Essay 1

“It’s incredible that a sentence is ever understood. Mere sounds strung together by some agent attempting to mean some thing, but the meaning need not and does not confine itself to that intention.” Percival Everett. In life we take what we know for granted until at some point, when you’ve thought you’ve mastered a skill, you become hit by a brick wall of information that you don’t understand. The first time I opened the Bacchae I questioned myself and my chosen concentration. That may sound a little over dramatic but when I opened up to that play it was the first time, I was faced with the fact that I couldn’t understand what I was reading. During the first few days’ class Dr. McCoy had forewarned us that this text was difficult to get through, I remember taking that into account but still expecting to at least understand half of it, so I was truly taken aback when I found myself completely lost. 

It’s a wonder that any human language is understandable at all, at least that’s what I think when I look at it now. English truly is just, “Mere sounds strung together by some agent attempting to mean some thing,” and the fact that people made up these words and strung them together and we can understand it is such a great feat. The English language has also changed so much over time and the fact that we can still make sense of the old language is amazing. In class we briefly discussed Shakespeare and that has gotten me thinking about how we assume meaning to his play’s and ask ourselves what he intended to mean when he wrote one of his plays. “The meaning need not and does not confine itself to that intention.” Can’t Sheakspears plays just have been for entertainment? Why does Macbeth have to had meant something? Just because we can understand Sheakspears works why must we look into more and not just appreciate them at a surface level understanding? 

With the Bacchae we do the same thing, but this time is it different? Do we look more into the Bacchae because it’s hard to understand? Through this class I have no doubt I will thoroughly come to know and understand the Bacchae and take in all it has to offer me. The meaning behind words is important, or so I’ve been told, so perhaps understanding works like Romeo and Juliet, The Great Gatsby, and the Bacchae is more important than I might admit. “It’s incredible that a sentence is ever understood.” There is always going to be something in read work that we might not understand but as long as we take our language for granted, we’ll surely choose not to acknowledge that fact. 

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