Praise of Folly: A Current Perspective Essay

Praise of Folly: A Current Perspective Essay

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Praise of Folly: A Current Perspective

According to Merriam-Webster's online dictionary, satire is "a literary work holding up human vices and follies to ridicule or scorn." When examining satire of the Renaissance, one has to wonder what a man like Erasmus of Rotterdam would think of today's world, politically and morally speaking. Would a man like Erasmus, who was so outspoken in his own time, be able to stand aside and let the folly flow freely? Where are the Erasmus' of our own time, and who will stand against our government, churches, and other powerful organizations for what is right, even if it requires speaking out against the actions and agendas of these very powerful entities? In Erasmus' Praise of Folly, Erasmus is a staunch adversary of folly within the church and politics of the day. If Erasmus were alive today, he would not only enjoy the freedom of speech which is taken for granted by many today, but he would surely espouse himself to any variety of modern day follies within American politics and the American Catholic church. Especially when it comes to the gross misappropriation the American budget, and the fact that evangelicals across the country supported George W. Bush, a president who has cost not only thousands of lives, but billions of dollars on a war that may have been unnecessary, Erasmus would have not only been disgusted and outraged, but he would have indeed spoken against these modern day follies. Erasmus, were he alive today, would have acted as a quintessential representative for many people who have lost faith in American churches and American government.

America is a great place. All it takes is a quick look at the facts to see that America is clearly a dominant world super po...


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..., through his social commentary introduced the character Folly in the Praise of Folly. Folly represents what it is to have a lack of good sense about things. In today's ever growing web of deceit and folly one must be conscious of the short comings of others, especially when that person is put in a place of power. If Erasmus were alive today he would enjoy satirizing a variety of modern day follies. The reasons for going to war and the evangelicals who support war are two examples of modern day folly. All one needs to do is turn on a television, listen to the radio, or venture out of their house to see many more examples of what Erasmus would consider folly. Erasmus could not have put it any better when he said "If anything I've said seems rather impudent or garrulous, you must remember it's Folly and a woman who's been speaking...And so I'll say goodbye." (134)

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