Monday, February 16, 2009

AD. New Testament: Jude to Seneca, Thyestes.

Bible. New Testament. Jude. Crisis. Defends the Christian faith against corrupt doctrines and practices. Antinomianism: person with faith is free from observing the law. “Once saved, always saved.” Also concerned with Gnosticism.

Bible. New Testament. Revelation. Only pure apocalyptic book in the New Testament. Unknown author, a prisoner. Vision of the end of the world and the triumph of Jesus. Symbolic. Mystic numbers. Antichrist precedes the second coming of Christ. Beast with 7 heads, 10 horns and the number 666 are associated with Antichrist.

Anonymous. Greek. AD 50? Treatise. On the Sublime. Five sources of the sublime in literature: significant thought; intense emotion; powerful figures of speech; excellence in choice of language; effective organization. Passion for novelty converts the sublime to the ridiculous.

Vatsyayana. India. AD 50? Nonfiction. Kama-sutra (Indian erotics). Kama = love; sutra = science. The art, techniques of Indian erotics.

Seneca. Roman. AD 60. Play. Thyestes. Thyestes, who had seduced Atreus’ wife and stolen power before being defeated by Atreus, is exiled, but then urged by Atreus to return to Argos. Atreus gets his revenge by killing Thyestes’ sons and feeding them to their father at a banquet. Most fiendish play in history. Senecan tragedy influenced Elizabethan and Jacobean revenge plays. The play embodies the tastes of the times in which it was written.

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