BL- Dr. Faustus and Aristotle

As a Creative Writing and Philosophy Double Major, I was immediately attracted to the fact that he references Aristotle in almost the first five lines of the entire play. “Yet level at the end of every art, And live and die in Aristotle’s works. Sweet Analytics, ’tis thou hast ravish’d me! Bene disserere est finis logices. Is, to dispute well, logic’s chiefest end?” It is because of this that I decided that I wanted to consider Dr. Faustus’ story when it comes to Aristotle’s view on logic.

The first step in this conversation is to lay out what Aristotle’s views on logic actually are. It should be noted that Aristotle is vehemently against the idea that to have logic is to have more knowledge, nor does he believe that the purpose of logic is to gain information. Instead, Aristotle strongly believes that the aim for knowledge is to create a coherent system that allows us to investigate, classify, and evaluate good and bad forms of reasoning.

Now that we know what logic is, according to Aristotle, then we can look at Faustus to see if he is applying logic as he should be. Instead of simply trying to learn things and gain knowledge and insight, he should be working to have logic in order to make well- informed decisions about the happenings around his life.

Not long after he lays claim that he lives and breaths the work of Aristotle, he says, ” Bid Economy farewell, and Galen come: Be a physician, Faustus; heap up gold, And be eterniz’d for some wondrous cure: Summum bonum medicinoe sanitas, The end of physic is our body’s health.” Because of his brain, people have told him that he should try to be a doctor in order to make money and become loved for his knowledge and for possibly creating a cure. While Aristotle would likely see no problem with him becoming a physician, the fact that he chooses not to would likely be admired by Aristotle. Aristotle, specifically when discussing ethics, believes that greed is a problem that should be controlled and gaining knowledge and understanding simply for the sake of becoming eternalized or known for something he had done would look unfavorable to him.

Throughout the story, he seems to explore different faucets of life, including religion. “Despair in God, and trust in Belzebub: Now, go not backward, Faustus; be resolute.” Here he seems to acknowledge that he has not always had faith in God and is trying to give the entire thing a chance. This seems to be Faustus’ attempt at following Aristotle by his words, wanting to gain knowledge in order to have a well-rounded understanding in order to make the right choices.

Works Cited

Marlowe, Christopher, and Christopher Marlowe. The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus. Wilder Publications, 2012

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, iep.utm.edu/aris-eth/.

BL: Plot of Malvolio’s Madness in Twelfth Night

In the Twelfth Night, there’s an interesting theme surrounding mental health and madness. In the play, there is a conspiracy between Maria, Sir Toby Belch, and Fabian to drive Malvolio mad simply for pleasure.

After their scheme succeeds, Malvolio is sent off to live in a darkened room in order to be “properly taken care of.” Madness had such a bad connotation for such a long time that lead to people who were mentally ill to be tortured in an attempt to cure them. There was even a period of time that madness merely meant that the devil had attacked you and you were meant to die.

This sort of behavior continued into the 1900’s where mentally ill patients were sent off to mental hospitals in unclean and unsafe living conditions where experimental tests were given out in the name of finding a cure.

In an attempt to prove to everyone that he is not actually mad, Malvolio convinces Clown to ask him a series of questions that will distinguish his sanity. These questions involved asking “What is the opinion of Pythagoras concerning wild fowl?” and “What thinkest thou of his opinion?”

Despite Clown believing him, nothing seems to happen as Malvolio continues to be trapped in the dark house where Sir Toby Belch tries to convince Malvolio that it actually is not a dark room in order to thicken the argument that Malvolio is indeed crazy.

Something that I found to be really interesting is that they have Feste dress up as a priest in order to declare Malvolio insane. While I had not heard of a priest having this particular job, nor do I know what a priest has to do with mental illness, I thought it was interesting as it only appeared to increase the clear differences in which people treat these kind of things now.

While I wish that we had seen something more substantial happen to Maria, Sir Toby, and Fabian for this to come about, it was interesting to read the mini sub-plot of this elaborate plot. Though eventually, Sir Toby begins to feel guilty for these choices and release Malvolio after some time of torturing him.

Honestly, this entire subplot easily could have been it’s own play and I almost wish it had as we would have gotten a closer look as to what happens to Malvolio and potentially would have even seen him get the justice that he deserved.

Works Cited

Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. Twelfth Night. Boston; New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1928.

BL – Giving into Desire in “The Goblin Market” and “Lanval”

While I was reading Lanval, I was often reminded of Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti as I saw connections between how they approached desire and what that would mean for the main characters.

Goblin Market follows the story of two girls who are warned of this market where Goblins would try to get you to give into your desires and wants. “Come buy our orchard fruits, Come buy, come buy,” (Rossetti. Stanza 1, lines 3-4) was indicative from the very beginning that they would do anything as they continued by listing delectable upon delectable fruits with tempting descriptions.

“Evening by evening Among the brookside rushes, Laura bow’d her head to hear, Lizzie veil’d her blushes,” (Rossetti) Rossetti continues as they discuss what they originally would do when approached by the Goblins in the market. They originally describe the characters in a very naive fashion, making them appear innocent and young in a similar manner in which Lanval is described. “… her gleaming neck Like a rush-imbedded swan, Like a lily from the beck.” (Rossetti)

“For being brave and generous, For his beauty and his prowess, He was envied by all the court; Those who claimed to hold him dear,” (Lanval) Lanval is originally introduced as this knight that is almost otherworldly, an amazing knight who could do wrong just until he is forgotten by the king and sets out on his horse.

In both stories, they come to a moment in which they have to choose to give into their desires and walk away from previous expectations, such as this belief that a woman belongs in the home with Goblin Market or the sexual desires that Lanval comes across. The moment which Lanval sees the two women that he describes as “The fairest he’d seen in all his days. They were both quite richly dressed, In deep-dyed tunics, of the best Silk, fastened with tight-tied laces; And very lovely were their faces,” (Lanval) is the turning point of the story. It is then that he walks away from his horse, a symbol of his knightly role, and gives into this desire.

Meanwhile in Goblin Market, the turning point is “She clipp’d a precious golden lock,
She dropp’d a tear more rare than pearl, Then suck’d their fruit globes fair or red: Sweeter than honey from the rock, Stronger than man-rejoicing wine.” By giving into her desire for the fruit, she sacrifices her hair in order to pay for it. Golden hair was a symbol of purity at this time and hair was highly valued. This moment in which she cuts her hair and gives into this desire is when both of these stories become that of what to do.

Works Cited

Rossetti, Christina. “Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti.” Poetry Foundation, Poetry Foundation, http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44996/goblin-market.

France, Marie De. Lanval. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Ed. M.H.Abrams. New York: W.W.Norton & Company, Inc., 2000. 127-140.

BL: Fan Theory: Beowulf was set in the Elder Scrolls Universe

But the thing that most fascinated me were the clear references from Elder Scrolls. This might come from the fact that for the last 8 months of my life, I have been completely obsessed with Skyrim which has led me to read all the lore and the mini books within the series. Because of this, a part of me does kind of look to connections from Beowulf. But as I was reading the series, I found some recognizable names from the Elder Scrolls series, like Hrothgar.

This led into my mind totally making up a lore book and pretending that I was in Skyrim reading the story. The main references that I came up with were the names Beowulf, Hrothgar, and then the whole dragon situation towards the end of the story.

As those that are a fan of the Elder Scrolls series, then you do that particularly in Skyrim that there is this castle called High Hrothgar. Now High Hrothgar is this very large castle of sorts that are controlled by the Greybeards, which are those that have sworn to understand and learn the dragon language. High Hrothgar is now considered to be a monastery and we do not know a lot of information about before it became a monastery or even if it’s always been a monastery.

The theory that I have created in order to successfully connect the two series is that Beowulf is set long, long before throughout the entire Elder Scrolls series. Perhaps it’s possible that Grendel was a part of a larger species, which is possible considering that it was a witch that birthed/ created him. I thought he seemed particularly like the Falmer. Additionally, we know that Beowulf is a very common name throughout the Skyrim series and like our universe, popular and well-known names like heroes or those from their religion becomes a name that is repeated. Like Matthew, John, Luke, Adam, and even Eve from the Bible are all names that are now common in the everyday life.

So, my theory is that this story was set towards the beginning of when the dragons were first on Elder Scrolls, clearly set just before considering the beginning of the story doesn’t include any mentions of dragons. This would also make the story placed just before any known story that we have as many of them begin during the dragon age. Beowulf becomes a household name and then eventual king following the death of Hrothgar and he originally had the palace that would eventually become High Hrothgar. Following the death of Beowulf, who made sure to tell his valiant story of how he protected the land which tragically involved the death of Hrothgar shortly before the dragon invasion. After this happened, the Greybeards managed to take control as the new King didn’t want to be so high up on the mountain considering the dragon problem and hired the Greybeards in order to deal with it.

Mind you, I’m fully aware that it was likely that the Elder Scrolls creators were simply taking information from Beowulf because the universe is rather similar to each other. Elder Scrolls generally appears to visual and practically seem to be very similar to the Medieval period so while they were searching through information of that time, they potentially came across and decided to take bits and pieces to simulate a similar story. But this was the first time that I really enjoyed reading a story set in the Medieval period and it was all due to my love for a video game that I thought it was interesting. Then my mind just kind of raced to attempt to connect the two as I’m so heavily connected to fanfiction and the fan girl mind set.

Hold Me Together (Poem)

Hold me together
To make me socially acceptable.
Without you, I get disgusting looks
From both elderly and those around me.
I get disgusting comments
And boys assume that I am a piece of trash
Ready for them to take out
And that I should be happy that they would give me such attention
Simply because you’re not holding me up.
I must be easy,
Or lucky for attention,
You’re uncomfortable and unkind
But that does not matter.
Because you have become part of the norm;
You’re expensive and annoying,
And you leave marks on my skin,
But to hell if I don’t wear you.
Because something horrible might happen
And it’ll be my fault for being indecent.
I must wear you for my safety,
Ignore the pain and the marks left on my body,
Pretend the dip in my checking account doesn’t exist.
Just to keep my self safe
For you to hold me together
Like I’m just a pair of boobs

Sweet Tooth (Poem)

I wrote the words of our story. Never

Thought it would mean something to any of us,

As the words flowed it all felt so clever.

I never thought I would have to adjust

 

When I began writing that story. We

Were still together, always together.

Still remember those times by the blue sea

When this time felt as light as a feather.

 

It was all so easy like one, two, three

Turns out I was naïve as you lied to

Me. You were this mastermind, so artsy.

The craft of lying as you tried to screw

 

But I soon found out the disgusting truth

I realized you rotted out my sweet tooth.

What I Hate Hearing as a Vegan!

 

There are some things that you always hear when you tell someone your vegan and here is my personal list of things I hate hearing. This might be unique to myself or maybe it is something that’s pretty among us herbivores.

 

“How do you get your protein?”

 

Here’s the list of things that have protein that are PLANT based: Lentil, Quinoa, Pumpkin Seeds, Peas, Beans, Oats, Chia Seeds, Almonds, Peanut, Tempeh, Pistachio, Hemp, Brocolli, Artichokes, Sun- Dried Tomatoes, Black Turtle Beans, Chickpeas, Peanut Butter, Asparagus, Corn, Lima Beans, Potatoes, Nuts, Soybeans, and Guava.

 

Protein is not just milk, eggs, and meat. That’s a myth and really, it’s none of your business so please stop asking me.

 

“Why are you vegan?”

 

To be honest, this is a complicated and hard to explain answer. I’m vegan for about 110 reasons and honestly, it’s because it’s the best option for my lifestyle and health. That could be different for you but that is what the situation is for me.

 

“What would happen if you ate non- vegan food?”

 

It happens, obviously. There are somethings that you would never expect to not be vegan and then when I first went vegan, I ran into the moment of surprise every once in awhile. It happens but it’s not the end of the world, you learn and you never eat it again. That doesn’t make me a fake vegan, it just means that I make mistakes.

 

“It’s so annoying when vegans talk about being vegan.”

 

It is so annoying hearing people talk about how annoying it is. It’s a lifestyle, a diet, and a campaign that we follow so of course we’re going to talk about it. It’s something we’re passionate about. You probably have your own things that you never shut up about, you’re just upset because it goes against your lifestyle.

 

“So how is that vegan?”

 

There are many alternatives to animal products that allow us never to eat such monstrosities, Gretchen. It’s called soy milk, almond milk, tofu, tempeh, soy beans, chick peas, and really the list goes on.

 

“So how is that made?”

 

How do you make your food, Gretchen?

 

“I was vegan once but it made me really ill.”

 

There are some people where the vegan diet doesn’t work for them. It’s also very common when you’re not being healthy about it. Likelihood is, you were missing vitamins or various other things. But just because it happened to you doesn’t mean it will happen to me, okay Gretchen?

 

“I could never give up cheese, milk, meat, etc.”

 

There are alternatives to all of the above. I suggest Follow Your Heart Cheese. The milk options are endless and I’ve actually had burgers, bacon, chicken, sausage, beef, bologna, and turkey that I have enjoyed so much more than I ever enjoyed it beforehand. Stop making excuses Gretchen.

 

“If you hate meat so much then why do you eat that vegan stuff?”

 

Fun fact: Before I went vegan I disliked the taste of non- burnt beef, chicken, and steak.

 

But I actually did enjoy tacos, spaghetti, turkey, ham, and many other meats. But I went vegan for the animals, that doesn’t mean I hated the taste of them. I’ll admit they were great- taste wise but I didn’t want to eat them anymore. I didn’t want to be the cause of hurting them any longer.

 

Being vegan is pricey, how can you afford that.”

 

Sure, some vegan things are more expensive but if you don’t have the money for that kind of lifestyle than you can easily spend very little. Walmart, Dollar Store, Harris Teeter, and even Target all have relatively cheap options but there are always more expensive items just like some of your food is on the more expensive side.

 

“Vegan Food is so processed though.”

 

Yes, some vegan food is processed. If you’re against that lifestyle and abide by it as an omnivore than you can easily find non- processed alternatives. However, if you eat processed food and say this to me than back off because YOU’RE NO BETTER. NO DIET IS PERFECT.

 

“Do you mind if I eat this in front of you?”

 

Don’t kill an animal in front of me, Gretchen. But otherwise, have at it. I don’t care, I just don’t want it in my body.

 

“What about bacon?”

 

Vegan bacon exists.

 

“I don’t like vegan food.”

 

*Correction: You don’t like the vegan food that you have consumed thus far. There is some vegan food that absolutely sucks and then there are some vegan foods that are absolutely amazing. It’s a matter of taste and opinion.

 

“Do you eat fish?”

 

No. Look up what vegan means.

 

“Plants feed animals, you know?”

 

Congratulations, I’m not eating all of their food, my loves. I am just eating some of it.

 

“What do you eat?”

 

Food, Granola Bars, Cereal, Soy Milk, Almond Milk, Tofu, Peanut Butter, and the list goes on. I eat food, Gretchen.

 

 “So… Basically you just eat salad?”

 

I can eat salad but that’s definitely not the only things I can eat.

 

“Tofu is so disgusting.”

 

There are other options besides Tofu. Besides, uncooked and unseasoned tofu is disgusting to me too. I highly suggest trying the Tofu from Noodles and Company, which is still my favorite tofu of all time.

 

“Are you one of those angry vegans?”

 

Are you gonna ask me annoying questions?

 

“So, are you still a vegan?”

 

Yes, I haven’t had a sudden personality change.

 

“You don’t look like a vegan?”

 

What does a vegan look like?

 

What I’ve Learned from Each Relationship

 

My First Crush

 

My first crush was this entire whirlwind. It all started back in second grade. We never even talked, just wrote messages back and forth. Whenever we wanted to talk about something important, we would use a middle man to go back and forth between each other. We had cute conversations and he was honestly the best guy for my first crush because he was such a sweet guy. I couldn’t have asked for a better guy.

 

What did I learn from him? I learned that you cant just have other people be involved in the relationship, it should be between the two of you. Don’t have a middle man to have conversations!

 

My First Love

 

He was easily my first love, he was not exactly the sweetest person in the world. He was just this guy that I fell in love with. We went on dates and spent so much time together and I cared about him so deeply. But we were also incredibly on-and-off, we were constantly struggling in our relationship and despite how much we cared about each other, it was clear that we were not meant to be together.

 

What did I learn from him? I learned that sometimes, regardless of how much you care about them, that doesn’t mean you guys should be together.

 

The Picture Taker

 

When I first started high school, I only knew like one person at the entire school so when I met him, I enjoyed the company and the friendship. But he had these moments where I didn’t think he was the best person to be around… He had incredibly angry episodes, he would be incredibly demanding masked with a caring undertone, and felt he was so much better than everyone else.

 

What did I learn from him? Trust my instincts. If something feels wrong then figure out why. If you need to end it then end it.

 

The Awkward One

 

This one was actually insanely soon after the first. Like within days kind of thing and I definitely don’t think I was ready to be in this relationship. The entire relationship felt wrong and he was an incredibly sweet guy and I remember this one silly string fight that we had that was so much fun but ultimately, it wasn’t right.

 

What did I learn from him? Don’t try and move on too quickly. Be honest with them, tell them how you feel and don’t hurt them.

 

The Older One

 

He was the older one and admittedly, he was not the oldest guy I’ve ever dated. But he was a senior while I was a sophomore and honestly, our biggest problem is that I think both of us avoided voicing our annoyances and angry moments. I never told him when I was upset with him and instead, I buried my feelings when I shouldn’t have.

 

What did I learn from him? Be honest when you’re upset. Don’t bury it. Just tell them and don’t pretend everything is okay when it’s not.

 

The Long Distance One

 

The reality is that our problem wasn’t long distance, it was actually just an introduction to the problem that would eventually come about. He was probably the first guy that I genuinely thought I would marry, he was my best friend beforehand and he was just this guy that on paper was my dream guy. But I realized during the long distance relationship part that I had actually clinged to him at some point, believing that I needed him in order to be happy but while I was at University, I began becoming more independent and realized that he wasn’t as critical as I once believed which caused a lot of the other issues in my relationship.

 

What did I learn from him? I am independent female, and nobody regardless of their relationship to me is vital to my happiness or existence. I do not need them to be okay, I am just fine on my own.

Iambic Pentameter (Poem)

 

I must admit that this is not easy,

Counting the syllables like one, two, three.

Confuses me to no end as I count

On my fingers the words I am trying

To say, which happens to be this poem.

 

I am not sure how I feel about this.

Trying to focus on the syllables

Has become my priority. Which is

Not ideal as I like to focus on

The meaning of my words and not the form.

 

I have yet to reach the line count of this.

At least I have kept up with this topic

The bain of my existence is iambic.

 

But at least Mabry taught me a trick for

This exercise which is my saving grace.

Looks like my line count is complete, goodbye.

Reading with Rex – Poem

 

The cold winter air hits my skin

Though I’ve been outside for so long

That I barely can even feel it anymore.

The shadow of the statue above me

Is shading the book in my lap.

 

Despite the fact that the lights are

Blinding me each and every time I look up.

I’m content as I lean against the cold material,

I don’t even know what he’s made of.

 

All I know is that my voice is echoing

In the empty night,

The only one to hear me is Rex,

The statue who listens to me read.

 

I’m not sure why I feel content,

Maybe it’s the air that I can’t even feel.

Perhaps even the book in my lap

Or my voice as I am overly aware of it.

 

It’s not my bed that I feel most at home

Not even that house I barely know

But moments like these,

When Rex is the only one to hear

My thoughts, it’s almost as though he is my family.

 

Despite the fact that you can walk passed the colorful wall,

Through the alleyway between the buildings,

And directly in front to the building that I call my room.

It is not my home, despite everything.

Instead it is a spot underneath the statue,

Being protected by his strength

And invisible to all those who do not listen to his roar.