Humanities 101: Cultural Traditions of the World
Norton World Masterpieces, Expanded Edition, Vol. 1
Shakespeare The Tempest Folger Edition
Writing: This course meets the requirements of a writing intensive course. The emphasis is on developing and supporting ideas about the texts rather than on the memorization of facts. There are weekly informal homework assignments, in-class short essays (open book) that count as your mid-term quiz, some quizzes to check on facts presented, and 3 formal essays.
Interpretive: Class discussion is important in exploring alternative interpretations to primary texts and practices the same type of analysis used in writing.
Cross-Cultural: This section compares the world views (beliefs, attitudes, traditions) of Asia (with a focus on China), and Europe (with a focus on Greece and England)
(Note: Other sections of Humanities 101 can focus on Africa, the Middle East, the Roman Empire, etc.)
25% Keeping up with reading assignments as demonstrated through homework and
through class discussion
25% Mid-term quizzes (in-class essays and mini-quizzes)
35% Three essays written at home
15% Final exam (open-book, essay questions)
Key Questions for the Course
How do different cultures develop values and beliefs?
How different are ancient Asian and European value systems?
How do literature, art and music express cultural values?
How do cultures change over time?
How do cultures influence one another?
What causes cultural conflict?
What makes life worth living?
Overview of course; discussion of goals using Cavafy's "Ithaca"; image of life as a
journey; introduction of question "what makes life worth living"; defining "culture"
Geographical overview in 1500 B.C. Why are Europe and Asia considered separate
continents? How did the Mediterranean and Central Asia compare in terms of
separating peoples in 1500? What trade routes existed between Egypt and Greece? How
did geography lead peoples to different work and different social organizations?
How can values such as individualism and cooperation be explained in terms of geography?
How does England resemble Greece geographically?
Introduction to Greek and Chinese worlds in c. 500 BC: Comparison of the lives of Socrates and Confucius.
Background of China --1500 B.C. Shang Dynasty. Bronze ritual vessels. Writing as divination and art. Values of utility and beauty.
Week 2 The Confucian world view
An "interdisciplinary" world view.
The roles of art, calligraphy, painting, writing poetry. The five classics:
The Book of Odes (Shi Jing), the I Ching (Yijing), The Analects
Discussion of the "Great Preface"; why do poetry and music exist? What did the
Confucian world find useful about collecting, analyzing, and memorizing poetry?
Discussion of one ode, "The Cypress Boat"
Learning to interpret a primary text: the problems of translation; the ambiguity of
words, China's interpretive traditions.
Discussion of "The Analects" What are the virtues of the "zhunzi"? Should every
person, regardless of employment or gender, be a "zhunzi"? What is Confucius's
method of teaching? What is the role of asking questions? Of dialogue? Why
are the Analects presented the way they are? How does the format encourage
interpretation? How is it similar to the Yijing? What are the goals of education?
Week 3 -4 Cultural Dialog and Change: Buddhism in Asia
Roots of Buddhism in India; The Life of Buddha as shown in Indian art;
Reincarnation; Conceptions of change, impermanence; attitudes toward desire.
The Silk Road. Trade routes around the Taklamahan and Gobi Deserts.
Buddhist Art in Dunhuang: How and why did it change in different centuries?
Boddhisatvas. When does Buddhist art show a connection to Greece and
Christianity? What connections did China make between Buddhism and Daoism?
Buddhism travels from China to Japan: 550 A.D. Primary texts: "Kukai and His Master" The Temple Complex of Horyuji; Pagodas; the Miroku Buddha as art.
The Tang Dynasty and Its Influence on Japan
Open exchange of ideas and people. Changan as capital city. The role of the
Emperor. The high status of women. Tang Dynasty paintings.
Great poetry: Du Fu (Tu Fu), Li Bo (Li Po), and Bo Ju-yi (Po Chu-I).
Du Fu: "Song of P'eng-ya,' "Moonlit Night" and others
Bo Ju-Yi: Autobiographical poems; "Song of the Lute"; "Song of Everlasting Sorrow";
Chinese music: "Song of the Lute"; Central Asian Music and the "Whirl"
The An Lu-shan Rebellion; The Case of Lady Yang, the Prized Consort
Later changes to guard against nepotism: the rise of standardized examinations,
the decline of the status of women with the decline of marriage alliances.
Quiz: Short-answer questions on China; closed-book.
Case study of the influence of China in Asia: Japan in the year 1000
Influences reflected in Murasaki's Tale of Genji; Chang-an and Kyoto; Marriage
Alliances. Yang Gui-Fei and Chapter One; "Song of the Lute" and "Akashi"
Formal Essay due: Defining Confucianism applying the term to Du Fu or Bo Ju-yi.
Week 5 Transition to Ancient Greek Culture
The Classic Age: Socrates and Plato. Excerpts from "The [Defense] of Socrates"
Role of dialog, asking questions, the Socratic Method, being a teacher, being a "curious person who searches into things"; attitude toward supernatural beings, afterlife, and dying; definition of philosophy, concept of "truths," freedom, individual; relation of inquiry into ethics and the social/political group; role of laws in society.
Mid-term test Part I: In-Class Open-book essay: Comparison of Confucius and Socrates; evaluating the importance of similarities as well as differences.
The Acropolis: What can we infer about Greek values from its architecture: The Parthenon. Attitude toward Athena and the Gods. Attitude toward the "rational"
Week 6. Greek Drama: Sophocles' Antigone
The debate between Creon (for order, law, and good of society) and Antigone (emotions for family, individual moral judgment)
Mid-term test Part II: In-Class Open-book essay: How would Confucius value Creon's and Antigone's points of view (he would not just back Creon!)
[Note: The following is not in chronological order because the Socrates/Confucius comparison makes the best transition. But it is also valuable to look at a culture at its height and then ask about its sources.)
Week 7 Greece in the larger world: Debate over Egypt's influence on Greek culture
Herodotus's attitude toward Egypt. Question of Egypt's connections to Mesopotamia and the African kingdom of Kush. Comparison of Egypt's system of family of gods and Greek system. Comparison of Egyptian and Greek statues of men and women. Attitudes
toward the human body and sexuality. Test case: Egyptian sphinx, Greek sphinx, and
the "winged creature" of Assyria. The problem of whether A causes B just because A is earlier than B (post hoc fallacy).
Greece and the larger world Part 2: Minoan Civilization (slide show of Crete and Santorini). Location of Troy, Mycenae, Ithaca. Introduction to Homer 800 B.C.
Reading from The Iliad. Book One. Comparison of Achilles and Agamemnon.
planning. Relation of human and divine. The city/state and "power";
Week 8 Selections from The Odyssey: Books I, VI and VII, X
Odysseus as ideal individual. Attitude toward women: Penelope, Nausikaa, Circe (the patient wife, the good but independent daughter, the sexual witch)
Formal Essay 2 due: Choice 1) "Black Athena Controversy" 2) Greek Concepts of women based on Antigone, Athena, Achilles mother, and women in the Odyssey. 3)Contrast Genji and Achilles as aristocratic, powerful heroes.
Transition: Greece and the larger world: Myths of Fall of Troy and Founding of Rome. Greek archetecture in Sicily. Introduction of Christianity into the Roman Empire.
Week 9 November 3 Trip to Metropolitan Art Museum, New York City
Week 10 Medieval Europe: Influences from China
Importation of silk and the destabilization of the Roman Empire. Introduction of paper into Italy 1154, introduction of gunpowder and use for weapons in Europe 1300, use of printing and moveable type 1450. Role of Arab-Moslem traders. Travels of Marco Polo between 1271 and 1295. Creation of Venice. St. Mark's Basilica and the Mosaics of Noah.
Medieval Europe Part II. The Cult of the Virgin Mary and the Great Cathedrals. Chartres. Medieval Mystery plays and the beginning of Drama: Stories of
Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah; Jesus and Judas.
Week 11 Chaucer and The Canterbury Tales
Discussion of Old, Middle and Modern English.The General Prologue: Social and moral hierarchy of the pilgrims. "The Nun's Priest's Tale" The Mock-Heroic, attitudes toward Greece and Rome; attitudes toward supernatural; attitudes toward medicine (comparable to Chinese views of the body). Relationships between men and women.
Week 12 Renaissance England
Connections: The Desire for Sea-Routes to India, China, and the Spice Islands. The desire for tea and porcelain in the 1600's. The British East India Company's monopoly on importation of tea from China until 1834. Sir Walter Raleigh, Queen Elizabeth, and the Spanish Armada. Religion in England: Henry the VIII and the Protestant Reformation. King James Bible: 1611.
Mini-quiz: Comparing Medieval and Renaissance England.
Week 13 Shakespeare The Tempest A Variety of Interpretations
1 Encounter with the "New World": The Foreign as Barbarian; Caliban as cannibal/slave, the island as Bermuda; 2) Prospero as scientist, attitudes towards technology as magic; 3) Prospero as Imagination; Ariel as Mind; Caliban as body.
Essay 3 due: Does art reveal different cultural value systems or is beauty "eternal and universal"? Choose 3 paintings or objects from China, Greece and Medieval
Europe and describe each one to explain what they reveal about their respective cultures.
Develop your own thesis to focus your answer to the main question.
Week 14. Milton and Paradise Lost
Influence of King James Bible: Genesis Creation;
Good compared to light; the concept of "evil" and Satan. Metaphors of darkness and
Evil. Attitude toward knowledge. Attitude toward "disobedience." The concept of the Rebel. Idea that Satan was Milton's hero but Milton didn't know it (Blake).
Making connections: Western Dichotomies compared to Chinese Yin/Yang and Xun meaning heart/mind/spirit. Ideals of harmony and ideals of Good fighting Evil. Attitudes toward women:Yang Gui-Fei, Circe, and Eve; the good wife Penelope, Mary, Miranda.
Week 15: Final exam.
Open -book essay exam: Comparing examples of influence:
Tang China and Heian Japan; Egypt and Ancient Greece; English Culture and the admiration for Greece and Rome. Change through trade and exchange of ideas.
Sources of conflict: Athens and Troy, Religious ideas of good and evil
Grading Policies and Related Issues
1. If you are absent from class, you are responsible for getting the homework assignment and any review for quizzes, etc. Please have the telephone number of someone else in the class or call me.
The syllabus says 20% of the grade is keeping up with reading assignments as
demonstrated through homework and through class discussion. Late papers, lateness to class, and absence from class affect this part of the grade. I do not mark down each paper, but factor in attendance and punctuality of assignments at the times of mid-term and final grades.
3. Late papers are still due. If they are not handed in, they are a "0" F grade.
4 The College's policy is that any student may miss 6 hours of class before being withdrawn from the class. Absence for any reason uses up these 6 hours, so save them for emergencies. If you are absent for more than 6 hours, your continuation in the class will depend on the work you have done, your reasons for absence, and whether you have kept in touch with me. You do not need to tell me the reasons for the first 6 hours of absence.
5. The essays written at home are 35% of the grade. These can be rewritten if
they are handed in on time. Hand in the original essay with my comments with a revision. Revising is an important part of the learning process in writing.
Plagiarism is the use of someone else's words without acknowledgment. These words can be another student's or from a written source including Internet. If sentences on two students' papers are the same, I will assume this is plagiarism. Plagiarized papers will receive an "F" grade and may result in an "F" for the course.
Homework assignments ordinarily receive "a check" as a grade; this is basically a B. I can explain how to revise a "C" (check-minus) grade to improve it to a B. Homework assignments that receive an "A" show independent thinking, originality, unusually well developed ideas, insight…..
To receive an "A" or a "B" for the class, much of your work has to receive the grade the first time, not on revision or in a make-up quiz.
If you have a disability that calls for extra support, you need to inform me early in the semester.
I reserve the right to make exceptions to policies to accommodate unforeseen circumstances.
Plan for Week 1 Humanities 101
Explanation of syllabus
Definition of culture & humanities
Identification of India, China, Korea and Japan
World Map p. 19 Working on assumption geography creates culture
What do Japan, Greece and England have in common? How might that give rise to a national identity? Each one is defined in contrast to a large empire, what are they?
Which one would have become a sea-faring people, traders and gatherer of stories first? Which one has the oldest recorded literature?
Why are Europe and Asia considered two continents? Should they be?
Why do European and so-called Asian races look superficially differently-what does it show about geography? When were geographical barriers overcome?
What cultural advances does Europe owe China from earliest times and when
do you think they were introduced? Which ones helped the early history of Philadelphia?
Silk-0 Roman Empire
Paper 1000 ad
Printing press 1450
Noodles 1400's (Why might noodles have been so important to Italian culture?)
Tea and Porcelain 1600's, 1700's (Why was England so eager to import heavy China
My guess as to why Confucius and Socrates were important philosophers at approximately the same time, with other things in common (importance of writing, education, teaching, secular learning,
Map of China
Find the following barriers: Taklamahan Desert, Gobi Desert, Tibetan Plateau,
Tianshan Mountains, Kun Lun Mountains, Himalayan.
Find the Yellow River and the Yangze ; know what Loess means
Find Xian, Beijing, Shanghai
Be able to explain the origins of Chinese writing
Be able to draw 4 characters
Look over pages on bronzes. Memorize five facts about what they show about
Chinese culture in the Shang Dynasty
Writing, belief in ancester worship (at least mother), importance of clans/fatechnology of Bronze itself, wine, cooking How can vessals ward off noxious fumes and cook without fire ---why do they seem magical? Early aesthetic appreciation of age. (patina) Leaders have been called "emperors" (English interpretation) since the dynasty before the Shang. Clans brought together by some leadership.
Introduction to Book of Odes
Ode-- if there is time.
Humanities 101 Essay Assignment Due October 6
This is a formal essay using the structure you have been taught in English 101. It should about 500 words in length, at least 5 paragraphs; the introduction should have a thesis with a controlling idea of your own.
Choose to write on either Bai Ju-Yi or Du Fu (these are the current spellings of their names).
Define what you think are the most important qualities of a junzi (exemplary person) using ideas from Confucius's Analects to define the term junzi. Choose three qualities. Then decide how well you think either Po Chu-I (pronounced Bai Ju-Yi) or Tu Fu (Du Fu) meets your criteria based on the poetry in the Norton Anthology. (Po Chu-I is from pages ; Du Fu is from .)
For next week you also have a mini-quiz and an in-class writing. See next sheet.
Review for Mini-quiz Memorize some facts!
What was going on in the Shang Dynasty? When was it? Why were there so many bronze vessels? How did writing begin?
When were the Odes (Book of Songs) written? Why were they valued?
What is the I-Ching? Why would a ritual like that last for 3000 years? What is the Yin-Yang symbol? What does it show about ancient Chinese values?
How did geography influence culture? What are the names of the two biggest rivers, the two biggest deserts, one mountain range.
When did Confucius live? The study of Confucian texts was strong in the Han and Tang dynasties. When were those dynasties? What is the significance of Chang-an (Xian)?
Where did Buddhism come from? Who was Buddha? What is the Silk Road? Why did Dunhuang become a center for Buddhist art? Why might there have been a conflict between Buddhism and Confucian leaders? When were the Mogao caves created? How and why did the statues change in appearance? What European took manuscripts and art back to an English museum? Why haven't the caves been created and extended for the last 1000 years? When did Buddhism come to Japan?
In-Class Writing October 6. You will have a question relating Po Chu-I's "Song of the Lute" to Murasaki's Akashi chapter from The Tale of Genji. This will be an open-book in-class writing assignment. Read Chapter 13 pp. 2159-2178.
The writing assignment will be 35 points of your mid-term, the mini-quiz will 15 points.
Humanities 101: Mini-quiz on China
Instructions: Books have been written about the following questions. This is a "mini-quiz" because you will only have a half-hour to answer. There are twelve terms listed below, five for the first question and seven for the second. Answer both questions, but you only have to identify/comment on a total of 8 terms.
Before Confucius, what do we know about the role of "ritual" (li) in ancient China? Confucianism seems practical and rational, but it seems to value the traditions of "rituals" practiced before Confucius's lifetime. Is there a conflict between Confucian rational advice and ancient Chinese rituals?
In your answer, I will be looking for concrete facts identifying and/or explaining the significance of the following:
Shang dynasty bronze vessels
Dates for the Shang dynasty and for Confucius
Origins of the writing system in divination
The Yin-Yang value system
Why did Dunhuang become a center for Buddhist art?
In your answer, include concrete facts identifying and/or explaining the following:
Some central Buddhist beliefs
The life of Buddha and where he lived
Geography surrounding Dunhuang and to the west of Dunhuang
The Silk Road
The Mogao caves
Dates for when Buddhist art began in the caves, when more caves were
created, and/or when the creation of new caves stopped and why
The art in the caves itself and what it represents
Mini Quiz on first Three weeks on China
36 points possible. 30 points = 100%, the other 6 points can be used for extra credit.
Between 300 and 1600 A.D. China influenced the cultures of both Europe and Japan.
6pts. a) What are three ways China influenced both Europe and Japan?
6pts. b) What are three ways China influenced Japan but did not seem to influence Europe?
8 pts. c) Say some obvious things about geography to explain why China influenced Japan more than Europe. (Why was the capital city Chang'an (Xian) closer to Japan rather than in Western China---be as specific as you can in answering and talk about deserts, mountains and rivers, etc.)
8 pts. When was the Shang Dynasty? What are three things we know about early China from the evidence of the bronzes (and/or from the oracle bones)?
3. Describe what Chang'an (Xian) was like in the time of Po Chu-i in the Tang Dynasty (When was that?) Base your answer from what you infer from his poetry and/or from the tape we saw.)
In-Class Writing Assignment-Write three paragraphs and a conclusion answering one of the following questions (or if you prefer write about both questions). I will grade each paragraph on your ability to support your main ideas with details from the poem and chapter. In your conclusion make some judgments about the values and/or writing style of the two works.
Compare Po Chu-I's poem "Song of the Lute" with the "Akashi Chapter" from Tale of Genji. The Japanese author Murasaki knew the Chinese poem because she refers to it, but she also was creative.
1. Compare Prince Genji with Po Chu-i as he presents himself in the poem "Song of the Lute." What do they have in common? Which one seems more sincere?
Compare the Akashi Lady (the daughter of the Old Monk) with the woman musician in "Song of the Lute." How do both works seem to agree about ideal feminine women? Does either character seem different from what you would have thought of as the (maybe stereotyped) East Asian idea of an attractive woman?
Humanities 101: In-Class Writing Assignment on Po Chu-I (Bai Ju-Yi)
And "Akashi" Chapter of Murasaki's Tale of Genji
One book written about The Tale of Genji is called The Splendor of Longing. Its thesis is that Japan's traditional culture valued the emotions and the sensitivity summed up in the concept of "longing." The idea is that material comforts are not enough to satisfy humans; we want for our spirit love and beauty. But the problem is that love and beauty are transient; they are dream-like, elusive and disappear.
It can be argued that the "Akashi" Chapter shows one way this attitude toward longing came to Japan from China. In the "Song of the Lute" Bai Ju-Yi expresses the ideas about longing that I described. We know the Japanese author Murasaki read "Song of the Lute" because she has a character, the old monk, refer to it in the "Akashi" Chapter.
What do you think about this valuing of "longing"? In your answer write paragraphs where you discuss both "Song of the Lute" and "Akashi" in terms of
of the following:
The role of women as objects of desire (is this just physical desire)
The role of music in evoking emotion and longing.
The role of exile, being isolated from society.
The romantic scene with references to wind, trees, night, water, the moon, etc.
How men are characterized - as artists, as people who cry. ..
In your conclusion say how you judge the poem and the chapter's values. Does one seem to you more sincere or convincing than the other?
Note on grading: For each paragraph I will be looking for a central idea and discussion of some details from both the Chinese poem and the Japanese "Akashi" chapter from the novel Tale of Genji.
Discussion questions related to Greek Classical Sculpture
Reading from Jansen's History of Art, pp. 102-105
Notes: Classical Period is from 480 B.C. to 400. The Persian War in 480-470 resulted in the destruction of the temples and statues on the Acropolis, the sacred hill above Athens. A new wave of art, replacing the earlier buildings and sculpture, seemed to have different characteristics. Late Classic art (from 400 to 330 and Alexander the Great) is said to be more "explosively energetic," more emotional and impulsive.
While Greek sculpture may have had its origins in Egyptian art, many art historians see the Classical style as very different in terms of being more life-like, animated. Artists seem to be working from human models rather than just repeating conventions they receive. These sculptures are still idealized; they are described as solemn, severe and harmonious, but there are artistic developments toward movement in the body. If these are the generalizations made, the question remains how to see this carried out in the sculptures.
How are sculptures ascribed to be real people different from those given labels of being gods?
In what ways are these statues not "mechanical and inflexible"?
Why do art historians make a lot of assymmetry, the reverse S-curve, and contrapposto?
(what do these terms mean?)
What is the significance of these statues being "free-standing"?
In the hand-out there are 5 male figures. How are they different from one another, beyond the clothing for the charioteer?
Are their expressions different from one another?
If you were to choose one to be Achilles, which one would it be? How would you want the statue to be different to capture Achilles' personality?
Could any of them be Agamemnon? Why or why not?
Why does the statue labelled Poseidon or Zeus seem that it is a chief god rather than a spear throwing warrior?
Essay on Chinese or Greek Art-Due November 10
At the Art Museum, choose two pieces of art from ancient China or Greece that you find attractive, beautiful, intriguing or interesting. ( It is a Chinese theory that a work of art should capture "chi" - the "cosmic spirit that vitalizes all things, that gives…movement to water, energy to man" (Sullivan p. 88). So pick two pieces where you feel the "chi.")
Classic Greek art is supposed to be "human" - not overpowering, awe-inspiring, static and stiff like Egyptian art. How true is this? Can art seem alive? Does Greek art really seem more "human" than any other culture's art? (Make up your own definition of what it means to be "human"-draw upon discussions in class of what Chinese or Greek culture has thought about this question.)
In your answer give a rich description of two pieces of Greek, Chinese or Roman art. In your conclusion, say which piece seems to you more fully human and why?
You might include the following:
Size Condition Material Shape Color Texture
For human figures, (or animals and monsters-these can sometimes seem more human than humans!)
Facial features-face, nose, ears, eyes, mouth etc.-How can we really tell something's expression?
Posture of a body
Activity-what seems to be happening
Clothing or other possessions
In a painting, relationship of a person to the environment around it, use of landscape features like mountains, lakes, moon, trees, clouds, etc.
If you go to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, look for the Chinese art from the Tang period of Bai Ju-Yi and Du Fu. When you see the glazed camel you know you are in the right room. Also consider describing Buddhas-these can be from either India, China, or Japan.
If you base this essay on the trip to New York, you get extra credit. If you base it on a trip to the Philadelphia Art Museum, you lose no credit. Your fall-back position is to get some art books in color.
Be creative in your descriptions-try using unusual metaphors and similies or other comparisons.
If you use a book, give its title and author. Always credit a source-including internet.
If you use post-cards from a museum to remind you of what objects look like, include them with your essay and I will return them.!
On November 17 there will be an in-class essay on Antigone, the assigned pages in the Iliad, and what we covered in class about Aristotle and Socrates. Open-book. You need to finish Antigone; we will discuss it Nov. 10.
In-Class Essay Open book, open notes
Choose one question. Be careful to answer each part of the question.
Western cultural values are sometimes seen as in opposition to one another, for example rational thought is seen as the opposite of irrational feeling and masculine as the opposite of feminine. To what extent do you think that logical rational thinking is identified with Greek culture with men and irrational feeling with women?
a. Back up your answer by discussing two women and two men from the following list from Greek epic poetry, from drama and from historical record (the defense of Socrates).
Antigone, Creon, Athena, Thetis, Achilles, Agamemnon, Socrates.
Discuss at least two specific passages for each character.
Aristotle says that tragedy is effective in evoking pity and fear in the audience. To what extent do you pity or fear the experience of Antigone, Creon and Achilles? Why could you? Which one best meets this criterion for being a tragic hero?
Discuss all three characters and for each one discuss at least two passages.
Explain which of the three characters seems most able to cause pity and fear.
In your conclusion speculate on why a culture would value literature that evokes these emotions.
Homework for Dec. 1
Read Book IX Paradise Lost starting p. 2883 with introduction to Milton.
Take notes on Satan/Serpent and on Eve. The actions of these two are supposed to be sources of evil in the world, but the poet Blake thought that Milton identified with them. Can you identify with their emotions and thoughts?
Essay due Dec. 8.
These questions can be made more precise next week, but here are three possible topics. The essay should discuss Book IX and make some comparisons with Greek and China.
What attitudes toward the body and sexuality are shown in Milton and how do these attitudes compare to Greek and Chinese attitudes? (For Greece and China you can refer to art as well as written texts.)
What is the attitude toward rebellion against hierarchy given in Milton? How does this compare to Greek attitudes and in Chinese attitudes? Discuss Satan, Eve, Antigone, Socrates and values of Confucius.
What is the attitude toward pride as shown in Milton? How does this compare with Chaucer, Greek attitudes as shown in the Iliad and Antigone and Chinese attitudes as shown in Confucius' Analects?
For December 8, you also need to read The Tempest.
The final December 15 will focus on The Tempest with questions that also make comparisons to material from the rest of the semester. On the other hand, the final will count no more than other major essays and the last in-class theme. We have done so much this semester, that we don't need the final as a major determiner of your final grade.
Renaissance because 1) reflecting whole globe, Africa and Caribbean particularly; 2) not apparently using Judeo-Christian worldview; does acknowledge Greek-Roman world; 3) hero is the poet who has imagination, not warrior or saint; 4) optimistic, moving toward synthesis and a new start. 5) knowledge a good thing not evil. 6) freedom a virtue
Discussion will try to explain above and at least 8 interpretations of Prospero:
1. God Ariel-- Angel, Caliban devil
2. Adam, first man, Ariel = Abel, Caliban=Cain
Magician - staff, cloak (common now for Merlin-comes from this?)
Scientist --knowledge coming from books (p. 105. Age of alchemy.)
Human psyche, ego. Ariel Air -mind, imagination, dream, creator of language, music
Caliban-earth, body, no language, carnal desire, id
5. Master --Ariel-indentured servent, overseer, house-servant
Caliban-slave for life, peasant, field-worker
6. European -- Ariel -- Indian, native to island
7. Artist, playwright, Shakespeare
Feminist viewpoint The above always male center of way of seeing. Can Miranda be these things? She is mainly # 4; needing to integrate rational mind and body. She does not liberate, create, enslave Ariel and Caliban, functions in relationship to Ferdinand.
What are the first descriptors of Prospero? P. 13 creator of tempest, by art, and father.
Subplot. Concerns Antonio. Who is he? Brother. Duke of Milan. Ally of? Alfonso and Sebastian, two other brothers. Also father of: Ferdinand. Why does Prospero what to bring all these guys to the island? Function of subplot? Humorous relief, foil to main plot-Sebastian trying to overthrow Alfonso as Antonio has overthrown Prospero and Caliban want to overthrow him. Assumption: primogeniture is morally correct.
When does this seem to take place. References to Jove and Neptune about only clue p. 27.
Where? Has to answer on two levels: 1) Bound home to Naples Mediterranean p. 29 Where from: Africa, from wedding of Claribel to King of Tunis p. 57 Who else from Africa: Sycorax thrown out of Algiers p. 31.
But also references to Caribbean -have to move to Caliban and what he is symbolically. Lots of puns. First of all, sounds like Caribbean. Refer to page 193, 1609 people on ship to Virginia wrecked in Bermuda-reference dragged in to Bermoothes p. 29.
1. Why was his mother thrown out of Algiers. Pregnant. What so bad about that? Who was the father? She's old, envious, angry. Why is she angry at Ariel?
Father-devil or African. She's blue-eyed (explained in text as rings under her eyes). P. 31.
2.Animal comparisons for Caliban: p.33 litter not human shape. 35 dam, tortoise
3.Devil comparisons -- p. 35 got by devil
4. References to painted Indian p. 79 paying to see a dead Indian
look at depth speech p. 37. Prospero has brought him wine and language. King originally of island, but not native to it.
Half-breed references: p. 99 half fish and half monster.
Caliban an anagram for Cannibal, Montaigne wrote Of Cannibals, meaning Native Americans, had some positive things to say
Also has Cain in the name. If Caliban is Cain who is Ariel? What is story of Cain and Abel? How does it apply here? Medieval dramas of Cain and Abel, Cain humorous in energetic protests, how does this apply here? How is Caliban similar to Miranda in this regard? What are some of the first things Mirands says? If Cain and Able, then who is Prospero? Why wouldn't Shakespeare make this a more explicitly Judeo-Christian story, set in a Judeo-Christian world? Note the mark of Cain is used in American literature to stand for half-breed (Jean Toomer's Cane, Faulker Light in August, etc.)
Why is this a racist stereotype? (wants to people the island with Calibans, 37, everything find (Eden) until puts the move on Prospero's daughter. Says by his race, he is slave (vile race, abhorred slave-Miranda p. 39)
Final question about Caliban, ban, ban Caliban get a new master make a new man-p.87. Prospero responsible for what he is, taught him to curse. 39. Nature/nurture controversy and Shakespeare uses those terms (p. 135 nurture on a born devil can never stick) But...
Notice Caliban speech on p. 107 -- Caliban given the most human speech. Is delighted with music, dreams, wants beauty. So is Prospero right? If he is not right in his evaluation of Caliban, then Shakespeare is undercutting, criticizing Prospero's attitude.
So: Ariel? What puns in name, Abel, Air (in comparison to Caliban's earth), Angel
p. 41 song first notice he is a poet, singer, musician. Second it's a riddle. Nothing is what it seems to be, but is it better or worse? Why do we need poetry? Theater? Why do we need fantasy of Merlins and sorcerers? Why do we now? Who is the father? (Prospero, god, Alfonso) Why drowned? Quoted in T.S. Eliot's "The Wasteland" What does the song do for Ferdinand (allay fears, same as does in Caliban's speech).
p. 149 Pospero planning to drown his book break staff and bury it in earth. Will abjure his magic. Why?
Examine speech 133 Revels now are ended. We are such stuff that dreams are made on.
Ariel leads to dreams, they console us, give life meaning.
Why is Ariel doing things for Prospero. Ariel wants his freedom. Play basically anti-slavery - Prospero at end frees Ariel and leaves Caliban. Page 169 Thought is free p. 107
O brave new world. Is this ironic? Why important to have marriage? What is attitude toward future? Toward desire? Ceres and Juno in harmony (earth and heaven?)
Playing chess (can hold her own against Ferdinand?)
Humanities 101 Fall 1999
Final Exam: Shakespeare's The Tempest in a cross-cultural context.
Directions: Answer two of the three Parts, Part A, B or C. In each part you will answer two main questions. That means you will end with 4 main questions. You must analyze words, lines, and passages in discussing your answers.
Part A. Answer two of the following three main questions. You do not have to answer all the subquestions, but I will be looking for discussion of specific words, lines and passages.
Analyze Caliban's speech on page 107 that starts "Be not afeard" lines 148-156 by answering two of the following:
Contrast Caliban's speech with what Miranda and Prospero say about Caliban on page 39 Act. 1 scene 2 lines 422-451. By giving Caliban this speech, does Shakespear show that Miranda and Prospero are right in their assumptions about Caliban's "nature" ?
Compare Caliban's speech (p.107) to Prospero's speech "Our revels now are ended, p. 133. What are both passages saying about dreams, theater and the importance of imagination?
Compare Caliban's p. 107 speech with two poems of Po Chu-I, "Madly Singing in the Mountain" and "Pruning Trees" (pages 1324 and 1325). Why is "mad singing" important to life? How could Ariel be like Po Chu-I when he is explaining his desire to madly sing? Can you interpret the "blue sky" and "green hills" at the end of "Pruning Trees" so these images relate to what Shakespeare seems to be saying about the importance of imagination?
Part B. Answer two of the following main questions. You do not need to answer all the subquestions, but they will help you find specific words, lines and passages to discuss.
Focus on Miranda's speech " O wonder! How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world that has such people in't!" (p. 159)
How ironic is this speech? Are the Europeans that come to her island really more civilized than Caliban? (Consider some of the following passages: What Trinculo says about English people (p. 77-78), Stephano as he presents himself in his speech p. 81, What Antonio is trying to get Sebastian to do p. 71-72.)
As Ferdinand and Miranda leave their "Garden of Eden" how are they likely to start a "brave new world"? (What do you think of their relationship (pages 91-97?) How is it different from the relationship of Adam and Eve that Milton shows in Paradise Lost? Why does Shakespeare showing them playing chess? Is Ferdinand "beauteous" in more than looks?)
3. Compare Prospero to Creon. What characteristics do they share? Why/how does Prospero help avoid tragedy in The Tempest? How is Prospero's attitude toward his brother Antonio different from Creon's attitude toward Polynices? How is Prospero's attitude toward the perspective marriage of Miranda and Ferdinand different from Creon's attitude toward the perspective marriage of Antigone and Haemon? How do these differences between Prospero and Creon show different values in Renaissance England of Shakespeare and Ancient Athens of Sophocles?
Directions: To get full credit for this assignment, you must write an hour or more in-class December 6. Those who are prepared for today and have taken notes on the readings should get credit for that preparation, and I want to see your work done under test conditions. But if you need more time, or want to develop your ideas and revise for extra credit, make a xerox copy of your work to take home and hand in your original. Since next week is Finals week, that is the last day to hand in revisions. This is an open-book, open-note assignment.
Comparing The Tempest with the Akashi Chapter of Tale of Genji.
Write one extended essay drawing from the following questions. Your answer will be judged on a clear thesis/introduction/conclusion and supporting paragraphs which must discuss passages from both The Tale of Genji and The Tempest.
Main Question: Do you see more similarities or differences between Tale of Genji and The Tempest? Do these stories show universal values that Eastern and Western cultures share, or do you think the cultural differences outweigh the similarities in themes and characters?
Supporting Paragraphs: Develop your answer by answering two of the following questions:
Choose 2 of the following. Discuss passages from each work in developing the answer to the Main Question.
Compare the two storms (Akashi pp. 2159-2162, Tempest Act I, Scene 1)? What is the point in describing the storms in this way? What is the symbolism of the storms? How are they perceived by the characters? How are the descriptions and language similar? Are there significant differences?
How is the old monk similar and different from Prospero in their backgrounds, motivations and attitudes toward the women who are their daughters?
How is Miranda similar and different from the Akashi Lady (the Monk's daughter) in her personality, upbringing, and actions?
How is Genji similar and different from Ferdinand? Is the ideal husband seen differently in the different cultures? How are they different in terms of how well the characters are developed?
How is music perceived similarly in the Akashi chapter and in The Tempest as a whole? (You need to think of the effect of Ariel's music on different characters.)
Extra credit-- answer these if you have time. Also if you find that one of your four answers is a lot shorter than the others, you may answer one additional main question if you have time.
Tale of Genji was not translated into English until the 1920's. Could the stories in it have been known to Renaissance England? What two routes could the stories have taken to get to England?
(Personally, I think this unlikely but the question is what is possible.)
To be handed out December 6, 2000. Notes to students involving class today December 6 and finals week. I am very sorry not to be teaching today; there was pressure I could not refuse to be in Washington next week reading grant proposals for the government! I will be checking my voice-mail (751-8668) and will find it particularly easy to call you back after Dec. 10 when I return to Philly.
1. For the first hour or a little longer, Professor Sharon Eiferman will be teachingThe Tempest. This will help you with what you write in the second half of the class.
2. Consider the essay today on Akashi/Tempest comparisons the first part of your final. It has a take-home component, allowing you to revise it at home if you are not fully prepared for today or just would like to improve upon what you can do in one and a half hours or so. You must hand at least a partial first draft today-you may make a copy downstairs.
3. Next week the second part of the final will be half the class period. You will have a choice of what question(s) to answer. This will be open-book.
To prepare you need to:
*** Finish Chaucer's `Nun's Priest's Tale" pp. 1947-1960. What is the moral of the story? What point is the narrator (the Nun's Priest) making at the end?
*** Review the introductory material to Chaucer, pages 1540-42 about the Middle Ages, and on Chaucer pages 1892-1895, on the "Nun's Priest's Tale" pp. 1897-98, and on Middle English page 1899. Middle English was spoken and written in England between 1066 when the French invaded, to 1492 and the invention of the printing press.
Look over the "General Prologue" to The Canterbury Tales pp. 1900 to1903 (I read some of that to you in class).
*** Review your notes on the characteristics of the Middle Ages. Why was this period in Europe (roughly from the 400's to 1400's) different from life before it? What changed after 1492 to begin the "Renaissance"? How was the Renaissance different? What in The Tempest makes you know it was written after 1492 (during the Renaissance)? If you missed the class two weeks ago when we talked about this, talk with a class-mate.
4.For one hour of finals day, I want us to have a discussion comparing East Asian, Greek and English Medieval and Renaissance cultures. To get a B or A in the course you must take part in this concluding session or be excused for a reason before the final day; just bring good will and a positive attitude to this discussion.
This discussion is important in drawing the course together and I would appreciate your insights and questions. Because you will write one question on Akashi/Tempest the week before, your written final will be half the length during finals. But we need to make cross-cultural comparisons together or some of the purpose of the entire course will be lost!
Humanities 101 Quiz on the Greek World
Closed- book No-Notes Section 30 points with some extra credit. --Use your lined paper.
8pts. 1. Here are five places in alphabetical order: Athens, Crete, Egypt, Mycenae
What is their order from south to north and what are the dates of the height of their civilizations based on archeological ruins we admire. Draw a little map.
10pts. 2. a. Describe life in the Minoan age when the Knossos palace was being used.
What is the myth/story that describes the end of the Minoan age?
5pts. 3. What are some details from the Parthenon that get copied in American architecture, for instance in Community College of Philadelphia's Mint building and the Philadelphia Art Museum. (What classical details of the Parthenon could you look for?)
7pts. 4.. a. Who wrote Antigone: b. Who wrote down what Socrates said.
c.When did these two men live and d. where
5pts. 5. a. When did the Trojan War take place?
When did Homer compose the Iliad?
What direction from Athens is Troy?
Humanities 101 Choose one. Write a 300-400 word essay.
American values of individualism are supposed to come from the Greeks. Compare Socrates and Antigone to describe these values. What three things do they have in common? How does the play Antigone show some problems with these values? Give some quotes to back up what you are saying.
How do we distinguish a great work of literature from a popular drama (such as one on television)? Aristotle's criteria for tragedy in the "Poetics" has helped to define what Western culture has admired in drama, and says the audience should "pity and fear" the characters. Do you "pity and fear" Creon and Antigone? Between Creon and Antigone, which one do you "pity and fear" the most? Give some quotes to back up what you are saying.
Final Exam-- Part II -- Open book
Choose one of the following questions:
The "Nun's Priest's Tale" is sometimes considered a "mock heroic" which means that it makes fun of the warrior ideals in epics such as The Iliad. Discuss three ways this story mocks heroes such as Achilles and Agamemnon. For each way quote and discuss some lines from Chaucer.
There are some popular ideas of the "Middle Ages" in American culture. What are three significant ways that the Middle Ages are described? For each of these three key characteristics, does Chaucer's "the Nun's Priest's Tale" seem medieval-does it meet your expectations? In what ways does it support stereotypes of the Middle Ages, and in what ways does it seem surprising to you? Support your ideas with direct references to Chaucer's story.
Sheet for Discussion for Final Day --- Humanities 101
What we have studied
Odes ("Cypress Boat")
Bai Ju-yi (Po Chu-I)
Background: Geography, Silk Road, Writing system, Shang Dynasty bronzes
Murasaki, author of Tale of Genji (Genji, Monk, Lady Akashi)
Art: Buddhist statues of Dunhuang and others.
Homer's Iliad (Achilles, Agamemnon, Thetis, Athena, Priam)
Plato's "The Apology of Socrates"
Aristotle-Definition of Tragedy
Sophocles' Antigone (Creon, Ismene, Antigone)
Background: Myths of Greek gods, Minoan Civilization, Influence from Egypt in art, Mycenae
Art: Parthenon, Classic statues
Medieval: Cycle play "Mactacio Abel" Killing of Abel
Chaucer, some of "Prologue," "Nun's Priest's Tale"
Background: Bible, Genesis: Cain and Abel
European Art: Venice and Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris
Renaissance: Shakespeare's The Tempest
Do all societies equally see differences between the ideals of the societies and the realities?
How different are the ideals?
Does East Asia value more conformity and concern about groups and less about
Individuals and self interest?
What are attitudes toward individual "pride"? Does that change over time?
Are there significant differences between Confucius and Genji (one country and 1500 years apart)?
What are the attitudes toward "questioning" and critical thinking? Is these Western values more than Eastern? Is self-doubt ever a value?
Do the East Asians ever seem to admire warriors and physical strength? Is there a change in Western ideology?
What are attitudes toward women in different cultures? Are women becoming more individualistic over time? Who is the most independent, creative woman we have seen? Is submission more an Eastern than a Western value? Which woman is the most idealized or admired? What qualities does she have? Which culture seems to think that "all people are created equal" the most?
How different are the realities?
Does any country at any time seem more "civilized" than another? What does the term mean? Which one seems most civilized? Where does life seem most pleasant?
Did everyday living get any better in the world between 1500 B.C. and 1600 B.C. as far as we could see? How much did we learn about poor people in any society?
Do you think we in America are any better off that the peoples we have seen described considering both rich and poor?