Dictionary of Literary Themes and Motifs: L-Z - Vol. 2

By Jean-Charles Seigneuret | Go to book overview

P

PACIFISM

Ancient and Classical Background

Pacifism is individual abstention from or collective resistance to war. Individualistic pacifism begins as a religious or philosophical theme. In India the Bhagavad (dialogue, c. 200 B.C.) argues pacifism in relation to a divine law of retribution for evil acts. A similar idea of divine judgment underlies the pacifism of Jeremiah in the Old Testament, where Isaiah presents an allegorical vision of a messianic age of peace. This vision becomes apocalyptic in Daniel, which is the basis of Christian imagery in some accounts of the life of Jesus, Matthew 24-25, and his messianic return, Revelation. The "Sermon on the Mount," Matthew 5-7, inspires early Christian sermons against military service; for example, Tertullian "De corona militis" ( "The Chaplet," treatise, c. 211).

In classical Greece pacifism is a comic theme implying fear and selfishness, from the figure of Theristes in HomerIlias ( Iliad, epic, c. 8th century B.C.) and in Batrachomyomachia (The Battle of Frogs and Mice, mock-epic, c. 400 B.C.), through the comedies of Aristophanes, Archanēs (Archanians, 425 B.C.) and Eirēnē (Peace, 421 B.C.), to the Nekrikoi dialogoi ( Dialogues of the Dead, satires, 2d century) of Lucian, whose "Hermes and Charon" complains of the inferior moral quality of death during peace. In Roman literature pacifism is either a despairing protest, as in the figure of Galaeseus in Virgil epic Aeneis ( Aenid, 19 B.C.), or a distant dream, as in Virgil ( Bucolica [Eclogues, 42)- 39 B.C.]) or Horace ( Carmina [ Odes, c. 23 B.C.]).


Medieval and Early Modern Periods

The early medieval genre of hagiography, from Sulpicius Severus' Vita Sancti Martini ( Life of St. Martin of Tours, c. 400) onward, includes many stories of Christian pacifism facing Roman and barbarian violence. Replaced by the Just

-935-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Dictionary of Literary Themes and Motifs: L-Z - Vol. 2
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface xi
  • Introduction xv
  • Bibliography xxii
  • L 691
  • N 885
  • O 929
  • P 935
  • R 1021
  • S 1109
  • Selected Bibliography 1126
  • T 1255
  • U 1333
  • V 1373
  • W 1383
  • Cross-Index 1389
  • Index 1401
  • About the Editors and Contributors 1495
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 1510

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.