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Saturday, September 18, 2010


In my Literature of Love class last semester I had the opportunity to be taught by a man who spent a good portion of his life abroad and was deeply educated in the literature and theater of other cultures.   He spent a good time in Russia and Europe and in addition to teaching on campus, leads the British Literature tour each summer.  In class one day, we had a lecture on stock characters and common themes in writing.  We learned some new terms that I hadn't knows before, but that have kind of given me some new motivation and a new foundation on which to build a better self :

Alazon: In the theatre of ancient Greecealazôn (Ancient Greekἀλαζών) is one of three stock characters in comedy.[1] He is the opponent of the eirôn. The alazôn is an impostor that sees himself as greater than he actually is. The senex iratus (the heavy father) and the miles gloriosus (the boasting soldier) are two types of alazôn.[2]

Eiron: In the theatre of ancient Greece, the eirôn (Ancient Greekεἴρων) was one of three stock characters in comedy.[1] The eirôn usually succeeds in bringing his braggart opponent (the alazôn) down by making himself seem like less than he actually was.[2]

Basically we learned that the Alazon is someone who tends to promise more than they can deliver and falls short; the Eiron is someone who will go above and beyond what the audience assume they are capable of and do something great--an underdog basically.

I haven't always been the best at keeping my promises to people and following through with things I say I will do--I never intentionally lie, but I get busy and bogged down and stressed out and anxious and... well you get it.  It's kind of a wake up call when you realize you have character traits usually associated with a downfall.  I've heard it said that "we are all masterpieces that just need a little more time".  I believe it is true.  I also believe it is really amazing how much you can learn about yourself through other people's stories.

I'm sick of never following through with what I say I am going too, or getting too busy and forgetting about things.  I've tried to do lists, multiple planners, sticky notes, and writing on my hand.  They help, but my mouth still tends to get ahead of my accomplishments at times.  I already set my sights this semester on three E's (exercise, eternity, and education) but I am adding to my already ambitious list of semester goals and proposing this to myself:  Don't say something unless you think you can REALLY do it, and if you do say it... try to REALLY accomplish it. 

No more half assed lives.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here's to the end of half-assedness! :)