The sample essay on Popol Vuh Characters deals with a framework of research-based facts, approaches and arguments concerning this theme. To see the essay’s introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion, read on.
Summarys on Don Quixote, Othello, Paradise Lost and Popol Vuh Fools and tricksters are very closely related and are used simultaneously in poetry and other literary works. A fool can be described as one who is deficient in judgment, sense, or understanding and also can be someone who acts unwisely on a given occasion.
A trickster is defined as someone that swindles or plays tricks. Often a trickster is a mischievous or roguish figure in myth or folklore. (Webster’s Online Dictionary) Fools and trickster are used frequently in poetry and other literary works to portray distinct meanings for characters.
In most instances, fools and tricksters derive from evil protagonists. In the following literary works, every attempt will be made to identify the fool, the trickster and the evil characters in each selection and describe why the characters in each are befitting of their respective designation.
Miguel De Cervantes Don Quixote is a fool in many respects. His speech is ridiculous, his ideas are hopelessly out of date, and he has lost touch with reality. Yet readers admire him and know immediately he is the hero of the story.
All the things which make him a fool, however unbelievable as it may be, add to his heroic appearance and lets the reader know where Quixote is coming from. Along with this, his foolish nature adds a sense of artlessness and purity, very heroic aspects.
Is Don Quixote really a fool or is he so innately wise to know that pretending to be a fool is advantageous? The story of Don Quixote is filled with legendary actions. Alonso Quijano, as he is first known, is a man who lives in the village of La Mancha, in Spain.
This gentleman was “close on to fifty, of a robust constitution but with little flesh on his bones and a face that was lean and gaunt. ”(Lowall and Mack) He was a man of modest means who resided with his housekeeper who was a middle aged woman, a niece who was twenty, and a man who saddled his horse and performed odd jobs around his place. Quijano loved to hunt but he was “in the habit of reading books of chivalry with such pleasure and devotion as to lead him to almost wholly to forget the life of a hunter and even the administration of his estate. (Lowall and Mack) He became so infatuated with the books that he read that he “spent whole nights from sundown to sunup and his days from dawn to dusk in poring over his books, until, finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind. ”(Lowall and Mack) He was so immersed in his books that he came to believe that the fictitious things in the novels were real. He set out on a series of ventures, the first being to become a “knight-errant and roam the world on horseback, in a suite of armor. (Lowall and Mack) He put together an ill-fitted coat of armor and hit the road with an old nag who he named Rosinante. He was dubbed a knight named Don Quixote de La Mancha by an innkeeper who realized he was out of his mind and performed the fictitious ceremony just to get rid of him. The newly knighted Don Quixote sets out on a series of outrageous adventures too numerous to list. He is captured and slips away various times to return to his adventures and finally ends up half dead, stripped and “stretched out on his old-time bed”.
His niece and housekeeper “scarcely knew what to do, for they were very much afraid that their master and uncle would give them the slip once more, the moment he was a little better, and it turned out just the way they feared it might. ”(Lowall and Mack) Such is the life of a wise fool. In Shakespeare’s, Othello, the reader is presented with the classic battle between the deceitful forces of evil and the innocence of good. It is these forces of evil that ultimately lead to the breakdown of Othello, a Venetian General, well known by the people of Venice as an honorable soldier and a worthy leader.
In spite of his elevated status, he is nevertheless easy prey to insecurities because of his age, his life as a soldier, and his race. Othello’s breakdown results in the murder of his wife Desdemona. The evil contained within Othello is by no means magical or mythical yet is represented by the character Iago. Iago is cunning, untrustworthy, selfish, and plotting. In speaking to Cassio regarding Desdemona, “I’ll send her to you presently, and I’ll devise a mean to draw the Moor out of the way, that your converse and business may be more free. He uses these traits to his advantage by slowly planning his own triumph while watching the demise of others. It is this that is Iago’s motivation. The ultimate defeat of good by the wrath of evil. Not only is it in his nature of evil that he succeeds, but also in the weaknesses of the others. Iago uses the weaknesses of Othello, specifically in his jealousy and devotion. He explains to Roderigo that he has no respect for Othello other that what he has to display in order to carry out his revenge. “I follow him to serve my turn upon him.
We cannot all be masters, nor all masters cannot be truly followed. ”(Lowall and Mack) Shakespeare’s Othello gives the audience a full measure of evil, mostly in the person of the sinister Iago, whose evil influence penetrates the lives of the victims around him. Milton’s Paradise Lost has been praised as being the greatest English epic of all time. Throughout the poem, Milton hopes to “justify the ways of God to man”(Lowall and Mack) He gives a realistic depiction of the parents of humanity, Adam and Eve and also tells the story of the most epic battle; the battle between satan and God, or good vs. vil. After a brief description of Adam and Eve’s disobedience to God in the Garden of Eden “Of man’s first disobedience, and the fruit of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste brought death into the world”(Lowall and Mack) the poem joins satan and his followers in hell, where they have just been defeated by God and kicked out of heaven. Satan briefly considers asking God for forgiveness but just as quickly, he realizes that his confession would not be sincere. Artificer of fraud; and was the first that practiced falsehood under saintly show, deep malice to conceal, couched with revenge. ” Unrepentant, satan does not change his ways “Farewell remorse! All good to me is lost; evil, be thou my good” (Lowall and Mack) This levy of good vs. evil carried on throughout the poem with the interaction of Satan and his fallen angels with God and his son in Heaven. The common representation of sin and evil came from the lead character in the battle against God, which was Satan. His name means “enemy of God. He was a former high angel from Heaven named Lucifer, meaning, “light bearer”. Satan became jealous in Heaven of God’s son and formed an allegiance of angels to battle against God, only for God to cast them out of Heaven into Hell. Milton divided the characters in the epic poem Paradise Lost into two sides, one side under God representing good, and the other side under Satan representing evil and sin. Milton first introduced the reader to the character Satan, the representative of all evil, and his allegiance of fallen angels that aided in his revolt against God.
This introduction of Satan first led the reader to believe acts of sin were good, just like Eve felt in the Garden of Eden when she was enticed by Satan to eat the fruit off of the Tree of Knowledge. The later introduction of The Almighty had the reader’s change their feelings toward sin, as the ways of God were introduced to them and these ways were shown to be the way to feel and believe. Popol Vuh is a work of epic poetry that tells the original story of the Maya and Quiche people of Guatemala and their account of the creation story.
Originally written in the 16th century, the unknown author gives hints about the sources he uses by referring to the “council book,” presumably a pre-Columbian screen-fold that served him as a source. ” (Lowall and Mack) Popol Vuh’s main characters are often seen as duplicates of one another. “Yet against this stately patterning, the hero gods appear as light-hearted boys, even as tricksters. ” The Plumed Serpent, or creator, also known as “Heart of Sky, Hurricane, and Newborn Thunderbolt, and Sudden Thunderbolt” (Lowall and Mack) is a good example of how the characters throughout the story are sometimes duplicated, and even tripled.
The characters include Hunahpu and Xbalanque, “being gods, the two of them saw evil in his attempt at self-magnification before the Heart of Sky” (Lowall and Mack) These duplicated characters are the tricksters who represent satan, the serpent, who tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The nance, which is the tree of good and evil, and the food for Seven Macaw, which is Adam, and his wife Chimalmat, which is similar in character to Eve. The creation story as depicted by the author, include many similarities that closely relate to the creation story referred to in the book of Genesis.
Fools, tricksters, and evil characters have played a large part in history since the beginning of time. There will always be people who act foolishly and there will always be people who are mischievous and play tricks on others. Fools and tricksters have been a significant part of poetry and literary works since their existence. Writers portray a character to be a fool or a trickster to show in greater detail the meaning of the writing and to keep the reader involved in the plot. The two are often used in conjunction with evil characters.
The evil character can be a fool or a trickster or can even vacillate back and fourth between the two. Writers use them together to allow the reader to see the dept of the character and how evil the character can be towards others. Such is the case in the literary writings of Don Quixote, Othello, Paradise Lost and Popol Vuh. Works Cited Lawall, Sarah, and Maynard Mack. The Norton Anthology of World Literature. 2nd ed. Vol. C. New York: W W Norton & Co Inc, 2002. 2675-2731, 2919-2996, 3001-3060, 3076-3092. Print “Webster’s Online Dictionary. ” Websters Dictionary, 2006. Web. 11 Jul 2010. .