Myths, controversial stories, and issues with twists and double meanings catch my attention and force me to want to know more. I am extremely interested in the unexplainable things in life. My mother received an e-mail concerning the mythology behind the European nursery rhymes from a colleague. Being the anti-internet junkie that she is, my mom disregarded the e-mail.
A few mornings later, on her way to school her attention was turned to the Bob and Sherry radio show. The topic they were discussing was the European nursery rhymes and the myths behind them. They told the background information on the nursery rhymes that many of us never knew. My mom knowing that I would be very interested told me about the radio show. Days passed and I thought nothing more about what she had told me. I was in 1 st block, English IV, when the teacher gave an assignment for a research paper on our choice of subject.
I automatically knew what I would write about. Not only do I get to research a topic that I was already interested in, but also I am being graded on something I already wanted to do. I decided to add information about the bubonic plague to my research, seeing how the nursery rhyme, “Ring Around the Rosies”, is focused on the plague; which makes the subject all the more controversial. Many people have many different stories that were told to them as children about what the nursery rhyme is about. The important issue, however, is not which version of the myth is correct, but whether or not you want your children singing this morbid nursery rhyme; or is the depth of the nursery rhyme simply a myth? “Plague was a term that was used in the Middle Ages to describe fatal epidemic diseases, but now it is only applied to an infectious, contagious disease of rodents and humans” (Rice).
(Prompt) Prometheus Prometheus, the Titan of Greek mythology, was considered to be the most important Titan ever in all the myths. He helped the human race tremendously in his efforts to sustain an easier lifestyle. Mankind had great respect for him because of his advantages and gifts or abilities he gave them. Also, his battle against Zeus as a result of his love for man was very much ...
In humans, plague occurs in three forms: bubonic plague, pneumonic plague, and septicemic plague. The best-known form is the bubonic plague and it is named after buboes, or enlarged, inflamed lymph nodes. The Bubonic Plague is a fatal bacterial infection. The plague causes swollen lymph nodes, high fever, and chills (Kugler).
The infected person could acquire pneumonia, blood poisoning, and meningitis (Rice).
The Nursery Rhyme “Ring Around The Rosies” is said to be about children who suffered from the Bubonic Plague (Archibald).
These children sang a song about their state and many other children passed the song on. There are many versions of the rhyme, all having something to do with death. The cause of the Black Death, Bubonic Plague, is the bacterium Yersinia pestis. The bacterium is passed from an infected rat to a non-infected rat by being bitten by a flea. The fleabites the infected rat and the germ moves into and lives in the flea’s stomach.
The flea’s stomach becomes filled with the bacterium. The flea can no longer digest blood. When it bites a human, rat or another animal, the flea throws up into the bite causing the victim to become infected with Bubonic Plague. The rat will die from the germ, but not before being bitten by another non-infected flea. This flea can then start the cycle over again.
After all of the rats die in a burrow, the bacteria can lie dormant until more rats move into the infected burrows. These new rats will become infected transmit the disease to the flea and the flea will pass it to the humans (Kugler).
During the 1300’s, the Bubonic plague spread quickly mainly due to the infestation of rats on which the disease-transmitting flea liked to feed. The infestation of rats was because of the lack of sanitary conditions. The human waste was dumped into open sewers, as was the non-eaten food. Bathes were not taken often for various reasons one being that it was believed that by washing their skin that it would open pores, which was one belief of how the disease entered into the person.
WzDD's HSC Info: 2 Unit Related English: John Donne The Flea Marke but this flea, and make in this, How little that which thou deny " st me is; Me it suck'd first, and now sucks thee, And in this flea our two bloods mingled bee; Confesse it, this cannot be said A sinne, or shame, or lose of maidenhead, Yet this enjoyed before it wood, And pamper'd swells with one blood made of two, And this, alas, ...
After being bit by the infectious rodent, the victim will show symptoms within four to six days. After the human is infected the bacterium moves through the bloodstream to the lymph nodes. The lymph nodes become enlarged and painful. During this time a fever starts to develop and headache, chills and unbearable exhaustion follow.
As the untreated bacterium continues to develop in the bloodstream a severe blood infection develops known as septicemic plague. This blood infection causes bleeding under the skin, which will look dark purple or black, the dried blood under the skin causes this. This bleeding and drying of the blood under the skin is how the Bubonic Plague became known as the Black Death (Kugler).
“There are still one thousand to two thousand cases of the Bubonic Plague each year in the world. Australia and Europe do not have any documented cases of the plague.
There are known cases in Russia, the Mid-east, China Southwest and Southeastern Asia, Madagascar, Southern and Eastern Africa, Southwest United States, the Andes Mountains and Brazil” (Kugler).
In the past, the treatment for the Bubonic Plague was more damaging to the patient than help. Bleeding was a common practice during these days, a patient was bled near the heart to remove the hot blood before it could recirculate through the body and cause more infection. Now, as soon as the victim is diagnosed with the Bubonic Plague, treatment should begin. “Symptoms are treated with antibiotics, such as: streptomycin or tetracycline” (Kugler).
There is also a vaccination available for people working in or traveling to plague-affected areas of the world (Kugler).
The bubonic plague can be prevented. Reducing the risk of plague outbreaks would require: Controlling the rat population, watching for plague cases in both rats and humans in the area, using insecticide to reduce the number of fleas, and treating pets for fleas (Kugler).
There have been many diseases reported historically such as small pox, measles and typhoid but none were as horrendous as Black death. In order to understand the devastation of this disease we must the effects it had on the political, economical and social structures of medieval Europe. The Black Death first appeared in Europe in 1347 when a boat filled with dead and dying people docked at Messina ...
Bubonic plague has killed over 50 million people over the centuries. There have been three major outbreaks of bubonic plague in history. The first outbreak is known as the Plague of Justinian (542-543).
It killed 70, 000 in the city of Constantinople in just two years. Towards the end of the period, 10, 000 people a week died from the disease. The plague followed trade routes to France and Italy. Smaller outbreaks took place for an additional 52 years. Before this time, bubonic plague had been unknown in the Mediterranean. The Byzantine emperor Justinian, who ruled from 527 to 565, was attempting to reestablish the Roman Empire and was close to completing his dream.
The outbreak of plague destroyed his dream. The consequences of the Plague of Justinian are extensive. Justinian’s efforts to reunite imperial Rome failed in a large part to the decrease in imperial resources caused by plague. The failure of Roman and Persian forces to resist Moslem armies in 634 happened because of the decrease in the population in the Mediterranean coastlines from 542 onward. Also, the shift of the center of European culture from the Mediterranean to Northern Europe occurred because of the long series of outbreaks that destroyed the territories within easy reach of Mediterranean ports. Smaller outbreaks occurred up until 1340 (Rice).
The second major outbreak of bubonic plague, and the most devastating, occurred in Europe in 1346 to 1350. Known as the “Black Death”, bubonic plague spread across Asia and Europe. It began with the siege of Kaffa, a cathedral town on the Crimean coast. The Tartars, lead by Jani berg Khan carried the disease from Asia to Kaffa when they laid siege to it. The residents of Kaffa who fled on ships carried the plague with them to Europe. By the end of 1348, plague covered all of Italy and most of France.
It crossed over the Alps, and it spread to Switzerland. England was reached in August, and it spread to Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, and most of Germany. By 1351, the Black Death reached Russia. The Black Death killed about 1/3 of the population of Europe, or 25 million people.
In four years it resulted in more deaths than the Plague of Justinian did in fifty. Government, trade, and commerce in Europe almost came to an end. The Black Death caused the depopulation of about 1, 000 villages in England. There was a drastic reduction of the amount of land under development due to the death of many laborers. This ruined many landowners. The Black Death created an obsession with death and the afterlife.
The Black Death World know Tragedy The Black Plague was an epidemic that occurred in 1347. The plague ravaged and destroyed the Far East. After time it destroyed the outskirts of Easter Europe. For months Europe was disturbed from everything trying to escape the claws of the plague. After destroying Europe it rapidly spread to North Africa, Germany, Scandinavia, France and many other neighboring ...
The Roman Catholic Church lost some of its influence as people moved to mysticism and other spiritual expressions. Jews were blamed for the plague and were massacred. Also, public health institutions came into being because of efforts to stop the spread of the plague (Rice).
There were recurrences of the plague in 1361 to 1363, 1369 to 1371, 1390, and 1400. Another big outbreak was the Great Plague of London in 1665, which killed 17, 440 out of the total population of 93, 000.
A fire that burned most of the city ended the outbreak. The third major outbreak of bubonic plague in history began in Manchuria in 1890, reaching San Francisco in 1900. By the time the plague had begun to die out, it killed 12, 597, 789 people, primarily in India and Asia (Rice).
Each of the lines of the nursery rhyme has a particular meaning that refers to the Bubonic Plague.
Ring Around the Rosies is the red ring of blood clots around the fleabite when the victim, in this case a child, becomes infected with the Bubonic Plague. Pocket Full of Posies is tied to how people would carry around posies, flowers, to hide the smell of the infected and the dead. Ashes, Ashes refers to how the people would burn the infected bodies to try get rid of the smell from the air and to keep from being infected. We All Fall Down is how everyone who became infected with Bubonic Plague died.
Another meaning to the Ashes, Ashes line of the rhyme is a more detailed, scientific reasoning of the line. In the final stages of the plague, just prior to death, the aviolae sacs in the lungs rupture and the lungs begin to be coated with blood, which then clots and dries. Right before the poor victim’s time runs out, they will often have a prolonged coughing fit during which they cough up flecks and particles of the dried “black”-appearing blood from their lungs. This was given the name “ashes” by the doctors of the time, who had no idea of how the lungs worked and no way to analyze the “ashes” that seemed to spew from the dying patients’ mouths and define them as a blood product (Opie).
... of Europe's people. This epidemic is known as the Black Death, or the Bubonic Plague. The plague was carried ... someone was infected they would bled them from the heart to get the over heated blood out before ... Ring a-round the rosy Pocket full of posies Ashes, ashes! We all fall down! Ring around the rosy: ... posies: used to stop odor of rotting bodies. Ashes, ashes: the church would burn the dead. We all ...
Does that sound like something you would want your child to sing about? The Bubonic Plague affected many to all areas of the world and affected not only people, but also economies, beliefs and lifestyles altogether. Whole countries suffered for decades and went through reconstruction for years after.
The plague is not nearly as serious or as deadly as it was before, but it still occurs and there is still a chance that people will die from it. The Bubonic Plague was not something happy to sing about. It was serious and tragic and took innocent people, including children’s lives. I, personally, will never sing “Ring Around The Rosies” again without thinking of the millions of people who were killed by the plague. If a mother, I would prefer that my child not sing of such a morbid case. However, the decision lies in the hands of the mother and the subject is still a controversy to this day..