medieval scribe

A totally unscientific treatise on why you should read

I was that kid with my face in a book at most family functions. Of course, I was often the youngest person present at said functions, so while the adults talked about things that were over my head, I was in the next room reading about Hogwarts or Narnia or cats (yes, it started pre-Internet). I wish it wasn’t considered rude to do that as an adult . . . sigh . . .

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Modern social issues

As I prepare to read Latin author Juvenal’s Satire III, which discusses Roman social issues of his time, I have been pondering social issues in my own society. My husband and I often find ourselves wrapped up in passionate discussions of modern social issues in the U.S. (usually in agreement, fortunately). I thought about what five social issues I would write about if I were writing a satire, but narrowing the list down to just five has proved a challenge.

I’ll try not to discuss each issue at great length because these are very broad and would merit entire blogs of their own. And, as should be obvious but as people often forget, these are just my opinions. I generally hesitate to discuss social issues in depth on social media or the blogosphere because people like to hide behind anonymity to say things they would never say to someone’s face. So if you wish to express your opinion on matters, please contend sans contention.

That being said, let’s do this.

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Misery, grief, and despair . . . Hecuba bawling everywhere . . .

Westminster College put on the Greek tragedy Hecuba last night on BYU campus. There was lots of weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth, if you will. And blood. So that was nice.

But what would a Greek tragedy be without all of that? Aristotle says that the “distinctive mark of tragic imitation” lies in evoking “pity and fear.” Continue reading

The post where I defend a murderous, incestuous man

“Alas, alas! It seems that I have just cast myself unknowing under terrible curses!” (Oedipus Rex, lines 772–73)

Oedipus is upset; understandably so. Our tragic hero has just discovered that he “unknowing[ly]” fulfilled a horrifying prophecy—that he would kill his father and sleep with his mother. Yikes.

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