DukeZhou
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1 answers
9 votes
7k views
What's the difference between a five-act play and a three-act play?
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13 votes

This is an excellent site discussing five-act structure in Shakespeare, containing a diagram and numerous examples. Essentially, the five-act structure can be broken down as: Prologue Conflict ...

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5 answers
7 votes
17k views
Can music be considered literature?
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I would say Music should not be classified as Literature because to do so would cause much confusion in talking about work in two fundamentally distinct artistic mediums. [See PephenKinD's answer for ...

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3 answers
13 votes
313 views
What is a bootless oath?
10 votes

The specific Butler passage you reference can be found on Perseus line 272-348. An alternate 1924 translation by A.T. Murray may also be found there. The Murray is quite distinct from the Butler ...

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1 answers
13 votes
901 views
Why is Nausicaa named 'burner of ships'?
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I'm going to attempt an answer with the caveats that the materialists often find my etymological ideas on names to be poetic as opposed to scientific, and that I'd want to know what Graves thought but ...

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1 answers
9 votes
621 views
How much of The Song of Wandering Aengus by Yeats is based on Irish folklore?
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9 votes

This is not meant to be definitive nor exhaustive, but merely an exploration of certain themes and symbols in the poem: Yeats is widely regarded as one of the great poets of the ages--Eliot ...

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1 answers
8 votes
864 views
How can poetry be defined?
7 votes

This is a tough question. Eliot, in particular, demonstrated the primacy of meter over rhyme in Four Quartets. (Rhyme is generally considered to be the primary mnemonic device, a critical element ...

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2 answers
12 votes
6k views
What is the deeper meaning of "The Tyger"?
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The perceived "banality" in relation to Innocence & Experience may be regarded as a device. In fact, the poems are all quite profound, but structured in a way as to be suitable for children as ...

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2 answers
6 votes
319 views
What is the radical feminist take on Harry Potter?
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I'm going to approach this from a mythological perspective to show how the series strongly reinforces the idea of patriarchy via symbolism. Harry is an "Athenian" hero Here I mean in the ...

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1 answers
9 votes
1k views
Is the fight between Mercutio and Tybalt a joke, or is it serious?
6 votes

I suspect Zeffirelli was commenting on the transition between boyhood and adulthood in the context of consequences, and how easily a simple mistake can have severe implications. (Compare to teens ...

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1 answers
10 votes
234 views
Why is the oath sworn to Dolon by Hector a "bootless" one?
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6 votes

It likely has to do with a quote by Automedon later in the Iliad: “Alcimedon, what man beside of the Achaeans is of like worth to curb and guide the spirit of [Achilles'] immortal steeds, save only ...

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3 answers
9 votes
684 views
Why is "Ode on Melancholy" an Ode?
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This is meant as a supplement to @akr's concise answer. "Ode" derives from two Ancient Greek word for song: ἀοιδή and ᾠδή You will note from the links that one of the entries for the first word is: ...

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3 answers
6 votes
1k views
Why does Ishtar insist on being called "Ishtar"?
5 votes

I think @Shokhet is probably correct in that it's likely a form of teasing/light antagonism, but, on further reflection, it probably goes deeper than that. It is an older, less known name for Ishtar....

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1 answers
4 votes
274 views
Why is Richard portrayed without a hunchback in the 1955 Laurence Olivier adaptation of Richard III?
5 votes

In the words of Olivier himself: "It's called acting." This quip derives from a very famous anecdote about acting technique, which reportedly occurred on the set of Marathon Man. Dustin Hoffman, ...

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3 answers
8 votes
899 views
Why doesn't Hamlet like improvisation?
5 votes

Christopher Strobbe's answer is excellent, and I'll add this thought because, in my experience, the greatest literature operates on many levels. This is especially important for Dramatic literature, ...

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2 answers
15 votes
2k views
What is up with the oracle's prophecy in the story of Cupid and Psyche?
5 votes

Let Psyche’s body be clad in mourning wed, And set on rock of yonder hill aloft: Her husband is no being of human seed, But serpent dire and fierce as might be thought. Who flies with ...

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2 answers
6 votes
408 views
What is the significance of "Jonathan" in Strange and Norrell?
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I was doing a little research on the etymology of John recently. (I suspect that Riordan's "Jackson" is a reference to John, where "Jack" is a form of John, and Percy Jackson is ...

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2 answers
11 votes
2k views
Is there any deeper significance to the Borges story "The End"?
5 votes

Thank you for asking this question! (Not least because I am itinerant and my Borges is all in boxes, but your question led me to this collected stories of Borges in pdf, which will provide ℵ value on ...

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1 answers
21 votes
575 views
How does Shakespeare's iambic pentameter work with Original Pronunciation?
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5 votes

I think the disconnect may derive from regarding Shakespeare's plays as being written literature. The publication of the text versions of his play, whether in the the First Folios, the quartos, or ...

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1 answers
1 votes
192 views
Does Indiana Jones have a literary inspiration or equivalent?
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5 votes

The origins are well documented on Wikipedia. George Lucas was very public about the character of Indy being inspired by Scrooge McDuck in a treasure hunting storyline, although Alan Quartermain and ...

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2 answers
11 votes
2k views
Is there any deeper significance to the Borges story "The End"?
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4 votes

It turns out Recabarren was a political figure in Chile who was imprisoned for 8 months. As you will recall, the setting of the story is in Latin America. The loss of voice could be a reference to ...

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4 answers
4 votes
10k views
What did Gray mean by "where ignorance is bliss, / 'tis folly to be wise"?
4 votes

Gray was referencing Ecclesiastes and playfully inverting the conclusion of an important verse. For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief. Ecclesiastes 1:18 ...

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3 answers
7 votes
4k views
Explanation of a line from the poem "I do not love you " by Pablo Neruda
4 votes

I'd really like to see the full text of your translation. It differs from the two translations I posted in the body of your question. In the latter cases, they use the English "obscured", but yours ...

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2 answers
7 votes
156 views
Can absence of information be considered a stylistic choice?
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Wallace's answer is definitive, so this answer is merely in way of commentary on the issue. Hidden information is not only a stylistic choice, but a strategic choice Viewed from the standpoint of ...

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2 answers
4 votes
206 views
Should there be a trochee in the second to last line of Thomas Hardy's "The Oxen"?
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I think your instincts are very good in choosing a trochee for the beginning of the third line. Emphasizing the "I" is meaningful The poet sets up this line by musing that if a person said the ...

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7 answers
24 votes
36k views
What is the benefit in the Prologue "spoiling" the play in Romeo and Juliet?
4 votes

The short answer is that there is the idea that knowing the ending harms the literary work only holds for material that depends on a "twist ending", such as The Sixth Sense. But even with that film, ...

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2 answers
11 votes
3k views
What is the reason for partial highlighting in "The Sandman"?
4 votes

What @Emrakul said, but also because Todd Klein did the lettering. Letterers don't get much notice or respect, but Klein is something of a rockstar in his field. I believe Will Eisner was the first ...

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1 answers
6 votes
126 views
How much do the characters in Waiting for Godot actually know?
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4 votes

Haha. Great question! The ambiguity is intended and there is certainly exhaustive scholarship on the play and characters, which likely includes analysis of this question. This is a brief, partial ...

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2 answers
4 votes
150 views
Why does Dennis Brown say Hughes's Crow is "a sly parody of Eliot's later style"?
3 votes

By Eliot's later work, this is almost certainly referring to Four Quartets, Eliot's most post-modern poem. See: T. S. Eliot bibliography > Poetry If you've read a lot of Eliot, there is a great ...

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6 answers
18 votes
7k views
Significance of the Phoenician Sailor having pearls for eyes in The Waste Land
3 votes

My sense is it relates to the theme of "profit & loss", and commerce/banking, that is developed later in The Burial of the Dead: A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many, I had not thought ...

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1 answers
5 votes
737 views
In "The South" by Jorge Luis Borges, what is the significance of the cat?
3 votes

Every time I read the story I find new meaning, and I suspect I will always feel as thought I am missing more than I am recognizing (the magic of Borges!) Without going into it too deeply: ...

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