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Introduction to Western Literature Review 3 Lysistrata by Aristophanes A chorus member tries to fool Lysistrata.

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction to Western Literature Review 3 Lysistrata by Aristophanes A chorus member tries to fool Lysistrata."— Presentation transcript:


2 Introduction to Western Literature Review 3

3 Lysistrata by Aristophanes A chorus member tries to fool Lysistrata

4 Lysistrata 1. Author: Aristophanes (c. 448- 380 B.C.)Aristophanes (c. 448- 380 B.C.) 2. The background of the play: Lysistrata - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Lysistrata - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 3. Plot summary: LysistrataLysistrata 4. Theme: anti-war

5 Lysistrata 5. Characters: Lysistrata (meaning dissolving armies): a director of the action in the play; also separated from the action of the play and the other women of the play because she does not participate in either the sex strike or the seizure of the Akropolis; showing no sexual desire, no obvious lovers or husbands, no flirting with men (that ’ s why she gain respect from the male character in the play); smarter, having more wit and more serious tone than the others (this contributing to her ability as a leader of Greece;

6 Lysistrata Lysistrata: therefore, however put, the idea that women could end a war was probably very silly and ridiculous to the Greek audience member; nevertheless Lysistrata ’ s rejection of the stereotypical domestic female allows her to take the stage and achieve a real political voice in a male-dominating state


8 Aeneid 1. The author:Virgil and The AeneidVirgil and The Aeneid 2. Background: The AeneidThe Aeneid 3. Plot summary: Plot Overview Plot Overview 4. Theme: the primacy of Fate; the sufferings of Wanderers (lost of identity); the glory of Rome

9 Aeneid 5. Character: Aeneas: respect Fate (pious Aeneas); compassion for the sufferings; committing to obey fate rather than indulge his feelings of genuine romantic love (personal desire v.s. civil obligation); a figure of order and control Dido: a figure of passion and volatility; representing the sacrifice Aeneas makes to pursue his duty; through Dido, Virgil affirms order, duty, and history at the expense of romantic love


11 Beowulf 1. The author and background: About Beowulf About Beowulf 2. The story: Short SummaryShort Summary 3. Theme: the importance of establishing identity (in terms of ancestral heritage and individual reputation); tensions between the heroic code (valuing strength, courage, and loyalty in warriors; hospitality, generosity, and political skill in kings; ceremoniousness in women; and good reputation in all people; retaliating rather than mourning) and other value systems (medieval Christianity);

12 Beowulf the differences between a good warrior and a good king: A good warrior: desiring personal glory A good king: seeking protection for his people Beowulf ’ s final battle with the dragon: rehashing the dichotomy between the duties of a heroic warrior and those of a heroic king

13 Beowulf 4. Character: Beowulf: 1. Young Beowulf: an unfettered warrior (a figure of strength, courage, loyalty, courtesy, and pride) 2. Old Beowulf: a reliable king, comporting himself as both a warrior and a king 3. In the final episode — the encounter with the dragon — the poet reflects further on how the responsibilities of a king, who must act for the good of the people and not just for his own glory, differ from those of the heroic warrior. In light of these meditations, Beowulf ’ s moral status becomes somewhat ambiguous at the poem ’ s end.

14 Beowulf Grendel: 1. A member of “ Cain ’ s clan ”, epitomizing resentment and malice; an outcast 2. Though having many animal attributes and a grotesque, monstrous appearance, Grendel seems to be guided by vaguely human emotions and impulses, and he shows more of an interior life than one might expect 3. Behind Grendel ’ s aggression against the Danes lies loneliness and jealousy.

15 Beowulf Wiglaf: 1. A reflection of the young Beowulf — a warrior who is strong, fearless, valiant, and loyal. 2. Representing the next generation of heroism and the future of the kingdom. His bravery and solid bearing provide the single glint of optimism in the final part of the story, which, for the most part, is dominated by a tone of despair at what the future holds. Just for fun: Illustrated BeowulfIllustrated Beowulf


17 The divine comedy 1. The author:Dante's BioDante's Bio 2. Inferno: inferno; Digital Dante: infernoinfernoDigital Dante: inferno 3. Purgatory: G:\purgatory.bmp; Digital DanteG:\purgatory.bmpDigital Dante ##Dante1.bmpDante1.bmp 4. Paradise:G:\paradise.gif; Digital DanteG:\paradise.gif Digital Dante 5. Theme and character: SparkNotes: InfernoSparkNotes: Inferno

18 Dante and Beatrice

19 Assignment 3 1. The name of Lysistrata means “ releaser of war, ” which typifies the aristophanic tendency for an “ outsider ” hero who indicates his or her function. Interestingly, there was an important priestess in Athens at that time whose name, Lysimache, meant “ releaser of the battle. ” However, it is impossible to say this significance of this possible coincidence. Think about the character of Lysistrata and how the audience might have viewed her. What figure in mythology or tragedy does she most resemble?

20 Assignment 3 2. How negatively does Aeneas ’ s abandonment of Dido reflect on his character? 3. What role does religion play in Beowulf? 4. In what sense is the Divine Comedy an epic?

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