WEEK 12: MACBETH ACT II & III

Macbeth Acts II and III are quite significant because here we are, witnesses, to Duncan’s murder. It brings about the question of the role of women in this work of literature. We can see Lady’s MacBeth ambition and “greed”, you can say, showing through. However, just because she had the plan to devise a plan that would lead Macbeth to be put on the throne, I don’t think she’s responsible for the execution. Macbeth is partly to blame and he should be held accountable for his actions. He wanted to be king just as much as she wanted him to be king. However, he had a say in the whole situation and decided to follow through with the plan. Also, how are we going to have these double standards for women but not for men? The men are the head of households during this specific time period, so the blame should go on Macbeth for not shutting the whole situation down. In contrast, I believe that Macbeth had no say in the situation with the witches because they’re unnatural/supernatural beings and he really can’t do much to control that. The witches are pretty much playing around with their lives and future, leaving Macbeth to be left in the hands of the witches while trying to figure his own path. Lastly, although Lady Macbeth’s plan is deplorable, I praise her for it. She was doing the most to elevate her and her husband’s status so that they would have a nice life being king and queen. You go, girl!

WEEK 11: MACBETH ACT 1

Macbeth was my favorite book that I read in 10th grade for Humanities and I’m so excited to delve into a deeper conversation and understanding of the book in WHUM101. I vaguely remember the plot but it’s always good to reread a book that you thoroughly enjoyed reading in the past. Reading ACT I brought me back to how much I favored the witches. They were such controversial characters due to the fact they, being women, held powers over men in a particle society. This was a pivotal moment in my education because this book exposed me to women that challenged the submissive woman narrative in an academic environment. Obviously, I’ve read books that contained women that challenged the narrative and the stereotypes they need to follow such like The Hunger Games trilogy. People can interpret the witches as weak and comical, however, you can clearly see that they are the most powerful beings in Macbeth, in my opinion. They have the ability to play around with human life while also playing around with the fate of people, which honestly is quite terrifying.

WEEK 10: OEDIPUS

Oedipus was an amazing book/play to read and really intrigued me due to the Greek tragedy. I found it insane how Oedipus tried running away from the prophecy he faced in respect to his parent’s prophecy. Also, after learning in class “Sophism” we were open more to the fact to understand the concept of humans going against the will of the gods and rationally make their own decisions. Sure, fate vs. free will plays into big effect to us now in the modern age, but viewing the novel form a sophist point of view enhances the novel even more to the reader because you actively see how characters like Oedipus and Jacosta make rational decisions to run away from the prophecies told to them. Also, I feel bad for Oedipus because yes he is our hero that faces this tragedy, but like being a person who has bad luck, I can relate in the aspect of having a major unfortunate circumstance occur to me. I guess that’s why we, humans, are inclined to listen to tragedies because we can relate to them but also ponder on the fact tragedies can happen to us at any given second.

WEEK 9: THE ODYSSEY ; CHAPTERS 17 TO 24

The ending of The Odyssey was exactly just as expected however, it was still quite entertaining to read. We are subjected to the themes of nostos and kleos even more. Odysseus actually arrives back to Ithaca and meets his son, Telemachus! It was nice to see this encounter between them, being that Telemachus grew up with no father because of Odysseus leaving for the war and having trouble to come back. Kleos is especially prevalent when Penelope conducts the bow and quiver test to pick a suitor she will marry. No one is capable of putting the string to the bow, not even Telemachus, although he is close. Then Odysseus comes and complete’s Penelope’s task, revealing himself to her and the suitors before he kills them all. I believe that in that society, Odysseus did the rightful action of killing Penelope’s suitors because they were a threat to Odysseus, his family, and kleos. My favorite part of the ending was when Penelope still had doubt that Odysseus was Odysseus because who knows? It may just be a god in disguise and trying to woo over Penelope. So Penelope puts him to the test by telling a servant to move the bed and he essentially tells her that it’s unmovable because he made the bed. This act shows how much Penelope cares for Odysseus and how faithful she is to him. I thought it was a really sweet moment to include in the book.

WEEK 8: THE ODYSSEY ; CHAPTERS 1 TO 8

I’ve always really wanted to read The Odyssey, we were supposed to freshman year in high school. However, my English teacher at the time ended up getting fire. So I’m grateful that the opportunity arose to read it for World Humanities. Reading not even half  page, I was hooked on. I really appreciate the plot and began comparing it to the Bible. We see the dos here in a more humanistic light because we are able to see their interactions for one another. We also see how they directly intervene in human’s lives. In the Bible, God only had direct contact with Adam and Eve. What I mean by direct contact is how God would walk in the Garden of Eden with them. After the Disobedience of Man we can see he only speaks to them with his voice, dreams, angels, and Jesus. However, in The Odyssey we can see how Athena, a prime example, disguises herself into Mentes and Mentor. We can see here how much the gods care because they go to great lengths to interfere in human lives. This is especially visible when Athena disguises herself as Telemakhos to get him a ship and crew. Furthermore this shows, that gods help create a situation to help fix problems of man. This reminds me of church, where sometimes there would be prayers made to have God intervene for us in a situation. Through faith some people have gotten their responses, however has it ever been in such a manner presented in The Odyssey? I just like to think about the possibility of having a supreme being among us, working for the betterment of our lives.

WEEK 7: KJB MATTHEW ; CHAPTERS 9 TO 17

During these chapters, we can see Jesus’ journey being a hero of the Bible. He’s literally saving the world because he cures a leper, a paralytic, and a hemorrhaging woman. On top of that, he exorcizes demons and resurrects a dead girl. This adds a supernatural aspect to the Bible making it quite interesting from a literature point of view. Someone who reads literature would applaud it and hower not believe that it happens in reality. In my religious experience, I have not seen someone be brought back to life but I have seen people have demons cast out of them. Having grown up in the church, seeing exorcisms are not scary and almost normal to talk about. However, I wonder about what people, who have no religious context, would think about the exorcisms if they were to see it spontaneously happen before them. Quite frankly, I also want to see what my peers and classmates have to say about the supernatural element within this work of literature. Especially, since we do not have the same experiences they would question what I know and I have seen.

WEEK 6: KJB MATTHEW ; CHAPTERS 1 TO 8

When talking about the Bible, Jesus is the ultimate figure due to the fact he is God’s son and the carnal being of the Holy Trinity. I’m fascinated to see how Jesus is perceived through a literature lens because again all I’ve know the Bible as is a religious scripture that you base your life around. Within chapters 1 to 8 you can apply to the structure of what makes a hero a hero. The call, the journey, and the transformation. Jesus’ calling is when the Angel says to Joseph, “He shall save his people from their sins.” Secondly, his journey is the fact that Herod ordered the slaying of the infants, putting Jesus’ life in peril. Lastly, Jesus’ transformation is when he gets baptized by John the Baptist and also overcomes temptation. Jesus embodies all the heroic requirements which make him a hero in a literature point of view, which can also contribute to the reason people love him and worship him in real life. I know I used to or still do, who knows…

WEEK 5: KJB GENESIS ; CHAPTERS 12 TO 24

Growing up Christian I would always be exposed to the Bible, obviously. However, one individual that was always talked about and ingrained in my brain was Abraham. The Pastor’s would always call Abraham, “The Father of Faith”. They preached in admiration about his blind faith in God and His voice. They used him as a tool and make us believe that we should be like Abraham and not question God and be obedient. Looking from a literary perspective the fact that Abraham almost sacrificed his son, Isaac, is insane to think about because a higher being told him so. The pastors would tell us to look at that symbolism and believe in God to that extreme, obviously not sacrifice your children because of a voice in your head. It’s insane to me to look now from an outsiders perspective into the church how they utilize characters and stories in order to move on their agenda/religious enlightenment. Also, reflecting on my own personal experience with faith, it’s saddening that I was not able to follow in the footsteps of Abraham because that was what was expected of me. However, I cannot live my life based on what others want me to believe in and do. I can get to choose what I believe in and live my life the way I want. In conclusion, I’m grateful for this class because it has exposed me to a different way of thinking and that there are multiple ways to live your life based on something else. Although we only have read the Rig Veda and the Bible, I can say I truly enjoy WHUM and the concepts it introduces me to about life, regardless if it is a literature class.

WEEK 4: KJB GENESIS ; CHAPTERS 4 TO 11

In Genesis chapter 1 we can see God’s care and favor in man because he gives man “dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” However, as mankind’s story progresses we see how God begins to turn his back on them. First, he kicks Adam and Eve out of Eden. The, after witnessing Cain’s murder against his very own brother, God curses Cain. We can even see Cain’s boldness in the way he responds to God by replying to him in such a manner as if God was not God. Chapter 4, verse 9 it says, “…Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?” Here it shows the attitude that mankind has towards God, showing no respect. That being said, Cain’s act in killing Abel show’s the wickedness of humanity because Cain killed his own brother, his very own family, essentially showing no love towards thy brother. Later on, in the book of Genesis, God is essentially fed up with all of his creations and decides to eliminate all of them. However, he has an exception with Noah and then decides to let him takes his family along with 1 pair of each animal. After the construction of the ark, God sends out a massive flood wiping out anything that was not on Noah’s ark. This is significant because it shows that God does have mercy due to the fact that he let some creations live. However, it also shows his wrath because he killed everything else. Lastly, we can see in Chapter 11 how humanity cares about themselves because of the Tower of Babel symbolism. It was made to show great architectural feat and also to be convenient for man to be with one another. However, it shows their disobedience because God wanted them to disperse throughout the Earth but instead, they create this tower for their purposes. I find it interesting how humanity wants to do their own thing but God wants them to do something else but humanity refuses and rebels. Keep in mind that man was made to be of God’s image…

 

WEEK 3: KJB: GENESIS; CHAPTERS 1 TO 3

Growing up, I never really viewed the Bible as a piece of literature. I always viewed it as a holy scripture that was never to be questioned in any manner because that was and is considered “blasphemy”. However, looking at it through a new lens will make me consider new ideas and different perspectives which I find important since I’m on a journey to figure out my identity and where I stand with religion. Referring back to looking at the Bible as a piece of literature, there were so many instances where I picked up on things that I never realized while sitting in church. For example, in Genesis 1, verse 14 it says, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” What calls my attention is the word “us”, like who is us referring to? God and who? His spirit? His son? Are there other Gods that come in to question? Clearly not because Christianity is a monotheistic religion, however, it does raise a lot of questions. Another prime example is in Chapter 3 of Genesis where Eve was deceived by the serpent to eat fruit that God forbid them to eat but was not man created to be of God’s image? Back in Chapter one, it says, “Let us make man in our image after our likeness” So if man and woman were impressionable, does that make God impressionable too? All I just want to say is that it’s just fascinating personally to see these instances where you can speculate and question what the writer(s) actually intended. This is important especially when you question everything that you were raised with, go against it in some instances, and try to figure out where you stand with religion, Christianity is my case.

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