Peer Review XI

This is indeed true, Audrey.

It wasn’t just in primitive tribes either.  In mediaeval villages, the “witch” was often just a herbalist woman who provided natural remedies to the villagers.  Some modern medicines are still made from these, e.g. aspirin from willow bark.

Magic is indeed anything we don’t understand.  If Renaissance people could only see the way we keep in touch by mass telecommunications today; they would be making the sign against the evil eye, and freaking out about WITCHCRAFT!

Also, in Greek mythology there were 9 muses, all the daughter of Zeus and Mnemosyne.  They were Calliope, Clio, Euterpe, Erato, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia and Urania – all representing a different art.


Peer Review X

Well, hello ssssailor.

Someone had to do it!  I was too caught up with the cross-dressing in the play, then the “gay” implications of this, in the interactions between Orsino and Viola or “Cesario”. Then the question of how hard it would be to pass for a bloke? (I’m researching the lives of some real women who did.)

So much so, that I missed the real thing.  Of course Antonio was in love with Sebastian, he’s the genuine homosexual in this play.  He saved his life, stuck his neck out in a place where there was a warrant out for him, and finally passionately defended Cesario, believing that she was her brother.  He did it all for love.

I have had no cause to write about LGBT issues this semester.  In Renaissance times it was all under the surface, in the closet (which meant someone’s bedchamber), but it was still there.  Christopher Marlowe had the classic pretty boy face, and I plan to read his play Edward II.  That’s the story of the gay king (or queen!), who was deposed in a rebellion by his jealous wife, Queen Isabella.

Also there was King James I, who may have done his duty with his wife Anne of Denmark, but preferred his male favourites.  Wits of the time used to say: Rex fuit Elizabeth, nunc est regina Jacobus (quoted in Norton).

Works Cited

“King James I”.  English Bible History.  2013.  Accessed 17 May 2017.

Cavendish, Richard. Edward II marries Isabella of France.  History Today.   2008. Accessed 17 May 2017.

Norton, Rictor.  Queen James and His Courtiers.  Gay History and Literature.  2000.  Accessed 17 May 2017.

Peer Review VIII

This is good, Dave.  I always like to know the history behind various literary works, and the lives of the people involved.  This time, I can read all about Petrarch, without spending hours in the library behind a book, or more likely screen.

Sonnet comes from the Italian word sonetto, ie a little poem, and like the English word song.  There is no reason they should end in the 17th Century, no reason we can’t write them today.

Good on you for researching this.

Peer Review VII

Hi Audrey

Utopia sounds like a fascinating place.  Not a Paradise, but more a society that functions better than the one we find ourselves living in, or the one that More did back then.  It can be seen as a Dreamworld, but some of it could work in reality.

I agree with you, any society that allows slavery hardly sounds like an Earthly Heaven to me!  However from our study of the Greeks and Romans, and now medieval times, it seems that people in the old days didn’t have a moral objection to slavery.  The writings of 19th Century Abolitionists may be why we do.

I should also mention that the opposite to utopian – an ideal world – is dystopian, which usually means a nightmarish society.  Modern dystopian literature includes 1984, Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451, The Hunger Games and the Matrix series of movies.