Purity and Civility in The Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus and Of Cannibals by Michel de Montaigne

Purity and Civility in The Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus and Of Cannibals by Michel de Montaigne

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Purity and Civility in The Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus and Of Cannibals by Michel de Montaigne

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 makes his point explicitly
on this matter.Regarding the community of the newly discovered
land,which is Brasilia and the natives’ manners which are innate and
not cultivated,he reasons that not to offend the Nature but to yield
to Her is the c...


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... 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.

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