Search This Blog

01 February 2013

Five characters for literary tea

Five characters for literary tea

The Everyman:  Maqroll.  His optimistic fatalism, his steady course through the ceaseless tides of fate, his nobility, his scoundrel heart.

The Genius:  Don Quixote.  To inhabit his world, to turn literature into a haze of absurdities, or perhaps to escape from literature, which can be a haze of absurdities, takes nothing short of genius.

The Muse:  Ophelia.  Hamlet was a fool.  His salvation was there all along. 

The Classical:  Achilles.  Honor, glory, pride, the joy of battle, all the old crap that just keeps coming back.    

The Modern:  the fleeing warrior in the shield poem of Archilocus who has no illusions about life and who, if needed and to borrow a phrase, knew how to run as only the truly wise and the truly cowardly can run.  He has his reasoning:

Ἀσπίδι μὲν Σαΐων τις ἀγάλλεται, ἥν παρὰ θάμνῳ
ἔντος ἀμώμητον κάλλιπον οὐκ ἐθέλων·
αὐτὸν δ' ἔκ μ' ἐσάωσα· τί μοι μέλει ἀσπὶς ἐκείνη;
Ἐρρέτω· ἐξαῦτις κτήσομαι οὐ κακίω

1 comment:

  1. This is a tea I would like to attend. However, given Ophelia's presence, and the personalities in attendance, I fear there could be trouble. Nah, on second thought, Achilles would make short work of the rest of us.