When that full impact becomes weakened, however, then the original shock and awe can become merely awe. A sense of awe, even without the primal fear, makes for powerful theater. And now we will see that the divine force behind this collective fear is the god of theater himself, Dionysus.
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I proceed to consider the word subjectivity , and I have four things to say about it: In the usage of everyday people, subjectivity is simply the opposite of objectivity. Even in this kind of usage, the word subjectivity is normally treated as the opposite of objectivity.
In the usage of linguists, subjectivity can be analyzed grammatically in terms of person. When I say person here, I mean the first, second, and third persons of personal pronouns and verbs. To what extent, though, is the third person objective? In terms of linguistics, we can say that even the objectivity of the third person depends on the subjectivity of the first and the second persons.
In our dialogue, we may also use nouns for identifying the various persons that mark what we are speaking about. But the objectivity of these identifications of personal pronouns in the third person with corresponding nouns still depends on the subjectivity of the dialogue between the first and the second persons.
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When I or you study such a historical contingency, our own speaking about it may be ultimately subjective, but we can be objective about the contingency to the extent that we can keep ourselves aware of our own historical contingencies. So far, I have said three of the four things I wanted to say about subjectivity with reference to the emotion of fear as reflected in ancient Greek wording and syntax. Now I come to the fourth. When I say persona , I mean not only a dramatic character like, say, the young man Pentheus who is king of Thebes in the tragedy The Bacchic Women or Bacchae composed by Euripides.
But the mutuality of this act of looking at each other is uneven in the ritualized setting of ancient Greek theater. That is because the ultimate model for this mutuality of looking at each other in theater is the god of ancient Greek theater himself, Dionysus, who is seen as the ultimate subjective agent.
The god shows the way. Yes, the god shows the way, and he can do so by wearing a mask himself. By wearing a mask, Dionysus becomes the ultimate agent of subjectivity, the ultimate model for all other agents of subjectivity. That is why Dionysus can be represented in the ancient Greek visual arts as wearing a mask that must be recognized as the ultimate mask, the mask that ends all masks, which is the face of the god himself. I give here an example. It is a line drawing of a terracotta representation of the god Dionysus wearing a mask. The terracotta representation is housed in the Louvre; its provenience is Myrina, and it is dated to the second century BCE.
Mask of Dionysus, found in Myrina now in Turkey. Line drawing by Valerie Woelfel. What we see is the god Dionysus wearing a mask, or, better, wearing a face that is his mask, and this mask is the ultimate mask because it shows the looks of his own face.
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That is the point of such a representation of the god of masks, who is the god of theater. I see here a fusion of emotions: there is fear, and there is also sorrow and anger and hate and love and happiness. Dionysus fuses all emotions into one single primal emotion.
This kind of primal fear is an emotion that transcends all other human emotions. Which brings me to the second of the two conclusions, and it is this: this transcendent emotion of primal fear is the primary emotion of ancient Greek theater, and the emotions of sorrow and anger and hate and love and even of happiness are all secondary to it.
To make this point come alive, I close with the confrontation of Pentheus the king of Thebes with Dionysus the god of theater:. Come out from inside the palace. The way you are shaped, you look just like one of the daughters of Kadmos. I think I see two suns, [ 5 ] and two images of Thebes, the seven-gated polis. And you seem to lead us like a bull , and horns seem to have sprouted on your head. You have certainly now become a bull.
Now you see what it is right for you to see. Oh, but look: this strand of hair [ plokamos ] here is out of place. It stands out, not the way I had secured it underneath the headband [ mitra ]. Come on, hold your head straight. There it is! And those things are not in the right order. I mean, shall I hold the thyrsus with my right hand or with this other one? Which is the way I will look more like a Bacchant?
I approve of the way you have shifted in your thinking. The easiest way to do this is with numbers. You can scale your own fear from 1 to 10, 10 being the most terrified it's possible to be and 1 being the ultimate relaxed state. When you're feeling anxious, ask yourself: "Okay what number on the scale am I right now? I recall the first time I gave a speech to three hundred people. Just before I was about to start, I was feeling more anxious than I would have liked. So I scaled myself at a 6, breathed longer out than in for a few moments, and waited for myself to go down to a 3 before starting.
I took control. Scaling sometimes known as 'grading' your fear puts a 'fence' around it, making it more manageable, and forces you to think. Fear and anxiety thrive when we imagine the worst. We developed imagination to be able to project into the future so we can plan ahead.
However, a side effect of being able to imagine possible positive futures is being able to imagine things going wrong. A bit of this is useful; after all, there really might be muggers or loan sharks. But uncontrolled imagination is a nesting ground for anxiety and fear that can spoil otherwise happy lives. Some people misuse their imagination chronically and so suffer much more anxiety than those who either future-project their imaginations constructively or who don't tend to think about the future much at all.
Anxious, chronic worriers tend to misuse their imaginations to the extent that upcoming events feel like catastrophes waiting to happen.
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No wonder whole lives can be blighted by fear and anxiety. Fear and anxiety can feel as if they 'just happen to us', but we have much more control than we realize. AWARE is an acronym standing for:. W : Watch the anxiety. Just watch it and when you notice it, scale your level of fear and start to breathe longer on the out-breath.
A : Stands for 'Act normally'. Carry on talking or behaving as if nothing is different. This sends a powerful signal to your unconscious mind that its over-dramatic response is actually not needed because nothing that unusual is going on.
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Like fire fighters coming out and seeing that no emergency is happening and so going back to the fire station. E : Expect the best. One of the greatest feelings in life is the realization that you can control fear much more than you thought possible. Overcoming fear and anxiety will give you the 'spare capacity' in life to focus on what you really want to be and do.
It takes effort, but imagine the rewards. Founding their psychology training company Uncommon Knowledge in , Mark and Roger started Hypnosis Downloads in Skip to Main Content. Members Login Register Help? My Cart 0 items.
4 Healthy Ways to Face Your Fears
Hello, what can we help you with? Home Hypnosis Audios Please choose a category below Learn these 5 powerful allies against anxiety and enjoy life again "5 Sure-fire Ways to Overcome Fear and Anxiety Today" courtesy of Genista. It is said that Nasruding tales contain many different levels of meaning which can transcend the obvious moral. Read more Anxiety Treatment articles:.