The root of the word glamour (or glamor) comes from the Scottish glaumour (a corrupt form of grammar) and the French grimoire.¹
Glamour originally refers to knowledge of the occult, such as the questionable art of black magic found in the Middle Ages. This could have involved magical spells cast by witches to make ugly persons or things appear beautiful.
While there doesn’t appear to be any strong etymological connection between glamis and glamour – especially since the first (surviving) written appearance of the English word glamour is 1720 – it’s possible that Shakespeare is playing on known words² that hadn’t yet been written. Or possibly he was intuiting future usage (after all, many creative geniuses do seem to get glimpses of the future).
Glamis hath murdered sleep, and therefore Cawdor Shall sleep no more, Macbeth shall sleep no more!”³
While this connection might seem a little far fetched, maybe it isn’t. Scholars suggest that the three witches use their otherworldly wiles to subtly tempt Macbeth through prophecies of worldly power and glory.
While the witches do not tell Macbeth directly to kill King Duncan, they use a subtle form of temptation when they tell Macbeth that he is destined to be king. By placing this thought in his mind, they effectively guide him on the path to his own destruction. This follows the pattern of temptation used at the time of Shakespeare.4
In any case, Macbeth’s worldly success didn’t do him much good. He ended up beheaded and his name became “a hotter name than any is in hell.”5
¹ “glamour | glamor, n.”. OED Online. December 2011. Oxford University Press.
² Just as modern writers make a play on, for instance, history and herstory.
- Macbeth and self-control (literarylew.wordpress.com)
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Passed over for a promotion in the Venetian army, Iago gets insanely jealous of anyone with anything and plots and schemes his chilling revenge through lies and treachery.
Through his deceits he exemplifies intelligent evil at its worst.
After manipulatively tricking Othello into murdering his wife, Desdemona, Iago is finally discovered and, in the compelling BBC TV production of the play, goes to his grisly fate cackling with maniacal glee. Iago is content with the knowledge that his hideous revenge has been secured, despite his captor Lodovico’s decree, The time, the place, the torture,—O, enforce it!
The Bard adds:
It is interesting that, while we learn about Iago’s “fate,” we do not actually see him punished (on stage, that is) which Shakespeare could have easily arranged (given the number of fights and deaths in the play). So, in one sense, evil incarnate goes unpunished before our eyes. The question, of course, remains–why?? » See in context
Ari Moore adds:
I disagree that Iago was “evil” – there are numerous allusions in the play to his being impotent, ferociously intimidated by what he believed was Othello’s superior sexual prowess. I don’t know if that makes him “evil” so much as misguided and unable to deal with life in a healthy way. » See in context
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Hunt published Keat’s first sonnets in the Examiner in 1816. Keat’s early work was regarded, even by himself in due time, as somewhat “mawkish and slipshod.” But his La Belle Dame Sans Merci and various Odes, such as Ode to a Grecian Urn, successfully adapt the Shakespearean and Petrarchian form of the sonnet.
To Autumn is often regarded as a masterpiece of English lyric poetry. For mythographers, Keats’ interest lies in his extensive reworking of classical Greek themes: Hyperion, Apollo, Ode to Psyche and the youthful Endymion, in which he pursues the ideal of pure beauty.
Refusing an invitation to spend the winter of 1820 in Italy with the Shelleys, he nonetheless borrowed enough funds to travel to Italy with a young painter in the following September. Shortly after, he died of tuberculosis in February at Rome.
Keats’ Letters were published in 1848 and 1878.
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The Matrix is a 1999 science fiction film written by Andy and Larry Wachowski, starring Keanu Reeves as Neo.
The Matrix is part of a trilogy. The first film gained the attention of pop culture theorists through its depiction of the world as a deceptive computer program (called ‘the matrix’ by those in the know) designed to enslave human beings.
The majority of humanity exists in a state of comatose slavery, plugged into a master computer which, through cyber connectivity, creates the illusion of everyday life. Essentially, people are nothing more than dreaming ‘batteries’ for the matrix, living in a horrendous vault and living on a liquid that itself is the product of the dead.
Neo apparently is “The One” destined to free humanity from this mass cybernetic deception. His mentor Morpheus (and other awakened liberators) believes in his special status and liberates him. As it turns out, Morpheus is right. Neo really is the one.
However, Neo wouldn’t have made it if not for the love of Trinity (played by Carrie-Anne Moss), who at one point literally brings him back to life with a kiss.
Search Think Free » Hero, Soul Loss, Talbot (Michael), Virtual Reality
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Malcolm X (1925-65)
Formerly Malcolm Little, he was arrested and imprisoned for burglary. While in jail Little converted to The Nation of Islam, a religious group founded in Detroit.
At one point in his career he taught that whites were devils, inferior to blacks and doomed to disappear from the globe. In his own words:
Thoughtful white people know they are inferior to Black people. Even [Senator James] Eastland knows it. Anyone who has studied the genetic phase of biology knows that white is considered recessive and black is considered dominant.¹
This strange and hostile brand of scientism was based on the teachings of Fard Muhammad (1891-?), the controversial founder of The Nation of Islam.
Watched by the FBI, Fard Muhammad claimed that the morally inferior “blue-eyed devils” would be destroyed by the appearance of a space ship, an event that would mark global Armageddon.²
Little came to take up the new name “Malcolm X” and ultimately became a Sunni Muslim and black leader, believing that Islam was the religion of choice because it was non-racist.
Malcolm X also advocated a black nation – that is, racial segregation – in the southern USA.
Later, however, his views became more moderate. Instead of focusing on a separate black nation he became a spokesman for human rights, especially among blacks.
Malcolm X toured the United States promoting black solidarity and was assassinated in 1965 by a group of three rival Muslims in Harlem. Since then he has become something of an icon for political activists, artists and pop musicians.
To this day he remains controversial. Some see him as a racist and black supremacist with leanings towards violence. Others see him as one of the greatest and most influential blacks in American history, inspiring figures like Muhammad Ali, liberation movements like Black Power and emancipatory slogans such as “Black is Beautiful.”
² Melanie King, Prophets, Seers & Visionaries, 2009, p. 130.
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Nineteen Eighty-Four is the title of George Orwell‘s dystopian novel in which totalitarian power rules in the bleak, technological society of Oceania.
The masses of this dismal state are kept in line with the Thought Police, whose vigilant surveillance creates a pervasive fear of punishment for Thoughtcrime. All privacy is lacking and Double Think (holding contradictory ideas) is the norm. Meanwhile, Newspeak simplifies and sanitizes the vocabulary to remove any negative connotations.
In a nutshell, to invoke the disapproval of the dictator of Oceana, Big Brother, is tantamount to suicide.
Orwell’s novel has been widely influential. Michael Radford directed a film adaptation of the novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, that was also released in 1984. And the pop star David Bowie released a song, “1984,” on the album Diamond Dogs (1974), with a haunting blend of disco, soul and 1970s TV cop music:
They’ll split your pretty cranium, and fill it full of air
And tell that you’re eighty, but brother, you won’t care
You’ll be shooting up on anything, tomorrow’s never there
Beware the savage jaw
On the Web:
- Cliff Notes Synopsis: About the Novel
- Marie Ewald, “Can the thought police be far behind?” in The Christian Science Monitor, May 15, 2003.
- George Orwell’s Diaries (readmorebooks.wordpress.com)
- Orwell and the Tea Party (themillions.com)
- Barry Eisler: The Ministry of Truth (huffingtonpost.com)
- Big Brother: the series that made surveillance acceptable (independent.co.uk)
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The term persona is derived from the New Latin, dramatas personae, which means the characters listed at the top of a literary play.
In literary theory the persona is the alter ego, the “I” who speaks in a poem or work of literature.
In ancient Greece, the persona was a mask worn by actors. The masking effect was achieved by rubbing clay or dyes on the face or by wearing actual masks made of bark.
Persona later referred to “person,” arguably semantically related to the New Testament phrase, “God is no respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34).
C. G. Jung‘s use of the term persona points to our necessary social identity. In the Jungian sense, the persona is the convenient or appropriate ‘face’ that we show to the outside world.
However, Jung and Jungians like Daryl Sharp say there’s a danger, as with the actor, in identifying with the persona once the performance is over.
One only has to think of the tragedy of the late Heath Ledger (1979 – 2008), who apparently was haunted by his demonic “Joker” character after the completion of the The Dark Night Batman film.
So it is, Jung would say with the psychological persona. To over-identify with it could be psychologically hazardous.
For religious persons, the persona is sometimes used in an attempt to convey a particular belief system held dear. Some Christians, for instance, apply personas not just for social convenience, but to try to “fish” for souls—i.e. to lead others to a spiritual knowledge of Christ.
As a tool for facilitating religious conversion, the persona becomes a kind of well-intentioned lure, in keeping with the idea that Christ makes his disciples “fishers of persons” (Matthew 4:19).
In addition, the persona is found in pop culture as a device when lyrics are spoken or rapped over music, as with Canadian musician Robbie Robertson in the song “Somewhere Down The Crazy River”:
Take a picture of this
The fields are empty, abandoned ’59 Chevy
Laying in the back seat listening to Little Willie John
Yea, that’s when time stood still
You know, I think I’m gonna go down to Madam X
And let her read my mind
She said “That Voodoo stuff don’t do nothing for me.”
Likewise, Frank Zappa in the song “Camirillo Brillo” spoke over:
Is that a Mexican poncho or is that a Sears poncho?
In hiphop, rap and acid jazz music figures like Galliano, Guru and Kanye West make almost continuous use of this technique.
Guru, for instance, raps in “Living in this World”:
What’s happening.. check it out
It’s critical the situation is pitiful
Bear in mind you gotta find somethin spiritual
We never gain cause we blame it on the system
You oughta listen whether Muslim or Christian
or any other type religion or creed
Cause what we need is less greed
In arts and culture realism refers to representations appearing to be natural, accurate and perhaps bluntly, poetically or politically so.
Just what constitutes a realist artist, however, is not usually clear-cut. The famous American painter, Norman Rockwell, for instance, is still debated as to whether or not he falls under the realist tag.
To most non-artists, Norman Rockwell is perceived to be a Realist. He isn’t. And he is.¹
Realism is also a philosophical view that external objects exist, even when not perceived by an observer. This view is related to the question – “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” – posed in philosophy.
In theology, realism refers to the belief that universal essences are more real than any individual temporal manifestation. This view was, of course, outlined in Plato‘s theory of the eternal, unchanging Forms. Subsequent Medieval European theologians picked up on Plato’s pre-Christian theory and basically Christianized it.
¹ See Create and Relate: http://wwwcristinaacosta.blogspot.com/2008/02/norman-rockwell-how-real-is-realism.html.
A theoretical process outlined in Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalysis where instinctual, antisocial id impulses are redirected toward non-instinctual, symbolic forms of behavior or expression.
This redirection of the id’s antisocial desires apparently depends on a certain degree of ego development, and is usually understood to fall within socially acceptable channels, such as the arts.
When art is displayed and accepted in a public space, either officially (as pictured right) or subversively (as with tolerated graffiti), sublimation can become a social psychological and not just an individual dynamic.
According to Freud‘s daughter, Anna Freud, sublimation is a defense mechanism. And this process of making the scary safe may occur on a personal or societal level.
» Ashram, Cockburn (Bruce), Displacement, Myth, Reaction Formation, Symbol
Charles Rycroft, A Critical Dictionary of Psychoanalysis, Harmondsworth: Penguin 1977, pp. 159-160.
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