parents always tell me that they give me all this common advice because they feel obligated and really care. So, I think the same kind of thing may be going on with Polonius. Also, he may actually be looking out for Ophelia when he tells her to stay away from Hamlet. He may change as we read more, but so far, Polonius doesn't seem like too bad of a guy to me.

Has anyone seen Ella Enchanted?

Ella Enchanted I have realized is very similar to Hamlet, but the movie does make Ophilias character the main focus. At the begging of the movie Elle has been given the gift of obedience, so she must do what everyone tell her to do, including the evils king wish to not love the prince and kill him instead. This evil king, the audience finds out in a flash back, has poised his brother, the former king, so that he could be the next ruller. Not to mention he has an accomplice that is a snake, which is similar to hamlet because the story told of how Hamlit Sir died was via snake bit. Back to Ella, sorry for the spoiler, but she is able to break free of her obedience spell in the end and marry the prince. I do not know if Ophilia will be able to go against her father and brothers word to not have relations with Hamlet yet but if the movie follows some of the courses of the play maybe Ophilia and Hamlet will be able to be together. 

Magical Realism in Hamlet

When thinking of the role of the ghost in Hamlet, I thought that the way the characters see a ghost as almost normal is very characteristic of magical realism. Like in One Hundred Years of Solitude (sorry for beating that dead horse), the characters accept magical things as a part of the universe. In Hamlet, this definitely has to do with the fact that the people in that setting believed in the Great Chain of Being, which contains magical elements (for example, natural disasters would occur when a king is killed.).

Friday, November 6, 2015


Ashley Bossier wrote this post.

Today in class we were talking about how no one thought to check Hamlet's dad's body for the snake bite. Then the topic of autopsies came out. So I googled autopsy and found some stuff out. The first autopsy was around 300 BC by Alexandrian physicians, they just kind of cut the body open to look at it. But it were the Greeks, in the late 2nd century AD, who actually looked at what caused the death of people. They looked at the symptoms and the signs of what killed the people. This was the foundation for all autopsies after.


Ashley Bossier wrote this

When everyone else read Hamlet last night, I read the first three scenes of Othello. I am going to let you all know what you missed. So the play starts out in Venice. It opens up with two men talking, Iago and Roderigo. All throughout the first scene they are talking about "the moor." The moor is actually Othello. Othello is a general in the army and is praised among everyone. Iago was supposed to be Othello's next lieutenant but Othello gave that position away to Cassio. When they finish talking they decide to go to Brabantio's house to jack him around. Roderigo is obsessed with Brabantio's daughter and wants to marry her. Little does anyone know that his daughter, Desdemona, recently ran away and married Othello. This upsets her father and Roderigo. Her father claims that Desdemona would not have married anyone unless they enchanted her, kind of like Hamlet's dad. So they all run down to find Othello and Brabantio tries to get him arrested for witchcraft. Well this doesn't work out because Othello needs to go off to war and he's bringing Desdemona. And that is how far I got in Othello.

Oedipus vs. Hamlet

After class today, I began comparing Hamlet to past pieces that we have read in Humanities. One previously read play that particularly stuck out to me as similar was Oedipus. Not the entire story line obviously, but the idea of incestuous relationships was a big factor of similarities. In Oedipus the King, Oedipus as we know, marries his mother unknowingly after killing his father, also unknowingly. However, although this relationship wasn't judged because they didn't know they were related, I still wonder why the remarriage wasn't judged. People made a huge deal about how fast Hamlet's mother got remarried, but I don't really think that the situation in Oedipus is much different, yet it was perfectly accepted, honored even. Not long after Oedipus killed the previous king of Thebes, he is crowned king for solving the riddle of the Sphinx and then marries his mother. Why wasn't she chastised for her speedy marriage?

It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia

Yesterday, when we discussed the incestuous relationship between Hamlet's mother and Claudius, it made me think of an episode of "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia" that I recently watched. Obviously, it is an extremely parodied version but it is a very similar situation to the one of Claudius and Gertrude. In this particular episode, Frank tells his two kids and their friends (in their 20's) that they are going to a barbecue. He actually takes them to their uncle's funeral where he proceeds to try to get with his ex-sister in law aka the kids' aunt. His motives for doing this are in a way, out of revenge. He says that since the aunt and her sister (Frank's ex-wive) hated each other and since Frank and the sister-in-law's husband hated each other, that they should get back at them. Although it is obviously a much more modern and ridiculous situation but I immediately thought of this episode during our discussion. In the episode, the dad tries to get with the aunt and in "Hamlet", the uncle tries to get with (and succeeds) Hamlet's mom.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Hotel California

Over the weekend, I was listening to music in my car and The Eagles' song "Hotel California" started playing. I immediately thought of the hotel-style of Hell of No Exit. The lyrics for the song are as follows:

On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair
Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air
Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light
My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim
I had to stop for the night
There she stood in the doorway;
I heard the mission bell
And I was thinking to myself,
"This could be Heaven or this could be Hell"
Then she lit up a candle and she showed me the way
There were voices down the corridor,
I thought I heard them say...
Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place (Such a lovely place)
Such a lovely face
Plenty of room at the Hotel California
Any time of year (Any time of year)
You can find it here
Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends
She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys she calls friends
How they dance in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat.
Some dance to remember, some dance to forget
So I called up the Captain,
"Please bring me my wine"
He said, "We haven't had that spirit here since nineteen sixty nine"
And still those voices are calling from far away,
Wake you up in the middle of the night
Just to hear them say...
Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place (Such a lovely place)
Such a lovely face
They livin' it up at the Hotel California
What a nice surprise (what a nice surprise)
Bring your alibis
Mirrors on the ceiling,
The pink champagne on ice
And she said "We are all just prisoners here, of our own device"
And in the master's chambers,
They gathered for the feast
They stab it with their steely knives,
But they just can't kill the beast
Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the door
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before
"Relax, " said the night man,
"We are programmed to receive.
You can check-out any time you like,
But you can never leave!

I thought of No Exit for the following reasons
- it is in a Hotel
- "This could be heaven or this could be hell"
- "you can never leave!"
- the protagonist of the song is fervently running for the door to try to escape
- everyone in the hotel is a "prisoner of their own device"
- can't kill people even with steel knives (you can't kill a dead person)
- they depend on alibis to keep themselves comfortable
- both have a woman who loves men and loves dancing and is very materialistic

Differences with No Exit:
- they can sleep in the Hotel California
- mirrors on the ceiling, whereas Hell has no mirrors
- can walk through the corridors and associate with other people

Saturday, October 31, 2015

My hell

i don't know about Sartre and Dante buy my hell would not be like Their's. When I picture hell all I think of is just burning everything and everything on fire. How did they think of their hells. I think about hell and the people there are the murderers. I don't think gluttony and sex are bad. But I guess in Dante time it was a crime. It really makes me think about how much times have changed in such a short amount of time. I mean back then if we wore short skirts we would have probably been in hell. -Ashley Bossier

Friday, October 30, 2015

Garcin's essence

In class we touched on Garcin's cowardice and how he did not leave the room when the door open. It seemed that the general agreement was that his cowardice kept him from leaving the room. However, I think it was Garcin's pride that kept him from leaving. This pride is his essence and Garcin is  obsessed with how others perceive   In his life he was remembered as a coward. His final moments on earth were spent cowering in fear and that is what he is remembered for. In No Exit, he has been recognized as a coward Estelle and Inez, I think that Garcin wants to leave that forsaken room, but knows that if he does he will forever be judged as a coward, even in hell.

No Sleep

I can't imagine not ever being able to sleep again. I know how it feels staying up all night and having to do something the next day and I certainly do not like it at all. Perhaps instead of the characters being each other's torturers, it is the feeling of drowsiness associated with not getting sleep that is the true evil. (Do Garcin, Estelle, and Inez even feel anything in Hell... Are they just souls like we read in Inferno?) Sleep provides a time period for the brain and body to rest and it also allows a means for momentary escape from society around us. The characters aren't even able to close their eyelids, so imagine going all of eternity without taking a break ever. The fact that they are trapped in a plain room without anything to do for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week adds to the hellish nature of their situation. They really and truly are in Hell.

Also, this is a picture of the set. It's very boring like I visualized it in my head. I can only imagine the endless possibilities of doing absolutely nothing in this room.

Jean-Paul Sartre

I've realized that Jean-Paul Sartre is really the first author that we've read and didn't receive a brief biography on. So I thought I think it upon myself to talk about Sartre's biography. He was born in Paris France in 1905 and died in 1980. He was known to be a French philosopher, novelist, playwright, political activist, and literary critic. He was also known as one of the leading figures in Marxism. We know that No Exit was set shortly after World War Two. Sartre no was influenced by the war a lot as he was drafted to the French army spent nine months as a prisoner of war in 1940.  That just some stuff i found and wanted to share.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Christian Existentialism

As we have learned, No Exit is not based off of Christianity like Dante's Inferno. Rather, it is based off of existentialism. This is interesting because it raises the question about what determines whether or not someone ends up in hell. I think that in God's eyes all of the three people in No Exit have committed sin (They mainly all commit lust, and I'm sure we could pinpoint a few others). So, maybe Sartre bases this aspect of his play of of the christian doctrine. I know Sartre is not a "Christian existentialist," but there apparently is a such thing. I think that some of the ideas of christian existentialism can apply to No Exit. Some of the beliefs are:

  • A person is autonomous and is fully free to make choices and fully responsible for them
  • Rational grounds for theology and divine revelation do not exist
  • True faith transcends rationalism and God’s commandments
  • The true God is not the God of philosophers or of rationalism
  • The destruction of wars throughout human history proves there cannot be rational understanding of God or humanity
  • A Christian must personally resolve within self the content of faith from being a myth or mystery to being realty or truth before they will allow an understanding and acceptance of salvation
  • It is impossible to discover personal Being and faith through rational reasoning.

I think the first bullet is definitely relevant. Inez, Garcin, and Estelle all make their own choices throughout life that eventually lead them to hell. They don't have to take responsibility for them until after death. (They still even deny some of their responsibilities through bad faith). Also, Christian existentialism places an emphasis on the need to rationalize everything in order to finally be able to believe in God. Even after these three characters are dead and in hell, they will not stop searching until they get all the answers-- what each of them has done, why they're all there, the future they must face, etc. So, even though this work is not meant to embody christian existentialism, I think it indirectly does a little bit. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

So this isn't really discussing any points or adding insight to our class discussion, but I found it funny and wanted to share. This is an expression of my confusion while reading the final cantos of Inferno. Dante's description of Satan really confused my. I must have zoned out while they wentthrough the secret pathway thing. I thought that Satan's legs extended all the way to earth's surface on the Southern Hemisohere and that Dante's escape was completely routed on his legs. SO her is Satan, who's torso sits in the bottom part of the ninth circle in hell and legs extend throughout half of the globe. this is how i pictured Satan
Notice the wings, small torso, and extremely long legs. This was literally the first thing I thought about while reading on sunday. Thought everyone would enjoy.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Why you always "lion..."

If you ask me, I think the animals Dante assigned to each of the 3 types of sin are mis-matched. Fraudulence involves deception or lying. Lion ("lyin") sounds very similar to "lying," so why does the Lion not go with fraudulence? Or, since one of his main goals is to combine Christian doctrines with classic traditions, why is the snake (or lizard @jaclyn) not the spokes-animal for fraudulence since the serpent in the Garden of Eden tricked Eve into eating the forbidden fruit? This is just another example of Dante not making very much sense. Unless I missed something, why did Dante choose these 3 specific wild beasts? Does it really make any difference if he used the she-wolf for violence and the leopard, incontinence? Feel free to share your ideas!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Murderers

So all this time while reading Dante I've wondered how violence is not punished to a greater extent. We've talked about the question many times-- "what do you think is the worst sin?" I've always thought it to be violence, more specifically murder, and have thought that it's wrong to punishe the fraudulent more than the murderers. However, I have just begun reading Canto 32 and the opening paragraph says, "In the outer region of the ice-lake are those who betrayed their kin in murder." I think it's right for these people to be im circle 9, but the way Dante makes it out to sound suggests that only the people who murdered their immediate kin are down here. So what happens to the people who kill randoms?? Do they go to circle 7 or circle 9?

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Billary Lewinsky

I was thinking of when Dante put politicians in his circles of hell and I was thinking about what modern political figures would be in hell. The first group of people who came to mind were Bill and Hillary Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. Bill would be in the lustful circle, obviously. Monica is a different story. Would she be lustful or would she have gone against her benefactor? Both sides could be argued, but I believe it is the latter. She sold out her boss for 10 seconds of fame. He was the one who hired her and she went against him. Monica is right down in Judecca with Judus himself inside Satan's Oval Office.
So I was looking up Dante's Inferno online to try to find something interesting to blog about. I kept coming across all these fire-y pictures of hell, as you would probably expect. There are many pictures I came across, though, that seem to have been inspired directly by Inferno. This work is probably the most in depth description we have of hell, so it makes sense, but I just think it's interesting to be able to visualize the connections between these modern day pictures of hell and Dante's Inferno. I've included a few pictures below and captions about what I think the pictures resemble from Dante.

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City of Dis

Image result for pictures of hell
Where the sinners get flung off the cliff into the pit

Image result for pictures of hell
Forest of the suicides

What is Dante Doing?!

I know we've said it a million times, but I really cannot get over how illogical Dante's perception of hell is. Yes, he puts himself above all other human beings and almost equates himself with God by assuming that all these various people are in hell and appointing each a specific reason as to why they're there. However, he also even sort of demeans God and questions his authority by suggesting that these people would even go to hell in the first place. Again, *there is no hell mentioned in the Bible.* So....

Why is Dante even assuming that God would send these people to hell?

What if God actually acts as merciful as he is described in the Bible, forgiving everyone's sins and accepting all into Heaven?

What do y'all think? Personally, Dante really annoys me by just assuming things and really trying to scare the people of his time when in reality, he has no idea if hell is even real!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Getting a bit carried away

When I was in class today I started writing my Inferno Proposal and I can see how fun it was for Dante to come up with these punishments. I am writing my paper on bad table manners because that is one of my biggest pet peeves. As I was writing I was getting annoyed by just thinking of the habits some people have. The more annoyed I became the easier it was to make up punishments for people with bad habits. When we first started reading Dante I was confused how he came up with these harsh punishments but as I was writing my proposal it was therapeutic thinking about what the punishments will be if someone chews with his or her mouth open. I also finally understand why Dante feels pity for only some people in Hell. I know Abbey is writing her paper on some people's poor fashion choices. I have no idea what her punishments are or anything but if I was the pilgrim strutting through hell and I saw poor KWinkler in Hell because he wears Cargo shorts I'm going to feel bad, but the second I see the people in my circle of Hell there will be no pity because they should have known better. I just thought it was interesting being in Dante's shoes for a bit.

satan was a freakin lizard

This is what I imagine Satan looking like as he tempted Adam and Eve. I know yesterday we went off on a tangent about whether or not Satan in the form of an animal was a snake with legs, which by default would make him a lizard/gecko/little-freaky-baby-dragon-looking-thing. Okay: so all throughout history, if artists all knew that this little animal had legs, why is he always depicted as a snake? I understand that he is referred to as "the serpent," but he doesn't lose his legs until after God has punished him for tempting Eve, and have to crawl on his belly for the rest of eternity. I'm not really a fan of snakes personally, just because they can be poisonous, but I think they are beautiful creatures. I seriously feel badly that throughout history everyone kinda hates on them! Lizards, however are the ones that deserve all the hate...most specifically, the Satanic Leaf-Tailed gecko.

Sex, unconventional sex, and rape

Yesterday in class I was shocked at the fact that marital rape was not considered a crime until relatively recently. I don't understand how just because two people are married, that does not mean that they are consenting to have sex at any point of any given day! A husband can most definitely rape his wife, just as Jose Arcadio Buendia raped Ursula. They were married, but Ursula was not comfortable having sex, so Jose forced her to do so. It's crazy that people who had unconventional sex, or even married "sanctified" sex for pleasure, would be sent into a circle of hell, but a man that rapes his own wife because he wants to have a child would not be punished at all. That man should AT LEAST be punished for lust, right?! I also think that Dante's punishment of lust is a little bit extreme, because it is human nature to lust. This may have been all accepted back then, but from the 21st century looking back, I find all of this insane.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Blacks vs. Whites

As soon as it was brought up that the Blacks and Whites were more like gangs and had defining characteristics, I immediately thought of the Bloods and Crips. I decided to do some research to find out the differences between both sets of gangs and how they identified themselves. However.... I literally could not find a single thing on the physical differences between Blacks and Whites :((( Sorry to disappoint!!

-identify with the color red
-common universal Blood tattoos: "MOB" (Member of Blood); three triangle burn marks ("dog paws"); 5 pointed star/crown
-rep the number 5
-capitalize all "B's" and "P's" in words (no matter where the B/P is in the word)
-all "C's" are crossed out or replaced with the letter B
-make the letter "T" an upside down pitchfork
-cross out all "6's" and "f's"
-wear their colors by sticking a red bandana in their right back pocket
-hand sign that spells out "blood"

-identify with the color blue (or black)
-common universal Crip tattoos: 6 pointed star/crown; 3 pointed crowns; "211" (B-2, K-11 = Blood Killa); pitchforks facing up; "MOB" (murder otha bloods)
-change the "B's" in words to the letter "C" or cross them out
-excessive use of the "C" in words (ex: back would be bacc)
-favor the number 6
-"I keep a blue flag hangin' out my backside, but only on the left side, yeah that's the Crip side"-Snoop Dogg
-hand sign of a "C"

You can see the colors and images are the same but reversed 
-supported the papacy

-opposed papal influence
-I read that the Whites got their name after Bianca Cancellieri, so the Blacks chose their name based on the Whites' name (black and white--a common dichotomy) 

The Bible and Inferno

Upon talking about the wrathful sinners and their punishment, it made me think of a Bible verse that I've heard a few times describing Hell. Dante's Inferno says that these souls were forced to constantly partake in a physical altercation. The book says that in this circle "They fought with each other, not with hands alone, but struck with head and chest and feet as well, with teeth they tore each other limb from limb," (Dante 1235-1236). I could definitely see how Dante pictured this imagery from the verse I am thinking of in the Bible. Matthew 13:41-42 says, "The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." You can also see the similarities of this verse to Dante's Inferno in the descriptions of the wailing and moaning throughout each of the circles along with the burning imagery that is seen in many of the punishments, as well.

Canto VII

On Friday, we talked about Canto VII and the idea of "Fortune" and the prodigal versus the miserly. The "vain wealth" that is used to describe Fortune reminded me of a song by one of my favorite bands, Walk the Moon. It's called "Spend Your $$$" and is basically about a girl who cares only about money and material things and that makes the guy completely disinterested in her. Canto VII seemed to be all about sins pertaining to money and surface materials. I find that these ideas relate directly to this song.  The link to the song is below. Feel free to let me know if y'all agree:)

Saturday, October 17, 2015

I don't understand why Dante organizes hell by specific circles. His interpretation forces these souls to one specific circle. However, if everyone commits multiple types of sins, why should they only be punished for one? For instance, if someone lived a gluttonous life, committed adultery, and killed themselves which circle with a belong to? Their sins would classify them to three separate circles. But according to Dante a person can only belong to one circle. I think Dante's interpretation of hell very subjective and requires a unique set of beliefs to be able to understand the punishment for one single type of sin. It really doesn't make sense to me.

Historical Figures in Hell

I found it interesting that Dante specifically put certain historical figures in Hell, and had a specific places that he felt were suitable for all of them. For example, the poets are in Limbo and their only punishment is that they will never be able to feel the presence of God. Filippo Argentinni, on the other hand, is in the fifth circle, which contains the wrathful and slothful. His punishment is getting torn appart by the other wrathful for eternity (obviously much worse). This is because Dante admires the poets (and thinks of himself as one of them) and despises Filippo. Although it doesn't have much of an effect on the readers today, at the time this was first written the readers would have probably been shocked by those Dante chose to put in Hell, and possibly even felt pity and fear as they would have had more of a personal connection with these people. I feel like this would have changed peoples perspective about Hell drastically for this time period because this was not only the first description of Hell itself, but a description of specific people who you could compare yourself to and wonder whether your sins would bring you to hell like theirs did.