Free «Introduction to Humanities» Essay Sample

The functions and purposes of art

Functions of art

Art provides a platform of ideas with which one can interact; one can express his or her ideas in an artistic way the way they want. Art represents the aspirations of the artists who create it. Art stimulates the human senses either towards or away from satisfaction; art can be design that it brings out the best in something, someone or subject or bring the worst side of the same. Art is a source of employment and income; many people (artists) earn a good living of selling their art or exhibiting it. Art portrays and records historical events theoretically thereby enriching society; art provides a way in which the historical events of a society are capture and can be referred to at a later date.

Purposes of art

For a very long time now, art has been used mostly for religious purposes or rituals. For centuries the Church was the primary patron of artists. In traditional societies and communities and/or even today, the primary purpose of art is religious or ceremonial. Art may also be used to commemorate or mark important events. The event may be of major historical importance, such as the coronation of Josephine by Napoleon as recorded by the artist David (Charlotte Jirousek). Art can be used to express imagination. One can express his/her imagination in non-grammatical ways that do not involve the use of spoken or written language.

Comparing and contrasting: cantata, mass, and oratorio

The three events are all based on sacred grounds. In addition all of them revolve around a given story. Comparing the three events, we can define cantata as a sacred composition involving several movements for a single or multiple voices usually accompanied by instruments. While oratorio is a kind of narrative of biblical events which is composed for voices and it's usually accompanied by instruments. Whereas mass is the sacred liturgy in which the last supper of Jesus is celebrated.

Four formal divisions of creative literature

There are several divisions of creative literature but the four most formal divisions are; prose, drama, essay and poetry. Prose is defined as the normal common language presented in a simple and straight forward way. Prose demonstrates purposeful grammatical design in that it is constructed strategically by the author to create specific meaning. Drama offers another classical literary form that has continued to evolve over the years. It is usually aimed at dialogue between characters and theatrical performance rather than reading (Wikipedia). Poetry is an art form in which human language is used for its aesthetic qualities in addition to, or instead of, its notional and semantic content ( It is written in manner that differs from the normal prose. Essay is discussion from the writer's point of view about a specific topic. It usually follows a defined format.

We have learnt that humanities comprises of various disciplines, such as art, music and dance, literature, theatre, architecture, sculpture and history among others. In general I have learnt that for one to be successful, one has to possess the knowledge of a given aspect of humanity. Taking an example such as art, one has to know how to model his or her aspirations or imaginations into a good piece of art. Moreover, history can be used to understand how cultures of societies came into being and how past events took place. The different disciplines of humanities can be used to unite people with a common goal. All these have enabled me to appreciate that humanities are all around us and form a very important part of our day-to-day life.


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