Wednesday, 24 March 2010

My research on Pan's Labyrinth

This is what I got so far on the comparison between the civil war and the film as well what the quest represent in the film as well to Ofelia.

The time setting of Pan’s Labyrinth takes place after the Civil War in 1944. The Civil War in Spain started in 1936 and finished in 1939. The war was between the Fascist and the Republic. It was a chance for the workers (Republic) of Spain to rise against the Fascist, who ruled Spain through their stature. The war for the Republic was to gain freedom and equality in Spain. However the Republic battle for equality was a disastrous one because they didn’t have enough resources to help them win the fight against the Fascist. Even though the Republic had some outside help they still couldn’t defeat the Fascist.
( [Acessed 24/03/2010])

Figure 1: Civil War picture, [accessed 24/03/2010]

A lot of the events in the film represent more or less of how the Civil War has turned out. With the main character Ofelia as the republics, wanting to be free and independent. And the villain, and Ofeila’s step-farther, Captain Vidal as the fascists, having the Military showing it’s control over the public by using fear and power. Ofelia trying to be more herself, but Vidal is forcing her to be more realistic, and want her to obey him with out question. Just like how he is doing with the public.

The fantasy side of Pan’s Labyrinth can also be connected to the events that happened in the film through the quests that Ofelia has to complete, most noticeably the Pale Man Banquet quest (Figure 2) and Captain Vidal’s Dinning room (Figure 4).

Figure 2 (left): Pale Man’s Banquet, Pan’s Labyrinth, (2006) Directed by Guillermo del Toro. [DVD] Spain: Telecinco
Figure 3 (right): A Feast at Captain Vidal’s dinning room, Pan’s Labyrinth, (2006) Directed by Guillermo del Toro. [DVD] Spain: Telecinco

For Pale Man’s Banquet, there’s a lot of food on the table waiting to be eaten by anyone. However by eating his food you will be eaten by the Pale Man himself. This could be reflected on an event in the film when Captain Vidal was holding a feast with some of Spain’s important people, and by accepting his food they have succumb to his ideals. The banquet and the feast are like an invitation from the host to the guests, but by eating their food you accept their terms. For the Pale man your life, for the Vidal your loyalty.

The film also shows the tough challenges and choices the main character, Ofelia, has to make to get away from her step-farther. A prime example of this is her last quest (Figure 4), which is to open a portal for her to get away from her step-farther Captain Vidal, but the Faun told her that to open the portal it needs the blood of an innocent, her brother. Ofelia declines this offer but the Faun tries to tempt her by bring up her freedom, that she will lose if she doesn’t accept the price to open the portal, but still she declines. Ofelia wants her freedom from the Vidal more than anyone but not of the price of her borther’s safety no matter how tempting the offer is. This moment in the film shows how thoughtful Ofelia is to others, unlike her step-farther.

Figure 4: The last quest, Pan’s Labyrinth, (2006) Directed by Guillermo del Toro. [DVD] Spain: Telecinco

If you need any more information, tell me what we need tomorrow when we meet up at 9:30 or so

Matt and Shahbir

Can you post up the stuff you did today so I can stick it in the presentation? If you can't put it on the blog can you email it to me:


Left to do

We got quite a bit done today, the slides we need to do are:

- Pre-Raphalite Brotherhood in Symbolism
- Celtic Signs (I'll have a look, but like you said, theres not much )
^^^ Lets not bother with these two, no-one will know what we're going on about anyway
- Jorge Luis Borges
- Wizard of Oz - Done
- CS Lewis - Narnia Done
- Conclusion

After all this is done, it works out to be 25 slides, which sounds about right. Im going to add some stuff on CS Lewis and Wizard of OZ in a minute, so they should be done. Ethan, you said you were doing Borges which is cool. We won't have much more to do, just the intro and conclusion, which we can botch together.

Jorge Luis Borges...

I'm part way through writing about JorgeLuis Borges and i'll be able to finish that whe i get back from the gym. I have tried to look into celtic art but i can't seem to find much good information as such and wikipedia is down at the moment to look for some referneces, so maybe we could leave that section out? Can you decide what you want to do, Sam, and tell me what i need to do...

New notes about it being linked to freud

finding this up on the internet

A little girl's fantasy takes stage in the mountains of fascist Spain at a military camp fighting against the rebels. Ofelia, a child with a wild imagination, travels with her weak, pregnant mother to meet her new
stepfather, a merciless captain of the Spanish army. Upon her arrival, she discovers a labyrinth, is later led by a fairy to middle of it, and meets a faun that tells her that she is a princess from another world. He promises her that she can go there and be reunited with her father as long as she completes three tasks for him. In her attempts to complete these tasks, Ofelia is forced to deal with the reality of mortality and learn the difference between right and wrong even if that means self-sacrifice.

Concept #1: The id, the superego, and ego

Freud made a footprint in psychological history when dividing the mind into three sections that exhibit forces upon each other to maintain regularity. Those three elements are the id, the ego, and the superego. The id is the part of the mind that aims to please itself through instant gratification, while the ego subdues it (the id is animal instinct and the ego is the being reacting to societal constraints). Most consider the ego, the self. The superego is the law, rewarding good behavior and punishing poor behavior.

The scene that best displays Freud's theory of the mind is during Ofelia's attempt to complete the second task given to her by the faun. Under the faun's instruction, Ofelia must retrieve a dagger from within a
tomb-like chamber without eating food on the table. Ofelia retrieves the dagger without taking a second look at the food, but on the way back the grapes entrance her. At the head of the table is a creature without eyeballs and large folds of skin indicating a very gluttonous person prior to his demise. Upon eating the grapes, the creature is awaken and attempts to eat Ofelia, but she is able to escape. The creature represents the awakening of the id within Ofelia by succumbing to the impulse to eat the grapes. Ofelia realizes what she has done and the self (ego) stops eating and runs from the id to escape it eating her and ultimately overtaking her judgment. The superego surfaces and is immediately noticed through the expression on her face.

Concept #2: Breaking the Social Role Theory

The social role theory is the idea that men and women behave differently in social settings because of the pressures that society places on the representation of gender. Although the film exudes the concept of social role theory through a male-dominated camp with women working the kitchen, one scene shatters the differences between men and women. Discovered as a spy for the rebels, Mercedes is captured by Captain Vidal and taken to a barn to be tortured until she gives him information. He makes a statement to another soldier that he never expected this form Mercedes because she is a woman. Here she says that the only reason she got away with treason was because she is a woman, which demonstrates that Vidal's eyes were blind to Mercedes actions because of his expectations of women to be weak and dumb. Even further, she is able to escape the ties that he used on her and is triumphant in wounding Vidal with a knife and at the end of the movie; he falls dead at her feet. The role apparently change in the movie from beginning to end, starting with Mercedes being his servant to her being is Grim Reaper.

Cultural Similarity: Children Use Fantasy to Cope

Pan's Labyrinth offers incite to the cultural similarities between the United States (U.S.) and Mexico; the most powerful similarity is children using fairy tales to cope with the pressures of an adult world. In the

U.S., children are expected to deal with hard feelings such as loneliness and regret and get through experiences like divorce and financial instability just as adults do. A coping mechanism common in children in many cultures seems to be the use of imagination to develop fantasies that solve and deal with events that are all too big for them. For example, Ofelia uses a mandrake root to save her mother from a fatal pregnancy (even though it does not help, it make Ofelia feel as though she is doing something to save her mother). In fact, Ofelia develops an entire story, which drives the plot of the movie - these tasks are created in order to cope with the death of her father, her ailing mother, and villainous stepfather.
Pan's Labyrinth offers an insight into child development, gender roles and expectations, and the impulses that come from inside our minds. In summary, the movie helps adults see the flaws that everybody has and how to overcome some of society's largest obstacles.

Published August 18, 2008 by:
Summer Stewart

Pan's Labyrinth: A Psychological Analysis

pans labyrinth film youtube interview

this is a cool film interview by the guy himself

at the end he talks about the movie being around that movie is kinda about the girl being reborn, into a women

time signature 5.58

the interview questions Guillermo Del Toro about how the poster looks reproductive and the Guillermo replies by linking the link it being very about reproductive about the girl being all about reborn

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Research from web articles...

- In Classical mythology, traditional depictions of an underworld were emphatically masculine and adult space: Hades was the land of the dead, named for the Greek god who ruled over it. To journey there was a descent into hell and thus the central and climatic destination for questing heros from epic poetry. In contrast, Alice's Wonderland is emphatically matriarchal, feminized (with tea parties, croquet and poetry) and anthropomorphically lively. From the outset. Pan's Labyrinth also usurps the traditional male space of the Underworld, displaces it, and designates it a female realm: the questing hero is the runaway princess Ofelia.
- The Captain parodies the White Rabbit of Wnderland with his beloved pocket watch and his desire for order, precision and unfailing obedience.
- The visual impact of the fantasy world is Freudian in its gendering from the downward wipe through the mother's swollen belly into the fairytale landscape, the imagery is continually oragic and uterine, with warm rich colours, earthy cavernous spaces and the recurring curved feminine shapes reminiscent of the Faun's horns. This place is more a place of life and rebirth than a land of the dead.
- There's something of the myth of Tantalus in Ofelia's tale, as much as there is of Lewis Carroll's Alice and the sagas of parental absence by the Brothers Grimm, which surface in the premise of a young girl travelling, as the film opens, with her pregnant mother into the war-torn Spanish countryside during Franco's rule to join her wicked stepfather at his remote outpost.
- Likewise the director'd interest in the underground and the fecundity of it as a signifier of both potential and the repressed. (FREUDIAN CONNECTION?).
- The candlelit banquet Hall imagines the Mad Hatter's tea party as something uniquely unstrung.
- Pan's Labyrinth addresses the "sins of the father" not as a death sentence, but as an opportunity to correct what's been broken: the bridge from the Old Testament's antisocial savagery to the New Testament's covenant to honour civility in the body and suckling morality of a child.
- One need not be Freud to smell the subtext to this archetypal story.
- Ancient Pagan myths and legends.
- Alchemy/Alchemists (lethal potions, ancient books, hourglass, subterranean worlds, labyrinth, mutations, monsters, evils and secrets).
- Comparison to Terry Gilliam.
- Schindler's List combined with Wizard of Oz.

Tommorow (D-Day Minus 1)

Tommorow we need to create the presentation.Surely we don't need as many slides as we did for the Romanticism, as we went over the time a bit. We can go a bit easier on this one. We'll need to combine all our research and create something which makes sense.

I'll be in at about 10, but I'm not sure how late I can stay, maybe until 3:30ish? We can mission it and hopefully we'll get it done.

Pan's Labyrinth

While watching the film I notice that the main characters see them selves differently. Ofelia as the type of heroine that needs to save her family, but keeps failing. While Captain Vindal sees him self as a symbol of a perfect Spain. What else that makes the Captain interesting is how he also sees himself, he is self aware of what he is doing and even though he sees this as a good thing, deep down the Captain knows that he is a monster.
Also the fighting between the military and the resistance represent the classic battle between the rich and the poor
We could look more into the condition of Spain after the Civil War

Alice Images

Maybe for one slide we can go through and compare the Alice illustrations with frames from the film. Here are some which look at lot like Pans Labryinth:

When Ofelia is wearing the 'Alice' dress:

When Ofelia is in the tunnel under the tree:

Ofelia going through the wall with the chalk, is a lot like going through the looking glass:

Monday, 22 March 2010

The Sands of Fairy Tales

I know you said about this in your notes, but I've found a quote bu Del Toro saying:

But, the one book that I would say was a huge influence on making the movie is a book called The Sands of Fairy Tales which is a recent catalog of all the primordial streaks of storytelling in fairy tale lore.

BUT - I also found a page saying that 'Sands' is a typo, and the book he meant was 'Science'.

The Science of Fairy Tales

The whole book seems to be available here:

We can have a look through it, find the parts which relate to the film and then maybe put some quotes alongside some screenshots from the film, which could work. 

Alice in Wonderland

I'm going to have a look at the similarities and influences of Alice in Wonderland with Pans Labryinth. There seem to be quite a few, so this could be one of our main themes.

Lewis Carroll's story was based around a 'young female protagonist who enters an underground fantasy world in search of escape from the tensions of her home',

"The little girl descending holes (following creatures) is a deliberate reminder of Alice..., and of other girls in fantasy realms, such as Lucy in Narnia."

"The book presented to Ofelia by the fawn has blank pages until she looks at it in the enchanted space of the bathroom. The image of the girl in the book is clearly Alice crawling into the rabbit hole."

As Ofelia approaches the first task, she is dressed as Alice – as originally illustrated by Sir John Tenniel
(You mentioned this earlier Ethan)

On her hands and knees beneath the tree Ofelia/Alice feels oversized. The frog creature is like any number of creatures encountered by Alice in Wonderland.

Guillermo del Toro has cited Arthur Rackham’s later illustrations of Alice in Wonderland as an influence on the look of the film.

The faun judges Ofelia harshly, then fades away in the darkness like the Cheshire Cat in Alice.  

Pan's Labyrinth Notes...

Here are the notes i made after listening to Guillermo Del Toro's commentary on the film. There's some informaion that ay not be that relevant, but i've indicated the important information with an exclamatio mark. Also, there are some names that i need to check out because i couldn't quite hear what Del Toro was saying, so i'll post them up later if i can work out who he is talking about.


! - Jorge Luis Borges wrote a book about the Labyrinth which Del Toro references in his commentary.
- War and destruction being used in contrast to the fairytale narrative. Juxtaposition of violence and fantasy/magic.
- It's a sister film to the Devil's Backbone, also directed by Del Toro.
! - Influences include:
- Hans Christian Anderson (Little Match Girl).
- The Wizard of Oz (Which he references at the end of the film.)
- Alice in Wonderland (Which he references with the green version of Alice's dress.)
- Oscar Wilde
- A warm colour pallette in the fairytale world sompared to the cold colour pallette of the real world.
! - Straight lines used in the real world; round lines used in the fantasy world and when the girl is important to the storyline.
- Wipes resemble the turning of pages.
! - Celtic art (North Spain origin).
- Ambiguity in the fairies and the faun (are the good or are they bad?).
! - A faun in Classical mythology is a creature that is neutral, that represents nature. Only in America is the movie called Pan's Labyrnth. It was the Faun's Labyrinth in Spanish. The faun is meant to be a orce of creation and destruction.
! - Pink Floyd, The Wall inspired the scene with the blood in the book, it's an echo to the prologue of Is There Anybody Out There (in terms of sound).
! - Alfonso - The Little Princess, one of Del Toro's favourite films/stories as a child.
- Every other scene you get a magical or reality scene like a checker board effect.
! - It is a Romantic movie, full of a spirit of hope and dispair at the same time.
! - St. lucy statue similar to the ogre at the dining table. The ogre at the dining table replicates the stature of the Fascist at the dining table.
! - The monster is an ogre, a classical element in a fairytale. It has a lot of food in front of it but only eats innocents (in this case children).
! - The 3 doors is another fairytale element. she disobeys the fairies and opens the 1st door, similar to the Labyrinth film.
! - Goya (etchings and black paintings) Saturn devouring his son, the scene with the eyes in the Ogre's hands is a reference to this painting.
! - Artist Influences:
- Arthur Rackham
- Edmund Dulac
- ? (There was one more he mentioned but i couldn't hear him)
These were golden age fairytale illustrators.
! - Painterly Influences (Symbolist painters):
- Arnold Bocklin
- Arnold Schwang? (Again i misheard this name so i'm not sure that's right).
- Feliciene Rops (I misheard this name but i think this is the correct person).
These artists were all part of the Symbolism era, the gothic side to Romanticism i believe.
! - Intersect with Romantic Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood painters.
- Crossroads of each character in terms of choices.
- The Labyrinth can be seen as a metaphor of the twists and turns of life with an inevitable centre.
- Many of the real-life characters are representatives of common fairytale characters.
! - Immortality and Spirituality as well as Religion were often brought up.
- The tree resembles the Fallopian tube.
! - The Sands of Fairytales? (I read this was an important book in an interview with Del Toro).
! - The soundtrack is structured around a lullaby and can be classed as Contemporary Classical music.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

'Freestyle' Symposium... Topic - Pan's Labrynth...

So Sam and i were discussing earlier what our topic should be and we've cme up with Pan's Labrynth. If you haven't seen it, i'm pretty sure there's a copy in the library. Anyway, there is a lot that be written about this film and it relates back to our last symposium in terms of fairytales and folklore...

Monday, 15 March 2010

need help

i need to know what books we used for the romanticsim presentation?
if anyone has it please put the list in the comments
thank you

Thursday, 18 February 2010

sam dude

erm dude i think, I think ur laptop has a virus on it cus twice my pendrive has been in it and both times my AVG has gone mental and they where both the same virus...

if it happens again tomorrow with out it being on ur laptop then it'l be me pendrive...

but atm I think it is ur laptop I'm not 100% sure... I'm just trying to let u know...

Good Job

I think we did quite well today, everyone committed to the project, especially compared to a lot of the other groups, where some people did nothing and some didn't turn up. Our final presentation went well, although we had to rush the end, due to us actually not having '15 minutes' as we were originally told, and having 10 instead. But other than that, well done everyone.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Bibliography and sources...

Hey Sam, i'm gunna try and remember and go hrough some of the sources we used and reference them using the harvard system tonight... Is there anything else that needs to be done, what are we doing about the illustrations list and the bibliography?


I thought I had a copy of your presentation, I thought I dragged it from your key onto my desktop, but I don't seem to have it. Can you email it to me so I can put it in?

If not, can you bring it in tommorow morning before the presentation so I can stick the slides in.



"Turner's first job was as an assistant to an architect. At the age of fourteen he decided to become an artist, and began to study at the schools of the Royal Academy. His early work consisted of drawings and watercolours on paper; it was some years before he felt ready to start painting in oils...Turner exhibited his first oil painting at the Royal Academy, Fishermen at Sea, in 1796, when he was twenty-one. " (17/2/10)

'Known for his technical brilliance and startling use of light and color, he incorporated learned references to literature, mythology, and historical events in his pictures'

and tis another

The Haywain john Constable (17/2/10)

'Constable's Most famous painting took him less time to finish than most of his compositions' page 46 the life and works of constable

JMW turner and constable

John constable

' powerfuly artists can influence the way we look at something...' 3:23 david Dimbelbly (youtube vid)

'Paintng is but another word for feelling' constable page 122 micheal Renthal

“Turner was intensely imaginative after a fashion that Links him with the leaders of the Romantic Movement in France” page 22 Turner by William Gaunt

Lecture 2 - The Enlightenment...

These are the notes i have made from the podcast by MPW on The Enlightenment. i think i am finally starting to get my head round things after reading about Walt Disney and Romanticism, and now looking recapping on The Enlightment. To me, it seems that The Enlightenment was the idea of civilization growing and developing, asking more and more questions to find out more about the world we live in. Whereas Romanticism follows the idea that we should be one with nature. Anyway, here are the notes i made...


- Think of these presentations as a methodology; that is the way in which people construct arguments.

- The Enlightenment particularly linked to the concept of modernity. There isn't anything in our lives that cannot, in some form, be traced back to the Enlightenment.
- The Enlightenment as a set of ideas and principles is normally regarded as starting in the 17th century. And some people have even sggested that during that time there was a complete paradigm shift. From one set of beliefs, of knowledge, to a completely different world.
- What the Enlightenment establishes are the principles and beliefs of the world in which we still live.
- This idea of paradigm shift is intersting, it sort of suggests that if you were time tunneled back to a period before the 17th century, the world would be a very strange place. If, however, you were time tunneled to a period post the Enlightenment, there would be some touchstones which you would be relatively familiar with. The framework of the culture and society would be to some degree familiar.

- When you look at onjects, and when you encounter architecture, a way of approaching them is not just to think about their physicality; the way that they provide an envelope around space, but also to consider how they represent cultural ideas.
- If we take a building like the Parthenon, there's certain things about it that we immediately notice; it has lines of symmetry; it has a distribution which seems to be logical and ordered; and it has evn been believed there is a bow in the construction to compensate for perspective, to try and keep its shape even when you are looking at it from a particular viewpoint.

- Plato, Aristotle, Socrates stemmed from this culture. Their views of the world have been challenged, refined, questioned and in some degree overturned. But they started a process of trying to look rationally, or to a degree, at the world. So although we asociate the ancient Greeks with a mythology, the philosophers began to ask questions about how the world worked. To a large degree, the questions that they asked have been reinvestigated in many ways, but the were so profound and so interesting that they have help sway for centuries. We still talk about Platonic ideas, Aristotle and Socrates.
- Aristotle believed that the world was made up of four elements and he actually formulated a series of statements which we would understand an element to be. An element is something which is fundamental, it cant be broken down or changed. So Aistotle thinks Earth, Air, Water, Fire. How did he arrive at that? He took the world around him and he started tot hinka bout it. He took a stone, or so the story goes, and he dropped it into water; and the air bubles that were trapped in the water rose to the surface. And so he could start to build a strata of these essential elements. Well Earth obviously goes down, it goes through water and the air bubles escape to the air. So everything is progressing upwards, in a logical way. Fire is always evident in the air trying to move up through the air.
- Do we still think they are elements? No. However, it was interesting that this idea of Aristotle lasted for nearly 2000 years. And commentators of philosophy think that, to some degree, they stopped develpment. The method they were using to explore the world, sort of ground to a halt, and so there was a repetition of learning in oppose to investigation. Right the way from Aristotle's deat, 332BC, all the way through to about he 17th century, those ideas were really significant.

- John Locke, a British philosopher, started to investigate the idea of Empiricism. Empiricism would be the questioning, in a rational way, of the world through experience. It starts to formulate the idea of having a hypothesis, which you would then test and find out whether the hypothesis holds up to your investigation.
- John Locke, 'How is it that when we are born and grow older... and we have experience of the world; how is it that our minds are furnashed with all the things that we know and understand?' And he challenged the idea that we were created with a lot of pre-information already embedded in us. He started to say, quite a contemporary idea, that identity is built innate.
- How could you be ordained by god as a pre-existing condition because of your birth, which happened before your birth, when actually the logical view of the world is to examine everything post you coming into being. And it started to question some of the ideas of the Greeks. Plato had set in place an idea of a metaphysical world, a world that existed before us, something we sould never see but could philosophically think about.
- Most famously, Plato had the idea that there were significant forms. Plato thought for instance that every human being, every chair, every tree etc that we could see, was a mere copy, a representation of an ideal form that lay outside of our experience. The metaphor he used wa, it was like we were in a cave, there was a fire and the true forms moved betwen us and the fire casting a shadow on the back of the cave, which was all we could see. Locke's Empiricism is actually, the world as we experience it.
- In the 18th century his ideas informed the thinker Emmanuel Kant, who wrote the Critique of pure reason. And Kant pushed the envelope even more to say, yes the experiential worl is absolutely aluable to us, it is the thing of which we are oing to base most of our judgements and knowledge. However, there are things we don't immediately experience that are a value to us, so long as we can reason them. For instance, do things exist even if we can't experience them? We believe there are other thngs, things we do not know. But those things we could only conceive of because we could reason them. This type of thinking, this deductive reasoning, was not present prior th 17th century amd it unleashed the Enlightenment.

- The Philosopher's Stone links to the beginning if the Enlightenment, to the ancient Greeks, because the stone was meant to be the essential ingredient that would unleash the capability to turn lead into gold.

- Alchemy as the root of chemistry has an interesting position, it's trying to explore things that we would now think are impossible, but it's envoking in people a scientific methodology in terms of chemistry to push the boundaries of known knowledge.
- The most fmoud British scientist, a mathmatician, Sir Isaac Newton, wrote more abut alchemy than he did about mathematics and the principles that we now know him for. The societies that were publishing his work decided that it was a good idea not to publish the papers on alchemy, because they may distract from other work which was more accessible.
- Sir Isaac Newton's work and the way that has been popularized sets the foundations for the scientific revolution, that is central to the Enlightenment.
- Your set of beliefs, your framework, starts to be formed by the scientists that were working alongside Newton and were sobsequently using the same type of methodology.
- Scientific experimentation became the subject of art.

- Wealthy land owners in the 18th century became in wealthier. The reason why was because they had all that land. If we take a step back to the 16th and 17th century, land was usually owned by villages or a group of small holdings and the agriculture was based on the relatively small plots. Acts were passed, enclosure acts, where people in many ways, during this period, displaced from the landscape. So these people who had had a rural life suddenly found themselves, because of the laws that were being passed, increasingly marginalized and pushed off the land. These huge estates, which have become synonomous with the Enlightenment and British culture, evidence new techniques of farming, much larger fields, increased productivity etc. So the things in which we now rely upon to feed the world are developed at this time, it's very rational and logical, but equally, it takes a whole set of the population and starts to drive them off of the land, into the cities or the emerging cities. So the towns and cities we go to, atart to be formed in this particular period.

- In terms of architecture, there is a curious relationship between the Panteon in Rome (126AD), The Paladian Villa in Venice (16th Century) and Chiswick House in London (1729).
- In th 18th century, alongside all these other things we've spoken about, there is also a thirst for culture. People wanted to go on what became known as the grand tour. They wanted to be able to go and experience the classical world, the world from which they saw the dvelopment, of the rational, logical, enlightened world in which they lived. What better way of embodying those principles in contemporary architecture than to actually go back and visit the originals, great architecture of Italian architects who translated those originals into more ontemporary forms, and then take those sontemporary forms and then build them in London.

- Taste in the 18th Century was absolutely essential. There was a sense where you wanted to become a connoseur of taste. If you were sufficiently wealthy, you would build your classical house to demonstrate your taste. You would collect the artefacts of the ancient world to demonstrate your taste.
- The Lunar Society were an interesting group of people. Matthew Bolton, one of the new manufacturers of the budgening industrial period; because you could take those rational ideas about science and you could start to apply them to mechanisation, division of labour, the standardization of forms, all those things that we associate we modernity, and particulary the machine aesthetic as it begins to emerge in later ecnturies.

- You could take someone like Wedgewood, a designer and manufacturer, with his finger firmly on the pulse of taste, of the 18th century responding dynamically to what these new connoseurs required. Joseph Priestly working in the principles of alchemy developed a test to produce Oxygen for the first time. James Watt, starts to develop engines which are going to become the locmotives of the future; become things which drive the pumps which pull the oil out from the coal mines which enables the people to produce more coal to drive the industrial revolution.

- Enlightenment, Rationalism, Science, Industry, Reform of the land, new industrial processes of production, so less and less people occupying the rural areas and more people occupying the cities, manufacture starting to move towards standardization, production and creating new industries as it rolls forward, powered by steam. Dickens takes a gaundice view as to what some of the consequences are.
- For the Enlightenment, here's Dickens in an inditement of the new industrial landscape, but equally all the scientific investigations have provided the foundations of medicine and physics etc that furnashed the world and make our existence that much more successful. But it comes as these set of ideas that we started with, about logic, rationality and science.

- Edmund Burke, the Sublime.
- Mary shelley, Frankenstein, which sits in the middle of the Enlightenment.
- The aesthetics of the irrational.
- The topic is Romanticism and the context is The Enlightenment.

A lot to take in i know, but at least we will be able to talk about stuff for 15 minutes with this much content. I still need to do my research for Blake and Keats though...

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

damned youtube =(

this is also a brilliant vid but the embedded code is disabled, I see that we're all in around 11 tomorrow and I'm coming in at 9-9:30 to start on quoting and getting information from the books I've collected...

brilliant video

brilliant video

Question about my research

I know we talk about this but i forgot :(
Should I look at the histories of Wordsworth and Coleridge?, like where were they born?, what schools did they go?, how did they meet?, etc
Or just look at how their poems effected romanicsim.

Structure of our presentation...

A quick idea... i feel we could stucture our presentation in a way that it resembles a shift in the ideoligies we have researched... ie. CLASSICISM > ROMANTICISM > DARWINISM... this make sense allowing us to break our information up into sections and put our key people into each relevant section. obviously the biggest section will be Romanticism but i feel the other two either side bare a hugest importance in talking about Romanticism in both historical contect and mordernist terms...

Romanticism in Music

We forgot Music: Shit!

We can create another Key figure's page for Beethoven (or Mozart). I'll have a look at that later. I think we better include a Musician alongside Artists and Writers.

Walt Disney and Romanticism...

Here are my notes after reading through the whole chapter on the relevance of Romantcism and religion in Walt Disney's work which we can refer to as examples of contemporary Romanticism... Some really good stuff in here and some important ideas to look into... I have also extablished 3 main shifts in the beliefs of society, CLASSICISM (The Enlightenment, The Age of Reason), ROMANTICISM, and DARWINISM, in that order... It is worth elaborating on each of these sections in our presentation...


- The Light in the Forest (1958)
- Snow White (1938)

- William Wordsworth, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Keats and oleridge are all regularly mentioned when referring to Disney's work in the context of Romanticism.

- Bambi (1942) created a visual equivalent for such poetic lyricism.
- In the words of one literary critic, Romantic poets feel duty-bound to present a "sense of mystery of the universe, and the perception of its beauty." As, in his time, Disney did.
- Properly understood, Disney's camera visually approximates a technique that Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, and Keats considered essential: Reintroducing jaded, city-oriented pseudosophisticates to the magical world of nature.
- A bird in Bambi's forest, gaily singing inearly spring, seems far more inspired by Keat's 'Ode to a Nightingale' than anything in author Felix Salten's novel, on which the film was based.
- When talking about Disney's beautiful use of water and waterfalls in Bambi; what in Salten qualified only as a charming detail here becomes a mute metaphor.

- Many of England's Romantic poets were better known in their own time by a more specific term applied to their outlook. "The Lake School".

- During those years following the publication of Wordsworth's poetry but before popularization of Darwin's theories, Romanticism encouraged occidental culture to accept anything natura as good, anything civilized as, conversely, fake, pretentious, evil.

- Darwinism is a modernist term following the theory of scientific nature. It involves the theories of evolution and essentially portrays the idea of survival of the fittest.
- 'Could one go on believing in the Romantics' lyrical vision of naure once a society at large grasped the notion of survival of the fittest?'

- Classicism is a specific genre of philosophy, expressing itself in literature, architecture, art, and music, which has ancient Greek and Roman sources and an emphasis on society. It was paticularly expressed in the Enlightment, and the Age of Reason.
- God, viewed either as classicism's logical instigator of a perfectly ordered machine (most often symbolzed by a watch in literature and the arts) or Romanticism's originator of a spontaneously growing organism (symbolized by the tree), was replaced by the notion of a world wxisting without rhyme or reason. Man no longer debated whether a sense of purpose in the universe existed from the moment of its inception (classicism) or is better understood as what an ever-emerging world aspires to (Romanticism).

- Fantasia (1940). The Nineteenth century vision of nature as beautiful somehow joined with twentieth century science's conception of nature as brute force. Just such a balanced view would be achieved and communicated to the public in the Disney films. Fantasia marked the great endeavor's starting point.
- Fantasia is based on the then-emerging scientific explanation of the world's creation.
- After Poesy, Shelley's great love was science, a point driven home by his wife, Mary, in her novel Frankenstein (1818).
- Though the official debate may have continued in the public arena as to whether God had indeed created the world in Six days, the public at large came to accept science as a result of their exposure to the Disney version of creation, vividly modernist in approach.
- A battle, lengthy and memorable, follows between the T. rex and a sad-faced Triceratops. If Disney were indeed the sentimentalist he's so often characterized as, the benign beast would survive and the predator would be vanquished. That's not what occurs. The triceratops is defeated and eaten by the T. rex. That, Disney informs us, is nature's way; That is also, of course, what Darwin was trying to tell us. This may initially appear to belie Walt's romantic view of nature as a benign garden. Yet it's important to recall that long before the publication of Darwin's thesis, Keats suggested there might be a such thing as an "optimistic evolution", including the necessary disappearance of species.

- "Bongo" represents a romantic idealist, and can be linked with Shelley as Disney's visual equivalent of "Mont Blanc" (1816). As a post-Darwinist, though, Disney must also acknowledge the precepts of naturalism. Bongo, as it turns out, has been too thoroughly civilized for so easy a transition to full harmony with natural beauty. Stumbling over wild roots, inable to climb trees, he is threatened with starvation after trying and failing to catch fish in the stream. What initially seems a perfect pastoral gives way to a grim image of nature as potential destroyer of this less-than-fit subject.
- A smaller cretaure's brains, as is sof often the case in Disney, allow Bongo to defeat a larger opponent relying strictly on brawn, as he uses his circus tricks to avoid his larger opponent.
- Romanticism and Darwinism are not, Disney's moral fable illustrates, incompatible ideas. The harsh process of natural selection - dark, difficult, deadly- must be endured before the peaceful garden can be achieved.

- Now, the modernist side of Disney's sensibility allows for the achievement of a greater honesty by countering the Romantic "ideal" with Darwinist's "real". (IMPORTANT STATEMENT!!!)

- Rousseau's connection... his sentimental novel Julie, Ou la nouvelle Heloise, was of great importance to the development of pre-Romanticism and Romanticism in fiction.

- It was not nothing that Disney brought Joyce Kilmer's poem "Trees" (1916) to the screen in Melody Time, emphasizing the relationship of nature to spirituality ("only God can make a tree").

- The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh (1964). which has a similar storyline to Robin Hood. (Rebels fighting against an unfair establishment, in this case taxation.)

- Paganism is also important and relavant... Most Pagans share an ecological vision that comes from the Pagan belief in the organic vitality and spirituality of the natural world.

- Pantheism is the view that the Universe (naure) and God are identical...

Some key information in here even if it is extremely complicated... also, i've realised it would be hard to just talk about British Romanticism if we are bringing Walt Disney into the equation, who i believe is American...

I will notes for the Enlightenment lecture tonight and post these up, i will try and look into my two key people, but i may have to that tomorrow, these notes are taking a long time to write... sorry

The Charactistics of Romanticism

While looking for information on William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem collection 'Lyric Ballad' I found a section on a website dedicated to Wordsworth that explain the characteristics of romanticism, which were found in Wordsworth and Coleridge's poems.
Here is the list

An emphasis on the emotions (a fashionable word at the beginning of the period was ‘sensibility’. This meant having, or cultivating, a sensitive, emotional and intuitive way of understanding the world).

Exploring the relationship between nature and human life.

A stress on the importance of personal experiences and a desire to understand what influences the human mind.

A belief in the power of the imagination.

An interest in mythological, fantastical, Gothic and supernatural themes.

An emphasis on the sublime (this word was used to describe a spiritual awareness, which could be stimulated by a grand and awesome landscape).

Social and political idealism.

I thought posting this up will helps us to understand romanticism a bit more and make our presentation a bit more easy to make.

The website link

What time are we meeting up tomorrow?

Just need to know.

JMW turner and John Constable

"Turner's Intellectual interests and social contacts were influence his subject matter, with many of his works representing his response to technological developments of the time"

Harvard reference (Hamilton, James (1998) Turner and the scientists Millbark, London, Tate Gallery Publishing ltd)

Very Important website


Turner and the scientists by James Hamilton

Gainsbrough Edited by Michael Rosenthal and Martin Myrone

Constable by Michael Rosenthal

The Life and works of Constoble by Clarence Jones

Thomas Gainsborough by Martin Postle

Turner by William Gaunt

JMW Turner

Monday, 15 February 2010

Final Researching

So we've worked out what we're going to focus on..Below is what I think we agreed earlier on along with what each member of the group is going to focus on:

Sam (Me)
Key ideas and Social / Political Context

'Whos Who' - William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge

'Whos Who' - William Blake and John Keats

Matt - We've given you the other two 'Key People' to research.
'Whos Who' - John Constable and JMW Turner

For the Whos Who find out what they wrote / painted around the times of Romanticism (1790 onwards) and their signifcance to Romanticism. I think we also need an image of them.

For the other two major points - Historical and Contemporary examples it will be a bit of a team effort. Ethan, your Disney idea seems to be the best, we can look into historical romantic stories - King Arthur, Medieval Poems, Maybe Beowulf along with Fairytales and show how this was revived in the romantic period and how Disney has relied on it.

Anything anyone can find of Disney and romanticism will be helpful. Also romanticism and fairytales.

Ethan was saying earlier we can make a link in our presentation between historical poetry and modern Disney, but to do this, I think we need really good evidence or it will look a bit weak.

If we can all make it in on Wednesday, we can compile everything we've collected and add an introduction and conclusion. We can then work out how we'll present it. I know it looks like i'm putting a bit too much effort in, but I just drank some strong coffee and I'm in a rare mood to work hard. lol.

It might be best (If we all have powerpoint) to make a few slides before Wednesday with the information in, so we can compile it all quicker.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Ebrary Site Maintenance...

Hey guys, just to let you know that on Wednesday 17th February, the Ebrary site might be unavailable during some periods from 5pm to 6pm while upgrades are performed...

Key People

If we are still going to focus on British Romanticism (Which definitely has the most going on) then the key people which keep popping up are:

William Wordsworth

William Blake

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

John Keats

William Hazlitt (Born in Maidstone, Fuck Yeh!)


J. M. W. Turner

John Constable

Time Machine - Lecture 1... Key Notes...

So i've gone back and listened to the recording of Phil's lecture and made notes, to clearly identify and breakdown each of the 9 points. I have also made extra notes based on importants points i feel he made in the lecture... Here's my notes:

- Symposiums are an academic conference, or a style of university class characterized by an openly discursive format. Basically each group takes it in turns to do a presentation to each of the other other groups, based on the given subject of Romanticism.

- 'What's past is prologue', from William Shakespeare's, The Tempest. The past is the beginning of everything, you can't go forward without good understanding or knowledge of it.

- Context is important, it's all the stuff that surrounds something. It's the parts of a piece of writing, speech etc that proceed or follow a word or passage and contribute to its full meaning.

- When you're putting an idea together, your idea will be made up of seperate strands, that connect to older ideas; bigger ideas; the ideas of others. Our ideas are connected to a wider context.

- The Matrix is used as an example. If you were asked to talk about this film in context, you'd have to do some research and involve people you may have never heard of before. There are bigger ideas behind it that could help you talk about the film in a more literate way.

- The presentation must satisfy the Time Machine 9. I know this is a slight repeat of other posts, but there's some more information that Phil gave, that's worth taking into account. Plus, it never hurts to keep ourselves reminded of what is required of us:

1) Start with a clear introduction. It should also mention the different published sources you have used and your reasons for choice. You chould use no less than 5 published sources. Wikipedia is a big NO-NO!!!

2) A key definition of key ideas relating to your given topic with supporting evidence in the form of no less than 3 quotations from 3 different published sources. Quotations must be interpreted and their importance discussed. They should also be referenced correctly using the harvard method.

3) Demonstrate a sensitivity for the cultural context, in which the topic came out of and was in reaction to. CONTEXT is the key word here, show we have evidence of how Romanticism was 'weaved' together by other ideas.

4) Also include an illustrated who's who of key individuals associated with Romanticism. With a clear explanation of their significance and why.

5) Provide historical examples of key words, images, artifacts etc associated with Romanticism and an assessment of their importance. Find key cultural events, bits of artwork, texts, books, that connect to that.

6) Contemporary examples of key words, images, artifacts, asscoiated with Romanticism, and a comparison to historical examples. This comes back to 'what's past is prologue'. All contemporary culture owes a debt to the past.

7) The ability to understand the principle importance of things. You will have to provide a bullet point conclusion, where you summarise all your findings.

8) A bibliography and illustrations list correctly set out, using the harvard referencing system.

9) Give Phil a PDF version of the presentation on a memory stick.

- You could do this in about 10 slides if you really know your stuff.

Now i'll takes notes from the second lecture and i'll post these up here tonight. I think it's important to keep familiarising ourselves with each section so we can fully understand how to structure our presentation, so that it replicates the structure of the criteria...

Historical Examples

Historical examples of key words/images/artefacts associated with given topic
and an assessment of their importance.

If someone wants to start looking at the historical examples, we can start getting enough information for each topic. I've found a little on the historical examples, from the book 'Introducing Romanticism' which is on the online library:

"The medieval romance or romaunt came to mean a tale of chivalry written in one of these romance languages, usually in verse, and often taking the form of a quest."

There is also some stuff on medieval romanticism which was revived on this page:>rack=pthc

Under ' Macpherson and Chatterton: AD 1760-1777'.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Question about briff

I was reading it today and I was wondering what the briff means by 5 publish sources?
Did it mean the people who was involve with romanticism or books that talk about romanticism?

Key Ideas + Cutural Context

I've been reading through some books this morning, and I have found a lot of quotes and information about the key ideas and the social / political context of Romanticism.

For the key ideas ( Criteria 2) is states we need : quotations from 3 different published sources which I've found, I've also got enough information down for the cultural context (Criteria 3)

If you want I can put the stuff together for these two, which then leaves the Introduction, Historical Context, Contemporary Context and key people to do. I've founnd a few key people as I've gone through, but I think we definitely need to use William Wordsworth as he was the main fella in England that kicked off Romanticism in literature. Maybe someone can look him up and find some information on him and his significance along with maybe William Blake

Friday, 12 February 2010

Project Ideas

As we haven't got long to do this, we better get cracking.

The list we looked at yesterday:
1) introduction to your presentation,

2) A clear definition of key ideas from 3 different publishedsources.

3) The cultural context (political and social) in which the topic came out of/was in
reaction to.

4) An illustrated ‘who’s who’ of key individuals associated with given topic, with a
clear explanation of what you think their significance is and why.

5) Historical examples of key words/images/artefacts associated with given topic
and an assessment of their importance.

6) Contemporary examples of key words/images/artefacts associated with given
topic and a comparison to the historical examples.

7) A ‘bullet point’ conclusion.

8) A bibliography and illustration list correctly set out using the Harvard method.

9) A PDF version of presentation for uploading to myUCA.

I reckon the bets way to approach this is:

1) All of us read up on Romanticism - What it is, when it was, where it mainly took place and what was it in response to (Enlightenment)

2) Find all the key people involved, we can then make a list. We can all pick one each to write about, meaning we'll have 4, and quite a bit of detail about each one.

3)There are then four more sections: Definition of Romanticism, Cultural Context,Historical examples and Contemporary examples... We can then split these between us, once we know which key figures we are focusing on.

4) We can create word documents with all our information in, including images and then compile it into a single presentation for Thursday

This doesn't sound too complicated.. but it might be. Anyone have any other ideas?

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Jolanta's Brilliant Post...

Hey guys, Phil recommends we all read this post, which Jolanta has kindly done, to get a clear sense of our jobs and responsibilities...

Phil also recommends we get a clear definition of Romanticism before we research into specific topics...
I'm clearly taking this role of Optimus way too seriously...

Contact Details...

Ethan -
Shahbir -
Sam -
Matt -

By Monday: Research into Romanticism and key people...