The period known as the Renaissance witnessed a change in the nature of man. Compare and Contrast the views held by Machiavelli and Pico and explain whose view you agree with. Provide specific evidence for your thesis



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Mr. Trzepinska

World Cultures


Directions: Using the primary sources (Documents 1 and 2) and the secondary sources (biographies) please construct a 5 paragraph essay addressing the following prompt: The period known as the Renaissance witnessed a change in the nature of man. Compare and Contrast the views held by Machiavelli and Pico and explain whose view you agree with. Provide specific evidence for your thesis
Document 1
Here the question arises: whether it is better to be loved than fearer or feared than loved. The answer is that it would be desirable to be both but, since that is difficult, it is much safer to be feared than to be loved, if one must choose. For on men in general this observation may be made: they are ungrateful, fickle, and deceitful, eager to avoid dangers and avid for gain and while you are useful tothem they are all with you, offering you their blood, their property, their lives, and their sons so long as danger is remote, as we noted above, but when it approaches they turn on you. Any prince, trusting only in their words and having no other preparations made, will fall to his ruin

  • Machiavelli, “The Price” 1513


Explain how Machiavelli describes the nature of man:

Document 2
As man is born, the Father has planted in him seeds of every sort, shoots of every life; those which each man cultivates will grow, and bear their fruits in him. If these are vegetables, he will become a plant; if sensual, a brute; if rational, a heavenly being; if intellectual, an angel and son of God. But if Man, not contented with any creature's lot, betakes himself into the center of his oneness, then, made one with God, in the solidary darkness of the Father he who was created above all things will excel all things. Who would not admire this chameleon of ours?

  • Giovanni Pico, the Count of Mirandola. “The Oration on the Dignity of Man” 1486


Explain how Giovanni Pico describes the nature of man:


Niccolo Machiavelli – Biography
http://www.biography.com/imported/images/biography/images/profiles/m/niccolo-machiavelli-9392446-1-402.jpg
Synopsis

Born on May 3, 1469, in Florence, Italy, Niccolò Machiavelli was a diplomat for 14 years in Italy's Florentine Republic during the Medici family's exile. When the Medici family returned to power in 1512, Machiavelli was dismissed and briefly jailed. He then wrote The Prince, a handbook for politicians on the use of ruthless, self-serving cunning, inspiring the term "Machiavellian" and establishing Machiavelli as the "father of modern political theory." He also wrote several poems and plays. He died on June 21, 1527, in Florence, Italy.


Early Life

The young Niccolò Machiavelli became a diplomat after the temporary fall of Florence's ruling Medici family in 1494. He served in that position for 14 years in Italy's Florentine Republic during the Medici family's exile, during which time he earned a reputation for deviousness, enjoying shocking his associates by appearing more shameless than he truly was.
Authoring 'The Prince'

The main theme of this short work about monarchal rule and survival is man's capacity for determining his own destiny in opposition to the power of fate, which has been interpreted as the political philosophy that one may resort to any means in order to establish and preserve total authority. The work has been regarded as a handbook for politicians on the use of ruthless, self-serving cunning, and inspired the term "Machiavellian." Pope Clement VIII condemned The Prince for its endorsement of rule by deceit and fear



Giovanni Pico della Mirandola
http://www.nndb.com/people/666/000094384/pico-della-mirandola-1-sized.jpg


Synopsis

Born in Italy in 1463, philosopher Count Giovanni Pico della Mirandola authored Oration on the Dignity of Man, one of the most famous Renaissance texts. He was also the first Christian scholar to use Kabbalistic doctrine in support of Christian theology
Early Life and Education

Pico della Mirandola was born to wealth and nobility in Mirandola, Italy, on February 24, 1463. After receiving a humanistic education at Mirandola, he studied canon law at Bologna. Dissatisfied with his studies, he left Bologna to pursue his lifelong interest, philosophy, at Ferrara, Padua, and Paris. Pico's desire to establish concordance among the major philosophies led him to explore Greek, Latin, Averroist, and Hebrew thought, including Kabbalah


Important Works

Pico's modern fame comes mainly from a speech that he never gave, the Oration on the Dignity of Man that got its title only after he died. He wrote the Oration in 1486 to introduce his 900 Conclusions, having chosen the capital of Christendom as just the place to dispute the outrageous theological novelties advertised by them—including the claim that magic and Cabala are the best proofs of Christ's divinity.The Oration asserts that at the time of creation, God had utilized all the attributes at his command to form the heavens, the earth, and the animals. Having nothing left, God gave to humans the power to create their own nature. They could descend to the level of a beast or ascend to the divine. The Oration is acclaimed for its affirmation of human potential and is regarded by many scholars as the epitome of Renaissance humanism


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