1- Moliere states that his play Tartuffe is not anti-religious. But I think he protests too much. I believe that his play is anti-religious and encourages people not to blindly follow the church. At the time the play was written the church was a highly influential institution and hypocrisy was a common characteristic of some religious people. I believe that Moliere’s play is a warning to all that religion and religious people should be questioned because sometimes their motives are not truly in the best interest of anyone or anything but themselves. When people start to question the church it can lead to a power struggle and cause the church to loss their influence.
2- Hugo’s Satan can be seen as a hero because he embodies what we all have the choice of free-will. Satan is a living being has the right to make decisions about his own life and his choices have made him a fallen angel, a rebel. His daring to question authority and make his own choices have been romanticized. Even though he has the power to ask forgiveness Satan refuses to. He sticks to what he chose in life.
Datne’s Satan was incapable of moving around while Hugo’s Satan was flying and reaching for the Stars. Dante’s Satan also has six eyes and three chins. He cries from his six eyes and this seems like he is upset at his punishment and is remorseful while Hugo’s Satan is not remorseful, simply angry and upset at being left in the dark.
3- I was drawn to the poems “The Infinite’ and “To Himself’ by Giocomo Leopardi. Both poems have a lot of imagery and connect thoughts and feelings through nature. In “The Infante’ Leopardi is speaking of his longing to see things beyond the home he has always known, his desire for knowledge. He basically is saying he desires to venture out in the world even if in the end it causes him heartache or death. The wind that speaks to him and the present season are images of being alive and moving through life. Seeing new things and opening himself up to whatever may be.
In “To Himself’ he is speaking to his desire to love and be loved. He has lost hope that he will have the love that has eluded him so far and he is saying he is giving up his desire. Both poems are speaking to desire and the heartbreak it can cause. The world being mud and nature being an ugly force are symbols of hopelessness. The end of his dream.
I found it interesting that you point out that questioning the church might make it loose its influence or start a power struggle. But why should they just follow the doctrines blindly? Why not question and seek greater knowledge? I find religion something to be questioned, something we should not blindly follow, for knowledge is always better than being a sheep and just following; even if the knowledge we gain is not what we dreamed it might be. Is it dangerous to think for one’s self? One of my favorite song lyric is by Susie Luchsinger “If your roofs been leaking, don’t you come a work on mine”. I think it fits Tartuffe perfect and hypocrisy to a T.
You gave me a new insight into the poems you picked. After rereading them I can feel more of the emotions you mentioned and the images came into a different light. Thank you.
I really enjoy your comparisons to the different types of Satan in our readings. Just like everything else, there is no wrong way to describe evil. Or in Hugo’s Satan he was a person who chose his own path and wasn’t remorseful the things he had done. I feel like in Dante’s, it definitely could have been more of where the story started, after Satan had already established himself…after hell was already evolved into what it is “now”. Satan was just starting so he is still his same, angry, non-forgiving self. But either way, I do like how much imagery you captured because it allowed to us to see the human version versus Dante’s six-eyed person.