Neil Gaiman is a master of complex allegory, as shown by his Sandman comics. These books are designed to be an elaborate allegory for all human stories — “a story about stories,” as Gaiman puts it. At various points in the series, we see allegorical representations of various religions, historical figures, philosophical ideas, and even pop-culture icons. In the first book, a magician attempts to gain immortality by capturing Death in a magical cage – but he accidentally captures Death’s brother, Dream. Dream comes from a mystical realm in which legends and myths are real, and after his capture he struggles to get back to that realm before it falls into chaos. This is a complex allegory for the relationship between death, dreaming, and human mythology.
If Miller took unknowing liberties with the facts of his own era, he also played fast and loose with the historical record. The general outline of events in The Crucible corresponds to what happened in Salem of 1692, but Miller’s characters are often composites. Furthermore, his central plot device—the affair between Abigail Williams and John Proctor—has no grounding in fact (Proctor was over sixty at the time of the trials, while Abigail was only eleven). Thus, Miller’s decision to set sexual jealousy at the root of the hysteria constitutes a dramatic contrivance.
This is a lecture course presented at the University of Freiburg
during summer semester 1942. The course is split into three parts.
First Heidegger looks for metaphysics in "The Ister",
then he returns to a passage of Sophocles' Antigone he had used,
more briefly, in a 1935 course, Introduction to Metaphysics .
Finally he examines more of "The Ister". Hölderlin's
poems have been translated especially for this book, to help
understand Heidegger's interpretation of the German.