Arlington Catholic Bad Entertainment in Confessions Analysis Essay

Arlington Catholic Bad Entertainment in Confessions Analysis Essay

a) Identify at least two cases that Augustine describes in the text, and (using evidence) explain what, in your view, seems to be Augustine’s primary concern about these cases. (In other words, why exactly does he think they are harmful?)

(b) Take and defend a position of your own about the matter. Does Augustine have the right approach to these things? If we refrained from the kinds of art and entertainment, he thinks are harmful, would our lives be better, or would they be impoverished. Explain your reasoning

Essay must be driven based on below books and their quotations

Bad Entertainment in Confessions:

In Book 1, Augustine says that, when he was a boy, he was required to read Latin literature that, in his view, is harmful. “Through them I acquired a great many useful words, though admittedly the same words can be learned just as well from texts which are by no means frivolous and would make a safer path for children to tread.” (1.15.24) “Woe, woe to you, you flood of human custom! … Did you not give me a story to read in which Jupiter is both the Thunderer and an adulterer? He could not possibly be both; yet so he was represented, to the end that his real adultery might seem to establish itself as deserving of imitation because a faked thunder-clap acted as a go between.” (1.16.25)

In Book 6, he says that his friend Alypius grew addicted to a “whirlpool of Carthaginian immoral amusements” (6.7.11). “I had discovered that he loved the circuses with a passion likely to be his undoing, and I was extremely anxious because he seemed to me bent on wasting his excellent promise, if indeed he had not already done so” (6.7.11).

“He had been drawn toward a worldly course by his parents’ siren song, and he was unwilling to abandon it, so he had gone to Rome ahead of me to study law, and there was assailed by an entirely unexpected craving for gladiatorial entertainments. This came about in a way no one could have foreseen. He shunned such displays and loathed them; but some of his friends and fellow-students, returning from their midday meal, happened to find the stadium open to them and, as is the way with close friends, drew him in by force, despite his vehement protests and struggles. It was one of the days from cruel and murderous sport, and he kept telling them, ‘You may drag my body into that place and fix me there, but can you direct my mind and my eyes to the show? I will be there, and yet be absent, …’ …” (6.8.13).

“… He kept the gateways of his eyes closed, forbidding his mind to go out that way to such evils. If only he could have stopped his ears too! At a certain tense moment in the fight a huge roar from the entire crowd beat upon him. He was overwhelmed by curiosity, and on the excuse that he would be prepared to condemn and rise above whatever was happening even if he saw it, he opened his eyes, and suffered a more grievous wound in his soul than the gladiator he wished to see had received in the body. … As he saw the blood, he gulped the brutality along with it; he did not turn away but fixed his gaze there and drank in the frenzy, …. No longer was he the man who had joined the crowd; he was now one of the crowd he had joined, …. He watched, he shouted, he grew hot with excitement, he carried away with him a madness that lured him back again not only in the company of those by whom he had initially been dragged along but even before them, dragging others.” (6.8.13)