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Transcript of FaceBOOK discussions
Identify current pop culture characters influenced by The Byronic Hero.
1. Does your selection share the same motives as Manfred? How do their motives differ? Does your selection commit a sin that would earn him/her eternal immortality as a punishment? What does your selection do to mark him/her as a tormented Byronic Hero?
2. Does your selection and Manfred deserve redemption? What kind of redemption is available to Manfred and to your selection? In other words, what makes your selection and Manfred "heroic"?
3. In general, why do the characteristics of the Byronic Hero fascinate and attract readers, even today? Where do you see the influence of the Byronic Hero most in our current culture?
Response posts must engage with the classmate's original ideas, ask questions for clarification or elaboration, and/or challenge their readings. They will not be counted for points if all you post is "That is an interesting post!" or something to that effect, and that's it.
The Byronic Hero:
by Lord Byron
Posted by Bryce Casper
My choice of Byronic hero for this task was V from the comic/film V for Vendetta.
V does share the most common of traits to Manfred as a byronic hero being very intelligent yet tainted by a diverse sense of right and wrong, an almost bipolar affect and perception in life.
Much like Manfred, V was maniacal and sought after his own abnormal desires in which he intended to "restart" the British parliament and dispose of its corruption.
While V does murder terrible people we almost see a side of antihero through his acts and I would not say he ever earned the punishment of eternal immortality.
V is most tormented by his rapid expressions of emotion between love and hate, a life worth living or a country worth dying for. While I do not see Manfred's actions as deserving redemption had V lived past the choice of committing suicide to ensure a finalized destruction to parliament I do believe that his loving and tender side deserved a redemption as he was so dear to his love interest. I believe that Manfred shows his heroic side when he states that
"In knowledge of our fathers when the earth/Saw men and spirits walking side by side/And gave ye no supremacy: I stand/Upon my strength-- I do defy-- deny--/Spurn back, and scorn ye!--" (line 380)
where he fights to maintain his life and the last precious moments he has as a living person.
V for Vendetta
as Byronic Hero
I think Faust finds himself spiritually dead and he seeks to have his soul filled with understanding and “with peace again.” He is “surrounded not by living nature, not as when God made us (Faust 2049). Faust is distraught with what he has learned so far. He finds that he is “no wiser than when he began/ all our search for knowledge is in vain (Faust 2047). “For all I know is nothing” (Faust 2048). He feels like he has spent so much time in books learning, but he has yet to understand the meaning of life and God’s will and he wants to be closer to God. He makes the deal, so that he can gain spiritual understanding. He wants to know “nature’s forces” (Faust 2048). He is seeking God, but finds it is the devil when the spirit says “you match the spirit you can comprehend: I am not he.” Faust says “not you? Who is he then? I, made in God’s image and not even like you (Faust 2051)? He is so depressed at his situation that he contemplates suicide “I will be resolute and turn away forever from the earth’s sweet day / I have a potion whose work’s soon be done (Faust 2055/2056). He is saved when the chorus of Angels proclaim “Christ is ris’n from the dead” (Faust 2056). He says “they call me back to life” (Faust 2057). He remembers a time as a child when he was happy and closer to God.
March 5 at 9:42am · Like · 1
Great discussion, Bryce! And great choice too! I like your connection between the Byronic hero and the need for control or power, which can sometimes have disastrous consequences. Manfred is certainly defined by his will (and his will alone), for better or for worse. V channels his will toward a public service, revolution, and so, I think, he achieves a greater scope of heroism in his willfulness than Manfred. What do you think, Bryce?
March 26 at 10:23pm · Like · 1
I would agree. V acts for more than himself even if those around him never see it while Manfred acts on selfish terms just as we've seen Machiavelli and Faust and countless others in our readings do. V's true Byronic heroism is demonstrated in his ability to cohesively obtain self and selfless heroism as he resets parliament and essentially brings a sort of needed justice to his country and himself. The last portion of the movie in which V dies and the parliament build explodes while the 1812 overture plays as a flashback to America's revolutionary days and finalises V's intentions for this rebirth of England.
March 26 at 11:02pm · Unlike · 1
Bryce, I think some of the differences you and Dr. Drake pointed out are excellent. Specifically, how the two characters seek redemption are drastically different, as you both pointed out. While you two have touched more on the goals of either character (Manfred wanting redemption for selfish reasons and V for the "greater good"), I think another difference here is why they are motivated. Manfred feels guilt and wants to be forgiven or to forget the crimes that he committed. V, on the other hand, is motivated by his mistreatment during his years at Lark Hill. It almost makes me wonder if it is fair to say that Manfred seeks for his past sins to be forgiven, and that V sins so that to overcome the sins of his government.
Honestly, my first thought when I saw the image you posted was the isolation that either character surrounds themselves in. I do not recall exactly where V isolates himself, but the only person he has actual conversations with in the movie is Evey. I just thought that was a very interesting similarity.
March 27 at 10:38pm · Unlike · 2
Using Social Media in the Literature Classroom
Faust feels he has acquired all the knowledge that is available and yet he is still only a man. He turns to magic as a possible way to become more God-like. When he actually conjures the Earth Spirit it proves too powerful for him as a mortal man. When Mephistopheles appears, Faust sees a way to possibly attain his goal and makes the bet. Mephistopheles thinks Faust wants to experience all life's pleasures he has missed out on while studying so his side of the bet is to provide them; "Nothing shall limit you; if you wish, sir, / To sample every possible delight, / To snatch your pleasures in full flight, / Then let it be as you prefer" (2075). But Faust wants much more, he wants all knowledge (perpetual light); "And in my inner self I will embrace / The experience allotted to the whole / Race of mankind" (2075). Mephistopheles tries to tell him that indeed he has been trying that forever and it is not possible; "We do assure you, such totality / Is only for a god: perpetual light / Is God's alone, me and my kind / He has banished to darkness, and you'll find / You men must live with day "and" night" (2076). Faust does not falter from the bet but answers; "Yet I swear I'll achieve it!" (2076)
March 3 at 2:24pm · Unlike · 1
Initial Post by Dr. Drake
Jenneffer, your position is very well reasoned. I think we differ in that you feel Faust wants to be "nearer to God" and I feel he wants to actually be God?
March 5 at 10:07am · Like
Ha, it must be the Catholic in me
March 5 at 10:20am · Like
Joy, I think that is a good distinction between your and Jenneffer's interpretations. Faust does say "Am I God?" at one point, suggesting that for him, the quest for knowledge is a quest to become God, which is highly sacrilegious of him.
March 5 at 1:51pm · Like
Christopher M Irwin
Faust seems to have lost faith in all he trusted up to now and is searching for some place to reground himself. At this point he is wondering if he is a God, because at this point if something told he was not, then he would have some grounding again or even better he would understand he is a God. Faust is made out to be a very intelligent man of great understanding, more than those around him, so why would he not feel this way.
March 5 at 8:14pm · Like
Sarah Blight Misner
It sounds like he is tired of life and what he once has known and loved. He writes, "The earth's a prison-one can't get away from it, whatever clothes one wears. I'm still too young to lack desires, not young enough now for mere play. What satisfaction can life hold?" p2071
March 6 at 9:46pm · Like
I think everyone has made valid points, but to be different my thoughts are that it's almost as if Faust feels he may already be dead inside due some of his actions of the past. "I myself poisoned thousands, I saw how/They all wasted away and perished-now/Men praise that cynical mass-homicide." (Goethe 2059, lines 1053 to 1055) While Faust obviously doesn't seem exactly suicidal or anything, its almost as if this is more of a internal conflict and he feels that he has nothing to lose.
March 6 at 10:15pm · Like
What are Faust’s motives for making the deal with the devil as revealed in the “Night” scene? There is more than one possible answer. Reference his speeches and his actions in the scene.
Demonstrates complexity of thought and analysis by pushing toward new insights. Focus of discussion is on the text as a piece of writing, not only on the essay’s topic.
Engagement with texts
Clearly and appropriately identifies text(s)/ author(s) being discussed. Uses the support of quotations and paraphrases in support of ideas (citing page numbers). Close reading and thoughtful analysis of text(s).
Connections to Course
Clear and insightful connections drawn to other class materials (other texts, lectures, or writing skills discussed).
Contribution to Community*
Engages others in the discussion by acknowledging their contributions, inviting their comments, and making connections. Asks critical questions of students' responses. Uses a respectful and academic tone.
In general, a
high quality response will answer the question, extend the conversation by asking follow-up questions, engage with other students' responses, and quote from the text to support the answer.
Be part of the conversation. Have you ever been in a class where someone offers a comment s/he clearly thinks is brilliant but is basically the same thing someone else has already said? It’s awkward. And it’s only slightly less awkward when it happens online. Don’t be that person. Before you begin to post, spend some time reading previous posts to understand the tone and content of the discussion so far. This is so you will avoid asking questions that have already been answered and you can contribute more intelligently and usefully to the group conversation. Post early and often!
The Pitfalls of F2F Discussions:
2 or 3 prepared and engaged students speak first while others rely on those students to answer the question.
Rarely have time to hear from every student.
Students rarely talk to and engage with each other.
Not looking beyond the original question
Searching for the "right answer"
Benefits to Social Media Discussions
Students must participate to receive credit and grade.
Greater sense of engagement as a community.
Post at their convenience and with text at hand.
Students' familiarity with social media
Notifications, Tagging, and Likes
Posting Material of Interest--thinking beyond the question and text
I was challenged in your class in a way I haven’t been challenged in an online class. You made sure we did the readings but not by giving some dumb test.... you asked us to apply our interpretations and allowed us the freedom to see the text as we interpreted it. There was no right or wrong answer and I really appreciate that.
I found that as the semester went I was able to read the texts with a more critical yet open eye. I saw the importance of certain passages that linked the text to questions that were addressed in our facebook discussions. I feel that I was also able to ask questions of my fellow classmates discussions that made us all delve deeper into the texts we were addressing and the implications of those texts, not just say I thought their post were “good.” . . . You can see that my analysis went beyond my initial reaction to the characters actions and I was able to address the societal implications and compare characters and their actions to historical characters or events.
I originally did not think the idea of using Facebook for discussions was a good idea, but I
quickly changed my mind. As a 100% online student at the university I have grown to absolutely
loathe Blackboard’s discussion board and I wish several of my other instructors would have used
it. It was also nice to see the “faces” of the other students taking the class as I usually have no
idea what my classmates even look like. I have only been able to picture them in my imagination
based on how they act or what they have shared in a discussion.