Showing posts from December, 2018

The Fall, Part III

This post contains spoilers for the series Altered Carbon and the drama Faust.
"I am part of that power which eternally wills evil and eternally works good.” -Faust, Johan Wolfgang Von Goethe
“Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” -Robert J. Oppenheimer, quoting the Bhagavad Gita while speaking of the atomic bomb
“The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” -Robert Burns
In the first post of this series, we looked at the Luciferian Myth, mostly through the lens of John Milton’s poem, Paradise Lost. The poem provides a nuanced origin story for the conflict between good and evil. Motivated by a vain sense that it was he who was meant to be in control, Satan rebelled against God, but failed. Evil then proceeds from his ongoing attempts to recover his exalted state. In Part II, we observed these archetypes playing out in a number of sci-fi films where human civilization is upended. In these films, however, it came to light that it is not quite clear whether they are …

The Fall, Part II

Myths became images and shadows of higher ideas, and by their mysterious character inculcated a profounder veneration. -Plutarch
In the last post, we looked at of myth of Satan’s fall in order to articulate its unique characteristics. To restate: Satan is thrown out of heaven for insubordination. In Hell, he has a chance to make due. Instead, he feels compelled to continue seeking power, or at the very least, vengeance. This moves the myth beyond a simple schematic of good versus evil. But as the myth transforms into a more relatable form—incorporating universal themes of human drama—it becomes more difficult to recognize the underlying symbols.
We saw this in John Milton’s Paradise Lost. In Hell, Satan finds himself in the company of the other fallen angels who express a litany of emotions; doubt, fear, anxiety, and anger. They console and contest each other. The figure of Satan becomes relatable to the reader because he is able to interact with these other voices as normal people do. L…