Paper 2 - Ankur Gupta Dr Francesca Draughon IHUM Myth and Modernity 16 February 2005 Rated R for Violence Violence is ubiquitous in modern and past

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ankur Gupta Dr. Francesca Draughon IHUM: Myth and Modernity 16 February 2005 Rated R for Violence Violence is ubiquitous in modern and past works of literature. It is, and has been, a common theme or component of almost every story ever told in some form or fashion. However, in much of today’s artistic media, violence often exists for little use aside from the shock and commercial value that the audience enjoys. Violence serves a much different purpose in past texts, notably “Nathan the Wise” by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing and “Saint Matthew’s Passion” by Johann Sebastian Bach. In the two pieces, violence is defined and treated in slightly different ways but is used in each to serve the same purpose. In order to understand the function of violence in these works, it must first be understood that each work has a didactic quality. “Nathan the Wise” and “Saint Matthew’s Passion” both depict two worlds; the real world and the ideal world envisioned by the texts. Looking at the characteristics of the real and ideal world afforded to the reader by violence, the messages that Nathan the Wise and Saint Matthew’s Passion convey become clear. Thus, violence is a tool used by both works to show the reader the message presented by the texts. “Nathan the Wise” employs violence in a nontraditional fashion. Instead of looking at the physical nature of violence, Lessing defines violence as intolerance between peoples of the three main faiths: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. One of Lessing’s goals in “Nathan the Wise” is to criticize intolerance and preach his beliefs of tolerance. Namely, Lessing preaches that all people should look beyond religion and instead treat their neighbors as humans. Lessing does 1
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
not particularly espouse any single religion, but firmly believes in each religion’s right to exist. Violence, defined as intolerance, depicts the foolish nature of the world as seen by Lessing, and serves as a contrast to the tolerant and peaceful world seen at the play’s conclusion. The Christian Templar is, not surprisingly, one of the more intolerant characters in the play. Indeed, his existence is a reflection of the conflict that exists between the Christians and Muslims. However, on page 213, Lessing uses the Templar as a spokesperson for his own beliefs: the Templar knight discusses the legitimacy of the three religions. In doing so, he describes the fundamental reason behind the violence in “Nathan the Wise”: the intolerance due to the fact that all religions refuse to accept the chance that they are not the chosen people. “Well said indeed!-- But do you know the folk that was the first to carp at the other tribes? Was first to call itself the chosen people? Suppose that I did not exactly hate, but for its pride was forced to scorn that folk: the pride it then passed on to Christians, Moslem, which says their god alone is the true god! You’re startled at this from a Christian Templar?
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course IHUM 53 taught by Professor Nightingale,white during the Winter '08 term at Stanford.

Page1 / 6

Paper 2 - Ankur Gupta Dr Francesca Draughon IHUM Myth and Modernity 16 February 2005 Rated R for Violence Violence is ubiquitous in modern and past

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online