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Tripp Bond is a sophomore history major from Meridian. Perfection is a goal all of us strive for, whether or not we know it.

PHILOSOPHY - Albert Camus

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Forgotten Password? Fill the forms bellow to register. I'm not going into the details, but it's a pretty cool myth and you can find out more on here. Thing is, although Sisyphus was smart enough to trick the gods he was also dumb enough to think that this could be a good idea. When he finally died, a whole fan club was anxiously waiting for him to arrive at the underworld. And the greek gods are kind of human, you know?

That's why we do Agile Retrospectives, right?

They're flawed and do a lot of mistakes all the time. Do you know what else is a human desire that these gods also have in their hearts? Ok, so they were decided to make an example out of Sisyphus. He was going to receive the worst punishment ever. What could be even worse? After thinking about the subject for a little time, the greek gods came to a simple conclusion: the worst punishment you can ever give to a human is forcing them to do some purposeless task over and over again.

Sisyphus was condemned to push a rock over a huge hill for the rest of the eternity. But there's a catch: besides being purposeless, the task would never end. Every time Sisyphus would came close to top of the hill the rock would roll down and he had to start it all over again. Okay, fun story. Maybe not for Sisyphus, but you got the point.

In celebration of open dialogue - El Tecolote

Now you're probably asking me: what the hell does it have to do with agile? A lot. Sometimes companies hire the smartest guys on earth and give them rocks to push over a hill. And sometimes, they even make them do it over and over again. It's sounds kind of sadistic, isn't it?

A Six-Figure Celebration and Shrug

I'll pay you a salary so I can apply the worst punishment ever to you every day. Well, it's one of the reasons, yes. But what if the retrospective itself became a purposeless meeting where we complain about the same things every sprint? The whole point about retrospectives is improving. Caligula is presented in the ancient historical accounts as an insane tyrant and it is this concept that most artistic interpretations of the Emperor have adhered to.

Camus' Caligula is rather in the grip of the Absurd realization and following it to its ultimate and logical conclusion. And that is what I detest in him, that he knows what he wants'. This sense of consciously challenging the traditional portrayal of Caligula is heightened by Camus' use of notorious moments of tyrannical excess from Suetonius' chapter on the Emperor. Bastien describes Caligula as the meeting of the absolute power of an individual with absolute powerlessness over the human condition.

It can be seen broadly as a theatrical device, used by Camus to remove any practical limitations on an individual's response to the Absurd. Yet as with the case of Greece, the choice of Rome and its implications cannot be viewed as incidental or arbitrary but rather as central to Camus' literary intentions.

It remains important to recognize that Caligula's complex characterization must be located firmly in the context of Camus' reception of Rome.

Caligula does not feel that he is a tyrant. When Scipio identifies him as one he responds: A tyrant is a man who sacrifices the nation to his ideas or to his ambition. I have no ideas and I have nothing to aspire for in terms of honours and power. Caligula is both Emperor and Artist. His vision is to demonstrate the Absurd to his subjects with a vast performance of which murder is only a part. Within this there are a number of smaller performances and spectacles and his artistic talents are considerable.

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He dances, plays the part of Venus and is Scipio's equal in poetic composition. Much as he denies his own tyranny, Caligula's actions still resemble those of a totalitarian ruler. Bastien comments on the anger and violence with which Caligula addresses to his subjects at times in the play. In all the Roman Empire, here am I, the only free man. Tomorrow, there will be catastrophe, and I will stop the catastrophe when it pleases me … After all, I do not have so many ways to prove that I am free.

Caligula may be doing what he dreamed of doing and everything which is dreamed is happening. He is transforming his philosophy into corpses and, unfortunately for us, it is an uncontested philosophy.

Sisyphus and the Rock: Lessons of Life | Notes from Aztlán

No, Caligula is not dead, he is in each one of you. If you were given the power, if you had the courage, if you loved life, you would see this monster or this angel that you carry within you break loose. Camus specifically rejected a reading of the play that linked the figure of Caligula to the rise of the European dictatorships.

In the choice of Rome as a setting, Camus includes a critique of a society that knowingly and willingly permitted absolute power to be granted to an individual.


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In the play's early scenes the Patricians discuss how previously they have been successful in manipulating the young Emperor, who lacked the confidence to rule absolutely. This is presented as the political status quo that Caligula's Absurd realization disrupts.

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There is no sense of Caligula's power being atypical; it is only his exercise of it that creates discord. He can play the roles of artist, teacher, dictator, and god because his power allows him the absolute freedom to do so. The most strikingly totalitarian aspect of Camus' play is not Caligula himself but rather the Roman world he occupies. Rome is presented as a world in which authoritarian leadership has always been the accepted form of government. Sisyphus recognizes and embraces the absurdity of existence yet sees a way to live with this knowledge. Caligula focuses on the crushing lack of meaning the Absurd represents yet he is not presented as being wrong.

He is lucid about the constraints of the human condition rather refusing to face them.