Essay Example About Humanism 2020
When we think of humanism, we think of the focus on the action of human beings. In the Greek culture, there is a grand event called the Olympics, which started in 776 BCE (Reznik, 2017, pp. 96). The Greeks loved these competitions so much they have spawned a collection of paintings, poems, and sculptures inspired by them. One of the famous Greek sculptures is from Myron, a Greek god, called “Discobolus.” It is recognized by its style of stance, portrayal of nudism, and the athlete who is about to throw a discus. The artistic form of Discobolus has represented athleticism and male dominance in Greece.
Discobolus depicted a strong and undaunted athlete that Greeks admire from the spectators. It was created during the Classical Greek era in the 5th Century BCE (Sooke). The way it represented humanism to the Greeks is something Adolf Hitler has valued as referenced in a BBC article by Alastair Sooke. It has listed what the sculpture had embodied. “Ideals of harmony, athletic vigour and beauty” (Sooke). Think of it as how we idolize celebrities and athletes in the present day. More importantly to the Greeks, it was to “overcome their everyday life, their worries, and their utilitarian pursuits through sport” (Reznik, 2017, pp. 95).
Greeks were passionate watching athletes compete against each other. Athletes showcased their strengths for the crowd’s amusement as well as their own natural bodies. For the sport of discus, “they considered the rhythm and precision of an athlete throwing the discus as important as his strength” (“Ancient”). To compliate from the statement, Myron’s Discobolus and its form connects with the Greeks as they find values of timing, accuracy, and physical strength with strong importance as they throw the discus in front of thousands of people. Also, it allows us to use our minds and think especially when it comes to throwing an object in the competition. As Myron’s masterpiece is put on display, the Greeks and eventually anyone will be glorified by the athlete’s strength and agility eternalized in stone.
Within the sculpture’s plethora of details, there is a significant effect of humanism when it comes to what the athlete is holding: the discus. Looking at the marble sculpture’s technique of throwing a round disk has a strong connection to the Greeks. “In the Discobolus, he innovated by capturing an athlete mid-action. To do this, he (Myron) employed a powerful, spiralling composition, implying a payload of pent-up energy” (Sooke). As Sooke’s BBC article has stated, the sculpture builds up anticipation as it is crafted in mid-action form.
The sculpture is expressed with potential energy coming from his posing. It can also symbolize the excitement and tension that comes with it. A journal from Edward Starhan gives us a detailed examination. “[His] form is writhing all over with the curves and tensions of [his] muscular power… The dragging of the left foot [complicating] the front aspect… assists the idea of moving forward. The bending of the toes under this foot [also adds on to its] intense and almost ungraceful realism” (Starhan, 1879, pp. 72). Strahan’s details emphasizes Myron’s attention to detail on how an athlete settles himself before throwing a discus and gaining momentum.
Another example of the sculpture’s human impact is ideal portrayal of nudism. A Greek named Pausanias believes that nudity is pivotal when competing. “They were naked to distinguish them from women making it a mark on their rank… enabling athletes to show their complete control over their bodies” (Crowther, 1973, pp. 92). Nudity in the Olympics has showed importance to the Greeks for these following reasons. “Nudity bespeaks a rite of passage, was a holdover from the days of hunting and gathering, had a magical power to ward off harm, and [it] was a kind of costume of the upper class" (Young and Abrahams). To summarize from the source, nudism is hold in high regard similar to how the precision and strength in throwing a discus is appreciated.
In conclusion, Myron’s Discobolus and its artistic form impacted humanism and society through its representation of male dominance and athleticism in Greek culture. Although the pose can appear unnatural, it captures the spirit of the sport and why the Greeks love these events. The Greeks enjoyed watching the athletes compete and showing their skills. We appreciate the sports and games we watch or participate in today as much as the Greeks did thousands of years ago. It is also unfortunate that the original sculpture is lost and copies of Discobolus have been made according to Sooke. Overall, this sculpture has a special significance with its respected culture.
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