Cicero, was truly a man of the state. His writings

also show us he was equally a man ofphilosophical temperament and affluence. Yet at times these two forces within Cicero clash
and contradict with the early stoic teachings. Cicero gradually adopted the stoic
lifestyle but not altogether entirely, and this is somewhat due to the fact of what it was
like to be a roman of the time. The morals of everyday Rome conflicted with some of the
stoic ideals that were set by early stoicism. Thus, Cicero changed the face of stoicism by
romanizing it; redefining stoicism into the middle phase.

Of Cicero it can be said he possessed a bias towards roman life and doctrine. For Cicero
every answer lay within Rome itself, from the ideal governing body to the place of
divination. Cicero does not offer any alternate answers to roman society, which robs him
of being truly a unique and bold political philosopher. This is not to say however some
of his doctrines are untrue, just that he is somewhat blinded by his roman beliefs and

The assumptions of Cicero can be noticed when one inspects his view of the ideal
governing body, which he expresses through Scipio (in the commonwealth). Although Cicero
presents very convincing arguments for a Composite government, clearly his view is
possibly only due towards his belief in the roman structure of government.1
Cicero was limited to roman borders of experience, and this point was best illustrated
by his disagreement with Aristotle’s writings on the decay of states. Cicero was
unable to think on the level of Aristotle’s logic. He quite simply used roman history
as a mapping of the paths of the decay of states.
In contrast, Aristotle understood the underlying forces and influences that transpired when
a state degraded. Cicero quite frankly could not understand the forces which Aristotle so
eloquently denoted. For Cicero, history offered the only possible paths of outcomes; the
forces and behaviors played little part on the resulting state.2
A further point of philosophical belief which Cicero contradicted the stoic lifestyle,
is religion. Roman tradition conflicted greatly with stoic doctrine, and the two
philosophies could never truly harmonize with one another. This point brought the
distinction between the Greek learned world of intellect, and the traditional religious
roman patronage. This observation literally draws a line between the two worlds, that
of knowledge and reason opposing that of tradition and sentiment. This illustrated that
roman was truly unable to fully accept a Greek philosophy based on knowledge and
brotherhood, and a great Roman such as Cicero was similarly unable to accept the stoic
doctrine as a whole.3
The philosophy of stoicism originated in Greece, and was based on the order of the
universe. Nature to the stoics (universe) was a precisely ordered cosmos. Stoics taught
that there was an order behind all the evident confusion of the universe. Mans purpose
was to acquire order within the universe; harmonizing yourself with the universal order.

Within this notion of harmonizing lies wisdom, sin resides with resisting the natural
order (or nature). The stoics also tell of a rational plan in nature; our role was to
live in accord with this plan. The natural order was filled with divinity, and all things
possess a divine nature. This natural order was god, and thus the universe was god; the
Greek and roman pathos were simply beliefs forged by superstition. The stoics also had a
great indifference towards life, in the regard that the natural plan cannot be changed.

This attitude made stoic’s recluse from fame, and opposed to seeking it.
One fundamental belief stoics held was in the universal community of mankind. They held
that a political community is nothing more than its laws’ borders, since the natural
laws are universal imposed; a universal political community existed in which all men
share membership. This interpretation is generally regarded as the early stoic stage,
which had yet to experience little roman influence. Upon roman adoption, stoicism went
through a romanizing period; an altering of the philosophy to better integrate into
roman mainstream.

The ideal state of Cicero’s;
” For I hold it desirable, first, that there should be a dominant and royal
element in the commonwealth; second, that some powers should be
granted and assigned to the influence of the aristocracy; and third,
that certain matters should be reserved to the people for decision
and judgment.”4
It is important to note that Cicero loses sight of the international community which Zeno,
Cleanthes and Chrysippus taught. Cicero tries to link the universal community of mankind
within the borders of roman political thought. This composite state expressed in Scipio by
Cicero, is an ideal Rome of the past. The Rex, was the royal element; the senate was the
aristocratic influence; The plebs and patricians became the deciding people. By giving this
blueprint of the ideal society, Cicero attempted to answer the stoic doctrine of the
universal community of mankind. Cicero addressed the pragmantical problems faced by the
universal community, by giving it armies, judges and powers; literally giving the community
of mankind the powers it lacked through Rome. But what makes this attempt unattainable is
the notion of Rome; Rome was a dividing agent. Rome was the polity that divides people;
early stoics understood that tradition and politics divide people. Brotherhood of man is not
the assimilation of people into Roman mainstream, but in reality the assimilation of Rome
into the universal community. Cicero does not understand the spirit in which the universal
community of mankind was thought.
” It is, indeed, my judgment, opinion, and conviction that of all forms
of government there is none which for organizing, distribution of power,
and respect for authority is to be compared with that constitution which
our fathers received from their ancestors and have bequeathed to
us…… The roman commonwealth will be the model; and to it shall
apply, if I can, all that I must say about the perfect state.”5
Clearly Cicero Identifies the perfect state with Rome, he suggested that Rome was the
closest thing their was to such an aspiration. The perfect state was the expression
and embodiment of the universal community of mankind, to link Rome with the ideal
state; was to link Rome with the universal community. The early stoics held that a
specific community was nothing more than its laws borders. Thus, arises the notion of
a universal community, since we are all under the natural law imposed by the
universe. The fundamental problem lays in that Rome could not realistically impose
the natural law. Rome could simply impose laws of convention, which it could pass as
natural law. This brought about a belief in dual citizenship; one roman, the other
universal. But Cicero believed that Rome was the closest manifestation of the common
community of man. A very clear bias was present, Cicero forced Roman sentiment on
stoic thought; thereby changing it into something less grandiose than the stoics
meant by universal citizenship.

The accommodating of stoic philosophy into Roman society is very present in the
argument of the ideal state. The accommodating brings about the validity of
imperialistic Roman virtue. The Roman expansion was part of the divine plan, to draw
together a universal community under Roman society. At this point early stoics and
Roman virtue conflicted. Roman expansion contradicted stoic indifference doctrine; the
natural plan cannot be changed. Yet Roman expansion was rationalized by accepting the
belief that it was part of the divine plan. For stoicism to be adopted by Roman some
ideals had to be compromised. Cicero saw this notion of compromise more so than the
idea of the early stoic view on universal citizenship. In using the composite state
which Rome possesses traits of, Cicero tried to justify roman conquest.

” You will see the truth of what you say still more clearly when you
observe the state progressing and coming to its perfect form by
course of development natural to itself. You will conclude, in
fact, that the wisdom of our ancestors deserves praise even for
the many institutions which, as you will find, they adopted from
other states and made much better in our state than they had been
in the places where they originated and whence they were
Within this quotation, Rome’s stance as the “perfect form” is brought about due to Roman
conquests and adoptions. This was another instance of Roman virtue being rationalized by
stoic philosophy. This is a twisting of view points on stoicism, which Cicero did not
necessarily do intentionally.

Cicero also has a good deal of Roman insight on the decay of states. Stoics contend
that reason and logic should have precedence over tradition and sentiment, yet
Cicero goes against this somewhat. Cicero chooses tradition and Roman sentiment over
logic when discussing the decay of states. However his opinions are belittled
somewhat by Aristotle’s views on the decaying of a states constitution. A contrast
of Aristotle and Cicero on constitutional decay illuminates Cicero’s acceptance of
tradition. It is important to note the major differences between Aristotle’s and
Cicero’s understanding of terms and powers at work. When Aristotle spoke of a states
constitution, he referred to the well being of that state. He took the word
constitution in a health sense; in a context of well being. In Aristotle the
meaning of well being is implied because the state reflects the well being of the
people. The constitution of states become the teachings on a day to day basis. The
people become a mirror of the states well being. Cicero held the meaning of
constitution to be in the form of a legal document. A good constitution for Cicero
was something establish by the people for the common good.7
The forces at work in determining the courses of a deteriorating state are very
different between Aristotle and Cicero. Aristotle believes in a behavioral chain of
events, pushing a state which has a certain constitution (good or bad) into another
constitution (good or bad). Aristotle held that they’re are six constitutional forms
possible. All likely constitutional forms have either a good or bad alignment.

Furthermore, some forms can only arise after another. Finally, all constitutions can
be categorized into one, few or many citizens. A simple chart can be made of good and
bad, by one, few and many. The constitutions for the good are monarchy (one),
aristocracy (few), and polity (many), oppossingly for the bad are tyranny (one),
oligarchy (few), and democracy (many).

The simple diagram Aristotle illustrated he had an underlying logic. For example
Aristotle holds that within a tyranny, certain forces and behaviors take place. If a
tyranny exists, all the people become carbon copies of their ruler. The teachings on a
day to day bases promote the values imposed by the ruler. In a sense, the populace
become “mini-tyrants” within the society. This is due to the morals being promoted:
lies, cheating, hypocrisy, obsequiousness, etc. In such a case the decay, or overthrow
of a tyrannical power that has long been established does not become a polity. Rather
the citizens reflect their well being, and become what has been promoted; an oligarchy
or democracy. Similar logic dictates that a good (well being) people who have a tyrant
seizing power would be quick to overthrow him. For Aristotle the governmental
arrangements affected people day to day; essentially people mirror they’re governments

Cicero uses a different rationale than did Aristotle, and in so doing conflicted
with early stoic doctrine. Cicero believed that the pattern of governmental
decomposition laid in the past. By looking within Rome’s past, Cicero hoped to
understand the possible propelling factors which led states to behave in a certain
fashion. However, Cicero did not attempt to understand the factors too deeply but
rather he relied to mush on the roman historic path as a blueprint. Cicero offered
no real comprehensive logic behind his pattern of possible outcomes.
Early roman history (tradition) tells of a series of seven kings, and the last,
Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, was a tyrannical rex. In the first part of Cicero’s
diagram a monarch is in place, which can only be followed by a tyrant. After Lucius
Tarquinius Superbus overthrow the senate and patricians played a decisive role. The
rex’s position was abolished and two consuls were elected annual ridding Rome of
monarchical and tyrannical rule. This brought Rome into the age of a republic,
shortly after the senate gained powers and showed aristocratic traits. Cicero’s
diagram almost perfectly shadowed the events described. After the seventh tyrannical
rule, there are two possible outcomes in Cicero’s diagram, either a democracy or an
aristocracy. Cicero’s logic is that he knew of the senate gaining power historically,
yet he also knew of the struggles in the republic between the aristocratic party and
the popular party. Cicero understood that the powers could have been gained by the
masses just as easily as the aristocrats. It is noteworthy that Cicero did not take
the peoples well being as Aristotle did. For Cicero, a good aristocracy could seize
power, or rather a bad mob could seize power over the government. Cicero did not
contend (as Aristotle did) that the populace mirrors the government. Cicero’s diagram
loses more strength in its argument as it progresses. Cicero believed a democracy
could then only be followed by an oligarchy or an aristocracy. The first aristocracy
could only be followed by an oligarchy; At this point it is hard to comprehend
Cicero’s logic. Cicero, when describing his logic is not systematic or organized, and
clearly his Greek counterparts were more convincing. As a stoic Cicero held far too
much esteem to the past and traditions of Rome, as the major part of the second book
of the commonwealth is dedicated to that notion of the roman tradition. It is easy to
see how a man such as Cicero transfused his sentiment of roman accomplishments into a
rationalized logic.

The point on roman tradition can more carefully be examined, and reveals another
aspect in which Cicero changed stoicism. Early stoics did not have a patronage in
the ancient roman or Greek sense, rather they believed in the universe being full of
divine reason. Thus, the stoics adhered to the universe and divine plan as god. Most
ancient Greek philosophies denied the existence of traditional gods and pathos. A
conflict arised between the Greek world of the intellect and the Roman world of
traditional sentiment. On the subject of divinity Cicero had a dual nature to his
beliefs. On one hand he spoke dispassionately on the inability of the gods to exist,
on the other hand he made great oratories to Jupiter and the other gods who he
believed helped and guided the state.8 Cicero gives an example of the roman
sentiment on religion, which we hear through the mouth of Cotta in De Natura Derum:
” I will always defend, and always have defended, the traditional
Roman religious opinions, rites and ceremonies, and nothing that
anyone, learned or unlearned, says will move me from the view I
have inherited from our forefathers about the worship of the
immortal gods. On any question of religion I follow men who held
the office of pontifex maximus, like Coruncanius, Scipio and
Scaevola, not Zeno, Cleanthes or Chrysippus….I have never held
that any branch of
traditional Roman religion should be despised, and am persuaded
that Romulus be establishing the auspices and Numa by
instituting our sacred rites laid the foundation of our state.”9
It is important to note that at this point in time Rome was in crisis of religious belief.

Cicero often took the stance of disclaiming Roman divination, yet as a statesman he returns
to his Roman attitudes. In De Legibus, Cicero hesitatingly shows his support for the notion
of divination.
” If the gods exist, and guide the universe and care for mankind
and can give us indications of future events, I see no reason
for denying divination”10
Greek though was kept in a different light in the Roman mind, apart from the day to day
beliefs and lifestyles of Rome. Rome and Cicero were unable to accept the early stoic
doctrine as a whole, especially in light of religious beliefs. Philosophy to Romans was an
adopted import from outside Rome, thus not fully accepted. This is another point which
conflicted with stoicism, it proved that politics and tradition do divide men. A distinction
is evident between Cicero’s philosophical works and his non-philosophical writings and
On the matter of immortality of the soul, Cicero was in accordance with Plato rather
than early stoics. The early stoics preached that the soul and body survive, yet not
within a sense of capacity. By this they meant the soul was together with the
universal worldly soul; which forsook the premise of reward and punishment. This may
be due to Cicero the man, rather than Cicero the philosopher.

Cicero cannot be faulted for not relinquishing his roman traditions, after all Cicero
was also a man of the state. The attitudes of other senate members and the general
populace forced him to keep these sentiments. But this showed he was only slightly
stoic or only sympathetic towards stoic teachings, his primary responsibility lay
towards Rome; not stoicism. Due to his primary responsibility being the state, Cicero’s
adoption of stoic religious view was simply not possible.
The stoic lifestyle is that of an emotion vacuum, this appealed to Cicero. In truth
Cicero may have thought embracing stoicism would cure his worldly pains. Namely the loss
of his daughter Tullia, whom he obviously loved very much. Equally stoicism may have
given him escape during his time of exile from Rome. But early stoics had certain
fundamental traits of comportment, which in some instances of his life, Cicero as a
roman and a person abolished.One trait at practice
was the stoics aversion to violence stoics as Cicero also shared this disgust. In
addition stoics also avoided and scorned personal glory. However Cicero had a very
different demeanor towards this type of behavior. The quest for glory on a national and
personal level was a widely held feature of roman disposition. It was intensely present
within Cicero’s temperament, the posterity of his and his family name was an abnormally
great desire. Cicero’s family name was relatively unfamiliar in Rome. Plutarch tells of
a tale which although may be untrue conveys the right idea of Cicero’s desire for
“Cicero himself is said to have given a lively reply to his
on one occasion. When he first entered politics, they
said he ought to drop or change the name. He said that he
would do his best to make the name Cicero more famous
than names like Scaurus or Catulus. (Plutarch, life of
Cicero I)13
In a letter to his son Cicero admitted that sometimes his sentiment for glory and tradition
provided a better direction than the life of philosophy.

” One should know what philosophy teaches, but live like
a gentleman.”14
Cicero displayed an air of Roman vanity, which denies him of being a true early stoic. As
such Cicero’s aspirations are of a Roman political life, not that of a stoic good life.

Cicero either consciously or accidentally, permanently changed early stoicism into its
later identity; middle stoicism. Cicero did not agree to everything stoicism taught, he
sought to accept what had merit and what was true to him. At times this proved to
contradict Cicero’s ideas, he was part skeptic, part stoic and all roman. Some of
Cicero’s peers reject his seemingly over-acceptance of Greek philosophy. Yet Cicero
believed he could strike a balance between the two worlds.

By his exhortations on the composite state Cicero attempted to create a common accord
between the roman state and the universal community of mankind. To say the romanization
of stoicism was an abuse upon early stoicism is a inaccurate assumption. Cicero made the
survival of stoicism possible by rendering it more appeasing to roman society. At the
same instance Cicero was trying to answer the early pragmatic problem facing such stoic
topics as the universal community of mankind. Although he may not have been true to the
stoic ideal (spirit of), Cicero made a genuine effort to answer the philosophical
dilemmas present in stoicism.

It is unfortunate that Cicero’s historic bias deprived him from being place on the same
footing as Aristotle. Cicero’s viewed the decay of states to be nothing more than a
reoccurrence of history, but he did seem to understand too well the powers at work.

However Cicero did not see past the roman republic of the day.
The aspect of stoicism that Cicero cannot accept, is religion. Perhaps because of his
daughter’s death, the inner pain he must have felt to believe she was too much to bear,
as such, this influenced his position. This must have made him decide that the stoic
belief in this instance to be unacceptable.

Cicero the statesman knew that disbelief in roman religion and tradition was an unwise
course of action. Tradition and the gods gave Rome its strength, intelligence and
resolve. To discredit the gods was to discredit Roman society; something Cicero would
never do. But this drew a line into how far Cicero would have believed in stoicism;
Cicero would believe in stoicism so long as it did not weaken Rome’s strength and

For Cicero, stoicism was something to be admired, read, and used. But stoicism was
still a Greek philosophy, something the roman heart could never truly digest very
well. This may have been Cicero’s attitude to a certain extent; however it certainly
was the belief of his contemporaries.

Evidence exists that Cicero did not follow stoic lifestyle in his day to day ambitions.

His glory seeking made him less respectful as a philosopher, a damage inflicted by
Roman sentiment.

Cicero took beliefs, attitudes, doctrines and logic to form his own inner philosophical
temperament. Regarded as stoic because he sympathized with that philosophy, Cicero
modified earl stoicism to form a hybrid with roman tradition. By adding tradition,
patriotism, and roman virtue, Cicero reshaped the landscape of stoa’s philosophy. In
essence Cicero was a Roman philosopher.

1 Cicero, Marcus Tullius. On the Commonwealth (New York: The Bobb-Merrill Company Inc, 1929)
150-151 2 Cicero, Marcus Tullius. On the Commonwealth (New York: The Bobb-Merrill Company
Inc, 1929) 140, 144, 148, 154-194
Roman, Medievel, and Renaissance Political Philosophy, Prof. Dr. M.W. Poirier; lecture
3 M.L. Clarke. The Roman Mind; Studies in the history of thought from Cicero to Marcus
Aurelius (New York: Norton and Company Inc, 1968) 60-61 4 Cicero, Marcus Tullius. On the
Commonwealth (New York: The Bobb-Merrill Company Inc, 1929) 151 5 Cicero, Marcus Tullius. On
the Commonwealth (New York: The Bobb-Merril Company Inc, 1929) 151-152 6 Cicero, Marcus
Tullius. On the Commonwealth (New York: The Bobb-Merril Company Inc, 1929) 169 7 Cicero,
Marcus Tullius. On the Commonwealth (New York: The Bobb-Merril Company Inc, 1929) 34, 57,
134, 147, 178
8 M.L. Clarke. The Roman Mind (New York: Norton and Company Inc, 1968) 60-61
9 M.L. Clarke. The Roman Mind (New York: Norton and Company Inc, 1968) 60
10 (Cicero) M.L. Clarke. The Roman Mind (New York: The Bobb-Merril Company Inc, 1929) 61 11
Cicero, Marcus Tullius. Cicero: On the Good Life (Great Britain: Penguin Classics, 1971)
M.L. Clarke. The Roman Mind (New York: Norton and Company Inc, 1968) 62
12 M.L Clarke. The Roman Mind (New York: Norton and Company Inc, 1968) 63
Cicero, Marcus Tullius. Cicero: On the Good Life (Great Britain: Penguin Classics , 1971)
13 David Taylor. Cicero and Rome (London: MacMillan Education, 1973) 13
14 M.L Clarke. The Roman Mind (New York: Norton and Company Inc, 1968) 64

Drug Dependence

Drug Dependence
In order for a chemical to be considered a drug it must have the capacity to
affect how the body works–to be biologically active. No substance that has the
power to do this is completely safe, and drugs are approved only after they
demonstrate that they are relatively safe when used as directed, and when the
benefits outweigh their risks. Thus, some very dangerous drugs are approved
because they are necessary to treat serious illness. Digitalis, which causes the
heart muscle to contract, is a dangerous drug, but doctors are permitted to use
it because it is vital for treating patients whose heart muscle is weak. A drug
as potent as digitalis would not be approved to treat such minor ailments as
temporary fatigue because the risks outweigh the benefits.

Many persons suffer ill effects from drugs even though they take the drug
exactly as directed by the doctor or the label. The human population, unlike a
colony of ants or bees, contains a great variety of genetic variation. Drugs are
tested on at most a few thousand people. When that same drug is taken by
millions, some people may not respond in a predictable way to the drug. A person
who has a so-called idiosyncratic response to a particular sedative, for example,
may become excited rather than relaxed. Others may be hypersensitive, or
extremely sensitive, to certain drugs, suffering reactions that resemble

A patient may also acquire a tolerance for a certain drug. This means that
ever-larger doses are necessary to produce the desired therapeutic effect.

Tolerance may lead to habituation, in which the person becomes so dependent upon
the drug that he or she becomes addicted to it. Addiction causes severe
psychological and physical disturbances when the drug is taken away. Morphine,
cocaine, and Benzedrine are common habit-forming drugs. Finally, drugs often
have unwanted side effects. These usually cause only minor discomfort such as a
skin rash, headache, or drowsiness. Certain drugs, however, can produce serious,
even life-threatening adverse reactions. For example, the drug Thalidomide was
once called one of the safest sedatives ever developed, but thousands of women
in the United Kingdom who took it during pregnancy gave birth to seriously
deformed babies. Other adverse reactions stem from mixing drugs. Thus, taking
aspirin, which has blood-thinning qualities, for a headache can be very harmful
if one is also taking other blood-thinning drugs such as heparin or dicumarol.

Declaration Of Independence

The Declaration of Independence was written to show a new theory of government, reasons why they were separating from England, and a formal declaration of war. It gave the 13 colonies freedom from England’s laws.

The man responsible for writing the Declaration was Thomas Jefferson. He wrote the Declaration between June 11, 1776 and June 28, 1776. Benjamin Franklin and John Adams looked at what Jefferson had written and made some changes to the Declaration. On July 4, 1776 Congress adopted the Declaration and it was signed by:
John Hancock, Button Gwinnett, Lyman hall, George Walton, Wm Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn, Edward Rutledge, Thos Heyward Jr., Thomas Lynch Jr., Arthur Middleton, Samuel Chase, Thos. Stone , George Wythe, Charles Carrol of Carrollton, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson,
Benjamin Harrison, Thos Nelson Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton, Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross, Caesar Rodney, George Read, Tho M. Kean, Wm. Floyd, Phil. Livingston, Frans. Lewis, Lewis Morris, Richard Stockton, Jno.WItherspoon, Fras. Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark, Josiah Bartlett, Wm. Whipple, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry, Stephan Hopkins, William Ellery, Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, Wm. Williams, Oliver Wolcott, and Matthew Thorton.

The reason people wanted the Declaration was because the people thought that they had the right to be free from England and to be their own individual colonies with their own laws. Other things leading up to independence were that the British government had committed acts that many colonists believed violated their rights as English subjects. Also that colonial blood had already been shed trying to defend these rights. The French ; Indian war was the war that shed colonists blood to defend their rights.

The Declaration of Independence served three major purposes.

1. Preamble and reasons for separation.

Among the reasons for separation were statements about the king, George III. It said that he was a harsh and evil king and that the colonists shouldnt have to be under his rule. It also said that the citizens were patient, submissive, and long-suffering people. These statements were made to win the public support of the people for the Declaration.

In this part of the Declaration, Jefferson stated the basic principles of democracy. They were all men are created equal, They are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable1 rights; . . . among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The purpose of the government was to secure these rights.

This basically stated that war did exist. If the Patriots failed to win independence, the leaders of the revolution could be judged guilty of treason against the British Crown and executed.

The result of the Declaration of Independence was that colonists gained their freedom. They had freedom of religion and had a better government. Look at the world today and see what it has accomplished. Blacks and women now have just as many rights as white men.

I would have wanted to gain independence from the Declaration and separate from England. I think our society has much more freedom now than it would have if we would have stayed with England.


Communication And Race

The most critical aspects of media performance with regards to race and ethnicity are issues that relate to the quality of its representation of the lives of people of color. Accuracy and diversity are aspects of media performance that will allow for a careful evaluation of how it represents people of color. Evaluating media performance is important because of the utilization and reliance on the mass media for much of society’s reflexive monitoring and evaluation of reality. The performance of mass media is important in regards to race and ethnicity because the mass media are the primary source of indirect or mediated experiences that reinforce racial attitudes and beliefs that are integrated into cognitive structures (Gandy, 1998). Thus, mass media can be viewed as places where reality is constructed and racism may be reproduced.
Accuracy is an important aspect of media performance to consider in assessing the quality of its representation of the lives of people of color because of its assumed consequences of developing self-image and personal identity and its reflection of social reality that informs social policy (Gandy 1998). Shan and Thorton (1994) state that previous research of minority groups has shown that minorities are sometimes depicted as being violent, primitive, and politically unsophisticated. Furthermore, they postulate that certain types of behaviors among minorities may be understood by whites as pathological or deviant because of how the news media represent them. This representation is inaccurate because it ignores historical context and structural explanations for social trends. In addition, Shan and Thorton state that newsmagazines reproduce racism by perpetuating a racial hierarchy carried out by mainly whites and consumed by mainly whites that positioned blacks at the bottom.
Entman (1990) found that local news stimulated the production of modern racism. Violent crimes committed by blacks was the largest category of local news. Of the eight times in which blacks were subjects of lead stories, six described violent crimes. In addition, blacks were shown as being more dangerous than whites. Entman states that accused blacks were usually illustrated by glowering mug shots or by footage of them being led around in handcuffs, their arms held by uniformed white policemen.

Salwen and Soruco (1997) state that images of Mexicans in the press reflect racial stereotypes. The researchers point out examples in US press where Mexicans were labeled as wetbacks and associated with causing destruction by introducing one of the world’s most destructive insect pest. Gandy (1998) states that blacks are often portrayed as violent criminals. If they are portrayed in human-interest stories, these stories rely upon negative stereotypes. Like Entman and Gandy finding that minorities (blacks) experience inaccurate portrayals of being violent, Salwen and Soruco also report that Hispanics were framed in crime stories more frequently.
Astroff (1989) conclude that mass media tends to reproduce or participate in the reproduction of inaccurate representations, stereotypes, of Latinos. US Latinos were transformed into Spanish Gold through the redefinition of (not the elimination of) traditional stereotypes. These stereotypes of Latinos were reinterpreted for the use of explanations of consumer behavior yet there was not any significant change, moving to a more accurate depiction, in the representation of Latinos in mainstream media.
The concept of diversity is a multidimensional one. The FCC sought to promote diversity under two headings: one of maximizing consumer choice; the other of serving the public interest by ensuring an appropriate range of service from broadcasting and fairness in giving access and attention to minority groups. Diversity of program content, accessible to all segments of the audience, is necessary to insure quality representation of the lives of people of color.
One of the goals of the media should be to represent or reflect the prevailing differences of culture, opinion, and social conditions of the population as a whole. The degree of correspondence between the diversity of the society and the diversity of media content is the key to assessing media performance. Diversity must be at the media content level and at the media system level and must promote racial proportionality and representation.
Entman (1990) demonstrated that blacks were misrepresented in local news coverage. So-called bad news was often thought more newsworthy than good news and ethnic minority members were differentially more likely to identified in negative contexts. Salwen and Soruco (1997) report that, as of 1990, Hispanics did not receive proportional coverage in the news even though they accounted for 9 per cent of the US population. Also, statistics show that blacks have 2 per cent of roles in magazine content, and are often depicted in lower status occupations or criminal roles. Gandy (1998) state that the news coverage of race in the US is generally limited to the coverage of crimes involving violence and that minority groups are quoted less often and less extensively in US press. These studies and findings demonstrate how minorities’ images as being violent criminals are perpetuated and how negative images of minorities are the current themes in mass media.

Accepting that the representation of the lives of people of color is not diverse because minorities are often viewed as criminals and in stereotypical contexts, it is no surprise that the media system level is also not diverse. Minority ownership of commercial broadcast stations account for only 3 per cent. Black managers in newspapers account for only 6 per cent (Hispanic only 3 per cent). And black managers in motion pictures account for less than 5 per cent (Hispanics less than 6 per cent). These statistics are depressing considering that there is solid evidence of a positive relationship between minority ownership and minority diversity in the workplace (Gandy, 1998).
There is evidence that the media operate under conditions of considerable pressure and constraint (Astroff, 1989; Brooks, 1995; Rodriguez, 1996). The media are often at the receiving end of a number of sources of power influences. These influences may range from traditions of past performance to pressures of competition. A strong awareness of, and sensitivity to, external pressures and demands is reported in many accounts of the media at work (Rodriguez, 1996; Astroff, 1989). These accounts make it clear that others often shape media performance. Rodriguez analyzed the nightly national newscast of the largest Spanish language television network in the US, Noticiero Univision, as an interaction between demands of the commercial enterprise that can enable media to meet performance goals. He concludes that professional and cultural demands can be integrated into the commercial profit motive, resulting in an audience-centered, objective, ethnic minority national newscast (p76). But Astroff’s (1989) findings differ from what Rodriguez concluded about Noticiero Univision. Astroff found that existing stereotypes of marginalized groups constrain and shape market recognition of minorities, accurate portrayal, and diversity of characterization.
Because media’s product is a public rather than a private good and is exposed to immediate public assessment, the quality of the media’s product should be subject to much more scrutiny than other consumer products. The media are the primary source of indirect or mediated experiences that shape, reinforce, or eliminate racial attitudes and beliefs. But, the mass media is a business and thus is under business constraints with regard to performance. Commercial media have to be as efficient in their use of

Assumption of Risk: Who is to Blame For Our Action

sAssumption of Risk: Who is to Blame For Our Actions
The doctrine of “assumption of risk” clearly defines the responsibility
of all voluntary actions taken on by individuals, independent of the inherent
risk or danger involved with such actions. Are we only to assume responsibility
for the positive outcomes of our actions, without also accepting the negative
outcomes as well? Most individuals only claim responsibility in cases in which
they are fully responsible for their actions. Living within a country which
houses a large amount of private enterprise, we often find ourselves relying on
outside help. In many occasions we, the individual seeking assistance, hold the
power to choose which avenue of help will be taken. In these cases in which we
have the choice, should we not also be held responsible for the outcomes of our
decisions, especially in cases in which we have been pre-warned about any
inherent risks or dangers? For example, When we take it upon ourselves to drive
on a private road, smoke cigarettes, work for a mining company, or fly on a
discount airline at our own volition, do we tacitly consent to take
responsibility for any outcome these actions may hold? The “assumption of risk”
doctrine seems to ignore the fundamental obligation of entities to ensure their
natural goals. The distinguishing factor in deciding responsibility in
faultless cases which call on the “assumption of risk” doctrine is the control
held by individuals after the situation has begun. In accordance, companies
such as discount airlines and cigarette companies must take on the
responsibility of completing their duties, while individuals who chose to work
in a mine or drive on a private road must accept the responsibility of their
actions to do so.

All airlines hold the responsibility of transporting their customers
from a point of origin to a previously designated destination. The person who
agrees to buy a discount airline ticket, which warns to “fly at your own risk,”
is entitled to receive the minimum service of transportation provided by the
airline. The individual traveler should assume no other benefits other than
transportation. The airline company claims this act of transportation to be its
goal of services rendered. Independent of difficulties which may arise in
completing this goal, the airline may not alter the basic duty which it is
contractually obligated to perform. The airline tacitly consented to perform
this basic duty the moment they began transporting individuals for an accepted
payment. Once an individual has boarded the airplane they render all control
over their safety to the accepting airline which holds the minimum
responsibility of returning the individual back to a state of safety once their
duty is complete. The mere nature of airplane transportation forces the
individual to render total control over themselves to the airline. This
transfer of control holds the airline responsible for any action which may occur
due to the obvious lack of responsibility in the hands of the individual. Once
the plane has closed the cabin they withhold all control of an individual over
themselves, and must grant the service promised. The individual may demand the
right to existence and hold the company liable once they hold the power to
dictate all aspects of the situation.

One problem which arises within the situation is that of something
happening which the airline holds no control over. Any difficulties which arise
due to the daily routine of the airplane fall under the responsibility of the
airline. Even occurrences which are deemed unavoidable fall under the
responsibility of the airline because they hold total responsibility of their
clients once the cabin is closed. Due to the complete control the airline holds
on the situation it may be assumed that the doctrine of “assumption of risk”
applies solely to the airline. In creating a situation in which the individual
must give up his/her right to self-substinance the airline holds full
responsibility for any actions taken which may effect the safety of its
passengers. Anytime the airline engages in profit making acts, such as cutting
costs, they increase the risk upon themselves in return for extra monetary

Some may argue that some responsibility falls on the consumer due to the
warning which the airline provided prior to the purchase of the tickets. This
argument revolves around the assumption that the individual becomes responsible
due to their decision to buy a discounted ticket over the full price. Having
been previously warned about the risk involved, the individual is expected to
relieve the airline of responsibility for any mishaps which may occur. This
idea of responsibility may hold true if, and only if, the participant holds some
control over their well-being once inside the cabin of the airplane. There is
no controversy over the fact that the individual willingly accepted the
discounted rate and received a warning, but the airline still holds the
responsibility of earning its payment by completing the minimal requirement of
transportation. The prior warning only holds precedence over the individuals
ability to choose an airline which may either claim responsibility for numerous
actions, such as transportation, food, and entertainment, or act as the discount
airline and only claim responsibility for the transportation. The warning holds
no validity once the individual has lost control over their well being.

In continuing with the theory that the provider of a service holds the
minimum obligation to produce their product; the situation which arises in the
case of cigarette companies tends to raise several questions. If it is correct
that they provide a good which is legal under present law, how can they be held
responsible in any way? In following with the statement above, the cigarette
company holds a minimum obligation to the individual to produce a “safe”
cigarette. The meaning of safe in this context is meant to imply that the
cigarette will meet the safety requirements set by the government so that
individuals are not killed by a single cigarette. This act of producing “safe”
cigarettes for individuals covers the minimum obligation of the company to the
individual. In this case, any additional concerns or problems which the user
may have as a result of the product becomes the responsibility of the cigarette
addict. The cigarette company seemingly performs more than the minimum
obligation by also providing a product which fills the crave of addiction.

Continued use of this addictive product may lead to detrimental health and lung
disease. Cigarette companies attempt to protect themselves from such issues by
warning users of the inherent dangers and therefore eliminating their
responsibility for the result. After all, the individual must only notice the
risk and discontinue the use of cigarettes to reduce the risk of illness.

Therefore, it seems that the company holds no problems since they provide the
product and clearly state the risks of use. In this case it becomes the
individual’s responsibility to accept the risk and suffer the consequences.

A large problem arises in the addictive nature of the cigarette to seize
control over the actions of the individual user. Although the product
acknowledges its addictive quality, the addiction still continues to seize
complete control over the situation of cigarette smoking. The user becomes
chemically dependent on the product and becomes unable to avoid the risks
associated. As in the airplane case, the cigarette company gains control over
the individual and is therefore forced to share responsibility for their actions.

By outwardly admitting the problem at hand, the cigarette company must handle
the consequences. It seems logical that the company could restrict blame solely
to the user, due to the self-inflictive nature of the problem. The problem lies
in the fact that as the cigarette company admits to the addictive nature of
their product, they emphasize the fact that they have seized control of the
situation. Taking control of the situation forces the company to take
responsibility for the outcome produced. Cigarettes are intended to be
addictive in order to increase sales. Thus, if the company shares in the awards
of the addiction, they should consequently share in the damages as well.

A case which differs, due the control of the individual over their
actions, is that of the mining industry. The only problem for the company is
that of the moral dilemma accepted by the company’s executives. When we look at
the case from a distance it seems to be similar to that of the cigarette
industry, but the difference lies in the non-addictive nature of mining.

Although the company acknowledges the dangers of working in the mines, it is the
decision of the workers to accept the risk or find less hazardous job. The
individual holds the power to work in the mine or not. Unlike smoking, the mine
holds no addictive qualities which force the workers to stay. The worker
assumes full responsibility for his/her actions due to the choice to work in a
hazardous area. Since the company never gains control over the worker, the
worker stays in full control of the situation given the apparent risks involved.

The only instance in which the mining company gains some power over the
individual is in the case of monetary concerns. If the individual can only
obtain work at the mine and relies upon the income produced, it seems clear that
the company then holds some power over the individual. Although, this power is
limited by the mind set of the individual to determine the actual importance of
monetary gains. Since the mine holds no addictive quality which forces the
individual to work, the worker holds a free mind to decide what qualities of
life are most important. This freedom to decide releases the company from
responsibility of any problems which may arise as a result of the mine work, and
places all burden on the individual.

Some may argue that the mining company holds some responsibility over
the well-being of its employees. These beliefs support the idea that the
company should provide the greatest amount of safety precautions for their
workers. This can be witnessed through the use of safety equipment, medical aid,
and protective gear. Since the company has already warned about the risks, it
becomes the burden of the individual to purchase these items for themselves.

The company only holds the obligations to inform the workers of such available
equipment. If the workers feel this is unfair they may quit working and
possibly force employers to engage in such safety precautions. The
responsibility of providing payment for work is the only act which must be taken
on by the employer after they have given the warnings about the dangers of
mining. The rest of the responsibility lies in the hands of the miners who hold
the power to decide where they work.

The final case regarding responsibility of actions lies on a private
road which warns individuals of falling rocks. The sign posted at the beginning
of the road clearly states any dangers and makes the reader aware of the
apparent risks. The fundamental obligation of the road is similar to that of
the airplane in that it must provide a means for transportation from point A to
point B. However, the road differs from the plane in that the person driving is
in control of the situation at all times, and never gives up control over their
actions. The speed of travel, length of stay on the road, and the decision to
travel on the road are all decisions made by the individual and have a direct
effect on the safety of the individual. In this case the driver becomes
responsible for his actions on the road. The owner of the road met the
requirements set upon him by providing means of transport and warning of any
danger; all other responsibility lies in the able hands of the individual
driving the automobile.

The responsibility of any given action remains in the hands of those in
control of the action at any given time. As seen in the airplane and cigarette
examples, proper warning does not warrant lack of responsibility if the
individual holds no control over the outcome of the action. The mining company
and private road examples show how responsibility lies in the hands of the
individual as long as control over the situation is also controlled by the
individual. It is clear to see that responsibility for any given action remains
in the hands of those who hold control over the situation.


Circuit Training

From reducing risk of heart attack to simply
providing more energy, weight training plays an
important role in one’s life. One very popular method
of weight training is to increase mobility and build
strength and stamina. This method is known as circuit

Circuit training has been around for decades and
offers a wide variety of applications and benefits.

This workout is performed both mentally and
physically. The weight training participant performs
one set of an exercise then immediately performs a
set of another exercise in succession without rest;
one right after another. Exercise can be sequenced in
a variety of combinations, which isolate single
muscles, a group of muscles, or total body training.

Since muscles can only contract for long periods of
time when sufficient amounts of oxygen are available,
mental focus during circuit training is directed
towards the heart and lungs, as opposed just the
muscles during conventional training. The
cardiovascular and respiratory systems feed our
working muscles with oxygen filled blood that is
eventually fueled by body fat.

During conventional training the focus isn’t on the
heart and lungs because the cardio/respiratory
system rests between exercises, allowing the ATP to
LA cycle to be the energy supplier. (This cycle must
be depleted in order for the body to burn fat). By
performing circuit training, you don’t give your heart
or lungs a chance to relax, which keeps the ATP to
LA cycle depleted. In addition to increasing heart and
lung conditioning, enhancing your ability to use
oxygen, ad burning fat, impressive muscular shape
and strength gains will result from doing any
circuit-training workout.

Research studies consistently show that leans body
mass increases with a course of circuit training. A
1-3.2 kg gain in lean body mass can be expected with
a consequent decrease in relative fat mass of 1-3%,
total weight remaining unchanged. This is a major
benefit of circuit training, especially for those who
want to get in shape and tone up their muscles. With
traditional aerobic training, a decrease in relative fat
mass has led to a decrease in total weight with little
change in lean body mass. The resistance work
involved in the circuits encourages muscle-mass
development, and thus any fat loss is replaced equally
by muscle gain. This makes it easier to maintain the
lower body fat or reduce body fat even further
because the increase in lean body mass pushes up
basal metabolic rate and overall calorie expenditure.

These body-composition changes would support the
use of circuit weight training in a health and fitness
setting where toning up, but not losing weight, were
the major goals.

Circuit training is a great form of exercise, will help
almost anyone improve their health and offers lots of

Aeneas as Fated Hero

Essay # 3
Virgil’s The Aeneid is a story of true heroism in the face of war. A
hero often proves himself through war. Many of the characters in the
Aeneid throw themselves into warfare enthusiastically for the glory and
honor of their names. Aeneas, however, has a sense of responsibility
toward his people and their destiny rather than a wish for his name to be
honored after his death, which makes him more of a modern epic hero, unlike
the earlier Greek heroes such as Homers Odysseus. The duty-bound Aeneas is
determined to follow his fate wherever it leads even if he must suffer
unbearable losses and receive no reward or glory on Earth. His ability to
accept his destined path despite his unhappiness in doing so is the
defining attribute of Aeneas’s heroism.

Aeneas was destined, even before his own birth, to lay the foundations
in Italy for the glory of the Roman Empire. The direction and destination
of Aeneas’s journey are predetermined, and his various sufferings and
glories in battle and at sea over the course of the story merely postpone
this unchangeable destiny. As the son of Venus, the goddess of beauty and
love, he enjoys a special divine protection which, at certain points
throughout his voyage, helps guide him to his destiny. Although Aeneas is
fortunate enough to have a goddess as a mother, even the workings of the
gods cannot tamper with fate. There are some instances on this voyage in
which a few of the gods try to interfere with Aeneass life in order to
advance their own personal interests. However, none of these gods attempts
to manipulate Aeneas has any
effect on the overall outcome of events. For example, in Book IV Juno
plans a marriage between Dido and Aeneas in hopes that Carthage will
prosper from the union. Juno exclaims, Dido consumed with passion to her
core. Why not then, rule this people side by side with equal authority?
…Now Venus knew this talk was all pretence, all to divert the future
power from Italy to Libya. (99) Even though Junos plot for the union of
Aeneas and Dido was successfully carried out, and Aeneas bore a deep love
for Dido, he would not steer away from his destiny. As soon as Mercury
came to him to remind him to leave Dido, he did so, ignoring his hearts
strongest desires knowing that Dido would suffer greatly.

While other powerful characters in the epic (especially those opposed
to Aeneas’s founding of Rome in Italy) try to fight against fate, Aeneas
stays true to his calling. Turnus and Juno both resist destiny every step
of the way until the very end in Book XII in which they finally accept
their inability to control destiny, allowing fate to triumph. Even Dido
denies fate when she attempts to lure Aeneas into staying and building his
city in her homeland. Aeneas is stronger than these figures because he is
so pius and bound by his duty to Troy and to the wishes of fate.

Another aspect of Aeneas’s graceful heroism is his compassion for the
sufferings of others, even as he is determined to always put his duty
first. He constantly delivers encouraging speeches to his fellow Trojans
during times of great suffering in order to keep their spirits high. Also,
in Book V, Aeneas shows sympathy for the weak as he allows the crippled and
unwilling to stay behind. He also is compassionate towards the souls of
the underworld when he visits his father, Anchises in Book VI. He has
feels especially for the unburied dead, whose sufferings he witnesses. He
carries this compassion with him throughout his battles, and later tries to
sure that all the dead are buried properly, including enemies.

Aeneas places a particularly high value on family. This is certainly
evident near the end of Book II as he is journeying back home. Aeneas
carries his frail father upon his back, and takes his sons hand to guide
them. When Creusus, his wife, falls behind, he goes back in an attempt to
look for her. He values his divine mother equally. He respects her
greatly, and obeys every word of her advise. Aeneas’s love for his family
both aids him and distracts him during his long journey. He suffers at the
loss of his wife and his father, and questions the will of the gods. He
begins to lose faith in the importance of his duty, but the love for his
son and his obedience toward his mother encourage him to continue along his
path. This value of family, and loyalty to his duty in the face of grief
and loss add to Aeneas’s heroic qualities.

Aeneas’s faith that his destiny would result in the founding of a
great and powerful political empire is one of the major reasons for his
strong loyalty to his duty. Aeneas travels for years to many foreign
lands, fighting countless battles in an attempt to start a city. He has
little knowledge of where he is for a large part of the journey, and he has
even less knowledge of where he is supposed to be going. He tries to
settle his people in lands which turn out to be the wrong places.He has
no place to call home. He loses family members, friends, and fellow
Trojans to death or abandonment as a result of loss of hope and faith in
this journey, or because they are simply to weak to go on. To most men,
this voyage would seem pointless, even destructive. Yet Aeneas has
complete faith in his declared fate. He understands that he must follow
his destiny no matter how hopeless it seems to be. He does not find
happiness or peace of mind in doing his duty. Instead he struggles with
it, thinking at times that he may give up. But his piety urges him on.

Amazingly, Aeneas is able to act nobly and with dignity every step of
the way up until his final battle with Turnus in Book XII. At this point
he is exhausted and full of wrath. He at first decides to spare Turnus,
but changes his mind when he thinks of the way in which Pallas was slain by
Turnus. This is the first act of vengeance displayed by Aeneas, and quite
a different way to end the story of an epic hero. Virgil does this for a
reason, however. Through this epic poem in its entirety, Virgil portrays
the human condition. A dignified and heroic being follows his destiny at
all times, doing what is right not for himself but for the good of his
people. This being faces many triumphs and defeats throughout his
lifetime. He experiences love, friendship, and happiness, but also suffers
grief, loss, and pain. There are many times throughout life when he may
question the value of his life and his work. A dignified hero, however,
will push through all the way until his destiny is met, fighting and
struggling to the very end. It is only human, that at the end of such a
struggle (which in no way benefits himself), he displays rage and hatred.

Such a hero may never witness glory in his lifetime, but as Virgil has
proven, his name will be praised for centuries, even millenniums to come.


Justice Systems In The Puritan Societies
Justice systems have changed greatly over the years. In the Puritan justice system, much has been improved. In 1692, in the town of Salem, many people lose their lives or are punished unfairly due to their justice system. Justice to Puritans really is not justice at all; it is a quick fix to a complicated problem. In Arthur Millers The Crucible, the Puritan justice system is poorly illustrated due to the lack of evidence in trials, church influence in government, and in the setting.

With the witch trials in Salem, the lack of evidence has a large effect on many peoples lives. Someone can accuse another of a crime, and in almost no time at all, there will be a trial in the town court. Not only those who are personally affiliated with the crime are affected, everyone in the town is touched also. When Putnam states, She cannot bear to hear the Lords name thats a sure sign of witchcraft, he jumps to conclusions about the girls being witches. Simply because he made this accusation, talk was stirred up in town. The townsfolk become highly agitated over this situation, and the scenario is blown completely out of proportion. Soon after this happens, trials dates are set.

The church has a great deal of influence over the government in The Crucible. Sins and crimes are very closely connected; whereas, if one is committed, the other is likewise. Since the authority of the church, such as reverends are looked at as high and mighty these sinless people are also often the heads of, or have a lot of say in the towns government. At one point in the book, Reverend Hale declares: in my ignorance I find it hard to draw a clear opinion of them that come accused before the courtGod forbid such a one be changed, she Rebecca Nurse is mentioned somewhat He is saying Rebecca Nurses name was mentioned in court today, as if she involved with witch craft also. Reverend Hale is looked at as holy among the townsfolk, along with he plays a role in the towns court system. The towns religion and law are much alike, and very intertwined, which is believed to be best for this group of people.

The setting in The Crucible helps to enhance the theme. The plot of this story makes the time, place, and general environment seem almost too perfect to be true. The witch trials take place in the spring of 1692, in Salem, Massachusetts. At this time, the ways of the Puritan justice system are completely acceptable, whereas public hangings and executions do not seem out of the ordinary. When Arthur Miller writes:
they Puritans carried about an air of innate resistance, even of persecution So now they and their church found it necessary to deny any other sect its freedom, lest their New Jerusalem be defiled and corrupted by wrong ways and deceitful ideas They believed, in short, that they held in their steady hands the candle that would light the world
He is remarking about the way of life and beliefs of Puritans. He says they will not let their new world be polluted with sin and crime, and the world will imitate their actions, depending on the way their society is ruled. The people of this time and era think their justice system is acceptable, and throughout the many scenes in the book, nothing is thought of as prodigious.

Lack of evidence in trials, church influence in government, and the setting all compute up to an ineffective justice system in the Puritan society. It is unjust and unfair for the elders of this fellowship to change as many of the lives as they do with the justice system they have.

The Odessey

The Odessey is a tale that has changed literature and storytelling. In this tale Odysseus is a Soldier from the battle of Troy trying to get home to his island of Ithaca, where he is king. His wife and son must wait ten years while he is trying to make his way home. In Odysseus’s absence wooer’s, or better known as suitors, learn of his absence and travel to Ithaca to win his wife’s hand in marriage. These men come every day feasting on Odysseus’s food and wine, and give his servant’s orders. His son Telemachus, does his best to keep the suitors from ruining his fathers house but he is only a boy, and doesn’t receive the respect of an adult. Telemachus then has a visit from the god Athena, whom Odysseus is friends with, who advises him to travel to find out about his father. In his travels he hears that Odysseus may still be alive. Meanwhile Odysseus goes through a series of adventures and hardships that prove his wisdom. It is interesting in contrast of the Iliad, even though Achilles was much stronger and a better warrior, Odysseus was portrayed as a greater hero due to his wisdom. He uses this wisdom to escape from the Cyclops.
On the Cyclops’s island Odysseus and his men are trapped and eaten as food by a giant with only one eye. Odysseus commands his men to take an olive tree and carve a large stake from it. Then Odysseus gives the Cyclops all of their wine in order to get him drunk. After the Cyclops falls asleep they stab the steak into his one large eye, thus blinding him. Now with the Cyclops blind Odysseus and his men cling to the bottom of sheep to avoid the Cyclops and escape. Even though the cyclops checks everything leaving his cave he doesn’t find the men holding to the bottom of the sheep.

This tale coincides with the times in Greece. This was a time that art and Philosophy were extremely important and respected by the people. Odysseus was a new type of hero that didn’t win by overpowering his opponents, but by using his mind to outwit them. Manners also seemed to play an important role to Odysseus, as he was learned to be polite and generous to strangers and in the end punished those who weren’t.
Odysseus, like most of his fellow soldiers, is a rather arrogant greedy person at the beginning of the poem, and brings much sorrow on himself by his actions. Yet the gods are no better than he is and their punishment of Odysseus and his crew has more to do with the impulses of the Olympians than the sins of the mortals. Athena herself would not help Odysseus while he was sailing, for she did not want to go against her brother, Poseidon’s wishes. Poseidon was upset that he had blinded the Cyclops since that was his son. As the god of the sea he made it as hard as possible for Odysseus to make it home. Poseidon, however, disregards the fact that his son was using Odysseus and his men as food, and would naturally do anything to escape.

Book Reports

The Tempest

The Tempest was written in the early Stuart period in England when masques were becoming exceedingly popular, and were often performed at weddings to honor marriages. The Tempest is heavily influenced by elements of the masque, and can be performed with the same purposes as one, although it is far too rich to be classified simply into that genre of plays. In masques the use of spectacle was extensive. The Tempest reflects this in many ways. The very first scene, Act I scene i, is that of a ship in action, and requires elaborate special effects to convey a sense of realism. The banquet scene in Act III scene iii requires a “quaint device” to make it vanish, and also makes extensive use of costume, dance and music, as the spirits enter in the form of shapeless creatures and Ariel is the form of a harpy. The masque within the play in Act IV requires elaborate costumes for the goddesses and, ideally, machinery for Juno to descend as deus ex machina with. It also involves great amounts of song and dance. The entire play makes extensive use of music, with Ariel’s songs and Prospero’s charms as well as the “sweet airs” of the island itself. Being non-human, Caliban, Ariel and the spirits require elaborate costume to make them appear so, and the court party members are decked in their finest court apparel, having just been at Claribel’s wedding, so that Miranda is taken aback by the “brave new world / That hath such creatures in’t” on seeing them. The elements of pastoral comedy in The Tempest are also linked to those of the masque. A natural man, Caliban, exists. So do a pair of noble young lovers, Ferdinand and Miranda, who are brought together in the pastoral setting of an island, unaffected by the corruptive influences of civilisation, making Miranda an innocent and undeceitful young woman. She has had no time for “vainer hours”, as other princesses would have, leading to vanity, but has been educated by Prospero, showing she is innocent rather than ignorant. She is uncoquettish and direct in her advances to Ferdinand in Act III scene ii, and yet is filial, worrying about disobeying her father in what she feels is right. It is her virtue and innate nobility that make Ferdinand mistake her, on their first encounter, as “most sure the goddess of this island”. Ferdinand is also virtuous, having the chivalry to bear logs for Prospero as punishment simply because he has been defeated and having the ability to let “the pure white virgin snow upon my heart / Abate the ardour of my liver.” The chastity of the two lovers points toward the need for reason to rule passion for a harmonious relationship. This is reinforced again by the masque, in which the unruly Vesus and Cupid are omitted, and instead include Ceres, Juno and Iris, goddesses of the harvest, reflecting man’s harmony with nature; marriage, reflecting the importance of marriage vows; and the rainbow, reflecting the harmony of nature. The presence of the goddesses themselves in the masque reflects the element of divine intervention in the masque. In masques, it was common for characters from Grco-Roman mythology to be featured, blessing the couple. Divine intervention is also manifested in Ariel, who can only do good, as seen by the fact that he could not work for Sycorax. He is subordinated to Prospero, as well as all the other spirits, weaving in the concept of the supernatural. Ariel also alludes to mythology in his attirements as a seanymph and harpy. However, it would be wrong to classify The Tempest as a masque, as although it contains many elements of the masque, it features a structured plot with an exploration of controversial ideas and themes, such as that of nature versus nurture in Caliban and Antonio, and that of disruption of social hierarchy. Masques tended to rely more on spectacle and moral than on plot; the plot was often weak or non-existent. Through this, we can see that Shakespeare incorporated elements of the masque into that of his conventional plays, producing a play that can be well-regarded in both respects. The Tempest contains certain antimasque elements, such as the conspiracies for murder. Antonio and Sebastian prove that even with all the benefits of noble birth and civilised education, evil men can be produced. This is against traditional masque ideas of nobility. Antonio’s act of usurping Prospero, and their intention to murder Alonso and usurp his throne, give the play tragic elements as well, as they value their personal benefits over those of society. The mock court party also has antimasque qualities, as the rough humour of their folly in attempting to be rulers tickles us in a base way. However, their intent to murder Prospero also presents a dark side of the play, and Caliban is a base, dull, uncivilised brute rather than the innocent and noble natural nice man of Spenser. The fact that he can appreciate the music while many of the people from civilisation cannot points to the fact that he does have a degree of the purity which is destroyed by civilisation, but otherwise, we are little inclined to admire him. The struggle of Prospero to assert his reason over his passion, planning for the future rather than succumbing to his temptations for revenge, are also against the idea of the masque. Prospero, as the central character, has little to do with the elements of the masque at all, as the main concern of the plot is his education of the people on the island and his own education as a result of this. Thus, it would be impossible to claim that The Tempest is a masque, but possible to claim it has much to owe the masque. It is a masque to the limited extent that it contains most of the elements of the masque, but this is transcended by the fact that it contains much more that is not, making it a better and more profound play.
In The Tempest, it would seem that no two characters could be further apart than Prospero, the “right duke of Milan”, and Caliban, the “salvage and deformed slave.” They represent two different extremes on the social spectrum: that of the natural ruler, and the naturally ruled. Their positions on the social hierarchy are largely due to the fact that Caliban responds almost wholly to passions, feelings of pleasure — his senses, while Prospero is ruled more by his intellect and self-discipline — his mind. However, the fight that Prospero has against his own natural tendency to ignore the discipline of his intellect, and give in to pleasures such as vanity and self-indulgence, cannot be ignored. Caliban was born of a witch; Prospero is a magician. However, the types of magic practised by Sycorax and Prospero differ greatly: Sycorax, in many respects a traditional witch, worked within Nature and as a part of it. She worked with devils and the lowest orders of spirits. Prospero, on the other hand, exercises his magic by means of strict discipline and study, rising above the natural order by means of his greater knowledge, and actually coercing spirits of a fairly high rank, such as Ariel, to do his bidding and control other spirits for him. In the Arts which both represent, Prospero certainly reflects the world of the mind. And Sycorax does not? However, in the use of his Art, Prospero reveals himself as not wholly disciplined. okay Prospero enjoys using the power of his Art, as he tells us in his monologue just before his forgiveness of the court party — “graves at my command … op’d … By my so potent Art.” He has also shown that he enjoys using it to show off, as he did during the masque he provided for Ferdinand and Miranda, which he indulged in even when Caliban’s plot and the court party both urgently required his attention. Although we are not given details of Caliban’s birth, it seems likely that a creature as subhuman in appearance as Caliban was not born of a human union. It has been postulated that, to quote Prospero, he was “got by the devil himself upon thy wicked dam”, from a union between Sycorax and an incubus (an extremely attractive male apparition with intention to tempt). Caliban was therefore a creature born from passion, the offspring of an unholy pleasure. Prospero was not only of noble birth; he was also born to be the ruler of the city-state of Milan. Nobility, in Elizabethan times, carried with it heavy implications: it was expected that Prospero would be intellectually superior, and that he would exercise as great discipline over himself as he was expected to exercise over others, in his role of leadership. From their ancestry, Prospero is likely to be more ruled by his intellect, and Caliban by his love of pleasure. In the history of each character before the opening of The Tempest, there is a further contrast. Caliban’s original love for Prospero and Miranda, and his later misdemeanour and subsequent hatred for them, illustrate his fundamental reliance on his senses. Caliban loved Prospero and Miranda because they “made much of me”; and his response to this was purely sensual in his recollections: “Thou strok’st me, … wouldst give me / Water with berries in’t”. What Caliban responded to, more than anything else, was the sensation of pleasure that being loved and petted gave him. The action that caused Caliban to be removed from this position and punished was his attempt to rape Miranda, another example of how Caliban seeks pleasure. (Prospero’s position on sexual relations is quite opposite — he tells Ferdinand repeatedly not to take advantage of his daughter, and hammers the message home with the masque.) True but why? Make the full contrast clear. Prospero, on the other hand, enjoyed his original position as duke of Milan largely because he was able to study to his heart’s content. This seems to indicate a particular reliance on the powers of the mind — quite opposite to Caliban’s fault — but in actual fact, Prospero’s neglect of his duties and self-indulgence in pushing the matters of the state all to Antonio must be censured, and laid at the door of his lack of self-discipline. Prospero did these things because he enjoyed them so much — and like Caliban, he was punished. Which is to say he did not fulfill his responsibilities. Be more direct. However, it must be noted that Prospero was able to learn from his mistake, disciplining himself into the study of magic only so far as it would restore himself, and Milan, to a state of rightful leadership. The decision to give up his magic at the end of the play can be attributed only to intellectual discipline; Prospero’s understanding that for the good of his people and himself, he must give up that which gives him pleasure. It is not quite so one dimensional. During The Tempest itself, Prospero and Caliban have two very different purposes. Prospero intends to resolve the injury that was done to Miranda and himself, bloodlessly, by the use of his Art. Caliban’s dearest wish is to depose Prospero by killing him and, rather than resuming rule of the island himself, submit to the rule of Stephano. Prospero’s purpose does indeed include passion — he wishes to take revenge on his “false” brother, and wants the dukedom returned to himself and Miranda. However, Prospero clearly manages to conquer his personal vendetta against Antonio, as evidenced by his forgiveness of him at the end, and his decision not to ruin Antonio by giving away his plot to kill Alonso. Besides, his personal desire to have his dukedom back is acceptable, because part of this desire is a wish to see the dukedom back in the hands of a ruler who cares for the people, not given to a ruler like Antonio, whose main interest is always himself. Prospero may be thinking in terms of self, but as long as he also keeps this lofty purpose in mind, we may say that the world of the mind has more power over him. good Caliban’s purpose in attaching himself to Stephano and plotting to kill Prospero is almost wholly passionate. The reason that Caliban believes Stephano to be a worthy ruler, indeed, a god, is that Stephano is the custodian of liquor, a substance that appeals to his senses. His favourable response to Stephano is like his previous response to Prospero — that someone who makes him feel good must be good. Likewise, his attempt at achieving revenge on Prospero is largely in retribution for the punishment Prospero has visited upon his senses. well said However, though Caliban’s desire for revenge is certainly not cerebral, his passions in it are not entirely sensual either. The crafty manner in which he persuades Stephano to aid him in his plan, by mentioning Prospero’s riches and Miranda’s beauty, shows the presence of some mental ability; as does his attempted tact in trying to keep Stephano’s mind upon “bloody thoughts”. Furthermore, one of his grievances against Prospero is that he stole the island that was, by birthright, Caliban’s, and imprisoned Caliban upon it. This is part of the little evidence we have that Caliban operates using more than his senses and passions. However, Caliban’s mind is subject to his senses, much as Prospero’s passions are subject to his mind. Caliban’s underlying motives are still passionate. His indignation at having his inheritance usurped loses its weight when we realise that, of his own free will, he will let Stephano rule — showing himself to be naturally ruled, not ruler. At the end of the play, when he recognises that his choice of Stephano as a ruler was foolish, it is not mental reasoning that has led him to this conclusion, but the evidence of his senses and experience. Caliban has mind enough to function as part of society, but training him to become part of that society cannot be abstract, like Prospero’s failed attempt at educating him with Miranda — Caliban’s education must be practical and hammered home with his own senses. Neither Prospero nor Caliban cannot be said to be wholly mind or sensual passion, but Caliban does rely largely on his senses, and by the end of the play, Prospero’s mind has achieved a great extent of control over his passions.
text passage: Act I, Sc ii, lines 79-116. From “Being once perfected how to grant suits” to “To most ignoble stooping”
Paying close attention to tone & imagery, comment on the presentation of Prospero and important ideas in the play raised here.
We are presented with the highly emotional and angst-filled account of past times in Milan narrated by the main protagonist of The Tempest, Prospero. The turbulence in his tale reminds us of the equally disturbing tempest in the previous scene with its general mood of disorder and destruction. Although there are no physical indication of violence as in the last scene, Prospero’s report is coloured with such images. It is here, in Act 1 Scene 2 that we learn that Prospero’s “art” had conjured up the “tempestuous” storm. Miranda’s “piteous heart” demands a salvation for the “poor souls” onboard the ship but her father, the great magician, Prospero promises that, “there’s no harm done”. He proclaims, “tis’ time” and sets out to explain his motive for raising The Tempest that is the driving force of the entire play. As he speaks of the past, Prospero is no doubt reliving every single detail “in the dark backward and absym of time”. He seems to have vengeance on his mind right now. Old wounds are cruelly re-opened and he re-experiences the bitterness of betrayal by is “false brother” and the pain of what had happened “twelve year since”. At the same time, he is also stirring up lost memories in Miranda’s “remembrance”. We see Shakespeare’s magic at work as well while he deftly weaves the plot into his audience’s mind. Every time Prospero calls Miranda to attention, Shakespeare speaks through the lips of his creation to his audience, “Thou attend’st not?” Taking on the voice of father, magician and “prince of power”, the bard leads us straight into the crux of The Tempest of Prospero’s voice. The usurped Duke of Milan speaks of the usurper, Antonio most vividly, using myriad images. We picture Antonio’s brilliance in politics as Prospero tells of how his brother “being once perfected how to grant suits, how to deny them, who t’ advance and which to trash for over-topping” supplanted him. He presents us with a hunting image as he acknowledges Antonio’s skill & compliments him. Prospero uses a number of images in his speech to let us see Antonio as a political animal. He shows us how “having both the key of the officer and office” Antonio gained supporters and got rid of opposers. This double image aptly portrayed how he not only secured the authority entrusted to him; he also had the ability to assert that power to his own means — “set all hearts i’th’ state to what tune pleas’d his ear”. At the same time, we notice that the play is one that rings of music, this is only one instance where music is mentioned. It is a recurring motif. He maneuvers his way into nature when he informs Miranda (and the audience) of “the ivy which hid my princely trunk and suck’d my vendure out on’t”. We see in our minds’ eye the devious Antonio who sucked the power out of his brother’s welcoming hands and so, his life, leaving only a dry shell. Through the use of such imagery, Shakespeare unfolds the passionate tale of usurpation before the “wondrous” Miranda and us, the audience. The wise Prospero speaks of how he had laid himself wide open to harm in “being transported and rapt in secret studies”. “Neglecting worldly ends, all dedicated to closeness and the bettering of his mind” he entrusted Milan into the hands of his treacherous brother and in doing so, “awak’d an evil nature” in his false brother. Not contented with his position, Antonio “new created the creatures that were mine, chang’d ’em or else new form’d ’em” and “confederates wi’th King of Naples” to bend Milan “to most ignoble stooping”. It is obvious that Prospero was not conscious of what Antonio was doing and so, we, the sympathetic listeners feel for him although we know that he is partly at fault for his downfall. Prospero’s anger and feelings of vengeance is understandable but we know that “there’s no harm done”. At the same time, as we listen to the usurped fling charge after charge at the amoral usurper like the sea waves beating relentlessly at the “yellow sands”, Shakespeare questions the Prospero’s usurpation of the “creatures” of the island — Caliban and Ariel. We find out later that the powerful mage subjects the “most delicate monster”, Caliban to “most ignoble stooping” and even the “fine apparition”, Ariel is not spared from the magic of Prospero who has him at his beck and call. They cry for liberty but do they receive it from the usurped “master”? This is another of the important ideas raised in the play. Miranda listens attentively to her father as he relives how he had placed his trust mistakenly on Antonio, “like a good parent” and how it “beget of him a falsehood in its contrary”. “He needs will be absolute Milan.” This convoluted image reminds us of how the unknowing Caliban had placed his trust and “loved thee and showed thee all the qualities o’ th’ isle.” The situation of Prospero “twelve year since” mirrors that of the “abhorred slave”, Caliban. Meanwhile, it also presents Antonio and Prospero as complex political creatures surviving in the “realism” of politics. The usurped did not refrain from usurping others in a different place and time. Here, we see the men as truly brothers because they are alike in their usurpation. The only difference lies in Prospero’s benevolence in his decision towards reconciliation. We are given enough to be sure that Antonio will never consider the very idea because he “made a sinner of his own memory”. The man created and shaped his own reality to suit his means and this is another recurring motif in the play. We have seen how the people are unable to see through the illusion of the “tempest” and sometimes, they just do not understand their own reality because they do not want to see it. Prospero has made use of that weakness to “recover” his dukedom as he brings the plotters, Antonio, Sebastian and Alonso to the island for a lesson. We will meet the king of Naples who despairs of ever finding his beloved son, Ferdinand after The Tempest and refuses to entertain the hope of seeing him again but we know he does in the end. Power, “all prerogative” had gone into the plotters’ heads and this veils the actual reality to become another reality in the mind. We encounter another motif in the play, that of fathers. We know that although the fathers (Prospero and Antonio) are enemies, they will forget their differences in the union of their child (Ferdinand and Miranda) eventually. This tale that “would cure deafness” is the stepping stone of the entire play and we are presented with a multi-faceted Prospero — the magician who usurps, the wronged who was usurped, the avenger, the father, the master, the duke. Can we really define him? Shakespeare leaves that intriguing thought in our minds as we take leave of this account full of “imagistic” qualities and themes.
The Tempest, written in 1611, was one of William Shakespeare’s last plays. It has a combination of superb characters, interesting settings, and a good plot line—all held together by the running theme of magic, and its ever-present importance. A closer examination of the magic in The Tempest, and the public’s view of magic at the time, will give insight as to Shakespeare’s choice of magic as a theme, and why it has made the play so successful and timeless.
Magic presented itself to Shakespeare as a controversial topic, as it had been the persecution of those believed to perform “black magic,” (witches) that had been at the forefront of societal concerns since 1050. However, after 500 years of witch-hunts, a turning point occurred in 1584, at the publication of Reginald Scot’s The Discouerie of Witchcrafte (The Discovery of Witchcraft). This book was the first major book to denounce witch-hunts and their ringleaders, and unquestionable the first book in English to actually hypothesize about the methods of these so-called witches. It contained one chapter of approximately twenty pages describing what we might view as unsophisticated, old-time magic tricks.
One would assume that it was this text, and texts succeeding this (The Art of Juggling, written by Samuel Ridd in 1610 also presented a few how-to’s of magic) were probably not only what suggested the idea of using magic as a them to Shakespeare, but in addition, provided methods as to how the magic in the play might be accomplished.
Despite the fact that in retrospective analysis it is fairly clear that witches were nothing more that magicians with a slightly different presentation, audiences were not always aware of –and those that were, were rarely convinced by—the two aforementioned texts. Witches were still persecuted and witch-hunts did not actually stop until the end of the seventeenth century. Therefore, Shakespeare’s use of magic was controversial, compounded by the fact that Prospero was presented in a largely good light—a move probably made as a political statement, as it is known that Shakespeare’s plays were sometimes written to include political suggestions to King James. However, when Prospero relinquished his powers at the end of the play, those that did believe in the witch-hunts were satisfied. Everyone was happy.
After considering the contention that the masque scene was added for the purposes of compliment to Elizabeth and Frederick’s marriage, one could conclude that Shakespeare learned more about magic after he wrote The Tempest. The reasoning follows. One could only assume that Shakespeare would have tried to make the magic in the play as fooling and magical as possible. Although there were two magic effects in the play, one of them –the spirit music—would not have fooled even the most unsophisticated and nave audiences. Even before the era of Harry Houdini, or even the wandering street magicians of the 1700’s, audiences were not fooled by music being played offstage. It is the other effect, that of the banquet disappearance that, well executed, would have fooled Shakespeare’s audiences, and would even have a shot of passing muster today.
However, this banquet sequence was in the masque scene, theoretically added two years after the original writing of the play. The question that begs to be answered therefore, is why didn’t Shakespeare fund some other way of including a more sophisticated magic effect into the play? The most logical answer would be that he learned more about magic and witch techniques after he wrote the play. Maybe at first he was unable to grasp the explanations in the Scot text, or maybe he didn’t even read it before the original writing—possibly it was just called to his attention, and he was unable to lay his hands on a copy until after he wrote the play
Whether or not Shakespeare ever read the Scot text in its entirety, or whether or not the banquet disappearance was added before or after the original writing, neither is relevant to magic’s central importance to the play. Obviously, magic could grab audiences of Shakespeare’s time. As it happens, magic had been grabbing audiences since 2500 BC (according to a depiction of a magician on the Beni Hassan tomb in Egypt) and magic continues to grab audiences today. It caught Shakespeare’s eye, and has made the play timeless, and theatrically entertaining.