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PURITY AND CIVILITY

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Introduction

PURITY AND CIVILITY Both in "The Praise of Folly" by Desiderius Erasmus and "Of Cannibals" by Michel de Montaigne-relating to the common point to which attention is tried to be drawn-inquiry of true civility with regards to the Nature and its necessity according to certain circumstances are substantiated. First of all,Erasmus stating "Truly,to destroy the illusion is to upset the whole play.The masks and costumes are precisely what hold the eyes of the spectators." Aspires to put forward the idea that there is a definite pact between people-which can be rather called as a concious illusion-on wearing veils of wisdom,called roles just as if they were performing a play.Under these veils,probably lies something much more different than what is seen on the stage;a virtuous man may be a wretched being or a king may be a beggar in fact. Just like this case,in "Of Cannibals",Michel de Montaigne implies ironically by the statement: "All this is not too bad-but what's the use?They don't wear breeches." That although costumes or breeches,which are taken as a token for civility,may turn out to be just the opposite.They are veils under which true identities and intentions are concealed.However,then the question what makes a person sensible-in other words both natural and spontaneous in manners is aroused.Montaigne ...read more.

Middle

aspires for wisdom and for the sake of it he spoils the purity of the Nature.No artifice is capable of of matching to the beauty and the originality of the Nature itself.All efforts to imitate the Nature and by this way to gain wisdom are bound to end in failure - in other words they are imperfect. "All things,says Plato,are produced by nature,by fortune,or by art;the greatest and most beautiful by one or the other of the first two,the least and most imperfect by the last." Hence,the motto that wisdom - artifices as the by-products of it - only renders man to get away from Nature,which in addition alienates him to humanly feelings but makes him a selfish and destructive being is argued in both "Of Cannibals" and "The Praise of Folly". "Therefore,just asamong mortals those men who seek wisdom are furthest from happiness - indeed,they are fools twice over because,forgetting the human condition to which they were born,they aspire to the life of the immortal gods and wage war against Nature with the engines of learning - so too,the least miserable among men are those who come closest to the level of intelligence (that is,the folly) ...read more.

Conclusion

called a madman,whose only guilt is waking the people from their illusion?What he causes will only create an uneasiness among the majority - as although what he says is true,he defies to run with the herd;therefore he is to be called a madman.Everyone is supposed to overlook the faults in order to perform the play of life remaining content with it. Yet,the essay "Of Cannibals" makes a contrast with this opinion to a some extent as the natives in the newly discovered land do not have neither any social norms nor any social institutions.They live simply,not distorted with any kind of artifice,although they live as uncivilized people - which is called by the modern man with respect to the rules of reason and manners - they never offend their origin,which is the Nature and perhaps live more civilly than modern man with regards to their purity. In conclusion,it is to be confessed that costumes or roles of the man do not necesssarily signify one's civility and purity.They are only veils that are sometimes worn on purpose,sometimes by obligation.What is to be seen as purity of intentions and happiness is the closeness to the Nature and keeping away from evil deeds to gain too much wisdom,which only bring misery to human life. ...read more.

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