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classical element Paganism In Christianity

Religions across the globe have their own distinctive rites and rituals, idols, traditions, and values. Each have in common a desire to explain something unexplainable by common wisdom, or attributing some aspect of life to some higher power. Many religions have at their heart etiological stories, which explain some sort of natural phenomenon through the physical manifestation of their deity or deities. From high winds and thunderstorms to love, fertility, and the sun, such religions focus on the physical world in this life. Other religions try to explain the "next" life or the afterlife. These religions usually give a moral code to live by, with stricter adherence to this code offering a better afterlife.
So, aside from obvious differences in practice and ritual, not all religions even address the same issues. In the online Merriam-Webster Dictionary, religion is officially defined as:
       1 :  the service and worship of God or the supernatural
 2 : commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
       3 : a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and  
   practices.

Religions have in common three things, then: first, a supernatural being to worship; second, a commitment to this being; third, a set of rules to guide the follower through his or her devotion.
Throughout the ancient world, there were many different peoples worshipping in many different ways, as there still is today. Many of these religions were polytheistic in nature, and were of the etiological type. Greco-Roman religion in particular was the basis for a rich culture, giving rise to an extremely artistic and creative period of time.
Greece had philosophers and playwrights such as Aristotle, Socrates, Plato, and Aeschylus. These men eloquently told of their gods, and provided ideas to strengthen the moral character of their culture. You might almost say they were the real prophets of the time. The Buddha guided other nations, Jesus still others. They were pioneers in their own time, and are still revered today. These men looked deep into the heart of the human spirit, and asked what it was to be human. Their insights have given meaning to many people's lives, and have been the basis for many beliefs held today. These men and the cultures they came from have heavily influenced the fields of philosophy, art, theater, architecture, religionwar, and every individual practitioner of each.
In some ancient Asian cultures, the beauty of nature was revered over everything, and this view became the basis of the Eastern lifestyle, creating beautiful gardens around their homes to celebrate their harmony with life. They, too, had their heavens and hells, deities and demi-gods.
In short, each religion differs somewhat, but they all have similarities as well. Many stories in several classical religions share common themes or events. There are a great many similarities between stories of Babylonian, Greek, and Christian origin. An example of a shared event would be "the flood" story. Each of these religions tries to explain the reason of a severe flood, which historians have found actually occurred in their shared region.
Christianity eventually replaced the "old" religions, mostly by means of the spread of the Holy Roman Empire. There were many who opposed being converted, but after the remaining members of these religions realized that failure to convert meant you were a heretic, which meant death, the job of converting was much easier. Even then, some people did not want others telling them how to worship. They had their rituals and customs-they didn't want new ones. This sentiment was conveyed to the leaders of the Roman Churches, who "bent" their rules and procedures to fit these pagan rites and rituals. A good way to convert someone is to make him or her feel like it's the same religion. This is how Christianity has become riddled with elements of  "Paganism."
The purpose of this paper is to highlight major aspects of Christianity that have been "borrowed" from other religions in order to show that Christianity is myth just like all of the other "false" religions.
     Perfect examples of this are the dates of Christian holidays, most notably Christmas--December 25th. This date is widely used as the birthday of some religious figure in many different cultures for many different ... more

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Review Of Shakespear's "The Tempest"

Why is it that people fawn Shakespeare and have unreasonably high
    reguard for his works, including  The Tempest, and label them as
 immortal classics?  Indeed Shakespeares works had great significance in
the evolution of English literature,  but these works, including The Tempest
are mostly devoid of significance and literary value in the present day.  One
can expect to gain little educational benefit of the english language or
hightened apreciation for fine literature from the reading of Shakespeares
titles for reasons enumerate.  First of all, the colorful and sophisticated
metephoric vernacular style of the language utilized is archaic; even the
speech of intellectually refined individuals and other respected literary
works do not imploy of this rich style of speech.   The poemic composition of
The Tempest does not increase ones  ability to apreciate distinguished
literature because the refined and respected works of most other classical
writers are in novel form and thus differ highly from Shakesperian works in
the literary devices and mannerisms from which they are comprised.    
The Tempest was written in early seventeeth century England.  At this period
of history and country the English language was quite different from what it
is today in many ways.  First, standard, formal vocabulary was different at
this time.  An great expample is found in the line ...you bawling,
blasphemous, incharitable dog! (act 1 sc. 1, p. 9).  In this line, the word
incharitable is the modern equivalent of the word uncharitable.  The standard
dictionary word has changed prefixes somewhere througout the centuries.
Another thing that would have made a further gap between the vernacular in
the play and modern English is Shakespeares deployment of common language,
or slang (although I have no proof because I dont speak  sixteenth century
slang).  A pox o your throught... (act 1 sc.1, p. 9) and ...give oer...
(act 1 sc. 1, p. 9).  These phrases seem to be slang therms because they are
so deviant from there modern english equvalents, curses on and give up,
respectiveley. What value does learning the archaic vernacular give to the
reader.  Surely it does not increase thier word power or sophisticate thier
vocabulary, for nowhere, not even in among people of high intellecutal
refinement such as venerable college professers, is this dead language used.
Another distinctive trait of the vernacular used in The Tempest is the heavy
use of metaphor.  This use of metaphor is so heavy and outlandish that it
becomes extrodinarily difficult to interpret and causes the words to fall
into chaotic ambiguity.  In fact, it is not unreasonable to define the
language of the text as sophistry.  A great example of heavy metaphor in The
Tempest is the line O heaven , O earth, bear witness to this sound, / and
crown what I profess with kind event / If I speak true; if hollowly, invert /
What best is boded me to mischief.  I,  / Beyond all limit of what else  I
th world, /  Do love, prize honor you (Act 3 sc. 1, p. 95).  In modern
terms, this means:  Lord, bear witness to what I say, and bless my claim (to
this woman).  Let me be damned if I lie when I say that I love honor, prize
and honor you above anything else in the world.  The learning of this type
of heavy usage of metaphor would be justified if it were imployed in many
other respected classic works or in modern eloquent speech, but it is not.
 
Metaphoric speech outside of literature and informal speech is reguarded
as crude and unsophisticated in modern speech.    This is so because people
have come to reguard refined speech as being characteristic with the use of a
large vocabulary consisting of consise and sophisticated words.  
Even if the argument is made that one cannot gain much benefit in refining
their speech by reading The Tempest, Shakespeare aficianados claim that there
is value in the mechanics and devices common in literature which can be
learned from his works.  This is exaggerated, however.  The most valuble
literary device that can be learned from The Tempest is the metaphor.
However, as I said before, Shakespeare over uses this so much that his words
fall into sophistry.  A good example is the line Or that there were such men
/ Whose head stood in their breasts? (act 3 sc. 3, p.113).  I can make no
sense out of this whatsoever.  Another outlandish metaphor is Which now we
find / Each putter-out of five for one will bring us / ... more

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