Newest Assignments and Dates (If assignment is online it shall be stated below)

  • 03-17-2008 - 03-21-2008 -Spring Break (FREEDOM)
  • 03-21-2008 -Art History Outline and images
  • Still during spring break: Read Lord of the Flies for techniques/devices, 3 allusions due.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

AP Lit. Dante Allusions



According to Christian traditions David was named King over Israel and was chosen by God. He was the youngest son of the shepherd, Jesse, and on day Samuel, a man whom God spoke through, came to Jesse and asked to meet all of his sons, for one of them would be king. Samuel met all young men present at the meeting, and God had told him that none of these men were the one he was looking for. Samuel asked Jesse if these were all of his children, Jesse replied saying that his youngest son was caring for the sheep. The youngest, David, was called before the man of God and right away God told him that David was the one he was looking for. David was anointed by Samuel that very day and from then on God was with him. David's first and most famous victory alongside God occurred when he was still a child. There was a giant named Goliath terrorizing the people of Israel. David took three stones from a brook and his sling and he killed Goliath. David became the most powerful of all the kings and he defeated the enemies of God with ease.


David married many women and had many children. One woman he married was Bath-sheba, whom he seduced and impregnated before the death of her husband. When he learned of her pregnancy he had Joab assign her husband, Uriah, to a battle position where he would surely die during battle and, just as planned, he died. This action angered God and after they were married he told David that he would be punished through the death of the Bath-sheba's child. The child died five days later and David was forgiven for his sins. Bath-sheba later had another child, Solomon, who would be king and would have God give him great wisdom.


One of David's children was called Absalom. Absalom was handsome and long beautiful ebony hair. Absalom had a sister, Tamar, who was beautiful. His half-brother, Amnon, fell in love with Tamar and tricked her to come to him while he lay in bed pretending to be sick. He raped Tamar and when he was done he was overcome with hatred for his sister and sent her away. She was shamed, for he had taken away the virginity of a daughter of the king. When Absalom heard what Amnon had done he was angered and angered more when David would not punish Amnon for his actions. Absalom tricked Amnon into having dinner with him and all of their brothers and there he killed them and fled to the Geshur, the city of his mother.


Achitphel was a very wise advisor to King David. After three years of hiding Absalom returned to the City of David, though they still did see each other. Absalom begins to conspire against his father and raises up an army against the king. Achitphel slips to Absalom's side and David prays to God for him to take away Achitphel's wisdom. Achitphel advises Absalom to take 1200 men and slay David that very night. Absalom is pleased with this advice but also seeks Hushai's advice on the matter. He is told that this plan is not good for the time and he suggests fighting at a later time. The counsel and Absalom all agree that the words of Hushai would be better to follow. When Achitphel realized that his advice was not being followed he returned to the place of his father and hung himself. Hushai, knowing the plan Absalom intended to use to slay David, sent a warning to the king.


David sent out an army under Joab and instructed them to deal gently with his son and to bring him back alive. There was a great slaughter as many men were killed. Absalom had been riding upon the back of a mule when he went to meet the servants of David. The mule passed through a thick brush and David hair caught in the thicket and the mule moved out from under him. A man saw this happen and reported to Joab that Absalom was caught hanging in an oak tree, Joab asked his why he did not kill him when he saw this. The man explained that he would not dare touch Absalom against the word of the king. Joab then took three darts and thrust them into the heart of the still living Absalom. Ten men joined Joab and they slew him. Joab sent a priest, who volunteered, to bring David the news of the death of his son. David was left mourning.


The reference to David, Absalom, and Achitphel is a biblical allusion



Betrand de Born of bolgia 9 in the 8th circle of hell is more or less introducing himself to Dante and explaining who he is and what he did. He says that he encouraged a mutiny. Convinced the son of a king to rebel just Achitphel did with Absalom and David. He is comparing himself and his actions to Achitphel.


Achitphel, Absalom, and David are all people taken from the books of I and II Samuel in the bible. David was king of Israel under God with Achitphel as one of his advisors and Absalom was his son. Absalom rebelled against David and Achitphel betrayed David by counseling Absalom, although his advice was not taken and he committed suicide after discovering this.


Betrand de Born from bolgia nine compares himself to Achitphel from II Samuel in that he helped raise a rebellion against the king.



". . . it was I

who set the young king on to mutiny,


son against father, father against son

as Achitphel set Absalom against David;

and since I parted those who should be one . . ."




John the Baptist


John the Baptist is described from his birth to his death in the Gospel of Saint Luke. He is the son of Zacharias and Elisabeth, who had once been thought to be barren. His birth was first foretold to Zacharias in his later years by an angel of God. The angel told him that his wife would have a child and that they would name him John. Zacharias did not believe this and so the angel made him mute until his wife gave birth. And indeed, just as the angel had said, the elderly Elisabeth gave birth to a son. When she questioned what he should be named Zacharias burst out the name John, speaking for the first time in nine months. Elisabeth was the cousin of Mary, the virgin mother of Jesus.


John preached the baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins in the country around the Jordan after the word of God came to him in the wilderness. He tells people that he baptizes them with water, but soon one will come who will baptize them with the Holy Spirit and fire. When Jesus was 30 he came to John to be baptized. John knew immediately and said that it is Jesus who should be baptizing him. On Jesus' insistence John baptized Jesus and when we rose from the water the Holy Spirit descended upon him like a dove.


John continued his work until Herod imprisoned him. On Herod's birthday the daughter of Herodias danced for him and to repay her he offered anything she wished. Her mother told her to ask for the head of John the Baptist, and so she asked. Though the king was sorry he would not break his oath and so he commanded it be done. So, John was beheaded in the prison and his head was delivered to the dancer who presented it to her mother.


This reference to John the Baptist is a biblical allusion.


Aretine from the tenth Bolgia of the eighth circle speaks to Dante about him during life and during his explanation he mentions that he learned to stamp the image of John the Baptist onto alloyed gold until he was "bound and burned".


John the Baptist is a Saint in the Christian religion. He baptized Jesus and witnessed the Holy Spirit descending upon him. He was beheaded on the orders of King Herod.


"Inflexible Justice that has forked and spread

My soul like hay, to search it the more closely

Finds in the country where my guilt was bred


Increase of my grief; for there I learned,

There in Romena, to stamp the Baptist's image

On alloyed gold-till I was bound and burned."




Narcissus in Greek mythology was a man who was so vain that he shunned the love of many. One of those was a nymph, Echo. Echo was obsessed with Narcissus, but because of a curse Hera, the queen of the gods, put on her she was unable to speak except for repeating what she heard others say. She followed Narcissus around waiting for him to say something that she could repeat to tell him of her love for him. One day he happened to glance at his reflection and he told himself that he loved him, and Echo quickly repeated his words, but he ignored her. Echo was hurt by his behavior and she hid herself in a cave until she died leaving only her voice behind. Narcissus was put under a curse of his own because of his vanity. He had claimed himself to be more beautiful than the gods. Angered they put a curse on him so that he would love only himself. One day when he stopped his hunting for a drink from a river he caught a glimpse of his reflection and mistook it for a water nymph. He fell madly in love with himself. Narcissus was so in love that he forgot about his thirst and hunger and spent the remained of his days staring into the river begging the water nymph to come out and speak to him until one day he just withered away. The nymphs of the forest mourned for him and in the spot by the river a beautiful flower, the blossom was named for him.


The reference to Narcissus is a mythological allusion


Narcissus is brought just in conversation. It was stated that it was like looking into the mirror of narcissus, meaning that one would become enveloped in the relfection


Anonymous said...

really an eye opener for me.

- Robson

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