Analysis: The Myth Of Tiresias

Wednesday, October 13, 2021 6:51:03 AM

Analysis: The Myth Of Tiresias



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Tiresias: the man, the woman, the myth, the legend

The play begins with a prologue by the young god Dionysus , who explains the complicated circumstances of his birth. His human mother, Semele , became pregnant by Zeus, king of the gods. At the moment of her death, however, Zeus saved the unborn Dionysus , hiding it from Hera by sewing the foetus up in his own thigh until it was ready to be born.

Meanwhile, Dionysus has travelled throughout Asia gathering a cult of female worshippers the Bacchae, or Bacchantes, of the title, who are the Chorus of the play , and has returned to his birthplace, Thebes, to take revenge on the ruling house of Cadmus for their refusal to worship him, and to vindicate his mother, Semele. Asa the play begins , Dionysus has driven the women of Thebes, including his aunts Agave, Autonoe and Ino, into an ecstatic frenzy, sending them dancing and hunting on Mount Cithaeron.

It is clear from his questions, however, that Pentheus himself is also deeply interested in the Dionysiac rites, and when the stranger refuses to reveal the rites fully to him, the frustrated Pentheus has him Dionysus locked up. A herdsman brings sensational reports from Mount Cithaeron that the Maenads are behaving especially strangely and performing incredible feats and miracles, and that the guards are unable to harm them with their weapons, while the women appear able to defeat them with only sticks. Pentheus is now even more eager to see the ecstatic women, and Dionysus wishing to humiliate and punish him convinces the king to dress as a female Maenad to avoid detection and go to the rites himself.

Another messenger then reports how the god took his vengeance a step further than just humiliation , helping Pentheus up to the top of a tree for a better view of the Maenads but then alerting the women to the snooper in their midst. Driven wild by this intrusion, the women tore the trapped Pentheus down and ripped his body apart, piece by piece. Cadmus remarks that the god has punished the family rightly but excessively. Dionysus finally appears in his true form , and sends Agave and her sisters into exile, the family now all but destroyed. Still not satisfied, though, Dionysus chastises the family one more time for their impiety and, in a final act of revenge, turns Cadmus and his wife Harmonia into snakes.

He devises a plan to overthrow the suitors with their help. In disguise as a beggar, Odysseus investigates his palace. The suitors and a few of his old servants generally treat him rudely as Odysseus sizes up the loyalty of Penelope and his other servants. Penelope, who notes the resemblance between the beggar and her presumably dead husband, proposes a contest: she will, at last, marry the suitor who can string Odysseus' great bow and shoot an arrow through a dozen axe heads. Only Odysseus can pull off the feat. Bow in hand, he shoots and kills the suitor Antinous and reveals his identity. With Telemachus, Eumaeus, and his goatherd Philoitios at his side, Odysseus leads the massacre of the suitors, aided only at the end by Athena.

Odysseus lovingly reunites with Penelope, his knowledge of their bed that he built the proof that overcomes her skepticism that he is an impostor. Outside of town, Odysseus visits his ailing father, Laertes, but an army of the suitors' relatives quickly finds them. With the encouragement of a disguised Athena, Laertes strikes down the ringleader, Antinous' father. Before the battle can progress any further, Athena, on command from Zeus, orders peace between the two sides.

The Question and Answer section for The Odyssey is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel. The Odyssey. There are so many details to consider. This story is full of details from beginning to end. Unfortunately, this is only a short answer space. From ancient to modern times the Chinese attitude toward people not Chinese in culture—"barbarians"—has commonly been one of contempt, sometimes tinged with fear It must be noted that, while the Chinese have disparaged barbarians, they have been singularly hospitable both to individuals and to groups that have adopted Chinese culture.

And at times they seem to have had a certain admiration, perhaps unwilling, for the rude force of these peoples or simpler customs. In a somewhat related example, Mencius believed that Confucian practices were universal and timeless, and thus followed by both Hua and Yi, " Shun was an Eastern barbarian; he was born in Chu Feng, moved to Fu Hsia, and died in Ming T'iao.

Their native places were over a thousand li apart, and there were a thousand years between them. Yet when they had their way in the Central Kingdoms, their actions matched like the two halves of a tally. The standards of the two sages, one earlier and one later, were identical. Yi countries are therefore virtuous places where people live long lives. This is why Confucius wanted to go to yi countries when the dao could not be realized in the central states. Some Chinese characters used to transcribe non-Chinese peoples were graphically pejorative ethnic slurs , in which the insult derived not from the Chinese word but from the character used to write it. For instance, the Written Chinese transcription of Yao "the Yao people ", who primarily live in the mountains of southwest China and Vietnam.

According to the archeologist William Meacham, it was only by the time of the late Shang dynasty that one can speak of " Chinese ," " Chinese culture ," or "Chinese civilization. The fundamental criterion of "Chinese-ness," anciently and throughout history, has been cultural. The Chinese have had a particular way of life, a particular complex of usages, sometimes characterized as li. Groups that conformed to this way of life were, generally speaking, considered Chinese. Those that turned away from it were considered to cease to be Chinese. It was the process of acculturation, transforming barbarians into Chinese, that created the great bulk of the Chinese people.

The barbarians of Western Chou times were, for the most part, future Chinese, or the ancestors of future Chinese. This is a fact of great importance. It is significant, however, that we almost never find any references in the early literature to physical differences between Chinese and barbarians. Insofar as we can tell, the distinction was purely cultural. Thought in ancient China was oriented towards the world, or tianxia , "all under heaven. It was believed that the barbarian could be culturally assimilated. In the Age of Great Peace, the barbarians would flow in and be transformed: the world would be one. According to the Pakistani academic M. Shahid Alam , "The centrality of culture, rather than race, in the Chinese world view had an important corollary.

The people of those five regions — the Middle states, and the [Rong], [Yi] and other wild tribes around them — had all their several natures, which they could not be made to alter. The tribes on the east were called [Yi]. They had their hair unbound, and tattooed their bodies. Some of them ate their food without its being cooked with fire. Those on the south were called Man. They tattooed their foreheads, and had their feet turned toward each other. Those on the west were called [Rong]. They had their hair unbound, and wore skins. Some of them did not eat grain-food. Those on the north were called [Di]. They wore skins of animals and birds, and dwelt in caves.

The shufan , or 'cooked barbarians', were tame and submissive. The consumption of raw food was regarded as an infallible sign of savagery that affected the physiological state of the barbarian. Some Warring States period texts record a belief that the respective natures of the Chinese and the barbarian were incompatible. Mencius, for instance, once stated: "I have heard of the Chinese converting barbarians to their ways, but not of their being converted to barbarian ways. Only the barbarian might eventually change by adopting Chinese ways. However, different thinkers and texts convey different opinions on this issue.

The prominent Tang Confucian Han Yu, for example, wrote in his essay Yuan Dao the following: "When Confucius wrote the Chunqiu , he said that if the feudal lords use Yi ritual, then they should be called Yi; If they use Chinese rituals, then they should be called Chinese. Hence, the historian John King Fairbank wrote, "the influence on China of the great fact of alien conquest under the Liao-Jin-Yuan dynasties is just beginning to be explored. At the same time, they also tried to retain their own indigenous culture. Similarly, according to Fudan University historian Yao Dali, even the supposedly "patriotic" hero Wen Tianxiang of the late Song and early Yuan period did not believe the Mongol rule to be illegitimate.

In fact, Wen was willing to live under Mongol rule as long as he was not forced to be a Yuan dynasty official, out of his loyalty to the Song dynasty. Yao explains that Wen chose to die in the end because he was forced to become a Yuan official. So, Wen chose death due to his loyalty to his dynasty, not because he viewed the Yuan court as a non-Chinese, illegitimate regime and therefore refused to live under their rule. Many Han Chinese writers did not celebrate the collapse of the Mongols and the return of the Han Chinese rule in the form of the Ming dynasty government at that time. Many Han Chinese actually chose not to serve in the new Ming court at all due to their loyalty to the Yuan.

Some Han Chinese also committed suicide on behalf of the Mongols as a proof of their loyalty. On a side note, one of his key advisors, Liu Ji, generally supported the idea that while the Chinese and the non-Chinese are different, they are actually equal. Liu was therefore arguing against the idea that the Chinese were and are superior to the "Yi. These things show that many times, pre-modern Chinese did view culture and sometimes politics rather than race and ethnicity as the dividing line between the Chinese and the non-Chinese.

In many cases, the non-Chinese could and did become the Chinese and vice versa, especially when there was a change in culture. Living in an unequal and often hostile world, it is tempting to project the utopian image of a racially harmonious world into a distant and obscure past. The politician, historian, and diplomat K. Wu analyzes the origin of the characters for the Yi , Man , Rong , Di , and Xia peoples and concludes that the "ancients formed these characters with only one purpose in mind—to describe the different ways of living each of these people pursued.

It carried the connotation of people ignorant of Chinese culture and, therefore, 'barbarians'. Christopher I. Beckwith makes the extraordinary claim that the name "barbarian" should only be used for Greek historical contexts, and is inapplicable for all other "peoples to whom it has been applied either historically or in modern times. The first problem is that, "it is impossible to translate the word barbarian into Chinese because the concept does not exist in Chinese," meaning a single "completely generic" loanword from Greek barbar-.

That is very definitely not the same thing as 'barbarian'. However, he purports, "The fact that the Chinese did not like foreigner Y and occasionally picked a transcriptional character with negative meaning in Chinese to write the sound of his ethnonym, is irrelevant. Beckwith's second problem is with linguists and lexicographers of Chinese. Even the works of well-known lexicographers such as Karlgren do this. Compare Karlgrlen's translations of the siyi "four barbarians":. The third problem involves Tang Dynasty usages of fan "foreigner" and lu "prisoner", neither of which meant "barbarian.

It meant simply 'foreign, foreigner' without any pejorative meaning. The linguist Robert Ramsey illustrates the pejorative connotations of fan. But that term has now been so systematically purged from the language that it is not to be found at least in that meaning even in large dictionaries, and all references to Mao's speech have excised the offending word and replaced it with a more elaborate locution, "Yao, Yi, and Yu. Beckwith says it means something like "those miscreants who should be locked up," therefore, "The word does not even mean 'foreigner' at all, let alone 'barbarian'.

Beckwith's "The Barbarians" epilogue provides many references, but overlooks H. Creel's "The Barbarians" chapter. Creel descriptively wrote, "Who, in fact, were the barbarians? The Chinese have no single term for them. But they were all the non-Chinese, just as for the Greeks the barbarians were all the non-Greeks. There is also no single native Chinese word for 'foreigner', no matter how pejorative," which meets his strict definition of "barbarian. In the Tang Dynasty houses of pleasure, where drinking games were common, small puppets in the aspect of Westerners, in a ridiculous state of drunkenness, were used in one popular permutation of the drinking game; so, in the form of blue-eyed, pointy nosed, and peak-capped barbarians, these puppets were manipulated in such a way as to occasionally fall down: then, whichever guest to whom the puppet pointed after falling was then obliged by honor to empty his cup of Chinese wine.

In Mesoamerica the Aztec civilization used the word " Chichimeca " to denominate a group of nomadic hunter-gatherer tribes that lived on the outskirts of the Triple Alliance 's Empire, in the north of Modern Mexico, and whom the Aztec people saw as primitive and uncivilized. One of the meanings attributed to the word "Chichimeca" is "dog people". The Incas of South America used the term "puruma auca" for all peoples living outside the rule of their empire see Promaucaes. European and American colonists frequently referred to Native Americans as "savages". The entry of "barbarians" into mercenary service in a metropole repeatedly occurred in history as a standard way in which peripheral peoples from and beyond frontier regions interact with imperial powers as part of a semi- foreign militarised proletariat.

Italians in the Renaissance often called anyone who lived outside of their country a barbarian. Spanish sea captain Francisco de Cuellar , who sailed with the Spanish Armada in , used the term 'savage' 'salvaje' to describe the Irish people. Bourgeois society stands at the crossroads, either transition to Socialism or regression into Barbarism. As things stand today capitalist civilization cannot continue; we must either move forward into socialism or fall back into barbarism. Luxemburg went on to explain what she meant by "Regression into Barbarism": "A look around us at this moment [i. This World War is a regression into Barbarism. The triumph of Imperialism leads to the annihilation of civilization. At first, this happens sporadically for the duration of a modern war, but then when the period of unlimited wars begins it progresses toward its inevitable consequences.

Today, we face the choice exactly as Friedrich Engels foresaw it a generation ago: either the triumph of Imperialism and the collapse of all civilization as in ancient Rome, depopulation, desolation, degeneration — a great cemetery. Or the victory of Socialism, that means the conscious active struggle of the International Proletariat against Imperialism and its method of war. Modern popular culture contains such fantasy barbarians as Conan the Barbarian. Howard 's "Conan" series, is set soon after the "Barbarian" protagonist had forcibly seized the turbulent kingdom of Aquilonia from King Numedides, whom he strangled upon his throne. The story is clearly slanted to imply that the kingdom greatly benefited by power passing from a decadent and tyrannical hereditary monarch to a strong and vigorous Barbarian usurper.

Primarily it signified such peoples as the Persians and Egyptians, whose languages were unintelligible to the Greeks, but it could also be used of Greeks who spoke in a different dialect and with a different accent Prejudice toward Greeks on the part of Greeks was not limited to those who lived on the fringes of the Greek world. The Boeotians, inhabitants of central Greece, whose credentials were impeccable, were routinely mocked for their stupidity and gluttony. Ethnicity is a fluid concept even at the best of times. When it suited their purposes, the Greeks also divided themselves into Ionians and Dorians.

The distinction was emphasized at the time of the Peloponnesian War, when the Ionian Athenians fought against the Dorian Spartans.

Essay About Vietnamese Food also veers dangerously close to this now and then. And I Must Scream : There are quite a few examples: Personal Narrative: Becoming Apart Of The National Guard inflicted this on anyone who made eye-contact with her. Essay About Vietnamese Food popular culture Irish Dancer Research Paper such fantasy barbarians as Conan the Barbarian.