Egyptian Influence on Minoan Religion and Culture

The Minoans of ancient Greece embodied one the world’s first great civilizations, with innovations that pervaded nearly every facet of their lives. The Egyptians, across the sea and equally great in their own right, had a rich, ancient culture that undoubtedly influenced all who encountered it. When the two civilizations collided, an exchange of goods …

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Art Deco: An Artistic Response to Industrialization

The Art Deco Movement of 1925 - 1940 marks a time of exuberant excess, and is characterized by bright and linear ornamentation in visual art, geometric elegance in fashion, and hard-edged decoration in architecture.  Artists, architects and designers of the time sought to embellish all things tangible, from the largest skyscraper facades to the smallest …

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Analysis of William Waterhouse’s Various Renditions of the Lady of Shallot

  Section 1: The Work and its Historical/Cultural Context Arguably the most famous piece by painter and drafter John William Waterhouse, The Lady of Shallot depicts an emotionally evocative scene on an ancient theme: the fabled medieval city of Camelot.  The work's creation in 1888 was inspired by a poem by the same name which …

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Shakespeare: A Jaded Poet?

In searching for themes among William Shakespeare’s plays, I observed numerous parallels between the views that the poet chose to assert regarding love and romance in Midsummer Night’s Dream and Twelfth Night.  It’s confusing, really, to try to determine exactly what his position on the love actually was. The story Shakespeare tells in the plays …

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On Hume’s “Dialogues” and Argument from Design

In an unprecedented treatise on the fallacies of conventional religious belief and the limitations of certain types of logic in understanding the nature of God, 18th Century philosopher David Hume introduced an innovative, skeptical view on religious thought. By casting three characters in the roles of the Epicurean, the Stoic and the Academic, Hume contributed …

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Enlightenment and Progress

Historians have long debated over the main catalysts contributing to Europe’s shift to modernity in the 18th century. Some scholars assert that ideas were the main force for the progress achieved in the Enlightenment efforts, while others view certain social and economic forces as being the primary reasons for transformation of Europe’s Old Regime into …

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On Margaret Atwood’s “The Female Body”

In 1990, Margaret Atwood wrote a semi-autobiographical piece in response to a letter from the Michigan Quarterly Review. Using the witticisms, ironic humor and autobiographical excerpts which characterize her uniquely poignant style of writing, she introduces a collage of seven definitions for the female form. Rife with feminism and sarcastic metaphor, this jaunt into various …

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