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Greek Mythos in the Kingdom of God


Marie Howe’s “The Kingdom of Ordinary Time” makes a number of references to Greek Mythology, and the Christian views on how everything came to be. By comparing these two religions I believe that Howe shows that the differences between these two beliefs aren’t so different after all.

In the first half of the book we is where we see the references to mythology and other Gods than what we normally associate with christian beliefs.  However that does not mean there are not christian references. We can also see from an interview with Howe that she was raised upon said christian beliefs. “Well, uh, I grew up in the Catholic religion in a large Irish Catholic family… We went to Mass. We had a priest who lived at our house practically…” Take the first poem for example where there is a clear reference with the feeding of the 5,000 in the “Prologue” “The rules, once again, applied / One loaf = one loaf. One fish = one fish. / The so-called Kings were dead.” We also see how it mentions a loss of faith in the people, possibly leading to this being a separate reality, where those who had once worshiped no longer did, and began following either, their own beliefs or the beliefs of other gods.Remember this is a place in which the “rules apply”. People may choose not to believe in a god that breaks rules, or they may choose to follow gods who break those rules even more such as the Greek gods like Apollo or Zeus.

The main place where we see Greek Mythology come in to play is in the poem “Reading Ovid” where in the first line Howe mentions the Greeks and Romans. Ovid was a Roman poet who lived during the reign of Augustine and he wrote poems on questionable themes like Howe says “You know that stew you just ate for dinner honey? – It was your Son”/ That’s Ovid for you./ A guy who knows how to tell a story about people who/ really don’t believe in the Golden Rule.” Along with this everybody knows the story about how the Spartans would permit stealing but not getting caught, and just from this glance at the mythology and stories form the Greeks and Romans you would think that there is no way these two beliefs can be similar. However as we see in Poems from the Life of Mary in the poem “How You Can’t Move Moonlight” Howe says “And the man who’s just broken the neck / of his child? He’s standing by the window / moonlight shining on his face and throat” The moonlight in this case seems to be either Gods love shining on him and denoting that he will still love him and he just needs to redeem himself. Or it’s the Greek Gods looking down a upon him, and the man can’t escape their gaze.


As we can see, Gods in general break the rules just like Howe says in her first poem. And sometimes its hard to tell whether the Gods are mad at us or are just trying to love us. This shows that all religions and beliefs aren’t so different and with this knowledge we can bring them together even more.


Works Cited

Howe, Marie. The Kingdom of Ordinary Time. New York: W.W. Norton & Co, 2008.

“Transcript: Marie Howe – The Poetry of Ordinary Time.” On Being. N.p., 31 Mar. 2016. Web. 08 Dec. 2016.

Othello and his Upbringing

Snyder makes mention of a multitude of reasons as to how Othello and Desdemona’s marriage could very easily come to an end. Either through Iago himself, or even just the idea that women are objects rather than people, but I believe that it is Othello himself that causes his love to fail.

Iago: “I know our country disposition well. / In Venice they do let <God> see the pranks / They dare not show their husbands. Their best conscience / Is not to leave ‘t undone but [keep ‘t] unknown.”

Othello: “Dost thou say so?”


Iago says this to Othello, and since Othello has spent minimal time in Venice he has no way of proving Iago wrong. Therefore he is forced to now have the thought linger in his mind. This all happens because of Othello’s background as a soldier. Because of his upbringing he doesn’t know much about the world other than basic common sense, war, or things hes been taught along the way. However the same goes for Desdemona. Because of her sheltered life and their vast differences it is only a matter of time before the marriage fades.

Expanding more on these “differences” between them, both of their backgrounds a nearly opposite. Desdemona is a young, sheltered, Venetian white girl, whilst Othello is a middle-aged, battle tested, black man. These differences lead to them possibly only mirroring their love for each other, as shown in the line:

“She loved me for the dangers I had passed, / And I loved her that she did pity them.”


If we take this line literally it seems he only loves her because she “pities” him. This will lead to the eventual end of the marriage.

There are more problems that arise because of Othello’s upbringing however. Snyder puts it best when she says:

“He is decisive, as a good commander must be. He does not hesitate in doubt, and when resolved must act. What works for the soldier is tragic for the husband.”

(pg. 292)

Because of this kind of personality, he is willing to let her go, simply because of this doubt that harbors in his mind.

Overall we can see how even without the work of Iago, it is very possible that the courtship between Othello an Desdemona would have eventually ended simply because of the separate worlds they grew up in and the personalities that comes with them .


Works Cited

Mount, Barbara A. and Paul Werstine, eds. Folger Shakespeare Library: Othello by William Shakespeare. Simon and Schuster, 2009.

Snyder, Susan. “Othello: A Modern Perspective.” Folger Shakespeare Library: Othello by William Shakespeare, edited by Mount, Barbara A. and Paul Werstine, Simon and Schuster, 2009.

Assassination Vacation and its Trip Through Great Minds

Assassination Vacation is a book about our presidents and those who would choose to end their lives. More specifically, about Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley. In the beginning of the book we see Vowell visiting the Lincoln Memorial, and later talking about how his speeches reflect the ways he thought and acted. This leads to thinking that maybe throughout this book we can find out how Vowell thinks as well.

In chapter 1, while Vowell is at the memorial, she reads over the Gettysburg Address and the Second Inaugural speech. She explains the deeper insight behind it as to how it shows how Lincoln thought and we see the first instance of this on page 26:

“But in my two favorite parts of the speech, Lincoln is sarcastic. He’s a writer. And in his sarcasm and his writing, he is who he was.” (pg. 26 Vowell)

The way Vowell interprets this speech in her own head though seems to be that it is a very simple yet powerful speech, with phrases like “and the war came”, being the epitome of simplicity while also being sarcastic, exemplifies Vowell to a T. It is very likely that she thinks a lot like Lincoln. Being very open with her political opinions, however she is still her own person, in the prologue of the book Vowell mentions how it would’ve been embarrassing to talk about visiting the Museum of Television and Radio, while being able to openly express her crush on John Wilkes Booth. This shows her being somewhat shy and only really being able to open up if it is something she truly loves.

Moving on to the Second Inaugural Speech, we see phrases such as “Binding up the nations wounds” and creating a “lasting peace”. She takes these things at face value and doesn’t look much deeper into it as it seems to be a pretty clear cut speech. She does , however ask a question as to why Booth would even want to kill someone with those ideals and doesn’t follow up on it any further, leaving us to think of Vowell, as a person who won’t ask questions unless the saying doesn’t seem to be completely clear. She’s a theorist to that degree, asking questions about what others do not even try to comprehend.

Overall, Vowell is a very bright individual, but is a little odd, only questioning certain topics, along with being quite shy outside of what she is passionate about. This leads to the interesting and great book “Assassination Vacation”. A place where Vowell can release all of her passion into something she loves.

Works Cited

Vowell, Sarah. Assassination Vacation. London: Simon & Schuster, 2006. Print.


John Crow’s Devil and the False Truths

In the chapter “Wilderness” of Marlon James’ “John Crow’s Devil” Pastor Bligh is in the middle of a hallucination caused by alcohol and his own guilt. He sees rats running around the room and later begins to see his brothers wife naked in the room. She begins to straddle him, but as he lifts his head to look at her he sees not a face, but a skull with skin falling off and long strands of black hair covering it.

In this scene, after the Widow leaves the room and Pastor Bligh sees his brothers wife naked and straddling him, we gain some insight into his supposed guilt and we can make a few assumptions as to what happened. But this isn’t the only insight we get from this scene. Moving on to the idea of his hallucination itself, we see another view and how God would punish those who follow a false truth. In this case it would be Pastor Bligh trying to hide from his guilt by attempting to follow God, and get forgiveness.

In the first few sentences the Widow talks about wanting to save the Pastor and forces a cup of rum down his throat, and immediately after he mentions that that’s the thing that is killing him. The Widow however says that it is the only thing keeping him alive.

By subjecting himself to alcoholism and trying to follow God, he believes in what is called a False Truth. By shutting out the objects and ideas of reality he chooses his own truth to believe in, but society says to be false. God is punishing him by showing him the visions of brothers wife and the guilt that came with it. This could’ve been avoided had he owned up to his mistakes instead of trying to hide from them and live a lie

Overall Marlon James gives an idea of God not being so forgiving just because you say you follow him. You need to own up to your own mistakes.


About Me

My name is Skyler Villegas, And I’m currently a Music Ed Major. One of my favorite things that I love doing is playing the Trumpet. I’ve been playing for the past 9 years now and I plan on making it into a career. I’m currently in this schools Brass Ensemble, Wind Symphony, and Marching Band.14079573_252728741793308_667482816425293519_n

The Trumpet I usually play on is my Bach Stradivarius, but I also still have my trumpet I recived back in 6th grade which is a Yamaha Advantage.bach-trumpet-in-caselg

My prefered career path would most likely be getting either a Master’s or Doctorate in Music Ed and then go on to teach High school or College .13938487_1132858296778787_2741960871469798123_n