Research that seeks to examine literary sources in-depth to identify hidden meanings, messages, and applied rhetorical tools is part of an effective strategy for the academic study of the literary sciences. A great variety of artistic and poetic works have traditionally been classified into works closely associated with the cultural code within which the authors realized their creative potential. Thus, while ancient Greek poems and epics centered on the tragedy of the hero, works from the Golden Age of Spain were oriented toward the praise of such philosophical categories as love, art, and eroticism.
This research paper aims at a coherent critical literary evaluation, supported by rhetorical and semantic analyses. The subjects were three poems by Spanish authors of the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries in which the themes of Neoplatonic love and passion were central. The work is a useful material, relevant to the reader both in terms of new names in medieval European poetry and in summarizing the rhetorical devices characteristic of the golden period.
Teresa de Ávila
The concept of Neoplatonic love is large in essence, and thus its presence can be found even in those lines in which there are no direct references to love as such. For instance, in the poem “Vivo sin vivir en mí,” the fifteenth-century Spanish poet Teresa de Cepeda y Ahumada, or Teresa de Ávila, as she is more commonly called, addresses the futility of being in the absence of interest in life. Only God, according to the lyrical character, has the power and the right to control human existence, breathing new energy into it or taking away its last powers. First of all, it is worth specifying that Teresa de Ávila was a nun and a follower of the institution of Catholic Christianity (Santa Teresa de Jesús).
Under the church, de Ávila performed the role of healer and soon founded the Discalced Carmelites’ Order; her name means even literature more. In particular, the woman’s figure is associated with the era of Spanish mysticism, in which Teresa de Ávila wrapped her unconditional love for God. Because of her merits during her lifetime, both religious and literary contexts, the writer is rightly considered one of the best authors of the Spanish Golden Age.
The central theme of the poem “Vivo sin vivir en mí” (“I Live Not Within Myself”) was an existential question concerning the meaning of human existence. Deprived of purpose and hope, the individual can hardly live happily and exists literally without actually living. The philosophical dilemma raised by the author is defined by such timeless categories as “existence” and “life”: Teresa de Ávila argues that it is possible to exist without life if such being is deprived of its primary meaning and purpose.
In fact, being physically on Earth does not guarantee peace of mind and equilibrium at all. Many people even today reflect on how vain an existence limited to the satisfaction of basic needs and devoid of mission can be (Higuera). Thus, the poetess lays bare the existential crisis questions that any person may one day face regardless of the era. Why should I live? Does my existence have a purpose? What am I meant for?
It is worth noting right away that the careful reader will not find the answer to these and other questions in “Vivo sin vivir en mí.” On the contrary, in this poem, the poet does not give any apparent answers but only creates the story that illustrates the depth of experience combined with obsessive suicidal thoughts. A unique example of mystical poetry, the poem integrates a person’s down-to-earth experiences with an appeal to the God responsible for an individual’s life.
The title itself guarantees that the reader will receive a poem about a soul longing to see the Almighty and right now deciding the necessity of physical life. Nevertheless, after a close reading, one may wonder about the presence of the theme of Neoplatonic love in this literary work. In fact, devoid of scenes of eroticism, love fantasies, or intimate experiences, the poem instead refers to something more splendid, eternal, and beyond the physical, namely infinite love and affection for God. It is an intriguing interpretation of an ancient Greek philosophical current, and therefore a literary analysis of “Vivo sin vivir en mí” is of heightened interest.
“I live now beyond myself / after having died of love / for I live within the Lord” (de Jesús, lines 4-6).
A transcription of de Ávila’s own life experience expressed through the poetic “I” reflects the extent of the author’s practice. While still alive, she resents and longs for death in order to unite with God as soon as possible. There is an apparent paradox in the author’s soul: she is full of love and heartfelt affection, but this feeling ruins her because the one with whom she is infinitely in love cannot give her an answer.
“Oh, this life is so very long! / how grievous are these exiles / this prison, these iron shackles / by which the soul is trapped!” (de Jesús, lines 18-21).
In fact, de Ávila is locked in a prison, and her overseer is the Almighty. It is this feeling that is the real reflection of unrequited platonic love. In the lines instead of the Lord, the doubting reader can imagine any other man, and then it becomes clear that the theme of the poem is romantic affection without vulgarity or sex, but full of the mystery of the soul and profound experiences. Understanding this leads to an intriguing twist in the poem: In order to experience God’s love, the woman must die.
“Do not tarry for, your arrival, I long expect” (de Jesús, line 37).
However, this love is not destined to come true only because of the author’s wishes. Christian commandments forbid a religious person to commit suicide even to meet God, so all that remains for the woman is to wait for God to take her (Denison). Waiting kills her, and such a life is a burden on the author.
Written in the eight-syllable form, the poem skillfully combines some excellent rhetorical devices. Thus, an essential part of the poem is the paradox, legitimately reflected at the end of each line, when the author writes that she is “I’m dying because I’m not dead” (de Jesús). This distinction allows for the creation of two non-overlapping realities, the earthly and the spiritual, at the boundary of which the protagonist stands. She already knows for sure that she is not destined to enter God’s world now, so by taking Earth toward returning to Earth, the woman pours out her own sorrows and hopes.
Moreover, the ubiquitous use of the pronoun “I” adds to the intimacy of the poem, and at some point, the reader may feel as if they are peeking in on someone else’s love. In this sense, it is more appropriate to classify the poem as a personal prayer in which the character exposes her affection. Neoplatonic tendencies of unrequited love are openly revealed in the fifth stanza of the poem when de Ávila uses such metaphors as “bitter life,” “sweet love,” and “endless waiting” (de Jesús, lines 25, 27-28). This description conveys the depth of the inner infinite love and longing from the impossibility of soulful union with God.
San Juan de la Cruz
A similar fate is typical of another famous Spanish poet, mystic, church teacher, and monk who was a central figure of the Spanish Counter-Reformation. It is talking about Juan de la Cruz, known not only for his canonical works of poetry but also for his close communion with de Ávila (St John of the Cross). Similar religious experiences at such an excellent time for Spain, reinforced by personal encounters with de Ávila, influenced de la Cruz’s poetic activity. This can be seen both in the semantic orientation of his work — the predominant majority of it is written on themes of love and God — and in the use of traditional Golden Age rhetorical devices, whether metaphors or repetition.
The five-syllable poem “Canciones Del Alma” was chosen as the material to be analyzed, defining the effects of Neoplatonic love and eroticism in the best possible way. The poem’s central theme was the lyrical character’s wandering into the night, walking toward the divine lover. Expressed linearly, it is a story of the protagonist’s journey, full of heartache and doubt. The soul was not free initially, as earthly attachments and trouble cloud it. The only personal effort, catalyzed by God’s will, can be a sufficient resource for liberation.
“In the dark of night / aflame with the craving of love’s fire / what luck / I left when no one noticed / while my house was hushed in sleep” (de la Cruz, lines 1-5)
The house, transfixed by peace, is nothing other than the character’s devastated soul. It no longer feels human affections and cares, and only “Night” contributes to its continued development. It is not a vulgar or sordid love that takes place fleetingly between two strangers. On the contrary, what de la Cruz describes is about inner harmony primarily with oneself, which should be encouraged at the end. The Catholic poet deftly turns to words when he seeks to describe the role of such Neoplatonic affection:
“In secret, where no one saw me / and I saw nothing — / there was no light to see by / but the love-flame in my heart” (de la Cruz, lines 12-15).
No one meets the character on the night road, and consequently, her only companion is herself. At one point, it may seem as if the author is deliberately playing with the reader’s emotions, as she does not provide answers but only narrates the bride’s journey. From the average person’s perspective, the world she perceives with her senses is the foundation for life, and her home gives her joys and pleasures. Nevertheless, only truly devoid of these cares does a woman find her happiness by trusting in divine darkness. The power of true, burning love helps her to light the way brighter than “the sun at noon.” Thus, the character who has passed through the ordeal of the night is entitled to love, which she will eventually receive.
“In that perfection, blessed, I rested still, / my face against the Lover’s breast / everything stopped” (de la Cruz, lines 40-43).
Fray Luis de León
Another significant name discussed in this study is that of the religious scholar, translator of sacred texts, and poet Luis de León. In describing his writings, many authors refer to him as the greatest poet of the Spanish Renaissance, who synthesized biblical themes with Neoplatonic mysticism (Luis de León). The five-syllable poem chosen for analysis, “The Night Serene,” skillfully combines these themes to tell the story of the protagonist’s spiritual experiences. Finding himself at a crossroads, he ponders the frailty of existence and the meaninglessness of unconscious human existence.
“Alas! – arise, weak mortals, / And measure all your loss!” (de León, lines 26-27).
With such a phrase, the character addresses his fellow human beings in order to awaken their consciousness. It is as if the man is saying that there is a reality beyond the animal concerns, full of true love and mystery, to which the eye must be directed. “The earth” in the work appears only as a platonic copy of heaven, where in its perfect, ideal being, all the matter of the world resides.
“Then love and longing waken / the anguish of my soul” (de León, lines 1-2)
By renouncing the frailty of such a “prison” existence, the author seeks to ascend to an alternative, extraterrestrial reality. It is clear from the lines of the text that man is given the opportunity to find true freedom and to escape both from the prison of a corrupt world and from his earthly existence. This is the episode’s demonstration of a subtle Neoplatonic love, for the character does not want a physical relationship with the earth, but he longs for sensual love. In addition, he encourages other people of the planet to these feelings, showing an unconditional and unselfish concern for his neighbors.
“Nor sob the last decision / to rend the bond that ties / his soul a captive from such blissful skies?” (de León, lines 68-70)
Whereas previous authors more obviously showed the protagonist’s love for God, in The Night Serene, the emphasis was placed on the intangible attachment of the human soul to the universe. Thus, de León was able to know the majesty of the universe, and his soul returned to the embrace of existence, but he continues to mourn those who are enslaved to their physical senses. Nevertheless, it is not the denunciation of the wretched that is the message of the poem, but the illustration of the outcome that awaits the soul that has followed the path of Neoplatonism (Krasny).
The last three stanzas of the poem perfectly describe this reality, full, in the author’s words, of “Mid joys and glories swelling,” “Sacred Love,” “Immensurable Beauty,” and “Green pasturelands and rills!” (de León, lines 73,75,76,80,82). Ultimately, de León does not answer the questions of how to know the fabric of the universe or what will become of people left subdued by physical passions. Instead, the reader is invited to judge for himself which side of the dual reality they are willing to accept.
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Analysis Of Newspaper Industry
The newspaper industry has existed since the 16th century and has evolved with time. Newspapers began by being the most accessible and affordable source of news back in the days. However, the digitization of news has changed the world of the newspaper today. Observer Centric Company covers local news as a way of surviving the industry. The company maintains happy community customers and is profitable. Its internal and external environment determines its success and life expectancy in the industry. Digitization of news may have affected newspapers but creative ways of delivering news are still emerging in the industry. Although digitization of the news might have adversely affected the newspaper industry, Observer Centric is doing better.
The History of Newspapers
The history of newspapers in America started way before independence. The English colonies first published a copy of newspapers named “The Present State of the New-English Affairs” which sought to clear some colonial rumors (Park 45). Furthermore, in the 17th and early 18th century, news of public opinions and current affairs were handwritten and posted for the public (Park 45).
In the 20th century, the digitization of news began hence bringing changes to the readers of newspapers. As the digitization of news continues, the sales of hard copy newspapers are expected to keep declining (Churchwell 15). Observer Centric has changed the history of the newspapers by focusing on local news. The company covers non-investigative local news whereby the focus is to update community people about recent development projects in their neighborhood. Covering local news attracts the community readers to follow area developments, hence are guaranteed to buy the newspapers. The covered advertisements are also based on neighborhood whereby people in the covered area advertise with the company’s newspaper. Observer Centric also has a unique way of reporting news whereby it does not take sides. Providing neutral news reports helps the business from losing customers from either side of the news story.
The main strength of Observer Centric is the coverage of local news. According to Teoli and Jason, strength is defined by what the company does best (2). Other newspapers in the industry provide information about the country’s politics, sports, entertainment, economic situations, commerce, and trade. Indeed, the newspapers also cover international news which local people might not have an interest in (Modikeng 14). However, Observer Centric in its newspaper edition, The Impact covers local news. Accordingly, the paper gives the readers a scope of everything that is happening in their communities. The coverage of local news makes local readers buy the edition as they want to learn about their neighborhood projects. Furthermore, half of the paper covers local news while the other half covers advertisements. Local businesses delight in the local advertisement as they catch the attention of the right people. Therefore, local coverage helps the company survive in the declining industry.
A major weakness is that the Observer Centric paper does not cover national matters which may be important to the readers. The local readers may be attracted to the newspaper because it covers their area news but may also want to read national news. According to Modikeng, the readers of newspapers want a variety of news on different levels (8). The local business owners especially those advertising might want a section of business news where the newspaper covers how to grow business. Other news sections like sports at international or national news are still important. Therefore, the reader may need to buy another newspaper to cover the extra news need.
Observer Centric has an opportunity to cover more areas in providing local news. The case study provides that covering local news makes people want to read the newspapers as they learn about surrounding issues. Using the business model life cycle, the newspaper can undergo the four stages (Tao & Yu, 27). Observer Centric could expand its coverage of news by covering more local regions. The business had already undergone the startup stage and now should move to growth. Achieving growth will require more time and resources which means the business should invest more in the newspaper coverage. As time goes, the project will achieve maturity and require renewal. Renewing the newspaper will mean revisiting the areas that need improvement and implementing changes.
The Impact newspapers face the threat of competition from its industry rivalries. The extended rivalries in the industry include suppliers, customers, potential entrants, and substitutes (Kabeyi & Barasa 41). Observer Centric is likely to face potential entrants to the new venture. The newspaper industry is declining and as they look for a way to survive, other newspapers may look to cover local newspapers. Having other companies enter the new local news industry will be a blow for the Observer Centric. Potential entry will mean sharing customers in the local areas as some firms may end up covering the same community news as The Impact.
Another potential threat is the possible substitution of the company newspaper. The digitization of news has seen many hard copies readers move to read soft copies online. Today, local news is also covered in social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Observer Centric sells their news in form of newspapers but some customers could rely on online news which costs them nothing. Henceforth, the loyal customers buying the local news may turn to online news thus recording reduced business for the company.
The industry of newspapers has existed for a long time but the presence of digital sources of information is making this business lose the market. Observer Centric is an example of a creative way of surviving in the declining industry. The company has the strength of covering local news as the only newspaper in the industry. There is however the lack of national coverage which might make customers require another news feeder. Expanding the business to cover more local communities is a huge opportunity for Observer Centric but may face potential entrants and substitution.
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Discussion Of Respiratory Acidosis
Acids are substances that can give off hydrogen ions, and bases are substances that can accept these ions. The acid-base balance is an important parameter that is maintained in the human blood within certain limits. This is necessary for the normal functioning of various body systems, biochemical reactions, and the optimal functioning of enzymes. Acids are substances that can give off hydrogen ions, and bases are substances that attach these ions. There are many diseases associated with a violation of the acid-base balance in the blood; one of these diseases is respiratory acidosis.
Respiratory acidosis develops due to the accumulation of a large amount of carbon dioxide in the blood, which combines with water to form carbon dioxide. This causes an increase in the acidity of the blood. This condition can develop with respiratory disorders that cause a decrease in pulmonary ventilation (Patel and Sharma, 2021). Symptoms include lethargy, trembling, and confusion. A patient who feels slightly tired, sweating profusely, and anxiety should pay attention and visit a doctor.
The treatment involves the patient being on the artificial lung ventilation device. In addition, it is necessary to eliminate the accumulated sputum from the lungs. It is also necessary to eliminate the cause of the appearance of excess acid in the body to avoid relapse. The question that I would like to study in more detail is what preventive measures should be taken to prevent the appearance of excess acids in the body.
Patel, S. & Sharma, S. (2021). Respiratory Acidosis. StatPearls.