Lectures 1, 2, Optional Friday Forum-Week 1- Humanities Core Lecture
Lectures 1, 2, Optional Friday Forum-Week 1- Humanities Core Lecture Human 1A
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This 10 page Class Notes was uploaded by Nha-Thinh Nguyen on Saturday October 3, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to Human 1A at University of California - Irvine taught by BURKE, C. in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 83 views. For similar materials see HUMANITIES CORE LEC in Anatomy at University of California - Irvine.
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Date Created: 10/03/15
NhaThinh Nguyen Humanities Core Lecture 09282015 Week 1 Lecture 1 The Iliad and the Meaning of the Humanities o The Iliad first told in approximately 8th century BCE o poem by Homer 0 oldest work of western literature although not the oldest work in the history of human existence 0 considered as the foundationretelling of the quotwestern civilization one of the FOUNDING texts of western civilization I gives us insight into their ancient culture 0 translated and shaped from the ancient dead language Homeric Greek I language poetic has been shaped according to abstract nonsemantic form I estranged language not necessarily read heard for dialogueinformation 0 genre epic derived from quoteposquot wordsong I long narrative poem of heroic actions I elevated language 0 poetry makes language into a form above just a presentation of information I foundational significance for the culture 0 was first sung before written I origins oral culture 0 the beauty of the poetic dactylic pattern is lost in translation Marks of poetic intensity Dactylic hexameter 6 units uu uu uu mu m u ParryLord Hypothesis 0 There was no given text and each performance was improvised composition is for the audience quotspeed and artistry matter 0 repetition of the techniques scenes and themes 0 the performances were geared toward their audience since they knew the traditions of the time Evidence that this poem was originally spoken rather than written adjectives used to describe certain characters or scenes were often used repeatedly o Antithetical to our want to describe the same thing using different words I For instance Achilles is described as the son of Peleus swiftfooted lion hearted He is not always swiftfooted but this description describes not what he is doing but rather his personality Achilles when needed us fully capable of being quotswiftfooted Iliad was eventually WRITTENtranslated NhaThinh Nguyen Humanities Core Lecture 09282015 0 the story was changed many times as different scribes throughout the centuries began to translate it many many times it has been translatedchanged 0 there is no way of finding the absolute original story Timeline of ancient Greece 0 Mycenaean Period 16001100 BCE Heroic Age 0 Dark Period 1100700 BCE The Iliad o Archaic Period 700480 BCE 0 Classical Period 480336 BCE o Hellenistic Period 336146 BCE roman invasion of Greece Through what itemsdiscoveries today do we examine the ancient civilization 0 Nestor s cup as is mentioned in The Iliad and what replicated by the ancient Greeks 0 Troy excavation site 0 9 cities built on top the each other s ruins subsequently creating an artificial hill 0 scientists belief 6th or 7th city is from the time of The Iliad o excavated in 1870 Hissarlik Turkey Homer s stories fiction 0 brings up the possibility of the Homer himself being nothing more than fiction 0 his existence is sometimes doubted Homer 0 maybe lived around 800 BCE o quotMythographically blind Forms of difficulty 0 Practicalformal establishmentaccess of the text 0 quotWhat is The Iliad o Contextgeneric reference of text 0 quotWhenwhat is The Iliad about 0 Theoreticalconceptual understanding the ancient mentality of the people 0 quotWhowhat are these people their mentalitytheir reactions of events and how could they differ from our reactions today Issue with exploring the mentality of those from ancient times 0 quotthose who cannot remember the past might repeat it vs quotthe past in terms of the people s reactions is different from today HOW CAN WE UNDERSTAND THE PAST EVENTS THROUGH THE EYES MENTALITY OF THOSE FROM THE PAST o The people s reaction before iscan be greatly different from how people today react to certain situations NhaThinh Nguyen Humanities Core Lecture 09282015 Reason as to why the course begins with a reading of The Iliad o The Iliad tells of a story of mortals and how they react to the war which surrounds them 0 it gives us and insight into their culturebeliefs on certain topics and into the minds of the people themselves I such as how they reactwhat do they believe One very big issueoccurrence in the Iliad DEATH 0 shows us the intention of war is to cause deathdestruction of opponents territories For instance 0 Achilles knows that he will die soon after he himself kills Hector 0 How does he understanddeal with death I His ability to acceptdeny this quotfact his quotfatequot gives us insight into how humanity in ancient times dealt with this inevitable issue Forms of quoteasequot how The Iliad gives us insight into the topic of death 0 existential people are just here on the earth for a limited time o for example quotLike the generations of leaves the lives of mortal men 0 civilizational people individuals are seenconsidered as a group they form civilizationsgovernments what the majority wants 0 social psychological what individuals have within themselves that motivate them to react in certain ways The Iliad the poem of FORCE 0 Force something that turns a person into a thing while the person is still alive 0 that person loses the ability to act freely o the man who possesses the force to turn another into a thing becomes intoxicated by this power 0 the person who is turned into a thing is quotcrushedquot by it 0 Through suffering beings find grace Ancient texts can still speak to us today we can still connect to certain events and ideas 0 For example Troy doesn t fall until the end of the Iliad however in modern 2004 quotTroyquot became a film that showed us the construction and destruction of Troy 0 How did current events affect what the public wanted to know today 0 What s the connection between these ancient times and today 0 Fall of troydestruction of troy destruction of 911 NhaThinh Nguyen Humanities Core Lecture 10022015 Week 1 Optional Friday Forum presented by Prof Andromache Karanika The War Prayer Women s Rituals in The Iliad Cause of the Trojan War 0 A woman Helen Helen 0 First mortal woman character to speak 0 But when she is silent she still speaks through her movements Women in The Iliad 0 They are either involved in prayer lamentation or chores tracing these actions act as a quotnarrative preparation 0 These actions as interpreted by Prof Karanika channel the women s speech 0 Woman s speech enacted through their actions 0 They are never alone they appear in groups 0 Alone signs of abduction Rituals 0 They act as narratives in these Homeric stories o In Book 3 Helen is weaving a tapestry illustrating HER war the Trojan War 0 They are about the PRESENT and the FUTURE not the past 0 Lamentation ritual is about what is happening and what will happen I For example Thetis laments Achilles friend present 0 But this is actually an excuse for her to lament Achilles who will die future 0 quotHomeric heroes are conscious of their mortality and defy it I Women are the men s agents for their fame 0 Women control the fame of men by involving them in rituals o This keeps their memory alive even after their death o In Book 5 Helen is asked to define the Greek heroes 0 Overt Ritual to pray for something 0 Ritual offerings are individual markers of a community s work I For this reason when the elderly women of Troy presented Athena with the peplos robe she would not accept it 0 Those pep05 were made by the Sidonian women and then brought back to Troy by Paris 0 This created a great material trigger problem 0 Doctrinal Ritual relies on doctrines it passes on rules 0 Imagistic Ritual relies on traumatic events flashbacks 0 Ex The women lament Hector s death the present I Hector s mother 0 She romanticizes Hector NhaThinh Nguyen Humanities Core Lecture 10022015 0 She reduces the agency of Hector s death 0 quotlike one whom Apollo lord of the silver bow has approached and shot to death with gentle shafts I Ironic because Apollo supported the Trojans I Hector s wife 0 She was aware of his death because she was weaving 0 Her weaving was interrupted by cries and sobs o This incompletion of her woven work symbolizes death NhaThinh Nguyen Humanities Core Lecture 09302015 Week 1 Lecture 2 Deliberation Agency and Authority in The Iliad Review 0 Iliad has an antiquarian relation to our current world quotantiquarian enterprise 0 it is foreign to us 0 quotAxiologicalenterprise o It is a timeless piece because it discusses war which is never new to us quotTimeless genius 0 Critical and quotinterpretive enterprise 0 it is the quotobject and instance of meaning making I interprets a dangerous time I The Iliad is not only a subject of interpretation it is involved in the interpretation 0 it discusses war The Iliad o The beginnings in poetry proem 0 Lots of pressure is put into the beginning I The reader tries to enter into the world of the poem I Compresses the themeconflict of the story into one beginning 0 Introduction into the issue within the poem 0 For instance Milton s Paradise Lost there is no suspense in the beginning because he reveals to us what will happen He does this because he uses the beginning not to introduce to the audience the plotevents in the story but rather to implicitly reveal to us what the main themeissue is The Iliad s beginning 0 Begins with rage o it is written as a goddess an external entity rather than a quiet internal emotion o Achilles is filled with rage I he feels rage but for the purpose of the audience it is personified as a goddess an external force 0 it carries implicit assumptions 0 shows us the inarguable 0 We must beg for the beginning 0 quotbegin muse I to see the beginning as a choice is an interpretation 0 the beginning is about Agamemnon and Achilles who are not for Troy quotIliadquot literally means Troy the thing about Troy 0 The Iliad was created out of necessity NhaThinh Nguyen Humanities Core Lecture 09302015 0 challenges the issue between lordship and intelligence o It moves from difficulty to difficulty 0 We will see how the story plot will reveal its meaning 0 This will be a song about Achilles rage and its consequences 0 quotAnd the will of Zeus will move I What is the relation between Achilles anger and its destructive consequences and Zeus will 0 All of man s will clashing against another man s will 0 Man s will clashing against the will of the gods 0 What are their wills limits Setting 0 9th year of a 10 year war 0 Apollo s priest unsuccessfully tries to ransom for his daughter who was taken by Agamemnon o Priest prays to Apollo 0 Apollo shows his wrath to the Achaeans until Agamemnon returns the daughter to the priest I Agamemnon returns the daughter but takes Achilles quotprizequot History of the cause of the Trojan War 0 Paris judges a beauty contests between Athena Hera and Aphrodite o Aphrodite s bribe to Paris Helen 0 Paris Trojan takes Helen away from her husband Menelaus Achaean We must look at the causes 0 quotOverdeterminedquot there could have been many causes 0 Ego o Psychological 0 Political 0 Natural 0 Economic This issue of women as objects not common for us 0 We have to view The Iliad through the eyes of the people during those ancient times The psychology of Achilles 0 His pride has been wounded because his quotprizequot was stolen 0 He doesn t believe that anyone couldshould listen to Agamemnon 0 He has to deal with an internal conflict 0 Should he kill Agamemnon or should he swallow his rage I He is visited by Athena who tells him to think of the consequences I quotI must demonstrates that swallowing his rage is recommendedneeded NhaThinh Nguyen Humanities Core Lecture 09302015 0 demonstrates how the will of Achilles wanting to kill Agamemnon is checked by the will of the gods do not kill him The willaction of the gods directly intervene human life 0 For example Agamemnon s dream the arrow grazing Menelaus Our sense of what makes someone a person 0 People have agency capacity to act freely o Simone Weil argues that the people in The Iliad are not people but rather they are slaves because they have no agency I They are being controlled by the gods Agency 0 An agent s choices are deliberated from his or her own reasoning and understanding of the consequences 0 Simone argues that The Iliad people lacked these concepts I Therefore they are not responsible for their actions their moral behavior no moral responsibility no politics 0 They have no compulsiondesire with authority 0 By lacking these concepts they are more like slaveschildren than as people 0 they had no free will HOWEVER Prof Izenberg argues that they do have agency 0 Achilles indecisionuncertainty of whether or not to kill Agamemnon proves this 0 Achilles heart is quottornquot I he is undecided but not paralyzed by his quottornquot heart I being quottornquot itself is an action 0 internal movement I quothis racing spirit veered back and forth I although he is experiencing his internal turmoil it doesn t affect his actions 0 quothe drew his huge sword o This demonstrates that Achilles has already decided what to do he will kill Agamemnon when the time is right 0 Athena makes Achilles stuck between a rock and a hard place mentally I but she does not decide his actions for him I he has already made up his mind I she only halts unthinking action 0 Athena wants him to think of the consequences I quotI will check your rage if you will yield to me o Achilles has to consider whether or not to involve in trouble NhaThinh Nguyen Humanities Core Lecture 09302015 0 Athena does not take away his agency she is his agency 0 Athena Achilles agent 0 shows him the consequences makes him think I maybe we are more alike to the people in The Iliad than we would have wished 0 Another example Pandarus shooting at Menelaus 0 Athena is the agent I Pandarus himself chose to shoot Menelaus with the intention of killing him but he did not want to miss 0 The missing is caused by Athena I She intervenes the subsequent action but not the actual decision of Pandarus o Raises the question quotIs the shooting the cause of the war or is it the missing of the kill shot Connection to us 0 Although we know our reasons for our actions we do not know where those reasons come from o In The Iliad the reasons came from the gods but the people s actions were their own 0 However in The Iliad although the people are free to decide the gods can still affect their actions 0 Are we slaves to the gods will Yet we are still agents 0 Just because our wills are conditioned doesn t mean that we are not free 0 Just because we act as agents doesn t mean that we act freely No politics without agency 0 Politics of The Iliad o necessity of the right to authority I authority from lineage vs brilliance o lineage source of Agamemnon s authority 0 brilliance source of Achilles authority 0 Achilles was never hurt by the Trojans I the only reason the Achaeans are fighting the Trojans is to please Agamemnon s ego I Achilles fighting them for himself though not for Agamemnon 0 he is very sensitive to his rights 0 he believes that he is the greatest soldier and so do other soldiers o authority from brillianceskill o Agamemnon s ego I stems from his belief that he is the greatest leader of armies as it was passed down to him 0 authority from lineage Achilles description of the scepter that he swears on o The scepter is a stick of wood adorned with gold o It is not a source of power but it is the symbol of their power NhaThinh Nguyen Humanities Core Lecture 09302015 0 The scepter is made of wood which is dead now 0 Its power does not come from the type of tree that it was cut from but from the way that it was made Authority 0 Deriving from lineage which Agamemnon considers is the quotright way 0 Deriving from skillbrilliance which Achilles demonstrates Achilles was wrong 0 The people did not follow Agamemnon to please him they followed him due to their promise to uphold their leader to serve the power behind the man
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