Development Of The Figure In Ancient Greek Art Essay Example For College

Throughout history, Greek and Roman Empires have been considered to be the origin of Western culture. The art from these times lies at the foundation of the modern ideals of beauty, perfection, rationale, and balance. The rise and fall of Greece shaped a unique approach to artistic forms. This essay will discuss the development of art in Ancient Greece from the Archaic to Hellenistic periods.

The initial Geometric period gave way to the Archaic period in Greek art. Instead of separating figures into simpler geometrical forms, artists began practicing to illustrate more realistic proportions (Stokstad & Cothren, 2018). Mostly, they have explored such figures as athletes and warriors. The portrayal of musculature was especially important in the composition, although their poses and expressions were more static than during later eras, with statues staring back at the viewer. It has been discovered that Greek artists extensively used colors in their works to add realism (Stokstad & Cothren, 2018). With the development of pottery, such art techniques as black-figure and red-figure have appeared. In these art forms, portrayed characters were not static, but instead conveyed a story (Stokstad & Cothren, 2018). Despite the progress in art forms and techniques, this period is called archaic because, if examined in comparison to later periods, it was still underdeveloped.

The Classic period, however, is considered the peak of Greek artists’ performance. During that era, the ideals of western beauty that were preserved until modern times were formed. Stokstad and Cothren (2018) state that “scholars associated Greek Classical art with three general concepts: humanism, rationalism, and idealism” (p. 122). These three concepts are clearly reflected in the works of that time, as every detail was given a meaning. Poses were no longer stiff, and the slightest notions of movement that were added invited the viewer to make a certain conclusion on a particular art piece. The intense study of human figures allowed Greek artists to perfect human anatomy to minute details. The High Classical period is considered a pinnacle of artistic refinement since the sense of harmony and balance was interwoven in every artwork. During that period, an artist followed a set of guidelines for “symmetria” – the relationship between body parts to one another (Stokstad & Cothren, 2018). This approach could be traced even in the city plans of that time, as cities were built with the idea of mathematical accuracy using proper geometry forms. Stepping back from the depictions of athletes or warriors with composed, the High Classical period is marked by the implementation of figures in personal or domestic contexts (Stokstad & Cothren, 2018). During the Late Classical period, this notion continued to evolve, and expressions were given a greater variety of emotions.

However, after the fall of Alexander the Great, the Greek Empire rapidly began to change, and art went along with these changes. Hellenistic artworks are significantly distinct from Classical, as the structural, idealistic approach gave way to artistic freedom. Hedreen (2016) argues that it was “an epochal collective psychological development of individualism” (p. 60). The emerging individualism shifted the main focus of artworks into the diametrically opposite direction. Stokstad and Cothren (2018) state that artists turned away from depicting “the heroic to every day, from gods to mortals, from aloof serenity to individual emotion, and from decorous drama to emotional melodrama” (p.150). In conclusion, the characteristics and ideals of art that were developed in Ancient Greece continue to play a major part in modern art.

References

Hedreen, G. (2016). The image of the artist in archaic and classical Greek art, poetry, and subjectivity. Cambridge University Press.

Stokstad, M., & Cothren, M.W. (2018). Art history. (Vol. 1, 6th ed.). Pearson.

Courting In Fisher’s “Anatomy Of Love” And Dickerson’s “Never Die Alone”

Introduction

Courting is generally regarded as the necessary ritual between representatives of two sexes that is needed for making the proper choice. Because this ritual is attributed not only to humans but to animals also, the significance of courting is biological. Its duration and significance strongly depend on the development level of the species. In general, the courting period is divided into five stages, and each stage presupposes a particular ritual. The paper aims to analyze the courting of King David when he was trying to conquer Juanita’s heart from the perspective of courting significance and value as it is described by Helen Fisher in her “Anatomy of Love”.

Importance and Theory of Courting

Courting is the necessary ritual within animals before pairing. This is required for selecting the proper partner, and defining whether a partner is worth attention. Therefore, courting is aimed at proving that the choice is correct. Professor Helen Fisher tries to explain courting within humans from the perspectives of the animal world. Therefore, she concluded that the general rules of courting are similar for animals and humans. In general, the courting period, following Fisher’s researches is divided into five stages:

  1. Attention-getting stage. This is similar to establishing the territory. Men and women start showing off to make the necessary impression.
  2. Recognition. This is required for showing the attention of the other is accepted, and following actions are encouraged. Male has an opportunity to approach the selected female.
  3. Talking phase. Insects, birds, mammals start singing. Men start talking and showing their IQ level. A Male’s song is the signal for females whether courting should be accepted or not.
  4. Touching phase. The distance between both starts decreasing. This means that the comfort level of both improves, and more daring actions may be taken. This involves hugging another person, touching, brushing delicately.
  5. The final phase of courting is synchronizing, or mirroring. Animals do not have this phase; however, it is one of the most fascinating within humans. This stage is performed unconsciously: people start copying movements and gestures made by the other. This gives the signal to another person that both are in tune with each other. (Fisher, 145)

These five stages will be used as the basis for analyzing the behavior of King David, and his courtship with Juanita. In general, these actions are not exemplary, as King David violates the rules of “correct” courtship. Anyway, he succeeds, and Juanita shows that she is quite interested in him.

Never Die Alone

The process of courtship shown in movies, fiction, or stories often differs from the commonly accepted rules. On the one hand, the process may seem quite attractive for watching, romantic and effective; on the other hand, it may differ from the stated principles of courting, as humans are individual, and their individualities may require applying non-standard approaches.

In the movie, “Never Die Alone” in which King David shows courtship when trying to win Juanita’s heart, the process of courtship is shown as the situational contact. This is described by Clement (178): courtship process is always defined by the requirements of the situation, as any type of communication should be reasonably grounded. Therefore, King David acts by the surrounding circumstances to attract Juanita’s attention, and then conquer her heart. He does not act by Helen Fisher’s observations that she had described in her book, “Anatomy of Love”. King David does show plenty of examples. Hence, he is extremely work-oriented, and he had never fallen in love as deep as it is needed for proper courting. The opening stage of courting also presupposes some flash of falling in love at first sight. Hence, by the plot, King David drops in a bar to have a drink, when he notices a young beautiful girl named Juanita. His reaction is shown in the phrase below: “She’s everything a man could want, beautiful, intelligent, uncorrupted.” David approaches her nonchalantly, and, he is rejected instantly. Even though courting should stop by scientific classification, and the initial stage has already failed, he starts the next phase – recognition. When Juanita is walking with a drink, King David bumps into her slightly, and that causes the drink to spill all over him. She helps him clean up; hence, they skip to the next phase ‑ touching. King David notices that Juanita is quite responsive; however, she is simply playing “hard to get” for making the courting game more interesting. Then, David insists on seeing her after work. Juanita explains that she is a student and works in the restaurant. She does not have much time, but she agrees to see him again. This is the successful ending of the courting process that was invented in the course of the contract. It has been already emphasized that some stages were skipped, and the entire process was not subjected to particular rules stated by Fisher (78).

The instance of King David and Juanita reveals that the courting process may differ from the generally accepted norms. Nevertheless, these norms can not be regarded as obligatory, as motives of the process among humans differ from the motives among animals. Courting maybe just be a part of communication, and people tend to know each other better before making sex. People are subjected to mood change, and while Juanita takes David’s wooing aggressively, then, she realizes that his intentions are serious enough for making another attempt. Though, her reaction may be also explained by David’s aggressive start of wooing. Then, he appears to be an interesting and attractive collocutor for her. By the scientific principles stated by Fisher, a male (a man) rarely continues trying or makes another attempt if he is rejected. His attention may be switched to another object. Therefore, Anatomy of Love, which is based on analyzing animals’ behavior may be helpless when describing some instances and patterns of human behavior.

As for the matter of skipping the stages, this phenomenon may be explained by the fact that the comfort level between two people was high enough for this. Therefore, Juanita, in order not to seem too available, continued acting as a “hard to get”, while David accepted her rules of the game. This skipping was necessary for developing the situation as if David did everything by the rules, the attraction, as well as comfort, levels would decrease instantly. There could be an opportunity for a third attempt also, however, its effectiveness would be essentially lower. Because circumstances were suitable enough for violating some courting rules, humans’ courting process is more situation-oriented. This is clearly shown in the movie, as David acts by the situation, and attracts Juanita’s attention delicately after the first failure.

Additionally, it should be stated that the possible differences in the described processes and real-life are obvious. Humans are also animals from the biological point of view, however, humans are also social creatures. Therefore, human actions are also dictated by social norms, education, psychological patterns, tastes, and preferences, etc. Therefore, the classification of courting by Helen Fisher may be regarded as the basic principles of inter-human relations, while the actual principles of courting and communication of two persons who attract each other may be stipulated by numerous other factors, and these factors create unique situations with unique communication rules and principles.

Conclusion

Courting is generally regarded as the necessary ritual between potential sex partners. Courting among humans may be classified by the general courting principles among animals, nevertheless, Helen Fisher in her “Anatomy of Love” gives basic rules of this ritual. The example shown in “Never Die Alone” movie clearly shows that the course of courting may differ, and humans may easily skip some stages, while animals usually can not. This is explained by the fact that King David and Juanita agreed with the rules of each other, that is why both succeeded. By the scientific classification of the courting process, both violated the rules, however, this did not prevent them from winning the game of courting.

Works Cited

Clement, Elizabeth Alice. Love for Sale: Courting, Treating, and Prostitution in New York City, 1900-1945. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2006.

Fisher, Helen. “Anatomy of Love: A Natural History of Mating, Marriage, and Why We Stray”. Ballantine Books, New York. 1994.

Darabont’s “The Shawshank Redemption” And “American Graffiti” By Lucas

The two movies “The Shawshank Redemption” by Frank Darabont and “American Graffiti” by George Lucas are a great portrayal of the time they were set in. “American Graffiti” represents the culture of young people, who felt free and liberated.

“The Shawshank Redemption” is a glimpse into prison life, limiting freedom but not the optimistic goodness and expression of one’s self.

“American Graffiti” takes place in the sixties describing the culture and what defined it. The most obvious theme of the movie is a rebellious free life, with numerous possibilities (Schulman 2). It shows teen life in its various aspects, transferring the viewer into the past.

Another major theme of the movie is the relationship between a man and a woman, the way they meet, find, and spend time together. It is shown in an innocent nature and represents the life of those times. In the sixties and seventies, a special interest in the “hot rods” can be seen. In the movie, there is a connection between the car and its driver. Even though it is unethical but very often people are judged by the cars they drive, which is evident even today. The times shown in the movie represent a change in the cultural and social fabric, towards the betterment of life and human rights (Quart and Auster 9). As the movie is centered on teenagers and their night out, it illustrates the kind of fun activities people participated in at that time. The social norms and rules were not as strict as they are today, as it is clear that people felt more relaxed and enjoyed and savored the moments they were presented with. On a moral scale, “American Graffiti” shows the strength of friendship and what a person was willing to do to preserve it. The movie is an interesting look into the historic past, creating an atmosphere of nostalgia and freedom (American Graffiti).

“The Shawshank Redemption” is another great classic, which teaches morals and respect. It was set in a time when major changes in the treatment of a person were taking place.

The conflict between the prisoner and the warden is taken apart in detail. It gives people hope, as even in prison a person can stay true to their own principles and morals. Human kindness spreads everywhere and even such a secluded environment as prison cannot prevent it from entering. Another theme that is touched upon is how one man can change the setup of things, with enough determination and help from friends. Self-sacrifice is rewarded, becoming one of the key elements in the movie.

It reminds people of that time to be forgiving and helping others (Berkowitz 111). Friendship and the relationship is another optimistic direction seen throughout the movie. It proves that very often there are misunderstandings between people but once they get to know each other and offer a helping hand, even an enemy can become a friend. Just as many other movies of all times, “The Shawshank Redemption” reflects the views of society, promoting goodness and change for the better. Even though the movie is set in a judicial institution based on concrete law, a completely different side of justice is revealed.

The way this prison community runs itself makes it a unique and separate part from the rest of society. It provides evidence that there are higher rules and moral codes than those set by the human society (The Shawshank Redemption).

Both these movies are a close reflection of the times and views they were set in. The common theme of friendship reminds people to value the understanding of a fellow human being. A life based on actions defined by an inner feeling of greatness and emotion is reinforced, advising people to be optimistic and kind.

References

American Graffiti. Ex. Prod. Gary Kurtz. California, US: Universal Pictures. 1973. Film.

Berkowitz, Edward. Something Happened: A Political and Cultural Overview of the Seventies, New York, United States: Columbia University Press, 2006. Print.

Quart, Leonard, and A. Auster. American Film and Society since 1945, Connecticut, United States: Praeger Publishers, 2002. Print.

Schulman, Bruce. The Great Shift in American Culture, Society, and Politics, New York, United States: Free Press, 2001. Print.

The Shawshank Redemption. Ex. Prod. Niki Marvin. California, US: Columbia Pictures. 1994. Film.

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