On Fishbowls, Tragedies, and Coronavirus

By |2020-06-08T00:42:32-05:00June 7th, 2020|Categories: Coronavirus, Fiction, Great Books, Literature, Modernity, Tragedy|

Far from calling for microscopic views of reality and fishbowls, tragedies call for us to shatter the fishbowls and throw out the microscopes, to stop obsessing about our vulnerabilities and on how to overcome them, to stop thinking of ourselves as helpless victims of wicked forces. It is a grey day today. The sun [...]

The Witches of “Macbeth”: A Weyward Translation

By |2019-10-30T17:42:37-05:00October 30th, 2019|Categories: Christine Norvell, Halloween, Imagination, Literature, Senior Contributors, Tragedy, William Shakespeare|

Enter three sisters as thunder and lightning clash above. Their very presence inspires both fear and wonder of the unknown. William Shakespeare’s broad audience of commoners, merchants, and nobility all readily acknowledge their supernatural presence, the stuff of superstition. But what was Shakespeare’s intent for their appearance? What are they? Imagine a smoking cauldron [...]

Euripides’ Advice to Us About Change

By |2019-09-10T11:57:38-05:00April 2nd, 2019|Categories: Happiness, Imagination, Letters From Dante Series, Louis Markos, Senior Contributors, Tragedy, Wisdom|

Our lives are marked by reversals and recognitions for which we are rarely prepared. That change will come is certain, whether on the stage or in your home. The only question is how you will receive it when it comes. Author’s Introduction: Imagine if Homer, Virgil, Dante, Chaucer, and the other great poets of ancient Greece, [...]

Freedom’s Flaw in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

By |2019-02-09T14:24:15-06:00February 8th, 2019|Categories: Character, Culture, Freedom, Morality, Responsibility, Television, Tragedy, Virtue|

Mrs. Maisel must decide, like all other men and women who follow a path that separates them from their family, home, gods, and city, whether the allure of a life in the spotlight and the total freedom it promises is preferable to, or reconcilable with, the many good things she risks turning away from… [...]

The House of Usher & the House of Poe

By |2019-10-03T12:24:58-05:00January 18th, 2019|Categories: Death, Edgar Allan Poe, Literature, Tragedy|

There is a notable nightmarish and intangible quality to “The Fall of the House of Usher,” as there is in many of Edgar Allan Poe’s gothic masterpieces—a vague sense of foreboding, a floating uneasiness, or shadowy moodiness that is beyond the power of words to express... Edgar Allan Poe. Enigmatic. Eccentric. Erratic. Melancholic. Alcoholic. Neurotic. [...]

Family, Love, and Tragedy in “The Godfather”

By |2019-06-13T12:22:25-05:00November 22nd, 2018|Categories: Books, Culture, Featured, Film, Literature, Love, Morality, Paul Krause, Senior Contributors, St. Augustine, Tragedy|

The Godfather is the Augustinian film par excellence–though it does not conclude where Augustine's vision ends... The Godfather, by Mario Puzo, was the best-selling book when it was first published and the film adaptation by Francis Ford Coppola is rightly considered a masterpiece. The drama of The Godfather is an epic; it is an epic because [...]

“Othello” and the Devil Inside

By |2018-11-17T22:38:30-06:00November 17th, 2018|Categories: Books, Character, Ethics, Evil, Humanities, Liberal Arts, Literature, Tragedy, Virtue, William Shakespeare|

In Othello, William Shakespeare, the philosopher of everyday life, holds up a mirror to us and shows us what human beings are capable of. Beneath our most pleasantly cultivated exterior, there often lurks a serpent… William Hazlitt is widely recognized as one of the greatest of Shakespearean critics. Yes, there is Dr. Johnson; yes, [...]

A Death in New Mexico: The Old Healer

By |2020-08-19T00:08:46-05:00September 28th, 2018|Categories: Death, George Stanciu, Religion, Science, Tradition, Tragedy|

Maybe because I am particularly dense, I learned nothing of value for human living from all the brilliant mathematicians, esteemed physicists, and distinguished academics I have known. Instead, my mentor was a "curandero," a traditional healer from Northern New Mexico. Even his death taught me a profound lesson about life. When I moved to Santa [...]

“Romeo & Juliet”: A Tragedy, Not a Romance

By |2018-07-14T08:12:35-05:00July 11th, 2018|Categories: Joseph Pearce, Love, Tragedy, William Shakespeare|

Seeing something noble in Romeo and Juliet’s self-obsessive and self-destructive passion is to see it with eyes that are blind to the moral that Shakespeare teaches… Romeo and Juliet is not the only Shakespeare play that the modern world, modern critics, and modern teachers get wrong. Truth be told, Shakespeare abuse is rampant. Just about [...]

Misremembering the Russian Revolution: Romanticism Not Reality

By |2017-10-05T13:21:02-05:00October 4th, 2017|Categories: Culture, Europe, History, Joseph Pearce, Myth, Russia, Tragedy, War|

The tragedy is not that the Russian Revolution is being forgotten; it’s that it is being remembered in the wrong way. It is being seen through rose-coloured spectacles, its grim reality being smothered in layers of romantic myth… This month is the centenary of the Bolshevik Revolution, one of the most important moments in [...]

History as Tragedy and Farce: The Rise of Nationalism

By |2019-05-09T10:31:49-05:00September 3rd, 2017|Categories: History, Mark Malvasi, Nationalism, Philosophy, Tragedy|

In their political offensive against socialism and democracy, many European statesmen of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries found in nationalism a convenient doctrine to electrify and exploit the masses… Karl Marx famously began The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte by observing that Hegel “remarks somewhere that all facts and personages of great importance in [...]

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