Apollon Issue 5 | 2015
By Victor Zou
Beowulf is a classic and ancient Anglo-Saxon hero’s tale. The various monstrosities he faces define his story and character. His defeat of Grendel, his atrocious mother, and the dragon all reflect his prowess and courage as a heroic champion. But these victories also encourage the growth of ill-fated attitudes. As J. Leyerle describes, he is a hero that “follows a code that exalts indomitable will and valor in the individual.” In fact, the more Beowulf grows as a heroic warrior the more independent and prideful he becomes. And yet, in the midst of this he is pushed towards taking on the role of a king, which is a role he is woefully unfit to take. To lead a people-group requires a willingness to cooperate and a humility that a Beowulfian hero is simply disinclined to have. This disconnect between both ideals is the crux of Beowulf’s journey. While Beowulf assumes both positions, there is a clear distinction between the characteristics of a successful hero and a successful king. Thus, the tale acts as a critique of a heroic culture that values pride and independence by showing the dangerous tendencies that this encourages, and what can happen when a hero is given power and responsibility.
By Ethan Johnson
Acts of war fuel change—changes in foreign and domestic relations, changes in politics, and most often changes in national boundaries. The conquests of Genghis Khan in the 12th and 13th centuries C.E. absorbed such boundary lines into the Mongol Empire, extending his rule from the steppes of Mongolia to the eastern shores of the Black Sea. His reign over such a vast expanse of land and large collection of people was due to his strict military leadership, paired with a powerful army to carry out his will. At the head of his army was a handful of generals who answered to him directly, and obediently followed his orders.
By Hsin-Ta Tsai
First, should the universality of the UDHR be applied to the people of Tibet in the first place, discounting its sociocultural context? To answer this question, we have to consider the appropriateness of having some principles or a set of human rights regulations that all cultures and nations can agree upon, a rather Western cosmopolitan view on international ethical issues. In cosmopolitanism, national borders are morally irrelevant because “a truly moral rule or code will be applicable to everyone.” However, it raises concerns knowing that most of the debates about international ethics come from Western traditions of moral theory.
By Cameron Bunker
The self can be defined as an individual’s experience that one is a separate entity from other beings. This paper will discuss this notion of self, how it is produced linguistically, and its relation to the sense of personal identity.
By Christopher Albert Jacques D'Silva
The advent of globalization has brought about sweeping changes that have left indelible marks on societies. While newfound interconnectedness between cultures, information, and people creates an increasingly homogenized planet in some respects, such trends also have the effect of isolating certain non-members of the so-called “global community.” This residual marginalization has typically affected those who obstinately cling to the past, and those who are simply dubious towards the current state of affairs. For these persons, methods of coping with this social and psychological schism run the gamut from complete denial and delusion, to important modulations of acceptance.