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03 May 2007

The Two Theban Tragedies: Antigone and Oedipus the King

Thesis - 2 pages - Literature

Greek tragedies all possess a common trait: the protagonist displays a tragic flaw, which ultimately leads to his or her downfall. In the two Theban tragedies, Antigone and Oedipus the King, Creon's tragic flaw is immoderation, while Oedipus' unwillingness to accept his fate causes his...

03 May 2007

A Defense of the Capabilities Approach

Essay - 8 pages - Humanities/philosophy

There is no country in the world where women are treated equally to men. Women are consistently fed less than men, given fewer educational opportunities, and fewer freedoms. Situations in developing countries are often more overtly detrimental to women, for example in India, it is...

24 Apr 2007

Butterfly or Bumblebee?: The Sting of Satire in The Importance of Being Earnest

Thesis - 5 pages - Literature

Oscar Wilde said that his play, The Importance of Being Earnest, subtitled “A Serious Comedy for Trivial People” was “written by a butterfly for butterflies” (qtd. in Stokes 115). Although this statement may be true, the subject of the play itself, while treated in a...

24 Apr 2007

The Enlightenment of Sir Gawain

Thesis - 6 pages - Literature

In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Sir Gawain is a model knight in all things material; he excels in his physical prowess as well as the arts of conversation and courtly love. Although he also exhibits outward signs of devotion and piety, his spirituality is called into question through...

24 Apr 2007

King Mongkut: Man, Myth, and Misrepresentation

Essay - 6 pages - Literature

Fewer stories of a Western encounter with the “Other” have been more popular than that of the English governess Anna Leonowens and King Mongkut (Rama IV) of Siam, now Thailand. The fascination began with the two books written by Anna herself, The English Governess at the Siamese...

24 Apr 2007

Transcending the Fallacy of the Binary Through Ambivalence

Thesis - 6 pages - Humanities/philosophy

A thought process that appears to be common to all humans is that of setting up binaries. It is a tendency that exists across cultures and since “the beginning of time.” This may be because it is easier to define what something is not than what it actually is. The...

24 Apr 2007

Alatiel and Helen: War Caused by Beauty?

Thesis - 7 pages - Humanities/philosophy

Few storylines are more familiar than that of the woman so beautiful that men cannot resist her and will stop short of nothing, even murder or treachery, to possess her. The most famous of these women is of course, Helen, with “the face that launched a thousand ships,” many of...

24 Apr 2007

The Problematic Third Speech of the Phaedrus and Ficino's Neoplatonic Reinterpretation

Thesis - 7 pages - Humanities/philosophy

There has been much scholarly debate concerning the relative merit of the three speeches in Plato's Phaedrus; the third speech, in particular, is much contested. While the first two speeches are undeniably mired in self-contradiction and materialism, the third speech, though mythical in...

11 Apr 2007

What are the differences between Locke's and Hobbes' notions of the "state of nature"?

Essay - 6 pages - Humanities/philosophy

Thomas Hobbes and John Locke are probably the most famous political thinkers of the 17th century. The generally accepted view asserts that these authors stood poles apart, the first one advocating an absolutist regime and the latter recommending a stable civil society where powers are separated....

05 Apr 2007

How (if at all) do you know that you are not a brain in a vat?

Essay - 4 pages - Humanities/philosophy

Our whole life (attitudes, reactions, actions) is based on knowledge. Depending on our present state of knowledge, we are going to react to different situations in different ways, give different answers to different questions. To do that however, one has to know something. Even though we do not...

09 Mar 2007

Treatment of time in Virginia Woolf's Work

Thesis - 4 pages - Literature

In her novel "Orlando: a Biography" published in 1927, Virginia Woolf evokes 'the extraordinary discrepancy between time on the clock and time in the mind' (Orlando p.91) and the opposition she expresses between this two conceptions of time is to be found, more or less obviously, in most...

08 Mar 2007

"Araby", James Joyce

Book review - 8 pages - Literature

This short story was written by James Joyce who lived from 1882 to 1941; it is an extract from Dubliners, published in 1914. The book is compound with several short stories which take place in Dublin, and deal with the monotone life of some citizens. The text is entitled "Araby" and tells the...

23 Nov 2006

Comment from the essay "Culture and anarchy" written by Matthew Arnold published in 1869

Book review - 3 pages - Literature

Matthew Arnold, in his philosophical essay Culture and Anarchy, published in 1869, exposes his view of culture in a generally way, that is to say, that this view could and should be applied to any society or any group of men on the earth. He wrote it at a time where Bentham's Utilitarianism was...

23 Nov 2006

Margaret Drabble, "The Millstone": part of the « Angry Young Men » movement?

Essay - 4 pages - Literature

Margaret Drabble is a writer who was often assimilated to what is called the ‘Angry Young Men' literary movement. But, as a lot of those writers of the 1950s who were put into the same category, she never claimed being fully part of this movement - all the more so since the term of «...

17 Oct 2006

Swinging London - 1963-1967

Essay - 4 pages - Humanities/philosophy

The Sixties are usually seen as a period of joy and optimism, especially in England, where they take place between two tougher periods of British history. The Fifties had indeed been quite difficult in the United Kingdom, socially and economically speaking. And during the Seventies, many problems...

10 Oct 2006

Orwell said in an essay titled Why I write : "It is my purpose to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole." How far does Orwell achieve this in 1984 ?

Book review - 4 pages - Literature

Let us remember that, at the end of 1936, Orwell fought for the Republicans (against Franco) in Spain, where he was wounded. We know that Orwell's 1984 (published in 1949) was given this title because the novel was written in 1948, just after the end of the Second World War and the fall...

27 Sep 2006

The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison

Essay - 8 pages - Literature

The Bluest Eye contains a number of autobiographical elements. It is set in the town where Morrison grew up (Lorain), and it is told from the point of view of a nine-year-old girl, the age Morrison would have been the year the novel takes place (1941). Like the MacTeer family, Morrison's family...

18 Aug 2006

The Nineteenth Century's Middle Ages: Representation of the Middle Ages through nineteenth century novels or arts

Essay - 3 pages - Literature

Henry Adams, Mont Saint-Michel and Chartres (1913). In Mont Saint-Michel and Chartres, Henry Adams depicts several well-known monuments and old sights of France, all of which were built during the Middle Ages. In this book, published in 1913, Adams comments on those monuments as...

27 Jul 2006

Music, emotion and Zipf's law

Essay - 59 pages - Linguistics

The hypothesis of Zipf concerning a universal Principle of Least Effort, manifesting itself in Zipf 's law and modeled by Ferrer i Cancho and Sol´e in a signal-object reference matrix,...

25 Jul 2006

Does multiculturalism undermine the universal conceptions of justice?

Essay - 4 pages - Humanities/philosophy

The Greek philosopher Plato believed that there was a parallel world: the world of Ideas . This world represented the true knowledge with the help of concepts, the Ideas. Each Idea corresponded to something that existed in the world that we experienced: the world of senses. There was the...

24 Jul 2006

Does History "stop", "start", and "accelerate"?

Essay - 4 pages - Humanities/philosophy

The fall of the Berlin wall symbolised the end of communism, and the victory of liberal democracy. The suddenness with which the soviet empire collapsed, without any resistance, authorised the idea that democracy was going to triumph all over the globe. Fukuyama exposed in a very controversial...

20 Jul 2006

With close reference to any two poems on this course, critically discuss different conceptions of American-ness

Thesis - 3 pages - Literature

One can find a great variety of themes in American poetry, whatever the period one is interested in: poems about love or about war, about the self or about nature, about reality or about dreams. But the common point of all these is that they convey a sense of American-ness - that is, they can all...

20 Jul 2006

The double personality in Edgar Allan Poe's tales: William Wilson and The Cask of Amontillado

Essay - 3 pages - Literature

Edgar Allan Poe's stories often reflect some of his own personal problems. William Wilson and The Cask of Amontillado are usually classified with the label “tales of the double (or evil) personality”. They reflect one of the strangest aspects of Poe's life. He actually had a blurred...

13 Apr 2006

What exactly is the difference between act-utilitarianism and rule-utilitarianism? Can rule-utilitarianism succeed where act-utilitarianism fails?

Essay - 6 pages - Humanities/philosophy

According to the meaning we give to ‘actions', we get two different theories under Utilitarianism. And there is a great debate between those two schools of utilitarianism about how exactly the individual utilitarian should make their moral decisions. The choice for the individual is...

03 Jan 2006

Oscar Wilde and Aestheticism

Thesis - 9 pages - Humanities/philosophy

The 19th Century in Europe, and especially in England, is marked by the appearances of new artistic movements. Aestheticism is one the most important because it embodies a real change in the mentality and in art, considered as self sufficient. Immanuel Kant is one of the pioneers of it, and...

24 Feb 2005

Democratic equality. Are Rawls's principles of economic justice too egalitarian or not egalitarian enough?

Thesis - 5 pages - Humanities/philosophy

The question is, therefore, whether Rawls's egalitarianism is not enough egalitarian or too egalitarian. After having exposed the main points of Rawls's view of economic justice, the analysis of its major criticisms, both from the left and the right sides, is necessary to bring out the...

28 Apr 2002

Life, death and politics : A run-down of the abortion debate

Thesis - 5 pages - Humanities/philosophy

Few issues have fostered such controversy as has the topic of abortion. The participants in the abortion debate not only have firmly-fixed beliefs, but each group has a self-designated appellation that clearly reflects what they believe to be the essential issues. On one side, the pro-choice...