At the heart of The Secret Agent, and as memorable as the characters that walk its streets, is Victorian London.
With so many people flooding into it, the city became a sprawling warren of alleyways and side streets, lined with hastily erected dwellings where families were packed sometimes as many as eight to a room. Poverty was extreme in nineteenth-century London, with many people forced into difficult and dangerous occupations to make ends meet, even going as far as scavenging in the sewers to find coins and objects they could sell.
The Royal Observatory at Greenwich, the object of Verloc’s bungled terrorist attack, was commissioned in 1675 by King Charles II. Education was important in Ancient Greek civilisation, and could be formal (occurring in a school, or with a private tutor) or informal (occurring in an ad-hoc public forum, with an unpaid teacher or philosopher, such as Socrates.) Greek education focused on training the whole person, mind, body and spirit. The inclusion of contemporary fiction on university reading lists is often considered controversial by those who feel that curricula should be restricted to established literary masterpieces, members of the canon.
The 'initiatory' madness of Dionysus is the madness of religious ritual, the 'loss of self', as Julian says, through ecstatic worship. In Ancient Greek literature it was not uncommon for the gods to come down from Mount Olympus to join in battle on the side of the favourite humans. A great many writers mention the oracles, including Plato, Aristotle, Thucydides, Sophocles, Xenophon, Euripides and Ovid. Both Homer and Aeschylus' work are full of bloody descriptions of conflict and murder like the lines Camilla quotes. Of all the classical literature mentioned in The Secret History, The Bacchae is the most useful aid to understanding Tartt's novel. In the play, a herdsman describes the bloody and ecstatic rituals of the Bacchae; his speech can be found here. This is a line from Rimbaud's Une Saison en Enfer ('A Season in Hell'), from the 'Second Delirium', 'Alchemy of the Word' (Alchemie du Verbe) It can be read here (p.
Long Island Lockjaw, or Locust Valley lockjaw, is an American accent associated with the upper-class residents of Long Island, New York. People who had once known stability and a sense of community in rural towns and villages now found themselves thrown together with anonymous strangers. Clean water and decent sanitation were equally scarce as the city groaned under the strain of its millions of new inhabitants. Although violent criminals, such as the notorious Jack the Ripper, were relatively rare, petty thieves and prostitutes frequented the streets. It was the centre of British astronomy (see Longitude), and in 1884 an international conference established that the Prime Meridian running through it should be used as the baseline measurement for time, becoming known as Greenwich Mean Time. There were a number of medieval Kings of the Franks called Pepin, who ruled over parts of what is now France and western Germany. Generally speaking, education was an exclusively male preoccupation, though there were exceptions, such as in the Spartan system or among followers of Pythagoras. The poem describes Dante's journey through Hell, Purgatory and Heaven, accompanied by the Roman poet Virgil, and is one of the world's most important and influential literary masterpieces. On one hand, updating these lists can refresh courses that have become stale and irrelevant to students. It was spread by the armies of Alexander the Great to become the lingua franca of Ancient Greece and the Near East.
His metaphysical writings influenced the mystical teachings of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, particularly through his philosophy of the 'One', a supreme, transcendant entity, linked to the idea of a single God in monotheistic religions. In the dialogue, Plato recounts Socrates saying, firstly, that there are two madnesses: one produced by 'human infirmity' and one of divine origin.
The Furies were female figures, sometimes depicted with the wings of bats or birds, and sometimes with serpents attached to their bodies (like the Gorgons) or the body of a dog. In the book, Socrates argues with various other figures including Cephalus about the nature of justice and the proper way to run a city state such as Athens.
The book describes the history of the war between Sparta and Athens in the fifth century B.C. In Homer's Iliad the gods frequently join in: Aphrodite fights for the Trojans, protecting Paris and Hector until an order from Zeus forced her to abandon the latter.

The Greek God Apollo gave the female Pythia the power of prophecy, and her temple offered advice and guidance for many years, from the 8th century B.C. Herodotus recounts that when Croesus of Lydia consulted the oracles before his war with Persia he was told that if he went to war he would 'destroy a mighty empire'.
A common theory is that hallucinogenic gases from the Kerna spring were responsible for the Pythia's obscure messages; others think that a network of spies collected information for her. Homer's Iliad takes place during the Trojan War and often recounts the deaths of men in that conflict; and Aeschylus' Oresteia describes the bloody, vengeful consequences of one particular act which takes place during the same war. The class discusses the idea of Dionysian madness, one of the four discussed earlier (see above, bookmark to Page 38: "about loss of self, about Plato's four divine madnesses") and Richard remembers reading Euripides' play The Bacchae.
During their rituals, the women (called the Maenads) lose all sense of themselves, to the extent that Agave fails to recognise her own son; as Julian says, Dionysus offers his followers an escape from their own consciousness.
The flawed character is unaware of the impact their mistake will have, and ignores any warnings as to its effect. His poetry was produced when he was very young - he gave up writing when he was 21, reputation already secured.
The stories portrayed a world in which science and technology are exciting, entirely positive entities which help Tom Swift during his many adventures.
The programme was an hour-long anthology of cartoons and edited films from the Disney studios. All of the sports teams in the university are called the Clemson Tigers, including the Clemson Tigers (American) Football team, to which Bunny's father presumably belonged. It is an island and a cape on the North-Eastern coast, and is a popular, upmarket holiday destination, known for its beaches and its clapboard New England architecture. It relates to the main characters' love of Ancient Greek literature, where many poems and plays describe the consequences of attempting to escape one's own fate (a fate which is often predicted). If the characters in The Secret History are doomed to murder (or to be murdered, in Bunny's case) to what extent can their actions be described as free will - in other words, to what extent can they be seen as responsible for their crimes? Richard's reliance on the concept of fate can be seen as an attempt by him to escape responsibility for his actions. The phrase comes from King Pyrrhus of Epirus, whose 279 BC victory over the Romans cost him so many casualties that he is said by Plutarch to have declared that "one more such victory would utterly undo me". Biarritz is a luxury resort in the Basque region of south-western France; Caracas is the capital city of Venezuela. Psychologists associated with Behaviourism include Ivan Pavlov, Edward Lee Thorndike, John B.
Ezra Pound (1885-1972) was an influential figure in the development of Modernism, working as an editor to publish other Modernist writers, such as T.S. Eliot (1888-1965) was an American-born poet, though he too moved to England early in his career. He was a Symbolist poet and a fashionable dandy, an acquaintance of Alphonse Daudet, Edmond de Goncourt, Sarah Bernhardt, and Jean Cocteau.
He wrote in the dodecasyllabic alexandrine, which makes his plays notoriously difficult to translate. C. Fields (1880-1946) was an American comedian and writer, best known for playing unpleasant comic characters. In Ancient Greek, verbs have four moods, three voices, three persons, four main tenses and different moods for each tense; this complicates issues of translation such as the one Bunny, Camilla and Charles are grappling with in this scene.
Probably born in Athens or Aegina in around 429-423 BC, Plato was taught by Socrates, and eventually founded the Academy, one of the earliest known schools, in Athens.
With raw sewage being pumped into the Thames and diseases such as cholera rife, London was a place of strong and often unpleasant smells. In 1829, in an attempt to maintain law and order among the burgeoning population outside the square mile, Sir Robert Peel founded the Metropolitan Police, whose officers are still known as “bobbies” because of him today.
In 1894, the French anarchist Martial Bourdin blew himself in Greenwich Park when the device he was carrying exploded.
Famous Pepins included Pepin the Short, the father of Charlemagne, Pepin the Hunchback (Charlemagne's son) and various Pepins of Aquitaine. Meisterstucks (German for 'masterpiece') first appeared in 1925, and are the company's most famous model of pen.

Although the book was a critical and commercial success, winning the 1960 National Book Award, it also attracted criticism for the negative portrayal of some of its Jewish characters, particularly the Jewish sergeant in the story Defender of the Faith.
On the other, reading lists can become subject to passing literary fads, overlooking more worthwhile books in favour of modern works that do not stand the test of time.
At this point, though, Richard doesn't understand any Latin and fails both the test of his sexuality and that of his language skills.
A variety of Koine was used in early translations of the Bible, which was originally written in Hebrew or Aramaic (the latter being Jesus's own language).
Plato used the work to put forward his ideas about politics and justice, as well as his Theory of Forms. He wrote the famous trilogy of plays called the Oresteia, from which Camilla quotes lower down the page. In the first play of the Oresteia, Agamemnon, Clytemnestra kills her husband Agamemnon, the king of Argos, in revenge for his having sacrificed their daughter Iphigenia to appease the gods before he joins the Trojan War.
An iamb is a two-syllable foot where the second syllable is emphasised, such as in the words 'today', 'amuse', or 'begin'. The Bacchae was the last extant play he wrote; it was composed in Macedonia after Euripides' voluntary exile from Athens.
The error that the character makes stems from a particular flaw in their personality (a 'fatal flaw').
The Isle of Capri is an island in the Bay of Naples in Italy, home to pleasure palaces built by the Roman Emperors Augustus and Tiberius. Pythagoreanism was a mystical, ascetic religion whose followers abstained from meat, fish and beans, wore white robes and believed in equality between men and women. He wrote his poetry in the ancient Ionic dialect, and it was intended to be sung or accompanied by the lyre.
He wrote on a wide number of subjects including metaphysics, politics, and epistemology, as well as publishing the Socratic dialogues, based on his recollections of Socrates' teaching.
The stench from the river got so bad that in the summer of 1858 Parliament closed because of it. By the time Chief Inspector Heat and the Assistant Commissioner get on the trail of Conrad's Greenwich bomber, the force has been going nearly sixty years. In the play, Pentheus, ruler of Thebes, is punished for failing to recognise the god Dionysus. This is usually an excess of arrogance which leads them to ignore the warnings or instructions of the gods. After retiring from poetry he travelled the world, enlisting as a soldier in the Dutch Colonial Army and eventually settling in Aden, in Yemen. The god lures away Pentheus's mother Agave and the rest of the women of Thebes, bringing them to the mountains where they perform wild Dionysian rituals. He is notorious for embracing Mussolini's fascism and broadcasting pro-Fascist radio speeches during the Second World War. Eliot became a British citizen when he was 39, revoking his American citizenship, and converting to Anglicanism.
In the end Pentheus, tempted by Dionysus to spy on these rituals, is killed by his own mother while she is in the grip of a Dionysian frenzy. His books, The Hobbit and the trilogy The Lord of the Rings, are extremely popular to this day. His time in prison triggered a mental breakdown, though he produced more volumes of his most famous work, the Cantos, whilst incarcerated in Pisa.

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