Fielding is describing his novel as a comic epic written in prose. An epic generally follows the triumphs and travails of a heroic character, which Tom is, to some extent. However, he’s a roguish hero, and not immune from blunder and embarrassment. This, together with the antics of courser characters such as Partridge and Squire Western, ensures the comedic quality of the tale.
It first arrived in England in the Restoration period (from 1660), as something to entertain the audience between opera pieces. It gained great popularity from 1717, on the basis of productions by actor and manager John Rich.
Pantomime continues to be a popular form of theatre, combining song, dance, slapstick and silliness, cross-dressing, topical references, audience participation, and mild sexual innuendo.
Harlequin is the best known of the comic servant characters from the Italian Commedia dell’arte, a form of pantomime theatre popular in Italy, and later France, from the 1500s. The character is generally depicted as stupid and gluttonous, but nimble and acrobatic. In early renderings of the genre, Harlequin often had a love interest whom he would pursue, generally without success. He eventually became something of a romantic hero, and by the 18th century, a new style of pantomime, the Harlequinade, gave him a leading role.
The Harlequinade revolves around a comic incident in the lives of its five main characters: Harlequin, who loves Columbine, her greedy father Pantaloon, who tries to separate the lovers in league with the mischievous Clown, and the servant, Pierrot. There was often a chase scene with a policeman, and much slapstick and acrobatics.
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The Disputations consist of five books:
On the contempt of death;
On bearing pain;
On grief of mind;
On other perturbations of the mind; and
Whether virtue alone be sufficient for a happy life.
Thetis and Peleus’ son is Achilles. Homer's Iliad tells of Achilles' deeds in the Trojan War. Achilles' wrath is the central theme of the book. Achilles withdraws from battle after he is dishonored by the Greek leader Agamemnon. As the Greek forces are beaten back by the Trojans, it becomes clear to all that only Achilles can save the day. This he does, when his friend Patroclus is killed in battle. Achilles storms onto the battle field killing all in his path, and finally killing Hector, leader of the Trojans.
Delta is the fourth letter of the Greek alphabet (Δ). Its triangular shape is evident at the mouth of large rivers, such as the Nile, where the slow moving water spreads across the plain, depositing sediment before flowing into the sea. The Greek’s called this area of a river the delta, after its shape.
In Fielding’s day, liquorish meant either lecherous or lustful, or appetizing or tempting.
A Mr Milward played Mr Constant in the original cast.
In Greek culture, what is kalon is typically the object of passionate or romantic love. Plato identifies the kalon, along with the good and the just, as a key object for human striving and understanding. Aristotle equates the truly beautiful, with the truly good.
Freemasonry arose in the late 16th to early 17th century. The fraternity is organised into independent Grand Lodges, which preside over subordinate or constituent Lodges. The various Grand Lodges recognise each other based upon adherence to common principles, known as landmarks.
Freemasons use secret signs, grips or handshakes and words to gain admission to meetings and identify legitimate visitors. Each Grand Lodge is free to create its own rituals, so the identifying signs, grips and passwords differ across jurisdictions.
In ancient Greece, the city-state of Sparta was located on the Peloponnesus, a peninsula southwest of Athens. Spartan society was dedicated to militarism. The life of every individual, from the moment of birth, belonged absolutely to the state. Military training began from the age of 7, and all male citizens between the ages of 20 and 60 served in the army, and ate and slept in the public barracks. Music was limited to war songs, and no luxury was allowed – even speech has to be kept short and to the point.
Early in the 6th century Sparta attacked Tegea, the most powerful of the Arcadian cities. The campaign was initially unsuccessful, but Sparta kept up its efforts over many years. Sparta eventually defeated Tegea, and attributed their subsequent conquest of Arcadia to their theft of the bones of Orestes from Tegea.
Aesculapius was the Ancient Greek god of medicine and healing. His daughters were Hygieia (Hygiene, goddess of health, cleanliness, and sanitation), Iaso (goddess of recuperation from illness), Aceso (goddess of the healing process), Aglaea (goddess of beauty, splendor, glory), and Panacea (the goddess of universal remedy). Aesculapius was the son of Apollo, and shared with Apollo the epithet Paean (the Healer). The rod of Asclepius, a snake-entwined staff, remains a symbol of medicine today.
Despite his robust qualifications, he appeared in a number of satirical prints. He was ridiculed for his fondness for alcohol, his outlandish manners, and his strong French accent. He was the model for the doctor in William Hogarth’s The Harlot’s Progress.
He died in London, and his death notices referred to him as "the eminent physician".
Cato, a Tragedy, a play written by Joseph Addison in 1712. The play is based on the events of the last days of Marcus Porcius Cato Uticensis (95–46 BC), a Stoic, whose deeds, and overt resistance to the tyranny of Julius Ceasar, made him an icon of republicanism, virtue, and liberty. Addison's play deals with themes such as individual liberty versus government tyranny, Republicanism versus Monarchism, logic versus emotion, and Cato's personal struggle to hold to his beliefs in the face of death.
The play was a success throughout England and her colonies. It has been credited as a literary inspiration for the American Revolution.
Gum arabic, also known as acacia gum, is a natural gum made of hardened sap from two species of the acacia tree. The gum is harvested commercially from wild trees in the Sahel region of Africa, from Senegal and Sudan to Somalia. Historically, it was cultivated in Arabia and West Asia. It is used primarily in the food industry as a stabiliser. It is also used in printing, paint production, glue, cosmetics and various industrial applications.