Lucrezia Borgia: Incest, Poison and Sexual Scandal?

Lucrezia Borgia’s reputation precedes her, as the debauched daughter of Rodrigo Borgia, more commonly known as Pope Alexander VI. The Borgia family dominated Renaissance Italy, and some describe them as Italy’s original crime family. What an iconic bunch. Lucrezia gets a lot of attention, especially in relation to her three marriages, and reputation as anContinue reading “Lucrezia Borgia: Incest, Poison and Sexual Scandal?”

Alec D’Urberville: Religious Fanaticism, Temptation and the Bible

Alec D’Urberville is ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’ big bad, as his rape of Tess sets all of the events of the novel in motion, leading Tess down a path of misery which ends in her death and his. Alec is initially portrayed as a bit of a moustachioed pantomime villain, but his later resurgence inContinue reading “Alec D’Urberville: Religious Fanaticism, Temptation and the Bible”

Plutarch on the real Antony and Cleopatra

It’s difficult to separate the fact from the fiction, when dealing with Mark Antony and Cleopatra, as so little sources survive about their love affair. One that does and is fairly accessible, is that of Plutarch, a renowned Roman philosopher and biographer. Now, he was not alive to witness these events first-hand, but his accountContinue reading “Plutarch on the real Antony and Cleopatra”

Body Horror, Justice and Covid-19 in ‘Jurassic Park’

‘Entertainment is antithetical to reality’[1] Michael Crichton’s novel ‘Jurassic Park’ is certainly that, to the point where the readers are relieved by it. Crichton’s novel about genetically engineered dinosaurs running amok is a thrilling read, even if it’s not quite the same as actually seeing the dinosaurs for real on the big screen. What isContinue reading “Body Horror, Justice and Covid-19 in ‘Jurassic Park’”

The Changing Nature of Witchcraft in the 16th and 17th Centuries

Up to 40,000 people died during the early modern witch craze.[1] Throughout this time, peoples’ understanding of witches frequently changed, in relation to ‘maleficia’ and the nature of witches, their gender, the law, the Reformation and the scepticism that emerged during the Enlightenment. It was originally believed that witches practised magic, or ‘maleficia,’ on theirContinue reading “The Changing Nature of Witchcraft in the 16th and 17th Centuries”

The Queer Displacement of Desire in ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘Dracula’

Today we navigate through the dangerously queer displacements of desire in ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘Dracula’! Before we start, some definitions: ‘Displacement’ originates from Freud and is defined as the unconscious ‘shifting of energy’ from one person to another, the ‘energy’ in question being desire. [1] ‘Queer’ refers to anything that opposes the dominant ideals that humanityContinue reading “The Queer Displacement of Desire in ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘Dracula’”

Defeating Covid-19 with ‘Little Women’

This post contains full spoilers about ‘Little Women’! Louisa May Alcott’s semi-autobiographical novel has charmed the hearts of Americans for generations. I only took notice of it following the release of Greta Gerwig’s adaptation in December 2019, which prompted me to read the book. Although I wouldn’t describe it as the most gripping read, itContinue reading “Defeating Covid-19 with ‘Little Women’”

Being a Conscious Reader, the Consciousness and Hamlet

The term ‘consciousness’ is used to describe a person’s perception or awareness of something else, and as an English literature student, exploring the conscious mind of a character is how one truly gets to know them. By exploring their innermost fears, desires and loves, the true nature of a character’s personality can be revealed. TheContinue reading “Being a Conscious Reader, the Consciousness and Hamlet”

Aurangzeb: Dispelling Myths about Religious Intolerance

Emperor Aurangzeb is frequently viewed as a discriminatory figure, unlike his great grandfather Emperor Akbar, who is celebrated for his religious policy of tolerance. However, if we look past this, it becomes clear that Aurangzeb’s main concern was the maintenance of the empire, and not religion. What people view as Aurangzeb’s botched and discriminatory religiousContinue reading “Aurangzeb: Dispelling Myths about Religious Intolerance”

Covid-19 and Dystopian Literature

Now, as a student of both English and History, I’m not surprised that both topics have the ability to predict the future. We are living in unprecedented times, and probably facing the biggest crisis most of us will face in our lifetimes. The first thing I thought of, when I watched Boris enforce a quarantine,Continue reading “Covid-19 and Dystopian Literature”