Shonagon and the Personal Essay essay

Japanese by birth, Sei Shonagon created beautiful pieces in form of her writings. Her writings show her as a truly outspoken and a very independent woman even at that time. The Elements of the Personal Essay consists of the following characteristics: The two characteristics that I am going to illustrate are “A Fascination with Perception and Detail” and “Conversational in Tone”. In the former characteristic, Shonagon spends her time in writing each and every detail of the things involved, her perspectives and gives description about matters which are over-looked by most writers.

In the later characteristic, the main thing is that Shonagon writers in a way that gives her reader the impression as if they are conversing with someone rather than reading a book. So in most of part of the book their time flies by and they don’t even know that they are nearing the end. 2) Monica’s Faith and Example: The life of St. Monica is the classic story of a great mother – for how else would the wayward young Augustine ever have become the great St. Augustine without his mother’s prayers and example? ( aquinasandmore, 2008)

Saint Monica was born in Algeria in 322 and died in Italy in 387. She had an immense amount of wisdom and patience and has a lot to teach us through her habits and practices. The first lesson for us would be of her patience. She did not say a word to her parents when they chose a very bad-tempered man for her and who continued to be violent with her because of her faith. But she also patiently suffered all of it and continued to practice Christianity. Then she showed tremendous patient with her son who later came to known as Saint Augustine.

She also teaches us how to be friends with someone, how to be polite and an optimistic all the time. All these traits are marked throughout her life. She represents alcoholics, married women, widows, mothers, as a young girl. 3) The Condemnation of Odysseus: Powerful images of Gods, monsters constantly come to the mind of a person if he thinks about the Greek mythology and literature. Odysseus, a classical hero, has been a constant subject and a source of inspiration for many writers. In epics like The Iliad and The Odyssey many emotions are displayed and acted out on.

The ancient Greeks were emotional people who were driven by anger and pride; however, they were kind people as well, showing compassion to those who were in suffering. Homer includes many instances of compassion throughout both The Illiad and The Odyssey; teaching his fellow man to be compassionate to one another. (exampleessays, 2008) In The Iliad and The Odyssey, Odysseus is shown as a sensitive person. All he does is sit on the island; Calypso’s island and miss his home and all the things about it. He is suffering so much from homesickness that Athens asks Zeus to end his suffering.

4) Vision of Heaven: Donne portrays god in his poems in varying manners. In this poem he is saying that he loves god and in turn also wants to be loved by him. He also wants that He takes away all his impurity and make him virtuous. In this poem, according to my view, he says that he has seen god by having a vision, a beautiful vision of heaven. Many colors coming and going, and making the place an unimaginable one. 5) The Sonnet: Petrarch and Donne: The Divine poems & Holy Sonnets are amongst the best work that Donne ever produced. The Holy Sonnets were composed after the death of his wife in 1617.

(online-literature, 2008) Whilst Petrarch’s sonnets represent the idealised female form, they simultaneously explore deeper issues of love, lust and morality. ” Love can be defined as to experience deep affection or intense desire for another, lust as an intense or obsessive desire and morality as the quality of being in accord with standards of right or good conduct in this case especially in regard to his religion. The idealised female form within Petrarch’s sonnets was representative of Laura, a woman whom Petrarch saw as perfection, the most ideal female form.

Petrarch has composed an array of sonnets, which have had love, lust, morality and the idealised female form as their focal points. (bookrags, 2008) The poet who changed the course of poetry and ended the supremacy of Petrarchian tradition was John Donne. The tone and temper, the imagery and rhythm, the texture and color, of the bulk of his love songs and love elegies are altogether different from those of the fashionable love poetry of the sixteenth century, from Wyatt and Surrey to Shakespeare and Drummond.

With Donne, begins a new era in the history of the English love lyric, the full importance of which is not exhausted. (bartleby, 2008) In most of Donne’s writings readers can see that his ideas were mostly consisting of deaths, ghosts, killing and dying and he even considered love in itself as a kind of death but he also used the images of after life in his poetry. His poetry shows the enormous emotions that he went through as if trying to communicate his experiences. He did not write a single thought about love rather a train of them.

6) Three Hunts, Three Temptations: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a late 14th century metrical romance recorded in a manuscript containing a number of other pieces of an altogether more Christian orientation, which are linked by a commonality of dialect usage. (pedmuni, 2008) Sir Gawain, remains at a castle in West Midland and has a deal with the lord who will give him whatever he hunted on that day in return of what Sir Gawain gained. The lady tries to seduce him but is not successful as Sir Gawain yields nothing but

According to my perspective, no the three hunts and the three temptations are not comparable although they are linked with each other but there is nothing more then that. 7) Humor and Satire: Humour or humor is the tendency of particular cognitive experiences to provoke laughter and provide amusement. Many theories exist about what humor is and what social function it serves. People of most ages and cultures respond to humor. The majority of people are able to be amused, to laugh or smile at something funny, and thus they are considered to have a “sense of humor”.

(wikipedia, 2008) Satire: A composition, generally poetical, holding up vice or folly to reprobation; a keen or severe exposure of what in public or private morals deserves rebuke; an invective poem; as, the Satires of Juvenal. (dictionaryreference, 2008) Satire and humor work together because people tend to like them and they creat a much more relaxed and a comfortable environment. Although the writer is either criticizing some one or is telling the readers about his enemies, its done in this manner. 8) Does Quixote have any wisdom for us?

The novel is full of wit, humor and satire. It presents comedy at all levels form bathroom to biting satire but at the same time he is also trying to tell us something. There is a sort of seriousness in this character and an underlying gravity to which we all respond. Quixote is both funny and genuineness, we laugh at his humor, his actions but along with it we are also sad that he is not getting what he wants. So I think, yes, there is a lot of wisdom that Don Quixote has to offer us and we can learn a lot from him.


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