The journeys all over the world, which people retort to, are generally aimed to find the new, better life. People try to find other cultures, ways of life, wisdom that will never be met in the motherland. They may simply search for adventures if life is too calm. But anyway, traveling offers the widening of the outlook and gaining of life experience.
The aim of the paper is to analyze and compare the books of two outstanding travelers, who lifted up the curtain of the other lives, and other peoples, Gulliver and Rasselas.
Trip, as the way of searching the reality
Gulliver’s Travels unreservedly imposes the query of whether physical strength or moral virtue should be the leading factor in social being. Gulliver undergoes the benefits of physical power both as one who has it, as a giant in Lilliput where he can beat the Blefuscudian navy by the asset of his huge size and as one who does not have it, as a tiny visitor to Brobdingnag where he is annoyed by the immensity of everything from bugs to household pets. His first stumbling with another society is one of trap when he is bodily tied down by the Lilliputians; later, in Brobdingnag, he is enchained by a farmer.
In Johnson’s story, Rasselas and his friends leave Abyssinia in order to complete some wishes different from the sense which must be pleased before they can be content. They wish to find true happiness, and trust a change in geographical position, may offer them greater happiness. As Nekayah states, this may be because of “the state of life,” where “none are happy but by the expectation of change.” They change positions several times, and in their trips, find lots of replies revealing the way to gain happiness. These replies are illustrated by the means of Johnson’s arguments about happiness.
Like lots of narratives about trips to nonexistent lands, Gulliver’s Travels reveals the notion of utopia – an imaginary model of the perfect society. The notion of a utopia is an antique one, going back at least as far as the account in Plato’s Republic of a city-state governed by the shrewd and expressed most notably in English by Thomas More’s Utopia.
Swift dips to both works in his own narration, however, his approach toward utopia is much more cynical, and one of the key components he points out about famous historical utopias is the propensity to privilege the societal group over the personality. The children of Plato’s Republic are grown collectively, without knowing their biological parents, in the realization that this system improves social equality. Swift has the Lilliputians likewise raise their children cooperatively, but the outcomes are not precisely utopian, since Lilliput is torn by plots, resentments, and backstabbing.
Critics have mentioned the strange attention that Gulliver devotes to clothes all through his trips. Every time he gets a tear in his shirt or is obliged to adopt some local garment to replace one of his own, he narrates the clothing details with great accuracy. Readers are narrated how his pants are falling apart in Lilliput so that as the army walks between his legs they get quite an eyeful. Readers are informed on the mouse skin he wears in Brobdingnag, and how the luxury silks of the land are as thick as blankets on him. In one sense, these depictions are obviously an easy narrative tool with which Swift can chart his protagonist’s sequence from one culture to another: the more teased his clothes become and the stranger his new clothes, the farther he is from the consoles and conferences of England.
Gulliver’s Travels was a contentious work when it was first issued in 1726. Ever since, editors have undergone lots of the passageways, chiefly the more caustic ones dealing with corporeal purposes. Even without those passages, however, Gulliver’s Travels provides a sharp satire, and Swift guarantees that it is both humorous and dangerous, continually attacking the British and European community by the means of its accounts of imaginary states.
Happiness and Rasselas’ travels
Rasselas and his companions research the happiness level of various groups of people all through their journey. They examine whether or not various ways of living impact people’s happiness. One way of living, that Rasselas and his sister consider the pleasure of, is matrimony. They argue whether or not marriage makes people happier, and consider whether marriage is best for everybody. Both make some worthy points in their dispute.
One argument offers that when people encourage each other, they often find “themselves anxious when they are separately, and consequently decide that they shall be happy together.” Human origin finds relief in that which is recognizable and is often afraid that which is not. This calmness practiced in fluency often is mistaken for happiness. This may be the situation for Rasselas and his friends. Their return to Abyssinia may be because of their wish to feel comfort and firmness again, and in their conclusion to return, they suppose it will offer them more content.
It seems that people are never totally satisfied with their current life. They always expect something more, and in these expectations find happiness. One idea offered in the text supports humans to “live according to nature, in compliance to that collective and permanent law with which every heart is initially impressed.” It may seem as if the end of the story contraries to this submission in that the characters are constantly unhappy with what origin has offered them in the current. Nevertheless, it is debatable that by looking for happiness and searching out replies to their questions, they live in accordance to their own human origin, which inquires.
Moreover, this suggestion to “live according to nature,” Johnson also imposes the dispute that men do not sense their “own contentment but when it may be contrasted with the sadness of others.” This is related to the end of the story. Only after Rasselas and his friends have contrasted the state of living in the happy valley, to the state of those who live to another place, do they choose to get back to Abyssinia.
The examples of these two plots show, that by searching for happiness, people are ready to any surprise, offered by destiny, and to bear all the challenges in order to achieve the adjusted aim.
Greenblatt, S. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. 8th. ed. Vol. 1. New York: W. W. Norton, 2006.
Johnson, S. The History of Rasselas: Prince of Abissinia Oxford University Press, USA, 1999.
Swift, J. Gulliver’s Travels Signet Classics Publisher, 1999.
The Credit Channel Of Monetary Policy
There are a number of macroeconomic theories and models which focus on the role of interest rate and exchange rate channels on the impact of monetary policy actions on the real economy. However, credit markets are another channel which plays a very important role in this regard. The credit channel theory of monetary policy emphasizes the critical role of financial assets and liabilities. Rather than categorizing all nonmonetary financial assets as bonds, this theory proposes a demarcation between different nonmoney assets, as well as the varying characteristics of borrowers making some more vulnerable to credit market fluctuations than others. The credit view also discusses agency costs derived for example from imperfect information, which may lead to differences in costs of internal and external finance and hence, may affect investment (Bernanke & Gertler, 1995).
To understand the credit channel, one must understand that there exists a bank lending channel and the financial-accelerator mechanism, the latter having a broader scope. The bank lending channel stresses on the important function that banks serve in the economy’s financial framework, their contribution in transmitting the monetary policy into the real economy and the special role of bank credit. Monetary policy actions which have an impact on the banks’ reserves will consequently cause interest rate changes as well as adjustments in the asset and liability side of the balance sheet of the banking sector. Adjustments to the liability side will reflect the effects on bank deposits and the supply of money while adjustments to the asset side will be caused by effects on banks’ reserves and interest rates (Walsh, 2003).
Aside from the bank lending channel, credit market imperfections encompass all credit markets as they affect financial transactions and contracts and at times, create a distinct difference between the costs of internal and external finance. This difference is causes by the agency costs which arise due to imperfect information, which will be covered below in detail, as well as the general failure of lenders to keep a close check on borrowers at low cost. Hence, financing costs and availability is largely affected by cash flow and net worth. If a recession occurs in the economy, the firm’s internal finance situation may be harmed and this would lead to a financial accelerator effect, due to which the firm would have no choice but to turn to external funds which would cost a lot more, especially now that with the decline in availability of internal finance. Hence, the monetary contraction policy which was implemented will be further amplified by the credit channel because the firm’s cash flow and profits would decline, and the external finance premium would rise (Walsh, 2003).
Another way in which the credit channel works to transmit the monetary policy to the real economy is when changes in the policy lead to increase or decrease in the efficiency of financial markets or alter how much rationing (which in the context of credit markets is defined as occurring when among a group of firms or individuals who appear to have the same characteristics, only some get loans while the remaining do not) borrowers face. However, credit rationing is not a mandatory condition for a credit channel. A monetary policy contraction will lead to a hike in interest rates, a slower economy, and will consequently lead to decline in firms’ balance sheets. This will in turn lead to higher agency costs and decrease the efficiency of credit allocation (Walsh, 2003).
A credit channel can not exist without there being the requisite imperfections in credit markets, and imperfect information in a credit transaction is the primary reason for the function credit effects play in transmitting monetary policy. This is because the different information that each party in a credit relationship has a direct impact on the credit allocation, efficient matching of borrowers and lenders as well as the characteristics of the credit contract itself. The nature of the credit contract is affected by three factors: adverse selection, moral hazard and costly monitoring (Walsh, 2003).
Adverse selection stresses the heterogeneity of borrowers and how this combined with imperfect information has an impact on credit markets. If two types of borrowers are considered with differing probabilities of repayment, for example Type G (probability of repayment: qg) and Type B (probability of repayment: qb). Now, if the lender knew what type of borrower he was dealing with, he would offer them customized interest rates: r/qg for Type Gs and r/qb > r/qg for Type Bs. However, if lenders do not have access to information about the type of borrower they are dealing with, then the terms of the loan determine what type of borrower the lender attracts. The lender might be faced with lower expected returns as a result of increases in the loan interest rate (which would cause increase in Type B borrowers), and this phenomenon is known as adverse selection. If the loan rate continues to increase, the lender’s returns and profits would decrease even though there would still be more demand than supply of loans (Walsh, 2003)
Moral hazard differs from adverse selection because while in the latter the changes in loan terms attracted borrowers with different characteristics, moral hazard occurs when the borrowers have a choice between projects of varying risks, and lenders can not monitor this choice. Hence, if the lender offers higher loan rates, his higher expected return is not guaranteed because the higher rates may cause the borrower to make riskier investments, which would cause the lender’s expected return to decline. Walsh (2003) discusses a model in which the borrower has two project options to invest in: A, which has a payoff of Ra and 0 in good and bad states respectively, and B, which has a payoff of Rb>Ra and 0 in the good and bad states respectively. The probability of success for both is: A: pa and B: pb, where pa > pb. B is the riskier of the two projects and the expected payoff is higher from A as pa Ra > pb Rb. L is the loan amount, rl is the interest rate on the loan and C is the collateral the lender requires.
Therefore, if the borrower invests in A, his expected return would be:
EA = pa [Ra – (1 + rl )L] – (1 – pa ) C,
And if the project fails, the borrower would end up losing his collateral, C. The same way, the expected return from Project B is:
EB = pb [Rb – (1 + rl )L] – (1 – pb ) C.
Since the expected returns on A and B are determined by the rl , the interest rate on the loan, it only follows that EA would be higher than EB, but this will only hold true if:
[(paRa – pbRb) / (pa – pb)] > (1 + rl ) L – C
The above equation shows that while the loan rate does not influence the left side, it does cause the right side to increase as rl increases. If we introduce rl* as the loan rate which would equate the expected returns to borrowers from A and B, then:
(1 + rl ) L – C = [(paRa – pbRb) / (pa – pb)]
If the loan rates are lower than rl* the borrower will choose project A but if they are higher than rl*, the borrower will opt for the riskier option of the two, B. The lender’s payment will hence be:
Pa(1+ rl)L + (1 – pa) C if rl < rl* and Pb(1+ rl)L + (1 – pb) C if rl > rl*.
Hence, the conclusion is that the lender’s profits are not a blind function of the loan rate and if the loan rate rises above rl*, his profits will decline, therefore, the possibility for credit rationing as a means to bring equilibrium to the credit market, similar to the case of adverse selection (Walsh, 2003).
Lastly, monitoring costs are the costs lenders incur to monitor borrowers, which can lead to credit rationing and debt contracts even if the above two scenarios of adverse selection and moral hazard are not present. Walsh (2003) presents a scenario where the lender has to incur a positive cost to observe the borrower’s project result, and this cost has to be incurred because any repayment schedule that links the borrower’s payment to the outcome of the project deems it necessary. If this is not done, the borrower can easily present an inaccurate report of the project outcome. Hence, if monitoring costs are taken into consideration, then as Walsh (2003) states, they can “account for both the general form of loan contracts in which monitoring occurs only when the borrower defaults – in which case the lender takes over the entire project’s return – and for rationing to arise in some equilibria.”
Bernanke, Ben S., & Gertler, Mark. Inside the Black Box: The Credit Channel of Monetary Policy Transmission. Journal of Economic Perspectives 9.4 (1995): 27-48.
Walsh, Carl E. Monetary Theory and Policy. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1998.
Gender Roles Within Greek Society
Gender roles in Greek society were determined by social and cultural traditions, position of women in society and their significance as citizens. The position of women in society was determined by absence of political rights acquired by men. Many Greek plays portray women as canny and jealous. The play Hippolytus depicts women as selfish and deceptive driven by personal gain only. Hippolytus gender representation is based on an opposition between positive image of men and unwise and selfish images of women.
The main conflict
The main conflict of the play occurs between Hippolytus and Aphrodite who wants to punish him As the play gets underway, it seems that the action is already finished, and the hero of the drama is as good as dead. In her prologue speech, Aphrodite begins by reminding readers that gods require mortals to honor them and by vowing that she will make an example of Hippolytus’ arrogant neglect of her. She goes on to say that on this very day she will punish him for his crimes. and proclaims that her vengeance is almost complete (Fox 54). She foretells the manner of his death, struck down by his father’s curses, and as she leaves the stage, she announces, with her very last words, that Hippolytus “doesn’t know that the gates of Hades are open, and that this is the last light he will see” (Euripides 23). As the play begins, he is about to pay the penalty, poised on the threshold of death–and this is exactly where readers find him at the end (Segal 109).
The cruelty and slyness of women is evident from the very beginning of the narration. In the prologue, Aphrodite leads up to the present situation–the pathological love of Phaedra for her stepson by telling how Phaedra fell in love with Hippolytus when he came to Athens to celebrate the mysteries and how she commemorated her love for him by establishing a shrine to Aphrodite:
Before coming here to the land of Trozen,
beside the rock of Pallas, this land’s
lookout, she set up a shrine of Aphrodite
in her foreign passion; and she named the goddess
as established hereafter in honor of Hippolytus (Euripides 29-33).
The prologue is generally delivered by a human character who enters to describe the situation, review the past, and generate interest in the action that follows. In Hippolytus, by contrast (Fox 57). Aphrodite enters as a god, proclaiming at once her identity and divine authority, asserting her prerogative to reward and punish mortals, reminding the viewer of her active intervention in human affairs, and delivering both an aetiology and a detailed prophecy of events to come. The prologue aetiology is unique, and so too is this prologue prophecy. As readers have seen, the play begins and ends with the death of Hippolytus, and with verbal echoes reinforcing this similarity. It also begins and ends with the gestures, and concluding prophecy, and each of these involves further similarities. Critics admit that Aetiologies refer to a tomb and hero shrine of Hippolytus, but the parallels involve Aphrodite as well (Fox 56).
Another image of women is a naïve girl who understands nothing about the world around her. In the prologue, Phaedra’s love for Hippolytus is commemorated with a shrine of Aphrodite that looks toward Trozen while the epilogue alludes to a shrine of Aphrodite the Spy where the love-smitten Phaedra used to watch Hippolytus at his exercises And just as Aphrodite in the prologue withdraws at the approach of Hippolytus, who is about to die, and leaves events to play themselves out (Fox 54). Artemis in the ending makes an identical gesture, withdrawing from the scene as the hero is about to die, and allowing Hippolytus and Theseus to play out their grief and sympathy (Wohl 101). Aphrodite concludes her opening speech with the cold pronouncement that Hippolytus stands at the gates of death, and the servant ends the scene with an ironic comment upon the finality of her decision, asking the goddess to show forgiveness since gods should be wiser than mortals. The servant ironically, and the nurse directly, both acknowledge that Aphrodite’s destructive scheme is already complete (Fox 53). Aphrodite departs at the approach of the dying Hippolytus, leaving events she has set in motion to play themselves out in the course of the play. And in the epilogue, Artemis avoids association with death by leaving before the young man dies. This premature exit of the deus is unparalleled in Greek tragedy, handing over the stage to Theseus, Hippolytus, and the chorus for a brief closing scene of purely human pathos and human forgiveness (Segal 122, 152).
Hippolytus is Euripides’ most tragic play
In the play, men are manipulated by women characters who lead them to death and sufferings. This shift of focus to the mortal sequel is accompanied by a certain ambivalence in the play’s closing gestures. In Hippolytus, these gestures are more emphatically closed than in any other Euripidean drama–yet succeed in somehow remaining open (Fox 61). If every tragedy ends with a death, then Hippolytus is surely Euripides’ most tragic play since it is the only one that ends with the death of its protagonist. The problem of locating Hippolytus’ death is not just a verbal quibble, nor a tendentious illustration of the slipperiness of language. In his tour of the famous sanctuary of Hippolytus in Trozen, Pausanias mentions a statue of the hero, a priest of Hippolytus, various sacrifices, and continues: “they won’t have him dragged to death by his horses and they do not show his grave, even though they know it. Instead they believe that what is called the Charioteer in the sky is in fact Hippolytus, who receives this honor from the gods” (Euripides 2. 32.1). Artemis promises the living and suffering hero that his sufferings will not be forgotten, but neither here nor in the action that follows is the hero’s death clearly acknowledged (Segal 108).
The murder of the children in the course of the play will be commemorated in two ways: by their burial at the shrine of Hera Akraia and by rites performed in their honor in Corinth, the land of Sisyphus. The epilogue refers to rites established in honor of the play’s central figure, and it does so without contradicting common knowledge of those rites. Yet given the exceptional nature of this aition, it remains to acknowledge its failings. After all, if the action commemorates the hero’s death, it does so only by implication. The play itself makes no direct mention of the death of Hippolytus (Fox 59). The aetiology makes no mention of the hero’s tomb in Trozen, nor does it refer to his death or burial. Instead it describes a custom associated with wedding ritual; as Pausanias reports, “each virgin cuts off a lock for him [Hippolytus] before marriage and after cutting, takes it to the temple as an offering” (Euripides 2.32.1). The ritual connections between marriage and death are widespread and important. Both marking an important point of transition and using similar ritual gestures to confirm a successful passage from one stage to the next. At least as Artemis describes it, the ritual of the virgins is as incomplete as the death it commemorates. The young women of Trozen are frozen in lamentation, harvesting tears “throughout long time,” preserving forever a musical memory of Hippolytus in their capacity that is, as women who have not made the transition to married status. The hero who seems to linger forever on the threshold of death is commemorated by an endless succession of lamenting women, lingering forever on the threshold of marriage (Segal 122). “This confusion of sexual roles also questions the gender-specific nature of morally colored terms such as noble, glorious, manly, and brave. When Artemis from on high “reveals” the truth to Theseus, she would make him “conceal” his body in the underworld, like Phaedra” (Segal 122).
Euripides depicts that love of a woman leads to death and a tragic end for a man. Phaedra’s love is not an end but the means to an end. Her passion is the instrument Aphrodite will use to punish Hippolytus, and her death is less important than the goddess’s demand for revenge and satisfaction. What survives from the action, what lives on into the present day, is not the goal announced in the prologue and apparently fulfilled in the epilogue, but a prior means to that end. Incompleteness is immortalized; the in-between lasts forever. Phaedra’s love bears the seeds of its own destruction (Fox 77). It is a curious reversal that punishes the abstinent Hippolytus by inspiring passion not in him but in someone else. From this point of view, the passion and death of Phaedra are necessary not in causal terms as means to the punishment of Hippolytus, but in symbolic terms as a counterpart to, and reflection of, her stepson’s death. Yet after both mortals are dead, Phaedra’s passion is neither spent nor destroyed. Her love for Hippolytus will return forever in the longing of Trozenian women, and a passion once hidden by her modesty and guarded by silence will finally have both a name and a voice (Wohl 103).
In rejecting the unseemly Phaedra and in endorsing a new, chastened, and formally perfect drama, the spectator plays an important part in the death of the plot. If Phaedra herself is no longer disgraced, those who pass judgment upon the action–Theseus who demands death for her death, Artemis who demands retribution for retribution, and the spectator who requires a barren perfection–all are disgraced in her stead (Wohl 101). The prologue speech of Aphrodite would have no place in the earlier play, in which Phaedra’s illicit passion sets the drama in motion, but is required by the second, in which a chaste and unwilling Phaedra becomes a vehicle in the goddess’s punishment of Hippolytus. And without a divine plan announced in the prologue, there is no place or need for a similar plan in the epilogue. If a God appeared at the end of the first Hippolytus, he or she may have explained more or less of the preceding action (less if, as is likely, Phaedra’s false accusation had already been exposed), but there would be no question of the announcing reciprocal revenge in particular, or future schemes in general (Fox 76).
In sum, the play Hippolytus demonstrates that women in Greek society were seen as callous and deceptive, selfish and arrogant. Their love and “care” caused death and sufferings to men depicted as positive characters. The hero dies at the end of the play, and a god proclaims that his tragic death will be commemorated in rituals performed at Trozen. In Hippolytus does the protagonist die in the course of the play; and only here does the contemporary vestige directly commemorate the action. The three women in Hippolytus are portrayed as selfish and deceptive, unfair and dishonest driven by personal gains and interests only.
Euripides, Four Plays: Medea, Hippolytus, Heracles, Bacchae. Trnsl. Halleran, M., Focus Publishing/R. Pullins Company; Corr. Ed edition, 2001. pp. 93- 148.
Fox, M. S. The Troubling Play of Gender: The Phaedra Dramas of Tsvetaeva, Yourcenar, and H.D. Susquehanna University Press, 2001.
Segal, Ch. Euripides and the Poetics of Sorrow: Art, Gender, and Commemoration in Alcestis, Hippolytus, and Hecuba. Duke University Press, 1993.
Wohl, V. Intimate Commerce: Exchange, Gender, and Subjectivity in Greek Tragedy. University of Texas Press; 1st University of Texas Press Ed edition, 1997.