Loading presentation...

Present Remotely

Send the link below via email or IM


Present to your audience

Start remote presentation

  • Invited audience members will follow you as you navigate and present
  • People invited to a presentation do not need a Prezi account
  • This link expires 10 minutes after you close the presentation
  • A maximum of 30 users can follow your presentation
  • Learn more about this feature in our knowledge base article

Do you really want to delete this prezi?

Neither you, nor the coeditors you shared it with will be able to recover it again.


Medium and Myth


Emily Allen

on 11 December 2009

Comments (0)

Please log in to add your comment.

Report abuse

Transcript of Medium and Myth

while the underlying story of entering and returning from Hell may be the same kind of story that has been told for millennia, each new medium introduces a new context to the story. While each new medium introduces new context, it also allows for the author to insert more of him or herself within the text—it began with just the lingering memory of the person’s voice, but more and more we are able to see more of the author. We see the author’s face; we can even speak directly to him or her. We are quickly toward a new orality, a personal orality that is more a conversation than a monologue. Myth and Medium How Presentaion Affects Meaning
*Please forgive the poor quality of some of the cuts. The video editing software I was using is still in it's beta stages. Some stories are timeless. The story of a man braving the dangers of Hell to save his friends and yet returning against all odds is as old as the hills. However, as each new generation comes along, they put their own new twist on the story. When the author chooses to tell their story in a new medium, they have a chance to do something wholly unique from the various stories that came before them. This is because new media tend to create new social circumstances. This presentation will demonstrate how the new social circumstances brought on by new media affects the way the mythic trope of a man visiting Hell and returning the better for it.
Click the left and right arrows at the bottom of the screen to follow the path I have set up or use the scroll button on your mouse to zoom out and click on which ever section you would prefer to read instead. Heracles In ancient times, “the primary mode of literary production and consumption was through public oral performance” (Miller, 121) and was therefore aimed at all people and intended to serve a practical purpose. Rhetoric, the art of speech making, was the “most comprehensive academic subject in all of western culture in two thousand years (Ong 9) and was considered the pinnacle of all discourse in ancient times. Oral poetry, on the other hand, was “virtually the sole medium for [a preliterate] society to store and preserve its necessary information” and was therefore “the primary means of education and social cohesion” (Miller, 5). As such, characters in epic poems like Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey can only feel actualized when they are given glory and honor. When the heroes feel that they or other characters have tarnished their personal honor, they undertake great tasks or quests to redeem it. In the cases of Heracles and Odysseus, their tasks or quests take them to the relm of Hades. The Oral Tradition Heracles is not the primary subject of either of Homer’s epic poems but
despite this his many labors that he performed for Eurystheus are very well
known and were even referenced in the Odyssey. According to Apollodorus, Hera drove Heracles mad and caused him to kill his two children (2.4.12) and in repentance he had to serve Eurystheus for twelve years performing ten labors, but
since Eurystheus believed Heracles had help slaying the hydra and did not
actually clean the stables of Augeas himself, Eurystheus had him perform two
others. For his twelfth labor, Heracles was commanded to go into Hell and
fetch back Hades' many-headed dog, Cerberus. While he was at it, he
rescued his friend Theseus, who had journeyed into Hell to help his friend
carry off Persephone, the Queen of the Dead. Hercules has the
assistance of Hermes and Athena according to some myths, like
in Homer's Odyssey, but in others he manages just by his
brute strength to overcome the dangers of Hell, as he
does in Apollodorus (2.5.12). The Library of Apollodorus Now it came to pass that after the battle with the
Minyans Hercules was driven mad through the
jealousy of Hera and flung his own children, whom he
had by Megara, and two children of Iphicles into the fire; wherefore he condemned himself to exile, and was purified by Thespius, and repairing to Delphi he inquired of the god where he should dwell. The Pythian priestess then first called him Hercules, for hitherto he was called
And she told him to dwell in Tiryns, serving Eurystheus
for twelve years and to perform the ten labours
imposed on him, and so, she said, when the tasks
were accomplished, he would be immortal. Apollodorus. Apollodorus, The Library, with an English Translation by Sir James George Frazer, F.B.A., F.R.S. in 2 Volumes. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1921. Includes Frazer's notes.
2.4.12 AKA Hercules “And after him I marked the mighty Heracles—his phantom;
for he himself among the immortal gods takes his joy in the feast,
and has to wife Hebe, of the fair ankles, daughter of great Zeus and of
Here, of the golden sandals. About him rose a clamor from the dead, as
of birds flying everywhere in terror; and he like dark night, with his bow
bare and with arrow on the string, glared about him terribly, like one in act
to shoot.
He in turn knew me when his eyes beheld me, and weeping spoke to me
winged words: “‘Son of Laertes, sprung from Zeus, Odysseus of many
devices, ah, wretched man, dost thou, too, drag out an evil lot such as I once
bore beneath the rays of the sun? I was the son of Zeus, son of Cronos, but I
had woe beyond measure; for to a man far worse than I was I made subject,
and he laid on me hard labours. Yea, he once sent me hither to fetch the
hound of Hades, for he could devise for me no other task mightier than
this. The hound I carried off and led forth from the house of Hades;
and Hermes was my guide, and flashing-eyed Athena.’ The Odyssey 604-626 Homer. The Odyssey with an English Translation by A.T. Murray, PH.D. in two volumes. Cambridge, MA., Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann, Ltd. 1919. http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0136%3Abook%3D11%3Acard%3D601 Heracles was the son of Zeus and
Alcmene and his name means “Glory of
Hera,” which is ironic considering the
immense hatred the goddess seems to bear him
in most accounts of his life. This may indicate that at some time, in some mythic variation, he served as Hera’s champion and that over time the myth was altered to make Hera his enemy. His
original name was Alcides, which he later
changed. While known best for his brute
strength, Heracles was also a fairly clever
man, finding ways to solve his
problems with his wits when his
fists failed him. Odysseus Odysseus journeys to Hell on the advice of Circe to
speak to the dead, blind prophet, Tireseas. He hopes to
learn from the prophet the way back to his home in Ithaca.
Unlike Heracles, Odysseus does not descend into the deepest
reaches of Hell, he only enters the topmost portion.
It is significant to note that he was only able to reach Hell with divine aid- that is, Circe's advice. Even more significant is that had he not fled when he heard the dead wailing he may have
been trapped there indefinitely.
Also significant is WHY he chose to go to Hell in the first
place. He knew he and his men could not stay on Circe's
island and he also knew he had to go home and restore
order to his household. As king of Ithaca, his duty was
to his homeland and he would enjoy no honor if
the people of his homeland and the suitors
pursuing his wife thought he was
dead and never coming
The Odyssey The Odyssey So when we had made fast all the tackling throughout the
ship, we sat down, and the wind and the helms man made
straight her course. All the day long her sail was stretched as she
sped over the sea; and the sun set and all the ways grew dark. “She
came to deep-flowing Oceanus, that bounds the Earth, where is the land
and city of the Cimmerians, wrapped in mist and cloud. Never does the
bright sun look down on them with his rays either when he mounts the
starry heaven or when he turns again to earth from heaven, but baneful
night is spread over wretched mortals. Then there gathered from out of Erebus the spirits of those that are dead,
brides, and unwedded youths, and toil-worn old men, and tender maidens
with hearts yet new to sorrow, and many, too, that had been wounded with
bronze-tipped spears, men slain in fight, wearing their blood-stained
armour. Lines 9-15 Lines 36-40 Homer. The Odyssey with an English Translation by A.T. Murray, PH.D. in two volumes. Cambridge, MA., Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann, Ltd. 1919. http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0136%3Abook%3D11%3Acard%3D1 Book 11 Book 11 Book 10 ‘Circe, fulfil for me the promise which thou
gavest to send me home; for my spirit is now
eager to be gone, and the spirit of my comrades,
who make my heart to pine, as they sit about me
mourning, whensoever thou haply art not at hand.’ “So
I spoke, and the beautiful goddess straightway made
answer: ‘Son of Laertes, sprung from Zeus, Odysseus
of many devices, abide ye now no longer in my house
against your will; but you must first complete another
journey, and come to the house of Hades and dread
Persephone, to seek soothsaying of the spirit of
Theban Teiresias, the blind seer, whose
mind abides steadfast. Lines 484-494 Homer. The Odyssey with an English Translation by A.T. Murray, PH.D. in two volumes. Cambridge, MA., Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann, Ltd. 1919. http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0136%3Abook%3D10%3Acard%3D475 In the Iliad, Odysseus often tries to speak to
Achilles on Agamemnon’s behalf and come up with
schemes to help the Greeks. He would later wander for
ten years in the Odyssey in his quest back home. Called “Odysseus of many devices” throughout the Odyssey, Odysseus is one of the cleverest characters in Greek myth.
He thought up the Trojan Horse and tricked Polyphemus so that he and his crew could escape from his hunger and rage. While his tricks helped him survive and helped the Greeks
win the Trojan War, his cleverness is often portrayed as
deviousness or scheming. He would even appear suffering
in the eighth circle of Hell in Dante’s Inferno for his
devices. Still, despite this negative connotation to his
character, Odysseus still possesses for some the
image of a reasoning, thinking man. Writing Aeneas Sermons and the Rise of Christianity Hundreds of years after Homer, a Jewish sect began to form in Jeruselem. This sect would one day become one of the largest religions in the world, Christianity. While the medium of a sermon is not significantly different from that of older oral presentations, the influence of this religion on Western culture is overwhelming. Much in the same way that Miller described the role of oral poetry, sermons are speeches delivered to people that are specifically religious in nature. Modern sermons are based off specific religious texts in the tradition of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, which was based on the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament. Dante Works Cited Dante Alighieri. The Divine Comedy, Illustrated, Complete. Henry Francis Cary, Trans.

Alsford, Mike. "Heroes and Villains." Baylor Univ. Press. 2006.

Antwiler, Noah. "FMV Hell - Make My Video" and "Final Fantasy VIII: The Finale." <http://www.spoonyexperiment.com>

Apollodorus. Apollodorus, The Library, with an English Translation by Sir James George Frazer, F.B.A., F.R.S. in 2 Volumes. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1921. Includes Frazer's notes.

The Bible. New International Version.

Homer. "The Odyssey with an English Translation" by A.T. Murray, PH.D. in two volumes. Cambridge, MA., Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann, Ltd. 1919.

Miller, Paul Allen. Lyric Texts & Lyric Consciousness. Routledge. London. 1994.
"Spock's Solution," an excerpt from "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan." Dir. Nicholas Meyer. A
Paramount Picture. 1982. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=El1kgX5CMRg> Uploaded by Ghost5786, 05/13/2009.

"Star Trek III: The Search for Spock." Dir. Leonard Nimoy. Perfs. William Shatner, Deforest
Kelley, Christopher Lloyd. 1984. DVD. Special collector's edition. Paramount Pictures, 2002.

Ong, Walter J. "Orality and Literacy." "Chapter 1: The orality of language."

Tolkien, J. R. R. The Fellowship of the Ring. Houghton Mifflin Company. 1994.

Tolkien, J. R. R. The Two Towers. Random House Publishing. 1994.

Vergil. Aeneid. Theodore C. Williams. trans. Boston. Houghton Mifflin Co. 1910.
Images *Head of Odysseus from a sculptural group representing Odysseus killing Polyphemus. Marble,
Greek artwork of the 2nd century BC. From the villa of Tiberius at Sperlonga. Stored in
the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Sperlonga. Marie-Lan Nguyen.

*Herakles and the Nemean lion. Black-figure lekythos worked by the Painter of Athens 581, ca.
500 BC. Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens. Wikipedia Username: Mountain.

*Cristo crucificado. Diego Velázquez.

*An image of Gandalf, as seen in the film, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. © New Line
Cinema and Wingnut Studios.

Dante's guide rebuffs Malacoda and his fiends in Inferno Canto 21 between ditches five and six
in the eighth circle. Gustave Doré.

Aeneas and the Sibyl in the Underworld. Jan Brueghel the Elder.

*An image of Kirk and Spock, as seen in the film, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. ©
Paramount Pictures. <http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/twokhd/twokhd1070.jpg>

*An image of Spoony, as seen in the video, “Final Fantasy VIII: The Finale.”

*All images marked with a star were modified from their original versions by Emily Allen in Photoshop CS4 on 10/26/09.
The Printing Press From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the
land. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi,
lama sabachthani?"—which means, "My God, my God, why have you
forsaken me?"

When some of those standing there heard this, they said, "He's calling Elijah."

Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. The rest said, "Now leave him alone. Let's see if Elijah comes to save him."

And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the
rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were
raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus' resurrection they went into
the holy city and appeared to many people. When the centurion and those with him
who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were
terrified, and exclaimed, "Surely he was the Son of God."
Matthew 27: 45-54 The Bible. New International Version http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2027&version=NIV When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary
Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. She went and told those who had
been with him and who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that Jesus was alive
and that she had seen him, they did not believe it. Afterward Jesus appeared in a different
form to two of them while they were walking in the country. These returned and reported it to the
rest; but they did not believe them either.

Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.

He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will
accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new
tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not
hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well."

After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right
hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked
with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.
Mark 16: 9-20 The Bible. New International Version. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark%2016&version=NIV Spoony Final Fantasty VIII:
The Finale Excerpts from "Final Fantasy VIII: The Finale." Written, edited, directed, and preformed by Noah Antwiler. 07/17/2009. Excerpts cut and edited by Emily Allen. 10/24/2009. <http://www.spoonyexperiment.com/2009/07/17/final-fantasy-viii-the-finale/> Star Trek III:
The Search For Spock Directed by Leonard Nimoy. Created by Gene Roddenberry. A Paramount Picture. Uploaded from iPhone by Emily Allen 10/26/2009. One of these online entertainers is Noah Antwiler. Under the screenname
and as the character "Spoony" or "The Spoony One," he reviews bad old
movies and videogames from the 80's and 90's. Like many online entertainers,
he has found the strict copyright rules on YouTube to be too constricting to make his videos, so he has moved his videos to his own personal site, "The Spoony Experiment." Currently he is one of the top five candidates for The Mashable Open
Web Awards (http://mashable.com/owa/votes/category/35?c=35).
Spoony considers himself part of the 'nerdy' subculture, making references to
Mystery Science Theater 3000, Dungeons and Dragons, Star Wars, Star Trek,
Lord of the Rings, and many other less known science fiction and fantasy
sources in his videos. Sometimes he simply quotes from these sources, others
he plays direct homage to them. While it does not appear that Noah Antwiler
was directly referencing Gandalf's death and rebirth in his "Final Fantasy
VIII" review, he does pay homage to Star Trek III in the final scene
where his robot self destructs. While the death and rebirth of
Spoony may not be directly linked to Lord of the Rings or
Star Trek, Antwiler cannot deny their influence on his
http://www.spoonyexperiment.com Final Fantasy VIII: The Review One of Spoony's most popular reviews is that of the
Japanese videogame, "Final Fantasy VIII," a game much
beloved by many gamers - but not by Spoony. His hatred of
the game (and reviewing it) overwhelmed the online community,
and eventually consumed much of Spoony's identity. Another
aspect of the character Spoony's identity, Doctor Insano, who was ironically a product of the review that Spoony hates, seeks in the Finale to destroy Spoony permanently, both to establish his own legitimacy and to take over the review show, using his freakish son
as a host. Thus, Spoony must do battle with one of the characters
from the game, Squall Leonhart, who Dr. Insano hired as an
assassin. Both Spoony and Squall die in the struggle, but thanks
to the efforts of Spoony's friend Linkara (played by online
reviewer Lewis Lovhaug), Spoony comes back to life so that
he can continue to "hurt back" bad movies and videogames
(page-top slogan, The Spoony Experiment). Star Trek III:
The Search for Spock Directed by Leonard Nimoy. Created by Gene Roddenberry. A Paramount Picture.
Uploade from iPhone by Emily Allen, 10/26/09. Star Trek II:
The Wrath of Khan Directed by Nicholas Meyer. Created by Gene Rodenberry. Screenplay by Jack B. Sowards. A Paramount Picture. 1982. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=El1kgX5CMRg
Uploaded by Ghost5786. 05/13/2009. Edited* for brevity by Emily Allen. 10/26/2009. Spock Spock, the iconic half-Vulcan, half-Human character of Gene Roddenberry's
"Star Trek" TV series sacrifices himself to save his crewmates from being
destroyed by the Genesis wave. As the savior of his human crewmates, he certainly seems to fit into a Christian allegory, but the key difference between the allegorical model and the mythic reinterpretation that this scene exemplifies is that Spock did not die to save men's souls or to redeem them in any way from their own faults.
Rather, like Gandalf, he simply has a certain power that his friends do not- in that
his Vulcan heritage gives him enough strength and stamina to survive the radiation
long enough to repair the engine. Unlike Gandalf, who never actually died, Spock
must be brought back to life by his human friends. True, the Vulcan ritual is not
one that the humans can understand, but their, particularly Doctor McCoy's,
participation is crucial because they have the ship and McCoy carries
Spock's katra, or soul, in his head. Therefore, Spock's death and
rebirth are more related to the theme of self-sacrifice than to one
of faith and repentance. Star Trek: The Original Series Created by Gene Roddenberry in 1964, Star Trek (now
called "The Original Series" to differentiate it from the many
spin-off series and movies it inspired) began its life as a poorly-
rated television series. Not creating the ratings the network was hoping
for, Star Trek was canceled in its third year. Much to the network's
surprise, however, the series gained a lot of popularity as reruns.

The show is, at least on the surface, a simple action-driven science fiction show, but Gene Roddenberry intended it to be more. His attempts to express certain political and social viewpoints were occasionally wildly successful, as in "City on the Edge of Forever," which while preaching nonviolence still acknowledges the necessity to fight evil men like Hitler, and occasionally abysmal failures, as
in "The Way to Eden," which depicts a crew of singing space-hippies and tries,
unsuccessfully, to highlight the virtues of the counter-culture movement.
Spock in the Show In "Star Trek," Spock serves the role as the voice of reason and cool logic against
Captain Kirk's intuition and Dr. McCoy's empathy and heated emotionalism.
Both Spock and McCoy serve as balancing viewpoints for Kirk, who must
act based on their advice. While Spock's logic is always based on facts,
not feelings, that does not mean his decisions are always correct.
Despite his detachment from emotions, Spock has still
managed to form a deep friendship with Kirk and
McCoy, showing the complexity of the
character and the human half of
this alien 'other'.
Film or Television? Sometimes, artists must cater their medium to their
audience's demands. With the huge success of "Star
Wars" and no real support from the networks for another
television series, both the audience and the producers at Paramount Pictures figured a Star Trek movie would a huge success. They were right- and even though The Motion Picture depended too heavily on special effects and had a horribly slow pace, the money came rolling in.

However, since critics were not fond of the pace and effects
(and since there was more money to be made) The Wrath
of Khan was filmed three years later and was a much
bigger success.
Gandalf This is an epic poem, rich in allegory. The protagonist and writer, Dante, goes on a journey, led by Virgil and later by his beloved Beatrice, through the various layers of Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven. While his trek does not explicitly bring him from Hell for the purpose of saving the world, the fact that he keeps warning the denizens of Hell that if they don't tell him their names they will not receive fame and the fact that he has these characters foretell events that he believes are important to the political scene in Italy at that time imply that the character Dante, or at least
the memory of him through his Comedy was meant to return, and save the world with it's words
- spiritually and politically.

Dante wrote before the invention of the printing press, so his intended audience was most
likely aristocrats, the wealthy merchants who could read, scholars, and priests. This is
key to understanding the poem because so much of it relates to what he fears will
and believes should happen in the Italian political scene at that time. As much
about his world as it is about the next world, Dante's Divine Comedy not
only aims to instill in the audience the faith priests were trying to
garner with their sermons, but also a specific political mindset.
The Inferno Canto 1 While to the lower space with backward step
I fell, my ken discern'd the form one of one,
Whose voice seem'd faint through long disuse of speech.
When him in that great desert I espied,
"Have mercy on me" cried I out aloud,
"Spirit or living man what e'er thou be"
"And art thou then that Virgil, that well-spring,
From which such copious floods of eloquence
Have issued?" I with front abash'd replied.
"Glory and light of all the tuneful train
May it avail me that I long with zeal
Have sought thy volume, and with love immense
Have conn'd it o'er. My master thou and guide
Thou he from whom alone I have deriv'd
That style, which for its beauty into fame
Exalts me. See the beast, from whom I fled."
Dante Aligheri. The Divine Comedy, Illustrated, Complete. Henry Francis Cary, Trans. http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/8799 The Inferno Canto 16 I then began: "Not scorn, but grief much more,
Such as long time alone can cure, your doom
Fix'd deep within me, soon as this my lord
Spake words, whose tenour taught me to expect
That such a race, as ye are, was at hand.
I am a countryman of yours, who still
Affectionate have utter'd, and have heard
Your deeds and names renown'd. Leaving the gall
For the sweet fruit I go, that a sure guide
Hath promis'd to me. But behooves, that far
As to the centre first I downward tend."
"So may long space thy spirit guide thy limbs,"
[Rusticucci] answer straight return'd; "and so thy fame
Shine bright, when thou art gone; as thou shalt tell,
If courtesy and valour, as they wont,
Dwell in our city, or have vanish'd clean?
For one amidst us late condemn'd to wail,
Borsiere, yonder walking with his peers,
Grieves us no little by the news he brings."
Dante Aligheri. The Divine Comedy, Illustrated, Complete. Henry Francis Cary, Trans. http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/8799 Most people couldn't read in the time of Christ, and well into the Middle Ages. Only aristocrats and priests had access to print text, but sermons were accessible to everyone. In the 15th century, the printing press was invented in Europe. Its influence was incredible. When books became cheaper (since they weren't being hand-written as much- an expensive and time consuming process to be sure) a wider audience could have access to the Bible and other canonical texts. While certainly not the focus of the Protestant Reformation, one of the side effects of having easy access to the Bible was that laymen, not priests, could suddenly draw their own conclusions about the Word of God. This certainly didn't do away with sermons. Now, instead of being based on texts only a few people had read, they became based on texts people already had - or ought to, in the eyes of the preacher, read. The son of Venus
and a mortal man, Aeneas is directly inspired by the heroes of Homer,
Hector, Achilles, and Odysseus. Some critics have argued that the
Aeneid serves as a means to celebrate the end of a terrible civil war, laud
the new regime, and show off Virgil's education, though recent scholarship
has found criticisms of the warlike and expansionist nature of the Roman empire, particularly in Aeneas’ heartless treatment of Dido and his ruthless slaughter of Turnus. The Aeneid is a poem modeled after Homer's poems in
form, content and style. Unlike Homer's poems, however, while Virgil
wanted many people to have access to his poem, it was written down-
implying that it was intended for personal distribution and study. Aeneas'
trip to Hell is only to pay homage to his father, for the Sybil has
already told him of the dangers that lie before him. Of course, while
in Hell, Aeneas learns things that would shape Roman culture to
come. Certain passages in the poem, like the funeral of Pallas,
show Virgil’s roots as a pastoral poet and evoke the
same kind of emotional closeness of a lyric. The Aeneid The Sibyl thus replied: “Offspring of Heaven,
Anchises' son, the downward path to death
Is easy; all the livelong night and day
Dark Pluto's door stands open for a guest.
But remounting to the world of light,
This is a task indeed, a strife supreme.
Few, very few, whom righteous Jove did bless,
Or quenchless virtue carried to the stars,
Children of gods, have such a victory won.
Book 6 Vergil. Aeneid. Theodore C. Williams. trans. Boston. Houghton Mifflin Co. 1910. http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.02.0054%3Abook%3D1 The Aeneid Book 6 Said Sire Anchises: “Yonder thronging souls
To reincarnate shape predestined move.
Hark now for of the glories I will tell
That wait our Dardan blood; of our sons' sons
Begot upon the old Italian breed,
Who shall be mighty spirits, and prolong
Our names, their heritage. I will unfold
The story, and reveal the destined years.
Vergil. Aeneid. Theodore C. Williams. trans. Boston. Houghton Mifflin Co. 1910. http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.02.0054%3Abook%3D1 A Christian Allegory? Like Alsford says in his "Heroes and Villains," "the images generated by
religion have a habit of leaking over into secular life and culture" and "trigger a
particular imaginative response in those encountering them" (10). All of these stories
depend heavily on the audience's understanding not only of the story itself, but of the
story that came before it. While there are certainly similarities between Gandalf and the
figure of Christ, however, a true allegory it is not. Frodo, the everyman figure, must bear
the Ring and Gandalf fears its power. As God incarnate, Jesus bore the evils of the world without fear. However, since Gandalf is a supporting character, not the hero of the Lord of
the Rings series, his power has to be kept in check so as to not overshadow Frodo’s deeds.

After the printing press became more prevalent in the west, a new movement of science and
education grew. This “Age of Reason” led to a degree of skepticism in laymen, especially
those who were beginning to read and interpret texts other than the Bible. The fact that
Gandalf’s power as a wizard cannot achieve the ultimate goal of destroying the ring
and that he needs the support of his followers even to destroy the bridge and the
Balrog shows that readers were more willing to accept an everyman character
than an infallible hero like the epic heroes of old.
While not the hero of the Lord of the Rings series, Gandalf the Grey
(later the White) plays an important role as guide, mentor, and friend
to both Frodo and Aragorn. Gandalf's aid and mere presence provides all the protagonists with hope. The power he displays while fighting the Blarog is significant in itself, but only when Aragorn and Boromir try to join the fight does Gandalf actually manage to destroy the bridge and
save them. When he returns in The Two Towers, at first his friends do
not recognize him, as the Disciples did not at first recognize or wish to
believe it was really Jesus. Also significant is that he returns to life
as a white wizard, superseding Saruman in that rank of wizards
and acquiring the symbolic purity of that color. The Fellowship of the Ring The Balrog reached the bridge. Gandalf stood in
the middle of the span, leaning on the staff in his left hand,
but in his other hand Glamdring gleamed, cold and white. His
enemy halted again, facing him, and the shadow about it reached out
like two vast wings. It raised the whip, and the thongs whined and
cracked. Fire came from its nostrils. But Gandalf stood firm.

“You cannot pass,” he said. The orcs stood still, and a dead silence fell. “I am a
servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor. You cannot pass. The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udûn. Go back to the Shadow You cannot pass.” […]
From out of the shadow a red sword leaped flaming.
Glamdring glittered white in answer. […]
“He cannot stand alone” cried Aragorn suddenly and ran back along the bridge.
“Elendil” he shouted. “I am with you Gandalf” […]
At that moment Gandalf lifted his staff, and crying aloud he smote the
bridge before hem. The staff broke asunder and fell from his hand. A
blinding sheet of white flame sprang up.
P. 322 [Aragorn] turned to the Company. “We must do without hope,” he
said. “At least we may yet be avenged. Let us gird ourselves and
weep no more” p. 324 Tolkien, J. R. R. The Fellowship of the Ring. Houghton Mifflin Company. 1994. They all gazed at him. His hair was white as snow in the
sunshine; and gleaming white was his robe; and his eyes under
his deep brows were bright, piercing as the rays of the sun; power
was in his hand. Between wonder, joy, and fear, they stood and found
no words to say.

At last Aragorn stirred. “Gandalf” he said. “Beyond all hope you return to us in our need What veil was over my sight? Gandalf” Gimli said nothing but sank to his knees, shading his eyes.

[…] “Get up, my good Gimli No blame to you, and no harm done to me. Indeed my friends, none of you have any weapon that could hurt me. Be merry We meet again At the turn of the tide. The great storm is coming, but the tide is turned.”

“I threw down my enemy, and he fell from the high place and broke the
mountainside where he smote it in his ruin. Then darkness took me, and I
strayed out of thought and time, and I wandered far on roads I cannot

Naked I was sent back—for a brief time, until my
task is done.”
p. 102 p. 111 Tolkien, J. R. R. The Two Towers. Random House Publishing. 1994. The Two Towers Writing was invented to preserve what speech could not. From lists of inventories from shops to grave markers asking the reader to speak the possibly long forgotten name of the deceased, most writing that has survived from ancient times is not literature as modern scholars see it. This act was at least in part meant to show off the author's erudition- not because he could himself write (hired scribes could transcribe what was spoken if the author, for any reason, could not write) but because he had memorized and could compose new material based upon the classic works of Homer. More importantly, these written texts were not merely meant to be prizes or amusements, they were meant to be studied. Even though rhetoric was still the highest mode of discourse at this time, Ong says in his chapter "The Orality of Language," "[what] you used for 'study' had to be [...] written down," not what was "being orally delivered" (10). Writing allowed the authors to internalize and personalize their works in ways that oral texts rarely could. While Ong believes that this was the beginning of a permanent move away from the 'orality' of pre-literate language, our modern movies, television shows, and online videos transcribe textual or literate language into something oral - using the written word in the form of scripts, true, but still preformed in a manner that transcends the text alone as well as a method for recording the information for building the complicated devices that can capture and transmit our new oral presentations. In fact, writing allowed for texts that were “essentially personal” (Miller 121), something that would shape culture as we understand it. From its advent, film has fascinated artists and audiences with its ability to record and replay life as we see it happening. The first movies were more spectacle than anything else, but in wartime governments quickly realized the power of film and put news, PSAs, propaganda, and advertisements in theaters- not that that did away with narrative movies. With the development of television, so many people could watch news and entertaining shows at home and so movie producers had to do something to keep up. Their solution? Blockbusters. As the movie industry got bigger and bigger budgets, folks with smaller budgets were quickly pushed aside. While small-budget, independent films do exist and many possess an artistic finesse, for a long time the only places to show these movies were film festivals or to small groups of friends. Film became to the modern era what oral texts were to the ancients. The difference is that a movie or a television show can be preserved, watched, and enjoyed over and over again, whereas each retelling of an oral text would probably enjoy the subtle differences in inflection and cadence that are part of human nature. Even stage actors and singers, the closest thing to rhapsodes in our culture, subtly alter their performances based on audience reactions and their own moods. In film, though, even after the actors and producers are long dead, the same actions can be witnessed time after time, with no change in the performance. Film: Movies and Television The Internet Originally a tool for the government and scholars, the Internet has become a massive and major tool for spreading out information and sharing ideas. The Internet as we experience it now, Web 2.0, gives us more capabilities to share more things than Web 1.0: photos, music, and video. This tool has become so much a part of modern culture, that some have begun to call this the "YouTube Generation" due to the sharp rise of amateur video shows, generally hosted on YouTube.com (Antwiler, "FMV Hell- Make My Video"). Using the increasingly affordable and accessible technologies of older media, be it a common language, writing, or video capture and editing devices and software, people are finally able to bypass the barrier of movie and television production companies to make their voices heard to more than just their close circle of friends. In this way, the Internet is for our modern era what the printing press was for the people of the Middle Ages. Information and entertainment comes at us from millions of different voices. However, these amateur productions, while often quite popular, tend to be looked upon as untrustworthy or as of poorer quality than the movies and television shows production companies give us. Any loony with a video camera and an Internet connection can put a video on YouTube, one might say. Despite this mentality, some loonies are actually very talented at what they do but lacked the necessary connections or luck to get into the film industry. Therefore,
Full transcript