Prometheus, Daedalus or Jesus? Remembrance of an elementary school teacher in the 19th century in Hungary


  • Gabriella Baska Pensa MultiMedia Editore


In Hungary, the second half of the 19th century was the time for the wide spread of public education and the initiation of compulsory school attendance. This led to the emergence of a new role in the society, that of elementary school teacher. In my research, I was keen to examine the characteristics of the teacher figure formed in the minds of the contemporaries,as well as the traditional idea about being a teacher, and the traces of the new conceptual
framework in this modernising and professionalized occupation. I conducted a metaphor analysis on texts of 1898 and 1906 – the years of the 25-year jubilee and the death of a particular teacher – and found that instead of modernising, they depicted the well-known heroes of ancient myths. Eulogizing people portrayed the teacher in various sacrale roles, such as ’the apostle of Christ’, ’an evangelistic man’ who ’was building the realm of God’and a mourning person even stated that ’He is not here. He was resurrected!’.