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Tag: Sex

Lost in Translation – Review & Analysis

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“I don’t want to leave.”
“So don’t. Stay here with me. We’ll start a jazz band.”

The title Lost in Translation captures more than just Bob Harris’ (Bill Murray) and Charlotte’s (Scarlett Johansson) confusion in an alien land with dizzying lights and lethargic frenzy. It alludes to what people have always wanted, simply, someone to understand and to be understood in return. Bob and Charlotte are two lost souls who find themselves wandering aimlessly around this neon playground, both entranced and uncomfortable with a country that seems incapable of rest; indifferent to the stragglers.

Bob is apathetic. As a declining movie star, he is in Japan selling whiskey to an audience he is completely disinterested in. He spends his time at the hotel bar, craving genuine human contact but too weary to start the conversation. Charlotte is young and intelligent but finds herself locked in a relationship which is already starting to disintegrate; she too, seems to be trapped in a web of pessimism. Yet their chemistry is immediate, their affection for each other is displayed through a string of subtle body language, the odd glance, the brush of the cheek, and the tenderness of their voices. Lost in Translation is a smart film because it uses nuance to communicate its ideas, the cliché of star-crossed lovers would be too easy, too obvious and Sofia Coppola is much too intelligent for that.

Most of Bob’s relationships have broken down; his wife calls him frequently to discuss everything but their relationship. She tries to put their children on the phone, yet they always seem to run away. After a string of biting sarcasm from both parties, she asks Bob if she “Needs to worry about him,” Bob responds with “Only if you want to…” and seconds later she hangs, stating that she has ‘urgent matters’ to attend to. Bob could be the life of the party, he could be cracking jokes but he is too jaded to entertain someone without getting something in return. At this point, he’s damaged goods and the years of wear have chipped away at his charismatic instincts.

Similarly, Charlotte tries to communicate with her husband but he seems too preoccupied in mingling with B-grade celebrities. He insists that she won’t enjoy coming along with him to his work and naively believes that a faxed sheet of paper with a hand-drawn heart can remedy their fracturing marriage. Later that night, Charlotte longingly flips through Polaroid photos of the pair in their younger days.

Both Bob and Charlotte are ‘lost in translation’. Somewhere in the past, both of them held their tongue, their partners reciprocated and their feelings got lost in a sea of comforting neglect. And it is these feelings of isolation that unite the two. Bob sees a beautiful, witty girl, who, like him, seems to have lost her way in life and Charlotte sees an older man who actually tries to understand how lonely she is. The most insightful moments are when the pair lie together and speak about cosmic themes in vague details, the absolutes don’t matter, only that they are next to each other; together. Charlotte asks about the difficulty of marriage and Bob attempts to pass all that he has learnt onto his younger student. The pair never have sex but they do something a lot more risky; they allow themselves to develop feelings for each other.

When we are spying upon their drunken adventures, there is a real sense of energy and enthusiasm. The night is forever young and each bend in the road offers the chance of another unforgettable experience. When the two are separate, the passion evaporates, a grey filter sets in and we divert our eyes, confused at why they are wasting their dwindling time on matters of little significance.

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“I just feel so alone, even when I’m surrounded by other people.”

But context is the sharp gust of reality ready to blow away this pink glazed dream. Bob is married with children, Charlotte is also married to another man and thirty years younger. The looming end of their impending separation accelerates the urgency of their unexpected friendship. Time is merciless, despite how perfect this pairing is, the audience and the characters know that it’s impossible. Charlotte has her path she must walk and so does Bob, yet for a brief, but powerful moment, their lives do cross. And this is why this film is such an understated masterpiece, it doesn’t pretend that Charlotte and Bob have solved all their problems by meeting each other, rarely does that happen in reality. I wouldn’t be surprised if Charlotte ended up dying from a drug overdose in five years, nor would I be surprised if she changes her mindset and allows her husband to share in her sadness. The same goes for Bob, maybe he divorces his wife and turns to alcoholism or maybe he returns home and holds her longingly; knowing that their relationship was once just like his and Charlotte’s.

That’s the beauty of this film, I don’t need answers. I am comfortable knowing that amongst the laughs, hugs and haunting stares of love, a genuine bond was forged in the most unexpected of locations.

Maybe one day, decades past, Charlotte will hear Bob’s name and then she’ll look down and crack a smile, or maybe even cry, or maybe not, because he is just a ghost in her past- And Bob will be on the other side of the world, attending to his own business, unaware that he had just entered the mind of a woman whom he loved, even if it was for a brief moment.

“I loved the moment near the end when Bob runs after Charlotte and says something in her ear, and we’re not allowed to hear it.

We shouldn’t be allowed to hear it. It’s between them, and by this point in the movie, they’ve become real enough to deserve their privacy. Maybe he gave her his phone number. Or said he loved her. Or said she was a good person. Or thanked her. Or whispered, “Had we but world enough, and time…” and left her to look up the rest of it.”

  • Roger Ebert, Lost in Translation Review, 2003

Genre: Romantic-Comedy
Certificate: R
USA Release Date: 3rd October 2003
Runtime: 141 minutes
Director: Sofia Coppola
Writer: Sofia Coppola
Starring: Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Giovanni Ribisi & Fumihiro Hayashi
Synopsis: A faded movie star and a neglected young woman form an unlikely bond after crossing paths in Tokyo.

Up in the Air – Review & Analysis

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“Yes, it was pretty lonely.”
“Life’s better with company.”
“Yeah.”

You’ve made your bed, now go lie in it. Enter Ryan Bingham (George Clooney), a man who summarises the shifting values of the 21st century, someone you see, but never meet. Tasked with the job of firing employees for ‘weak willed’ employers, Ryan travels the nation, never rooted, always moving. George Clooney delivers one of his best performances, and stars in the ‘Clooney’ role, an aging silver fox, with a seductive combination of wit and charisma, yet tragically flawed.

In this film, a young enthusiastic new employee; Natalie Kenner, played by the adorable and remarkably short Anna Kendrick, attempts to ‘revolutionise’ Ryan’s industry by introducing technology as the method of communication. Director Jason Reitman quietly brings up the moral questions of such an industry, will Skype make an already soul crushing announcement even less human? And if so, does it justify the cheaper economic cost? For Ryan, a gamophobic, he sees this decision as a direct attack on his laissez-faire state of living, ironically forgetting about the ‘real’ victims who are actually affected by the Global Financial Crisis. Already angry at Natalie for her suggestions, Ryan is tasked with the job of introducing her to the business, giving her first hand experience in this occupation, bridging the few months wait before the technology gets implemented.

This of course, cramps Mr. Bingham’s style, who personifies ‘easy come, easy go’.

On this subtle journey of self discovery, Ryan meets Alex Goran (Vera Farmiga); the modern day film noir love interest and a perfect combination of flirtiness, wit and unreachable allure. A self described ‘road warrior’, Ryan along with the audience is hopelessly charmed by her aura, even against their better judgement. It is with these bumps in the once smooth road, that the story starts.

[INCOMING SPOILERS]

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At the core of Jason Reitman’s film are the themes of relationships and responsibility; two dance partners who endlessly circle around the life of Ryan Bingham. Nothing reflects this like Ryan’s first encounter with Alex at a bar, both sipping on spirits, both waiting for the world to come and embrace them, but too jaded to make the first move. They start off their relationship by comparing credit cards, we as the audience are disgusted by such behaviour, but equally fascinated by their charm. They laugh and banter for a bit before going back to Ryan’s room to have sex. Casual and flirty; a quick transaction between two parties.

“We are two people that get turned on by elite status, I think cheap is our starting point.”

Apart from firing employees, Ryan Bingham also lectures about his isolationist philosophies, his message? “We weigh ourselves down until we can’t even move.” The core motif of this philosophy is Ryan’s travelling bag; light, compact and ruthlessly packed to maximise efficiency. The quick series of cuts showing Ryan checking into the airport at the start of the film, immediate convey his sense of character; professional, calculated and deliberate.

When Ryan’s oldest sister (Kara) calls Ryan to discuss about their young sister’s wedding (Julie), she pleads him to participate in their ‘wedding gift’. This requires him to take a few photos holding a cardboard cut out of the newly engaged couple at iconic scenes around America. Begrudging, and after a lot of resistance, Ryan agrees. From the continuation of the bag motif we can see how disgruntled Ryan is, the cardboard cut out, is a little too wide, a little too longer to fit into the metaphor of his luggage; his indifferent lifestyle of constant movement, constant activity. We start to see and understand how detached Ryan is, an emotionally damaged man, incapable, or even worse, unwilling to maintain any relationship. A man whose definition of success is to reach a mathematical number; ten millions frequent flyer miles. It all makes sense.

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“How much does your life weigh? Imagine for a second that you’re carrying a backpack. I want you to feel the straps on your shoulders. Feel ’em?”

Yet this motif comes to a crescendo when Ryan sheepishly invites Alex as a date to his sister’s wedding. When asked to pin the photos of the cardboard cutouts on a map, he stands there, transfixed. In front of him is a map filled to the brim with photos from all of the couple’s friends and family, it’s so crowded that Ryan struggles to find space. And there lies the irony, this humble homely couple in Milwaukee, unable to afford a honeymoon and with close to no travel experience, has connections all over the nation. In contrast, Ryan can boast about all the exotic places he’s been, all the five star hotels he has stayed and all the casual sex he has engaged in… Yet can’t describe the feeling of friendship, he can’t describe holding someone out of a genuine sense of affection.

Ryan Bingham lived for his resume and not his eulogy.

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Slowly, we can begin to see Ryan’s outlook on life change, his relationships with Alex builds and builds, overwhelming his once mathematical approach to life. Maybe, she wasn’t a burden, maybe love was more than just a transaction between two people. The wedding scene stands out as my favourite in the whole film; it was just relatable, so genuinely human. Reitman switches to a shaky cam and the tinge of vintage red makes the audience feel as if we’re attending the wedding of a close cousin. The following scene, when Ryan comes back to his unglamorous Omaha house contrasts the warmth and happiness he felt when surrounded by his new relationships. There’s no music, there’s no dancing, the world has lost its musky red filter. Only cold white walls, a vacant desk and dusty couch greet him.

During the middle of his ‘backpack’ speech in Las Vegas, a speech which was has been very excited for since the beginning of the film. Ryan stops and stutters, his philosophies have changed and the spark of superiority and sureness which glinted in his eyes previously was gone. He can’t even bring himself to say these words. He steps away from the podium, offers an apology and in an act of complete vulnerability and spontaneity, he catches a flight to Alex’s house to finally speak without his cool air of invincibility, without his sense of complete assurance.

And Ryan gets his heart crushed, Alex is married. With children.

Ryan’s whole life had been predicated upon his isolation and the distancing of himself from people. Now a middle aged man with his youth quickly fading away, Ryan realises the consequences of his actions. He made his bed, now he has to lie in it.

It’s ironic that for a man whose occupation demanded a total sense of aloofness, Ryan now stands as a victim to his own game. He hangs up on Alex after what is assumed to be their final phone call, “You are an escape… You are a break from our normal lives… You are an parenthesis.” Ryan Bingham was always very detached, unfortunately for him, he met the only person in America who was even more detached. Karma? You decide.

Dejected and demoralised, he catches a plane back home, when the announcement is made that he just hit the ten million miles mark. In celebration, the airline chief sits down beside Ryan and starts making small talk, asking him “Where are you from?” to which a disheartened Ryan can only respond with “I’m from here.”

When Ryan gets back to his office, he rings the airline company and tries to transfer his miles over to his sister and her new husband, giving them the chance to experience the honeymoon they deserve. Yet the decision is interrupted by an co-worker knocking at Ryan’s door, and he hangs up the phone. The thought is there, but whether or not he completes the action, the audience will never know.

The film ends with Ryan standing in front of a large destination board, once again called to be a ‘road warrior’. His figure dwarfed by the immensity of the screen. Stunned by the enormity of the task ahead, Ryan lets go on his luggage handle, silently protesting this lifestyle which molded him into a hermit. A man who has lived in many houses, but never a home.

And this is what separates Jason Reitman from the average director, with already a string of witty and clever films under his belt. Reitman refuses to give the audience their candy. A ‘happy ever after’ ending between Ryan and Alex would have been too smooth, too unrealistic, too impractical, and at their core, both were practical people. To have this joyous ending would have absolved Ryan and Alex from their past and ultimately, this was a film about responsibility.

You’ve made your bed, now go lie in it.

Genre: Comedy-Drama
Certificate: R
USA Release Date: 23rd December 2009
Runtime: 149 minutes
Director: Jason Reitman
Writer: Walter Kirn & Jason Reitman
Starring: George Clooney, Vera Farmiga & Anna Kendrick
Synopsis: With a job traveling around the country firing people, Ryan Bingham enjoys his life living out of a suitcase, but finds that lifestyle threatened by the presence of a new hire and a potential love interest.

Love, the Two Sided Sword

How do Shakespeare’s Venus and Adonis and Walter Raleigh’s The Nymph’s Reply explore the theme of love through contrasting interpretations?

This essay heavily references Shakespeare’s Venus and Adonis which you can read here and The Nymph’s Reply written by Walter Raleigh which you can also read here.

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“Thank you, I’ll say goodbye soon
Though it’s the end of the world, don’t blame yourself…Now
And if it’s true, I’ll surround you and give life to a world
That’s our own”

Love is an emotion which transcends all boundaries, since it is interwoven to the human experience and a foundation of humanity; many texts have tried to interpret the magnitude and consequences of love. Venus and Adonis twists Ovid’s classic tale to reflect the dance of love, the pushing and pulling between two parties, whilst The Nymph’s Reply emphasizes a cold and logical response to stifle a burst of passion.

In many respects Venus and Adonis could be read as a cautionary tale against resisting the natural temptations of passion and lust and the socially accepted practice of forming a stable relationship to create children. Adonis has reached the age of adolescent, the age where he can openly choose his future, whether that lies in the realm of hyper-masculinity or a reality where he embraces feminine emotions like love. Unfortunately Adonis’ obsession with the militant characteristics of masculinity such as being a soldier or hunting means his “heart stands armed in his ear.” Adonis views love in a logical and emotionless state and thus he is never able to understand its power to unite. He responds to Venus’ advances with more references to his violent and militaristic mentality “remove your siege from my unyielding heart/ to love’s alarms it will not ope the gate.” Adonis’ fixation on the unattractive elements of love ultimately leads to his demise, this epyllion warns about the dangers of forsaking love and delving too deeply into masculinity. On the other hand, The Nymph’s Reply pushes a different agenda, emphasising the benefits of choosing logic over love, believing that desires to reproduce or fall in love are foolish.

Unwilling and unable to succumb to the weakening effects of love, Adonis is consumed with slaying a boar, a symbol of uncontrolled masculinity and reckless passion during the Renaissance. Blinded by his need to prove himself, Adonis forsakes one of the foundational pillars of humanity; the ability to forge and maintain sophisticated and complex relationships. Another interpretation may view Adonis’ death as a warning against homosexuality since one is straying into a relationship deemed ‘unnatural’ since “thou art bound to breed.” This reading is reinforced by the description of the boar as the “loving swine” who had attempted to “nuzzle” with Adonis and merely wanted to plant a kiss on him, the sexual connotations hinting at a possible romance. The tusk “sheathed in his soft groin” emphaises how homosexuality can be dangerous. It symbolically destroys Adonis’ manhood; as homosexual relationships are inherently unable to create new life, necessary to maintain the human species.

The Nymph’s Reply explores the theme of from a different angle, unlike Venus and Adonis which warns about the dangers of isolation and failing to build a connection to others, the Nymph completely rejects the notion of love. Because human life is finite, promises of love and passion will only echo true in the moment, for the Nymph such rhetoric only serves to hide the suitor’s lust. This is echoed in the statement “If all the world and love were young/ and truth in every shepherd’s tongue” the hyperbole sorely contradicts the sombre reality of an imperfect world where the nymph and her suitors live in. An imperfect world where idealistic emotions fall on deaf ears, where promises of fidelity ring hollow.

The Nymph shares a similar opinion to Adonis, believing love to be an intrusive force, powerful enough to strip away one’s independence. The vast majority of the poem involves the Nymph scientifically and methodically refuting the shepherd’s words, “Times drives the flocks from field to fold… Rivers rage and rocks grow cold.”  In the Nymph’s Reply there is a clear focus upon winter imagery, purposely contradicting and countering the connotations of spring, hope and growth found in the shepherd’s response. This is also reflected in “The flowers do fade, and wanton fields/ to wayward reckoning yields.” The physical gifts like gowns, caps and a bed of roses promised by the shepherd “soon break, soon wither, soon forgotten:” the repetition of “soon” further reinforces the fragility of love and how promises of faithfulness, which were once full of joy and gratitude will deteriorate. The decay of natural objects is a metaphor for the fading feelings that humans will inevitably experience. Unlike Venus, who tries to persuade Adonis to have sexual intercourse with her because life is short, beauty will eventually fade and thus one is charged to enjoy and relish their youth. The Nymph sees love as rather pointless, a superficial and trivial feeling which cannot and will not survive the passing of time.

The Nymph stands as the traditional symbol of the Petrarchan mistress, being virtuous and beautiful in one sense but cruel and unempathetic on the other hand. But in Venus and Adonis, this role which is typically reserved for the female is filled by Adonis, highlighting how love and passion respects no boundaries like gender, age or culture. The uncontrollable desires and consequences are shown to bringing out the animal savagery within people, transforming the noble goddess into a fierce and violent eagle. Unsatisfied with Adonis, Shakespeare gives us a gorgy description of Venus’ pursuit “Tires with her beak in feathers, flesh and bone… devouring all in haste… till gorge be stuffed or prey be gone.” The morphing of characters are poetic techniques trying to capture the selfish and destructive capabilities of unchecked lust or passion. These emotions have the ability to transform a human being into whatever it wills, where that is an animal, a flower or be the catalyst for an incestuous and borderline paedophilic relationship.

It is through these animal metaphors that, Shakespeare’s presentation of love starts to match the Nymph’s Reply, “Now quick desire hath caught the yielding prey… I’ll be a park and thou shalt be my deer.” By degrading Adonis to a prey and a deer, the possessive and selfish motivators in love are revealed; Venus’ words are inspired by lust, which is inseparable from love or passion. The extended metaphor of Venus’ body as a park and Adonis as a small, insignificant animal trapped within, further reinforces the one sided nature of love, the negative qualities which the Nymph spoke off. The crippling repercussions are so strong that even the god of love and fertility has fallen victim to her own domain, as Shakespeare paradoxically writes “She’s love, she loves, yet she is not loved.”

There are many similarities and differences between the two texts, as they both try to explore the diverse topic of love from various perspectives. Venus and Adonis focuses upon the push and pull of two people. Whilst it stresses the controlling and damaging aspects of love, if Adonis embraced love, he would have been ultimately saved. The Nymph’s Reply on the other hand aims to purely point out the unreliable nature of love as it attempts to cover up lustful intentions, the Nymph’s responses pushes the belief that love is superficial in a superficial world.

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Seedy Phallus Interpretations.

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Account for the different interpretations and impact of phallic symbolism within Greek society reflected by ancient Greek mythology and rituals. 

The phallus was a reoccurring symbol through ancient Greek society with its interpretations used to support a patriarchal society validated by Greek mythology. The phallus evolved from being just a sexual reproductive organ into a symbol of sovereignty, a weapon and a tool to preserve the foundations of a society. A man’s genital also became a reflection upon the individual, supposedly highlighting his status, birth and whether he was civilized or a savage. Finally a man’s phallus became regarded as an agricultural tool and a symbol of fertility. These representations of the phallus are reinforced by the Greeks myths which were a fundamental element to the construction of the ancient Greek society. The significance of the phallus created a civilization based upon phallocracy- a cultural system symoblised by the power of the phallus.

The constant repetition of the phallus throughout Greek culture was a constant reminder of the male dominance of society. It was written within Greek mythology that the image or carving of a phallus could be used to shield against the “evil eye” from hypnotizing an individual. That belief system slowly turned the phallus from just another male limb to a symbol “intended to bring good luck to the beholder.”[1] The fact the phallus was present and linked to most aspect of Greek society acknowledges the importance of it as a symbol (Image 1.) Statues of Hermes with an erect phallus were used as markers of territory between states and to ward away evil spirits and omens. Statues and artworks of phallus were so common that “buildings were surrounded by phallic pillars”[2] and “[Athena] was studded with statues of Gods with their phallus exposed.”[3] The overwhelming presence of the phallus within the public sphere reinforced the fact women were second class citizens and that Greek culture was one which heavily favoured men. Voodoos with erect genitals found near graves and tombstones reveals that the phallus was also involved in black magic rituals and witchcraft. The dolls were a visual representation of a man’s foe, and it attempted to channel hostile spirits recently deceased to “cripple the most significant limb”[4] of the intended target, their genitals.

A man’s phallus was also frequently portrayed as a weapon within Greek art, conveying the strength and authority of manhood. The major Greek gods are often portrayed aiming their designated weapons towards the crotch of their sexual targets. Zeus brandished a thunderbolt or a scepter, Poseidon, his trident; and Hermes, his caduceus towards their victims (Image 2.) The phallus and its associations with masculinity are echoed in the mythology of Uranus and Cronus. The sky and earth are not separated until Uranus who locks Gaea in a “perpetual sexual embrace”[5] has his genitals removed. The castration also signifies Uranus’ fall from grace and importance within Greek mythology as his son Cronus steps up and fills his position of authority. Without his genitals Uranus cannot lead his family, the castration was more than just a physical act; it implied that he had lost the “essence of a man’s being.”[6] The symbolism of the phallus extends further than just a sexual organ; it stands as a characteristic necessary to rule.

The deeply embed sexual tension in ancient Greek culture was due to the sexual restriction of women and their complete lack of voice, symbolised by the myths of the Amazon women. The Amazon warriors were defeated by Attic hero Theseus, suggesting that democracy could only thrive if society kept “women’s sexuality properly in check.”[7] The Athenian warriors re often depicted stabbing their weapons into the breast of the Amazon warriors particularly near a nipple. This was done to dramatise the warrior’s “assault on their femininity”[8] and to suggest the sexual conquest of men over women. (Image 3) It was feared “any concession to women would lead to the collapse of social order built by men” thus the repetition and significance of the phallus within Greece society was meant to maintain social order.

A man’s phallus was eventually transformed a general representation of the individual and the shape and size of the genitals were supposed to be a direct reflection on the male carrier. Aristophanes describes the perfect man to be equipped with a “small prick” similarly Aristotle states a smaller penis is more fertile since the seed has to shoot a shorter distance.[9] A large, circumcised penis was a mark of barbarism and savagery; male foreigners are often depicted with larger genitals in Greek artwork and pottery. This is seen in the God; Priapus, whose constant erection was a sign of his uncontrollable lust and large of social etiquette. Fathered by Dionysus or Hermes and born to Aphrodite, this Asiatic God was cursed by Hera to be impotent and ugly highlighted in his satirically large erection. Thus distancing himself from the other noble and more “respectable” Olympian gods in mythology. (Image 4) For a Greek culture which was heavily built upon notions of logic, knowledge and reason, large unsuppressed erections were a sign of a man’s inner primitive nature and something to be shunned by society. In general large sex organs were “considered coarse and ugly and were banished to the domains of abstraction”[10] and rejected by Greek men as redundant and aesthetically repulsive. (Image 5)

Like the Satyrs, Priapus was often mocked in mythology, both were driven by uncontrollable sexual urges however neither could successfully have sexual intercourse. Priapus was disturbed by a donkey whilst trying to rape Lotis and Satyrs fail to have to sex with maenads. Despite the abundance of sexual activity the major male Gods engage in, “the consumption of the rapes and any visible sexual excitement were never shown.”[11] Once again the belief that an erect phallus was a mark of a barbarian, meant gods pursuing their sexual targets are often portrayed just in the pursuit and not actually engaging in sex (Image 6.)

The phallus was also depicted as “the primary source of life”[12] and an agricultural tool necessary for the “harvest” for the next generation. This notion is once again reflected in the Greek mythology of Uranus’ castration. Cronus’ weapon of choice for this act was either a sickle or a scythe,[13] both tools traditionally reserved for the reaping and gathering of crops. This has resulted in slang terms for sexual intercourse such as “to plough” and semen being the seed. The blood from Uranus’ severed phallus created the violent female spirits named the Erinyes and Giants, beings of “enormous strength and violence” whilst the semen and foam created Aphrodite.[14] There is a concerted effort to push male independence and dominance within the reproduction process, males like Uranus can infringe on a major element of female identity; child birth. This belief is reflected in the birth of Athena and the birth of Dionysus, where Zeus performs both the male and female duties in child birth; sexual intercourse and the delivery of the child. The phallus within Greek mythology challenges the significance of “mother earth,” the notion that females are the most essential aspect in the creation of a new generation. To further this point, Hera jealous at Zeus’ abilities to fulfill the role of both sexes, attempts to have a child without a male partner. The result was a crippled Hephaestus who was shortly abandoned by his mother for his disfiguration and rejected from living within Olympia. From a time in history when the male role in “reproduction was not recognized” by Greek culture. Greek mythology tried to reinforce the notion that the phallus was the primary requirement in the continuation of the human species. In general the stories of the Greek gods reflect the “tensions between the sexes” and the disjointed family unit during ancient Greek society. The mythology fundamental to the establishment of Greek culture looks only to acknowledge the importance of the phallus, thus transforming it beyond just another organ.

It is clear that to maintain a strong patriarchal society, the role of women had to be restricted and their sense of identity infringed upon, the Greek mythology serve as a justification for the dominance of men in a public and private sphere. The phallus stood for many different symbols, all of which empowered man and justified their reign within society. From being a good luck charm to a sign to ward off evil, the reoccurring phallus within Greek culture was an attempt by men to preserve the phallocracy. The phallus was also portrayed as a weapon; embed with physical power and in Uranus’ case, a necessity to rule and lead your family. Apart from that a man’s genitals has also evolved to represent an agricultural product, essential in the prolongation of the human species. The Greek mythology serves as a reflection of the culture and as a tool to maintain the pillars of a male dominated society. The phallus, the limb that separates the sexes begins to adopt many associations with power, fertility and strength legitimizing the patriarchy.


REFERENCING.

[1] Skiiner, B. M., Sexuality in Greek and Roman Culture (2005), Oxford, UK., Blackwell Publishing Ltd., p. 194.

[2] Keuls, C. Eva., The Reign of the Phallus (1985), N.Y., Harper & Row, Publishers., p. 6.

[3] Ibid., p.2.

[4] Ibid., p.78.

[5] Powell, B. B., Classical Myth (2009), N. Y., Pearson Education., p. 84.

[6] Keuls, C. Eva., The Reign of the Phallus (1985), N.Y., Harper & Row, Publishers., pp. 78.

[7] Skiiner, B. M., Sexuality in Greek and Roman Culture (2005), Oxford, UK., Blackwell Publishing Ltd., p. 38.

[8] Keuls, C. Eva., The Reign of the Phallus (1985), N.Y., Harper & Row, Publishers., pp. 4.

[9] Ibid., p.68.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid., p. 50.

[12] Ibid., p.60.

[13] Powell, B. B., Classical Myth (2009), N. Y., Pearson Education., p. 84.

[14] Ibid., p. 85.