In the Republic, Plato divides the human soul into three parts: the Appetite, the Rational, and the Spirited. The Appetite part of the soul desires bodily pleasures such as food, drink, sex, etc; the Rational part desires to exercise reason and make rational decisions; and the Spirited part desires honor above all else.
Throughout his works, William Shakespeare presents numerous characters who are dominated by one aspect of their soul. For example, the Appetite part of the soul dominates Tarquin in The Rape of Lucrece, the Rational part of the soul dominates Hamlet, and the Spirited part of the soul dominates Coriolanus. Continue reading →
Sometimes the tedium of daily life can overwhelm us and plunge us into depression. We feel like the proverbial hamster on a wheel. Is this what I really want to do with my life? Is this fulfilling? Is it all meaningless? Or perhaps we are struck by tragedy. A loved one may die, and we feel as if the world becomes a “sterile promontory.” But then an incident occurs which reminds us of the happiness and joy which we can experience in life.
“All you need is love” is more than just a great Beatles song. In your darkest moments, if you think about those you love and those who love you, then you can endure anything. That indefinable emotion, Love, is the key to happiness.
The body’s decomposition is an evident truth, accepted by scientists and theologians alike, “dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” But if man is not merely composed of a physical body, but also a soul, then what is the fate of this spiritual essence after death? Some of humanity’ greatest thinkers have pondered over this question, and formed remarkably diverse answers. Religious zealotry, atheism, and utter indifference are just a few responses.
After discovering that his uncle Claudius killed his father, Hamlet exclaims,“One may smile, and smile, and be a villain!” Shakespeare’s works often explore the theme of appearance versus reality, and the Tragedy of Hamlet is no exception. Claudius discovers just how difficult it is to conceal the truth. After all, “Stones have been known to move, and trees to speak. Augurs and understood relations have By magot pies and choughs and rooks brought forth The secret’st man of blood.” Continue reading →