March 12, 2007

Compare/Contrast is what it's all about

Frye's essay is the first of the Application essays that we read for this week. In this essay Frye is using the compare and contrast method to show how The Tempest is a comedy play. He compares the play to many different types of plays as well. Frye states:

The connection between drama and rites of initiation probably goes back to the Old Stone Age. in classical times there were several mystery religions with dramatic forms of initiation, the most celebrated being those of Eleusis, near Athens, which were held in honor of the earth goddess Demeter, the roman Ceres who is the central figure in Prospero's masque.

These connections make it possible for intertextuality to take hold. It is very interesting to see how literature plays off itself from its early beginnings to its developing contemporary. Frye makes other connects to other plays of the same time period that Shakespeare was writing as well as what Shakespeare might have been influenced by as he was writing. The above quote shows how ancient literature can find it's way into classic literature.

I like that this essay builds upon what Culler wrote and shows how Shakespeare used past literature to help create new literature. It is also interesting to see how Frye builds upon what he stated in his earlier essay about comparing and contrasting. Its good that he is practicing what he is preaching because I know quite a few people that do not.

Frye, ''Shakespeare's The Tempest'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

Posted by Tiffany Brattina at March 12, 2007 1:19 PM | TrackBack

I can agree with you to an extent Tiffany, only because I think that this is not necessarily a compare/contrast viewpoint of Frye, as much as it is an overall reflection on all literature. If you look over at Denamarie's blog on The Critical Path, you will see that she discusses the multiple social influences that helps a piece of literature, and while I do agree that Shakespeare uses the past to help his present, I do not think it is more comparable to any other group of works. I really believe that Shakespeare is simply unique, reflecting in his own time with his own thoughts and ideals. I do believe, however, that people after Shakespeare marvel in his style and cultural influence, and can take multiple conventions into their own playwriting. I could be wrong, these are just my thoughts on literature.

Posted by: Jason Pugh at March 14, 2007 4:59 PM
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