Page 1

2009

Matt Cox

British Literature Portfolio


Table of Contents A Modest Proposal The Lady of Shalott Application Paper Research Paper


A Modest Proposal On The Shortage of Priests

By Matt Cox and Joe Sizemore Period 7 1/19/08


A Modest Proposal on The Shortage of Priests

How distressing it is to imagine going to mass to only find out that there is not an available priest to do the sermon. As Catholics we take for granted the priests who help our union with God run more smoothly, however this could come to a halting stop with the local problem of shortage of priests. This growing concern is one not often thought upon by members of your liturgy. This problem is still on the downturn and doesn’t look promising anytime soon. This has forced changes in churches all around Indianapolis, with thousands of people being affected. To combat this problem the archdiocese has proposed parishes sharing priests and even possibly shutting down an entire parish on the east side of Indianapolis. This continuing concern can be fixed with the right strategy. I would propose a new approach to the problems arising from the shortage of priests. It is universally agreed upon that the shortage of priests is not a light matter. To come up with a brilliant strategy would be very honorable in the church and worthy of great mention. My strategy is to change the prerequisites required to become a priest. To become a priest is a grueling adventure that no decent human being should have to put up with to serve the Lord. Priests are required to undertake many oaths to join the priesthood and maybe these require too much of a sacrifice. I would propose allowing priests to get married, what’s the harm in that? If anything it could be a possibility that this priest will have kids and some of his kids might be priests. This proposal would make more adults open to the vocation of priesthood and might even produce more priests. Tradition is often considered cause for not changing the church, but I say the only real tradition is the tradition of change.


With men being able to marry and have a family this would vastly increase the number of priests, but this still would not give the church enough priests that it would need to combat this growing problem of shortage. So I propose making more change and bringing a new direction to the church and the vocations associated with it. I would allow women to become priests, this would catapult the number of priests around the United States and abroad. As a result of this there would be an unheard of amount of women helping around the church. Mary was a woman and she took care of Jesus, how is the priesthood any different? I am assured by women around the United States that this would be a great proposal for the Catholic Church. With these two solutions to the problem, we could end the shortage fairly quickly, but why stop there? Why not do something else that would benefit even more than allowing women to become priests and allowing priests to get married. I propose giving criminals the decision to choose jail time or the vocation of priesthood. The vocation of priesthood would almost certainly turn the lives around of thousands of criminals and give them a great alternative to jail time. With this increase in priests it would help out the archdiocese and also help out society by giving back the citizens who benefit society. It also will help with keeping criminals from being repeat criminals making the world a safer, more holy place for all different sorts of people. This is a proposal that could benefit all of our society.


Matt Cox Per. 7 April 21, 2009

The Lady of Shalott Once upon a time, on the island of Shalott, there was a river lined with trees and long fields of barley and rye. The river led all the way to the land of Camelot. It was always crowded with barges making their way to Camelot. Next to the river were large towers. She sang out of the windows, but only the reapers in the barley fields could hear her. While she was in the tower, she wove her magic web of many colors. She looked into the mirror that hung in her room. She can see the highway that leads all the way to Camelot. Every day she sees people on their way to Camelot, but she never sees a knight to come get her out of the tower. One day, a knight came by the tower. He was wearing his armor and riding on his noble steed. The Lady of Shalott yelled down to him,� The curse is come upon me.� The Lady of Shalott stepped away from her loom and made her way down to the river. She got in a boat and sailed toward Camelot, following the knight. While she was on her way she started singing. She sang until her blood froze and she died.


Matt Cox Per. 7 9.03.2008

Ever since I was young, it was my dream to play football in college. I grew up watching college football every weekend. I made up my mind from a young age that I was going to play football in college. Now, my priorities have changed. I no longer want to play football in college. I want to play baseball. I have also realized that college is not all about playing in the national championship. I have realized that I need college to accomplish all the more important things in life. College is important to get the job that I need to be able to be successful in life. When I attend college, I want to major in either Sports Management or Web Design. The difference between getting a college education and not getting one is night and day. If I didn’t receive an education, I would have fewer opportunities than I would have if I went to college. This is one of the reasons why I think going to college is so important. I think I could get a lot out of one of these two majors. I enjoy sports so much that I would like to be around them for the rest of my life. I know now that Sports Management is not only about sports. It also about taking control of a team or an organization and making sure everything is going as planned. I want to be able to do that after college. Another reason I want to attend college is I will receive a higher paying job. I want to be able to grow up and have a family. I want my family to have unlimited resources so they can have the same opportunities that I had. I want to have a good job that pays well so I will be able to support my family. That is one of the most important things to me. I want my family to be supported so they can do whatever they want in life.


Now that senior year has come around, I have realized that high school really does matter. I look back on the past three years and wish I could take back every second. While I have made many good decisions about life, I have made bad decisions about school and my future. I have gone through high school thinking I could get by and I would be okay. I did not study for tests and I only did homework when I felt like it. If I could go back and change all that I would. There is no time for the past, though. I need to look to the future and figure out what I am going to do with my life. I have matured so much in just the past year. I now know that I want to have a sense of accomplishment when I get out of college. I want to be able to look back and say that I gave it my all and I did all I could do. If I attend college, it would be a huge step to accomplishing that goal. I would have so many more opportunities because I went to college and I would be much happier because I would have the job that I wanted. It would be hard to get the job that you would like if you did not attend college. These days businesses are looking for the most qualified people to be a part of their business. Going to college would make it so much easier to get that job that I have always wanted. There are many reasons why I want to attend college and receive a good education. The most important, though, is so my family can live a happy life and will not be limited just because I made the choice not to go to college. While it would be nice to be able to have a fancy house and a nice car, and all of those other things that come with having a good job, that is not why I am looking to go to college. I am doing it for my family, so that they may have the same opportunities that I had.


British Literature Portfolio [Type the document subtitle] Matt Cox 1/1/2009


Beowulf and its Influences on the World The story of Beowulf has been around for many years. The story has been translated several times throughout the centuries. Beowulf is one of the greatest and most well known poems about the nobility of being a hero. The epic poem has had a major impact on the world since it was written. The themes that consist in the story of Beowulf are still very important to many cultures in the world today. The different aspects in the story have had a lasting effect on the world for many centuries. There is no doubt that the story of Beowulf has and always will have a huge impact on the world for many years to come. The story of Beowulf is not only based on events in history, but also, the roots of the Anglo-Saxon religion. The Anglo-Saxon literature is the oldest of the English literature (Beowulf and the Roots of Anglo-Saxon Poetry). The Anglo-Saxons are believed to be the Germanic tribes that migrated to Western Europe (Beowulf and the Roots of Anglo-Saxon Poetry). When they moved, the Germanics brought their literature with them. They believed it was an important way to preserve their heritage (Beowulf and the Roots of Anglo-Saxon Poetry). Many stories, including Beowulf, were written to carry on the history of the Anglo-Saxons. Their poetry satisfied the AngloSaxon’s needs. Poetry was a means of entertainment, a way of stating their beliefs, and a way to preserve their history (Beowulf and the Roots of Anglo-Saxon Poetry). There are many themes from Beowulf that come from the Anglo-Saxon time period. The Anglo-Saxons strongly believed protecting their people. Another important aspect was heroism. In Germanic history, the kings were strong leaders that put their people before themselves. In


Beowulf, King Hrothgar was a great king that had one major downfall. He did not know how to protect his people from the dangers that were around them. This was a focal point in AngloSaxon writing. They pointed out the king’s weaknesses. On the other hand, Beowulf was a small leader that knew how to protect his people very well. This is one of the main reasons why Hrothgar called upon Beowulf to help fight Grendel. Beowulf was such a good leader because he possessed all the important qualities. He was above all others around him. He also was honest and loyal. He was loyal to his king and to his people. Beowulf was also honest in his daily life (Beowulf and the Roots of Anglo-Saxon Poetry). There is not a lot of transcripts or even proof of transcripts from the Anglo-Saxon period. There are only 30,000 lines of Anglo-Saxon poetry that are in existence. Those 30,000 lines come from only four Anglo-Saxon poems (Beowulf and the Roots of Anglo-Saxon Poetry). Beowulf is undoubtedly the most well-known piece from those four poems. Many believe it is the best of all time. Many others question whether or not it was the best in the Anglo-Saxon era (Beowulf and the Roots of Anglo-Saxon Poetry). The first known transcript of Beowulf was written in, what scholars believe to be, around 1000 A.D. The story of Beowulf, however, had been passed down for many generations. Beowulf was originally told around the seventh or eighth century (Streissguth 15). While the author of Beowulf is not known, many believe that the story was written down by the scribes of that time, seeing as how they were the only people that knew how to read and write, let alone translate. The story is believed to have originated in the Germanic tribes. Over the years, it was passed down from generation to generation. Over these years, the story was changed in order to tie in with the religion of that time.


Because there have been so many changes to the story, Beowulf has been very hard for scholars to translate (Streissguth 10). There is little known about the ancient Germanic languages. This is also another factor that has gone into the trouble of translating Beowulf. It has nearly incomprehensible for many years. The language was difficult to interpret because of the lack of information that was known about the early Germanic language. Scholars did not know what year the poem was written or exactly what language the story was in. “Thonne heoru bunden, hamere gethruen, sweord swate fah swin ofer helme ecgum dyhtig andweard scireth”, simply meant, “when wrought sword, forged under hammer, the iridescent blade, blood-wet, cuts through enemy’s boar-guard, an edge ever firm” (The Style and Structure of Beowulf 2). When the poem was finally translated into English, Beowulf was recorded in the Nowell Codex, named after the English collector Lawrence Nowell. He was the first-known owner of the transcript (Streissguth 17). The story of Beowulf has been very confusing for many readers. The events that go on in the poem are hard to get a good grasp of. They are difficult to comprehend because readers in this time period do not understand the life style of the ancient, medieval people. Those who are patient enough to read the poem, and understand what it means are rewarded. Beowulf is a “witness to the past and to the thoughts and fears of people living at the dawn of medieval civilization” (Streissguth 8). Beowulf is a way for readers to understand the ways of the past that cannot be duplicated by monuments and churches (Streissguth 9). Since the poem of Beowulf has been written, the story has been very popular. Beowulf has been tuned into countless movies and plays. With all of these movies and plays came many different versions of the poem. Two identical versions of the story are very hard to find. The story changed over thousands of years because it was spread by word of mouth. Many of the


ancient people did not know how to read or write, so they told the story over there long journeys. People changed the story in many ways to make the story more interesting. Because of this, find it hard to tell what the original Beowulf was like. All that is known about the story is that Beowulf had a lasting effect on the world for many years. Beowulf has been able to stay around because of the subject: heroism. The story has been a huge part of cultures all over the world. Beowulf is probably the most well-known story about the nobility of being a leader and a hero. Beowulf tells the story of Vikings and the Norwegian way of life at that time. The events in the story, however, do not follow a certain order or do not really go together. The events are scattered all over to help emphasize the warrior characteristic (The Style and Structure of Beowulf 1). The poem is about a man that was far superior to everyone else. He was a great Viking and an even better leader. He led his men to fight an evil monster that had been terrorizing King Hrothgar’s mead hall. Grendel was a very dangerous monster that had killed many men. Beowulf had the courage to go to the hall and fight Grendel, a battle which he later won. Beowulf was appointed by Hrothgar in re-payment to Beowulf’s strength, courage, and great leadership. Over the years, as the times changed, people started to have a different view of the warrior. He used to be viewed as a rough person that killed many people. Beowulf was one of the first stories to view a warrior a kind and gentle, yet courageous hero. Many new religions came into play over the centuries. The Anglo-Saxon religion and Christian religion had major impacts on the story. Many of which scholars believe was good for the evolution of the story (Streissguth 83). The Anglo-Saxons believed that a warrior was to fight in order to protect his honor and to please God.


There are many other themes in Beowulf that have lived on with the story. Some of those themes are the virtue of vengeance, the mysterious workings of fate, and a virtuous hero. In the Germanic world, people thought it was terrible to be humiliated. They looked down upon humility and sacrifice (Streissguth 78). The Germanic people “valued courage in battle, loyalty to their kin and their chieftains, and the righting of wrongs by personal vengeance� (Streissguth 78). In the story of Beowulf, the mother of Grendel tries to get her vengeance on Beowulf for killing her son. She attacks Beowulf and tries to kill him. Also in the story, Hrothgar wants to get his vengeance on Grendel for destroying his hall and eating his men. The role of fate has a big part in the story. The pagan based their lives on fate. The events that happened were God’s doings and He wanted them to happen. No one could escape their fate no matter how challenging it was. Beowulf stands up against that fate. He knows it will end up killing him, but he does it because he knows that it is the right thing to do. Finally, there is a virtuous hero. Both religions believed that there was a hero in the story. Beowulf was the hero in the story. He stood up for what he believed in, even though his actions went against the teachings. This is the same thing with Christ. The Christians believed that Jesus was put to death because he did what he believed was right. This shows the similarity between the story and the religious influences. The story of Beowulf has been around for many centuries. The story has been passed down through many generations. Beowulf has traveled through many countries over those many years. The story has changed, but the impact has not. The story is a major focal point in many societies today. Of the many themes and elements in the story of Beowulf, the element of


heroism has to be the most important and influential on the world today. The element of heroism is a very important thing in the world. Everybody wants to be the hero and wants to do what is right. We can get a better understanding of this by looking at the story of Beowulf.

Matt Cox's British Literature Portfolio  

matt coxs british literature portfolio

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