Harrison Middleton University
The Raven
Gertrude Stein
astronomical clock
Rachel Carson

Tag: Virtue

We’re excited that you’ve joined the conversation! At HMU, we want to continue the great authors’ conversations in a contemporary context, and this blog will help us do that. We look back to Aristotle and the early philosophers who used reason and discourse to gain wisdom and now we endeavor to do the same every day.

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March 29, 2024

Thanks to Jennifer-NeToi Claiborne, a 2024 HMU Fellow in Ideas, for today’s post. 

When the air is warm, the smell of rain and honeysuckles fill the breeze, I know that it is summer and it is time to return to Siddhartha. I first read this book in the summer of 2000, when I was in the midst of a great change in my life. It was the summer prior to entering my freshman year of college.

 » Read more about: For Each Summer, There Is Siddhartha  »

January 12, 2024

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

It is impossible to continue our conversation of charity, without a brief exploration of Esther’s Narrative. Chapter 13 of Bleak House is titled “Esther’s Narrative” and is the first of eleven chapters dedicated to her story. Though it purports to be about Esther, the chapter actually begins with a discussion of Richard’s vocation. Esther, in her usual humble manner,

 » Read more about: Charity and Esther’s Narrative  »

December 29, 2023

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

Charity takes center stage this time of year. In Bleak House also, charity becomes a sort of character. Even limited to the first six chapters, Dickens explores a variety of charities. The protagonist, Esther Summerson, is introduced as an orphan in the care of her godmother who is a deeply religious woman. Esther’s godmother sees nothing but sin in the young girl and therefore treats her austerely.

 » Read more about: Charity in Bleak House  »

November 3, 2023

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

The October Quarterly Discussion merged two chapters from The Prince by Machiavelli with a chapter from Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Of prime interest was the focus on the Roman Emperor Septimius Severus. Machiavelli presents him as a champion of the princely cause since he successfully tricked and killed his opponents,

 » Read more about: Gibbon Meets Machiavelli  »

Thanks to Eden Tesfaslassie, a 2022 Fellow in Ideas, for today’s post.

May 20, 2022

The main themes the audience sees explored in Akira Kurosawa’s 1950 film Rashōmon are death, truth, and losing faith in humanity. The story conveys this message with the frame of a murder trial, but even by the end of the film, the audience still does not definitively know what happened or who committed the crime.

 » Read more about: FILM REVIEW: Rashomon  »

September 10, 2021

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

“Fools”, said I, “You do not know/ Silence like a cancer grows/ Hear my words that I might teach you/ Take my arms that I might reach you”/ But my words, like silent raindrops fell/ And echoed/ In the wells of silence/ And the people bowed and prayed/ To the neon god they made/ And the sign flashed out its warning/ In the words that it was forming/ And the sign said,

 » Read more about: Modern Day Chorus: Lord of the Rings and Ceremony  »

May 28, 2021

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

Pericles, Prince of Tyre: written about 1607, by William Shakespeare
Comus”: written about 1637, by John Milton

Last week, I discussed the character of Pericles from Shakespeare’s Pericles, Prince of Tyre. This week, I will continue to explore Shakespeare’s play, but focus on Marina,

 » Read more about: Shakespeare’s Marina and Milton’s Lady  »

May 21, 2021

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s blog.

One thing that I love about Shakespeare is his ability to develop rich characters. King Lear, Hamlet, Falstaff, Henry V, Richard II: though problematic, they have vivid internal battles and complex natures. I can imagine Richard lamenting his fallen status on the beach as he recalls many sad tales of deposed kings. Or I think of Lear walking the heath,

 » Read more about: Pericles, the Problem Play  »

May 3, 2019

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

Last week, I had the opportunity to discuss Molière’s play Tartuffe in a couple of Quarterly Discussions. First of all, I have to admit that I love this play, so my notes may not be altogether unbiased. Having said that, I think that an interesting place to begin is with ideas of power as represented in the play.

 » Read more about: Discussing Tartuffe  »

August 3, 2018

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

Each quarter, Harrison Middleton University hosts a Quarterly Discussion. This discussion is open to students and non-students alike. They focus on a short text which everyone reads prior to the discussion. I thoroughly enjoy these because they give me a chance to break away from my own studies, to focus on something in a small group which is a great listening opportunity.

 » Read more about: Questions on Augustine  »

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