Sunday, January 26, 2020

Comparison: John Donne and William Shakespeare

Comparison: John Donne and William Shakespeare In light of Shakespeare’s 450th anniversary a comment has been questioned about his sonnets relevance in today’s time. Many students arguing and questioning why it is relevant for Elizabethan sonnets to be studied in today’s literature. The question of how Shakespeare relates in todays times is always been asked and through this reflective essay I will demonstrate how and why it is relevant. I will be discussing in a number of paragraphs why it relates in todays time through the understanding of the theme, structure and the poetic techniques through the use of John Donne’s Holy Sonnet 10 and Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18. The themes of the poems draw on ideas of different types of power, including the power of religion and the power of the written word. Donne captures the power of belief flawlessly in his metaphors and personification of death. By Donne highlighting a person’s fear of death and playing on the idea a person’s soul can survive death; through this he successfully creates a powerful theme and a paradox of immortality. This theme can be seen throughout his poem for instance line 8: ‘rest their bones and soul’s delivery’. Donne’s theme s plays on the ideas of the role of death in a normal life. He portrays it as the way to break free from the troubles that accompany one lifetime. Donne may seem to be mocking or attacking death but he is in fact not but instead he opposes the normal idea that death is horrible which can be seen in line 2 â€Å"Mighty and dreadful, for, thou art not so.† These themes in sonnet 10 still relates to today’s time for many reason. Firstly, throughout the sonnet Donne gives the idea of life after death, or the fact that you will ‘break free’ after you die. These lines help relate to many religions that are still around in todays time. The thought of life after death has been a ‘hot topic’ in today’s time as it was in Donne’s time. This belief of your soul’s eternal life helps relate to countless people, since just like me people are afraid of death and believe in an eternal life after death. Sonnet 18 by Shakespeare focuses on the power of the written word and how the poem itself makes love eternal. In sonnet 18 Shakespeare emphasizes the idea that, when envisioned in a poem, love never dies: â€Å"So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see, so long lives this, and this gives life to thee† (lines 13 and 14). This sonnet relates to todays times, as many people including myself believe that love never dies. In the movie â€Å"The Noteb ook† the theme â€Å"love never dies† demonstrates itself well throughout it. With the idea of the two characters being in love from such a young age proves to me that love never dies which relates sonnet 18 in todays time through the use of movies. Both Donne and Shakespeare wrote and both used many necessary techniques of this form of poetry. Both poems consist with the use of quatrains and a couplet in a 14 line sonnet. In Donne’s Holy Sonnet 10 he used a rhyming scheme that is similar to a Petrarchan sonnet which is made up of 14 lines and a rhyme scheme. The rhyme scheme will usually goes ABBAABBA which is then usually followed by CDCDCD. However, in sonnet 10 Donne finishes it slightly differently. The sonnets last six lines are made up of CDDCAA and if you look carefully you can notice some different things happening. In line 13 the word â€Å"swell’st,† which rhythms with previous words â€Å"dwell† and â€Å"well.† Donne has just placed an extra rhyme which is known to be a bit strange. Donne has structured his poem in a way that would require you to pronounce certain words to make them rhyme. For instance you would have to pronounce the words form â€Å"eternally† and â€Å"di e† to â€Å"eternal-lie† just to make it rhyme. This can relate in today’s time through the use of music. For instance, a famous rapper named Eminem was able to rhyme the word orange to a number of other things that didn’t spell the way of a rhyme but instead through the use of the pronunciation a rhyme was made just like Donne in sonnet 10. Rap is great example of how these sonnets still relate to todays time as they both use the structure of rhyme. If you were to think of music in today’s time you would be able to notice that most artists would consist of a certain structure to their music to keep it flowing especially rhyming. The Holy Sonnet 10 also used the iambic pentameter to help assist with emphasizing particular words which are important. These especially occur at the beginning or ends of the sonnets lines. Sonnet 18 has structured their sonnet with the use of rhetorical questions. For instance, the first line of sonnet 18 â€Å"Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?† This line has used rhetorical question to improve the exaggerative language and comparisons which create the story and are common in most poetry. The rhyming in sonnet 18 contains an ABAB CDCD EFEF GG rhyme scheme. Voltas are also evident in sonnet 18as the author uses end stop lines to help enhance the system of control which helps strengthen the story. Shakespeare’s sonnet 18 successfully uses Iambic pentameter to create a feeling of obviousness as well as a peaceful sense. This structure is evident in today’s time. Just like Donne’s sonnet 10 the use of rhyme in music helps tell me that the structure of sonnets is still relevant to this day. There are a number of poetic techniques that can be found in Donne’s sonnet 10. Donne’s poem often uses alliteration to support in rhythm and rhyme which can be seen in line 4 and 6; â€Å"much pleasure then from thee much more must flow (line 6). Donne’s sonnet uses conceits throughout the sonnet as it proclaims that sleep and death are similar. The sonnet also uses personification of death to help express to the reader that death is not the end, and expectantly the reader will relate to it which then increases the theme of eternal life. The sonnet then uses an wide paradox about eternity as Donne submits that death does not kill but only puts you to sleep, this paradox helps improve and highlight the intended theme and story of the poem which is eternal life. These poetic techniques can still be seen in today’s times. For example in many children books the use of alliteration to help rhyme words can be seen. This can be seen in a famous author Dr Seuss who specialised in alliteration to ensure his poems would rhyme. This helps me realise that poetic techniques are still relevant today and are used to help develop young children’s brains. Shakespeare’s sonnet uses various amounts of poetic techniques. Firstly the use of alliteration can be seen in lines 7; â€Å"And ever fair from fair sometimes declines†. Which helps keep a sense of rhythm and rhyme in Shakespeare’s sonnet. Just like Donne’s poem Shakespeare also uses conceits in his sonnet which can be seen when he compares a person to a summer’s day. Shakespeare also uses hyperboles throughout his poem which helps exaggerate and highlight the comparisons of his friend or lover to nature. Shakespeare’s 450th anniversary has raised many question of why it is still relevant in today’s time. In this reflective essay I have discussed why it is still relevant in today’s time through the use of theme, structure and poetic techniques. I have discussed how themes are still relevant in today’s time through the use of movies and how structure and poetic techniques can be seen in music and books. I believe it is still relevant in today’s time through all the present day things that require and use these ancient techniques. Life: A Fusion Of Pleasure And Pain Life: A Fusion Of Pleasure And Pain A mixture of happiness and sorrow; a beautiful blending of light and dark. Human existence is comprised of an interweaving web of joy and despair; a web from which we cannot escape. Many of the works that we have read in class reflect on this fusion that we call life. Maurice Blanchot adequately summarizes the essence of human existence as quoted from The Infinite Conversation: The man of the world lives in nuance and by degrees, he lives in a mixture of light and shadow, in confused enchantment or irresolute mediocrity: in the middle. Tragic man lives in the extreme tension between contraries, going from a yes and no confusedly merged back to a yes and a no that are clear and clearly preserved in their opposition. He does not see man as a passable mixture of middling qualities and honest failings, but as an endurable meeting of extreme grandeur and extreme destitution, an incongruous nothingness in which the two infinities collide.1 Essentially, ambivalence defines our life: the tragic world. Humans are unique in the fact that we can be wounded, not merely in the physical sense, but in the reality that someone or something can shatter our integrity. Georges Bataille states that man differs from animal in that he is able to experience certain sensations that wound him and melt him to the core. 2 This undeniable reality is what makes us susceptible to the ambivalence of life; the certainty that emotional suffering can be inflicted onto us by others. In Madame Edwarda, Georges Bataille ironically refers to the prostitutes vagina as a wound; 3 inferring the fusion of pleasure and pain for the narrator. At first glance, one might think that her wound should bring nothing but sexual pleasure to the narrator, however her wound ultimately causes him emotional distress in many ways. Madame Edwarda identifies herself as God, drawing the narrator further into her seductive hypnotism. By presenting the concept of God in the form of an attractive, yet tainted prostitute, Bataille addresses the sacreds irresistible nature, with her mixture of attraction and terror. As Madame Edwarda is standing under the Porte Saint-Denis, the narrator is watching from a distance (as she is losing her mind.) He soon accepts the fact that She had not lied, that She was GOD. 4 This scene could also be viewed as Madame Edwarda playing the role of God and guarding the gates of heaven. The narrators clear apprehension when approaching her hints at his fear of entering into Purgatory and receiving his Final Judgment. Underneath the arch, he is consumed with emptiness and accepts any suffering that he might endure. The narrator lusts for her secret 5 so much that he would tolerate any amount of pain to receive answers and obtain the truth. These frightened, yet hopeful emotions that the narrator experiences are caused by Madame Edwarda and her wound; the same character who had previously provided him with incredible sexual pleasure. It can therefore be said that Madame Edwarda symbolizes our ambivalent life: an opposing balance of pain and pleasure. Sigmund Freud also explores the idea of human life as a fusion of happiness and sorrow in his essay called The Uncanny. Uncanny is the English translation of the German word unheimlich, which is the main focus of this essay. Freud provides the definition of unheimlich in 8 different languages, thoroughly demonstrating the contradictory meaning of the word. He summarizes these descriptions stating: the word heimlich is not unambiguous, but belongs to two sets of ideason one hand it means what is familiar and agreeable, and on the other, what is concealed and kept out of sight [..uncomfortable]. 6 Investigating this definition further, it is simple to see how an uncanny experience can evoke both pleasure and pain. A pleasant experience is one that is familiar and agreeable, and humans strive to keep painful experience out of sight and out of mind [a function of the pleasure principle]. Since the uncanny is that which is unfamiliar on the grounds that it is too familiar, it is fair to say that an uncanny experience evokes both pain [in the eeriness of the given situation] and pleasure [feelings of familiarity and homeyness] to whoever is experiencing it. Freud believed that the ego employs defense mechanisms when threatened, including the repression of painful memories deep into the unconscious mind. The uncanny is basically a defense mechanism that unconsciously reminds us of our own id, our forbidden and thus repressed impulses that are kept out of sight because our super-ego perceives them to be threatening. 7 The reemergence of these repressed memories are those experiences which we deem as uncanny. Freud further describes the idea of the uncanny as a defense mechanism by stating: ..[the] uncanny is in reality nothing new or alien, but something which is familiar and old-established in the mind and which has become alienated from it only through the process of repression. 8 As suggested by this quote, the uncanny is an example of a situation in which the pleasure principle cannot adequately cope because it is fails to keep repressed impulses out of our conscious. This quote also relates back to Freuds theory of human drives which were discussed in another Freudian work that we studied called Beyond the Pleasure Principle. In this essay, Freud reevaluates his prior theoretical beliefs regarding his theory of human drives. Previously, he had proposed that the human psyche could be divided into three parts: the id, the superego, and the ego. He defined the id as the impulsive portion that operates on the pleasure principle; the superego as the moral component; and the ego as the rational balance between the superego and the id. Freud suggests that the pleasure principle is deficient because of the general compulsion to repeat. This compulsion to repeat un-pleasurable experiences explains why traumatic nightmares occur in dreams.9 He argues that the unconscious repeats undesirable experiences in order to desensitize the body. Using this thought process, Freud proposed his new theory, stating that humans are driven by two conflicting central desires: the life drive and the death drive. The life drive is concerned with preserving life by seeking pleasure and avoiding pain. Contrastingly, the death drive is the instinctual desire in all living things to return to a lower state that existed before we were born. Freud reasons that all living organisms want to be dead because theoretically we were all dead before we were alive. He explains how human drives consist of a balance between pleasure [life drive] and pain [death drive] when he states: It is plain that most of what is revived by the repetition-compulsion cannot but bring discomfort to the ego, for it promotes the bringing to light of the activities of repressed impulses; but that is a discomfort we have already taken into account and without subversion of the pleasure-principle, since it is pain in respect of one system and at the same time satisfaction for the other. 10 As summarized by this quote, every experience or stimulus that we encounter is providing satisfaction for one drive while simultaneously inducing discomfort on the other. Thus reiterating the belief that our life consists of an intricate blending of pain and pleasure. On page 24 of Beyond the Pleasure Principle, Freud states further comments on this theory by saying that the repetition-compulsion [death drive] and direct pleasurable satisfaction [life drive] seem to be inextricably intertwined. As indicated by this quote, it is impossible to have one impulse without the other because they exist concurrently. Freud firmly believed that the life and death drives of our mind are locked in an eternal battle; thereby insinuating that our human existence is comprised of a mixture of pain and pleasure. In his preface to Madame Edwarda, Georges Bataille nicely sums up this common theme seen throughout various works we have studied: A combination of both conditions [pleasure and pain] leads us to entertain a picture of mankind as is ought to be, and in that picture man appears at no less great a remove from extreme pleasure as from extreme pain.. 11 It is easy to recognize the ambivalent nature of our existence. Pain and pleasure intertwine in unpredictable relations throughout the discourse of this human lifetime. One could not exist without the presence of the other. This fusion of pleasure and pain is referred to as life. Notes 1. Maurice Blanchot, The Infinite Conversation. (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999), 99 2. Georges Bataille, Madame Edwarda. (New York: Marion Boyars, 2003),140 3. Bataille, 150 4. Bataille, 152 5. Bataille, 153 6. Sigmund Freud, The Uncanny. 224-25 7. Wikipedia. The Uncanny. Last modified October 21, 2010. 8. Freud, 241 9. Wikipedia. Sigmund Freud. Last modified October 23, 2010. 10. Sigmund Freud, Beyond the Pleasure Principle. (Mansfield Centre: Martino Publishing, 2010), 20 11. Bataille, 137 Agriculture industry: Development of country Agriculture industry: Development of country Agriculture is a very important industry to every country; most countries start with agriculture before further economic development. Agriculture as it provides the resources for; the basis basic of human beingshomo sapient livelihoods, environmental protection, economic activities and further developments. In most countries, agriculture has been at the fore front of economic development. Agriculture seems to have begun around 10,000 BC in China As (Ali, 2009) Shamsavari stated in his lecture notes of Agriculture and Economic Development page 1, especially in China, agriculture has a long history of supporting human life and dynasties growth. To discuss the contribution of the agriculture industry towards development of a developing countryLEDC, we first have tlo clarify the definition of agriculture. Therefore, in the essay, the first paragraph will be used to explain the industry, its components and its features to give a whole picture of the concept of agriculture. This will be followed by the industrys major contributions to the developments of China such as surplus of food, reproduction of food, greater division of labour and its influences to economic development; problems that arise, such as Urban Bias will be examined after that; prospect of Chinas agriculture industry will also be discussed and followed by a summary of the essay in the last paragraph. Different from the early stage of production systems, agriculture alloweds humans to grow food before they needed it, instead of hunting and searching for it only when they are were hungry. Agriculture composes of farming and growing crops, like wheat, millet and rice; keeping animals, such as chickens, sheep and cattle; Fishing, which provides seafood; logging, providinges wood for furniture, paper and construction and finally;; Growing flowers and plants for household consumption, such as gardening and festival related purposes. Agriculture is the second of the three stages of production systems, it has two main features: surplus of food and reproduction of food of social. Both of them contribute to the development of a country and will be discussed later in specific to the Chinas development. As mentioned before, agriculture has two main features of providing surplus of food and reproduction of crops for future. Agriculture helps humans to create food which is more thanbeyond their needs. A surplus of food released some of the workers from the agriculture industry into other sectors, such as manufacturing, industrial and intellectual activities. In China, the surplus of food from agriculture made her become one of the early civilization countries. Some inventions such as gunpowder, compass, paper and printing had been achieved and improvements of farming technology had been made during civilization. People in China started to use iron tools and cows to help farming. Before that, tools were made of wood or stone and human labour iswas required to pull ploughs. After the invention of iron tools, cows are were replaced to work with iron ploughs and enlarge farming spaces in a shorter period of time. The surplus of food from agriculture not only feeds all the workers in China, it even provides seeds or baby animals for reproduction of food. People in the country no longer hunt and search for food only when they are hungry, instead they stock food and plan for their future by delaying their consumption of it, such as keeping baby animals instead of eating them straight away so that they can reproduce and more can be consumed later. A greater division of labour was another result of the agriculture industry. The increase of in division of labour is vital for the further increases of in productivity, and thus it becomes a basis for modern development. Contributions brought by agriculture to the economic development including include three aspectsadvances: agriculture as an economic activities activity or an industry, as a livelihood and as a provider of environmental services according to the World Bank of 2008. The agriculture industry helps to enlarge the consumption market by making people become consumers for goods. Farmers, fishermen and butchers do not just consume their own product to survive,survive; they also have demand on for other goods, which makes them becomemakes them a consumer of in the market and have contribution a contributor to the industriesy development. For example, a Chinese lady working as a raw silk washing lady would like to buy food and cosmetics in the market as welltoo. Besides consumption, they are suppliers for those industries at the same time. Farmers supply raw materials, textiles and food; fishermen supply seafood; butchers supply meat and leather for industries to function. Agriculture also ac ted as a basis for providing factors of production to different industries, these input factors included labour, land and capital. For example, around 100 to 200 AD, Chinese people started an industry to produce ceramics. Llike other industries, to get workers to work in the industryobtain workers, China needs needed to have a surplus of food in order to allow some workers from the agriculture agriculture industry to join the ceramics industry, (known aswhich is the labour). To start their production, they needed a piece of land for the manufacturing process to take place. By cutting down forest, land could be used to develop an industry. According to Irving Fisher, capital refers to any productive asset capable of generating a stream of future services or income. Kilns and clay are both the capital of the industry.Apart from domestic industries, agriculture also supported trade between China and the rest of the world. Export of agriculture products brought foreign exchange into Chi na and allowed her to spend on imports, international trades with other countries fasten speed up Chinas economic and technology growth.Lots of people in the world depends on agriculture as a livelihood, not only producing food for survive, but also acted as a security base. Recently, many people in Guangdong province returned to their farming industry after they lost their job in exports field during the financial crisis in 2008. The Aagriculture industry can also be good for the environment in a few ways: it helped to create varieties of produce and the economic prosperity that brought by the agriculture also helps to save the endangered animals, like the giant pandas in China. 40 giant pandas were reserved in China in 2006 due to increase in knowledge and resources in saving pandas. Urban Bias is a theory by Michael Lipton in 1977. The theory brought up the idea of that the agriculture industry had relatively less influence and received less resourcesfewer resources when the leading group of that country is deciding policies to improve peoplepeoples welfare. The reason behind behind this is the lack of knowledge to the industry of the leading power. Normally, leaders in of a country lived in urban areas which wereis far away from the rural areasplace that where agriculture took place. Due to insufficient contact with the industry, when leaders have to decide country matters like resource allocation, tax payment and people welfare, they tends to pay put less attention on the agriculture industry. Inefficiency in allocating resources and widen ther income gaps between the rich and the poor are the results of urban bias. According to figure 1 in the appendix, countries public spending on agriculture industry and the industries share of their GDP are not directly an d proportionally related. And according to figure 9.1,Todaro and Smith (2009, p, 434), it explained that urban bias can widen the world divergence between the rich and the poor. Agriculture industry in China is expected to be more efficient in two ways: little labour capital involved and an increase in output due to efficient use of machinery. According to figure 9.1, the diagram showed that as a country develops, less human labour will be involved in the industry as the GDP per capita rises. Figure 9.2, a diagram showing cereal yields by different countries in the world, using cereal as an example and explaining the output from developed countries are more than that of developing countries. According to many economists, China will take over United States and become the next strongest economy in the near future. If the prediction of these economists is correct, China will soon become a developed country and hence their product yield from agriculture will increase significantly as illustrated in figure 9.2. Agriculture is vital to the development of most of the countries, especially to China. The influences of agriculturiale industry to on Chinas development are not just economically, but also on Chinese morale, principles of Chinese medicines and Chinas politics, etc. Even though it has lots of contributions to the countrys development, problems aroused should not be ignored. The history of China had shown us the importance of agriculture as well as the destructiveness from the problems aroused.

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