Explain the function of the gravediggers at the beginning of Act V of Hamlet.
The gravediggers are introduced as they are digging a grave for the recently deceased Ophelia. They discuss whether or not she should be buried in the churchyard, as she died by suicide and those who commit suicide are not to be buried in sacred ground. This discussion serves to further one of the main themes of the play--death and mortality--as well as question the morality of suicide in theology. The gravediggers are also an example of a common trope in Shakespeare's plays--the clever commoner who gets the best of his superiors through wordplay and wit. Their dark humor reveals a philosophical discussion about morality and humanity that could be understood by the common people watching Shakespeare's plays.
Define and give an example of each of the three classical appeals.
Logos is an appeal to reasoning or logic, such as using verifiable facts and statistics to support an argument. Pathos is an emotional appeal, such as telling a sad story to inspire sympathy for someone. Ethos is an appeal to ethics or credibility, such as mentioning someone's professional credentials to show that they are an expert on the topic at hand.
Define cultural relativism and explain its importance to anthropology.
Cultural relativism is the practice of viewing the beliefs, traditions, and customs of a culture from that culture's perspective. It is important to anthropology because its prevents ethnographers and anthropologists from engaging in ethnocentrism. Cultural relativists attempt to analyze elements of culture within the context of that society in order to understand why they exist and what their function is.