1. Is Tartuffe in fact anti-religious, or does it only attack corruptions of religion?
Well, it could be interpreted as “anti-religious,” but I doubt it was intended to be. Tartuffe, was in fact a hypocrite, which I believe was the moral of the story, because even though a person is religious, it is rare that anyone abides by the principles they teach. In addition it provided an example of how trusting a person merely on what they say could be dangerous, not just for people, but for a kingdom or society. I think, like a lot of writings from times of conflict, we will find hidden meanings giving alternate perspectives and how the world is through poetic reinterpretation. Corruption in a religion was portrayed in Tartuffe and I think the truths present gave the poem a contemporary meaning. Or really I guess this story could be useful in becoming aware of corruption in any circumstance, because the surface of an individual or idea could be covering hidden agendas or hypocrisy presentation of those beliefs.
2. In what respects is Hugo’s Satan a heroic figure? How does Hugo’s account differ from Dante’s?
La Fin de Satan (the end of mr Satan) gives us a different take of satan, one where he falls from heaven and morphs into a creature with remnants of human qualities such as a personality. Could satan in this poem be considered a hero? Of course, because one’s hero is another’s enemy and vise versa; just because Satan was cast from heaven does not mean that those who cast him out were in the right. I think the fact that Satan is a product of following what he believes no matter how dark the outcome, makes him a hero. Also if we compare him with some points of The Hero’s Journey, we will see the he can almost match up with the first half of the chart, ending in the abyss with the rebirth of Satan and the transformation of his image and outlook. Although that is where his journey ends, because he refuses to provide atonement for what he has done, which the knowledge of eternal darkness because of his refusal, adds a certain hero-esque quality to this satan character. Dante’s version of the devil is cold with bat winged chins who, according to this story, was once a perfect being shamed by ugliness, being a part of hell and not the master of it. Whereas in La Fin de Satan, Satan is presented through his journey, allowing the reader to better understand his position and character before he transforms into a beast, which is something Dante did not do.
3. Discuss and compare the images in any two poems assigned for this week.
The imagery of To Sylvia by Leopardi and A Pine is Standing Lonely by Heine, give a vivid picture of nature, yet also interpret the falseness of nature and the reality instead of the beauty it promised. In To Sylvia, such questions asked were why nature could not keep its promise, why the beauty could not remain in infinity through long life. Instead the reality is that we are mortal and even though we are eagerly trying to climb to the top of the mountain of youth, the journey’s completion is not certain, and even when we get to the top humans share the fate of death. To Sylvia is written with a lost tone, a feeling of being left behind. A Pine Standing Lonely, does describe loneliness, but also a wish to be somewhere else, not cold or frozen, but warm and peaceful with palm trees rather than desolate horizons. I liked how they both provided images of what the characters would be seeing, and they would augment what they see to how they want it to be. To Sylvia was the most imagery-dependent poem, because almost every idea was surrounded by words such with meanings of nature, or of innocence.