Some have criticized Paradise Lost for its sympathetic portrayal of Satan as a heroic and appealing character. At times, Satan’s actions seem somewhat justified: he considers himself to be an innocent victim, suffering alienation once exiled from Heaven. This begs the question: why is Milton’s Satan not more obviously “evil”? Why has the stereotypical, red, horned “Devil” been replaced by a somewhat sympathetic, fallen angel? Does this imply that Paradise Lost failed at its task of moral education, or that perhaps Milton’s own understanding of evil was ambiguous, unclear or incomplete? What Milton demonstrates in his sympathetic depictions of the devils, rather, is a far more complex understanding of the essential nature of evil as a strong, seductive force that one must resist with vigilance.
Though many have historically criticized Shakespeare’s early play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, as shoddily written, re-examination of the text over the last several decades has leant new prestige to this entertaining ‘classic’. Most scholars agree that Shakespeare wrote A Midsummer Night’s Dream as a light and frivolous accompaniment to the celebration of a wedding; and […]
“Don’t you feel such shows [of soft-core pornography and hardcore violence] contribute to a social climate of violence and sexual malaise, and do you care?”
“Certainly I care. I care enough to give my viewers a harmless outlet for their fantasies and their frustrations…”
Historically, art and literature have served a fundamental role in mirroring (and perhaps creating) a society’s cultural climate; they have become the means through which a society comes to ‘know’ itself. By artistically or literally depicting categories of people, or ‘social types’, one is easily able to comprehend society at large. Yet the socio-cultural worldview […]
Last night, for the first time, I ventured to Pointe Claire, Quebec. Pointe Claire is what one could call a typical suburb of Montreal – a small residential sprawl located far enough away from the city to function independently and retain a certain sense of community, yet close enough for its residents to commute to the city centre – for employment, health care, shopping or entertainment – in about thirty minutes.