Essay PreviewMore ↓
Originally meant for private circulation, the Praise of Folly, by Desiderius Erasmus, scourges the abuses and follies of the various classes of society, especially the church. It is a cold-blooded, deliberate attempt to discredit the church, and its satire and stinging comment on ecclesiastical conditions are not intended as a healing medicine but a deadly poison.
The Praise of Folly, by Desiderius Erasmus, takes on a very diverse form of life during sixteenth century Europe. In 1509 the author, Desiderius Erasmus, turned his literary talents to the ridicule and denunciation of monastic vice, immorality, and wickedness. He was considered the "Prince of Humanists"  because he was one of the most important men in Europe during the period of the Reformation, The historical and cultural references in his book proves that the Praise of Folly could not have been written during any other time period except sixteenth century Europe. Erasmus is one of the most fascinating and inscrutable characters in history. There is no doubt that he was a genius, He was also a bon vivant, but his tastes ran toward good conversation and good food rather than conspicuous consumption. He whined endlessly about his troubles, and he begged shamelessly for ever more money from his patrons. But he was one of the "most far-sighted individuals to walk this planet," . Before any others, he saw how the corruption and misdeeds of the church would lead to danger, and when Martin Luther hijacked Erasmus’ reform efforts and turned them into outright revolt, Erasmus saw that this split in Christendom would lead to catastrophe; a catastrophe that was realized a century later. Erasmus, even from childhood, had a craving to read, study, learn and know. He spent his life as a scholar and writer. He was a man of quick wit and a keen mind. He had struck a raw nerve by writing the Praise of Folly. But it must be noted that while Erasmus found the wickedness of the priests revulsive, he did not disapprove of Roman Catholic doctrine. He praised himself to be a citizen of the world, not attached 2 to a particular country but finding himself at home in European countries where culture and humanism were flourishing. The two societies he claimed to belong to were both the republic of letters and the Christian church. In Roman Catholic doctrine, he wished only for a reformation of priestly morals and conduct, not of Roman theology, and he disapproved of the doctrinal revolution initiated by Luther.
How to Cite this Page
"Desiderius Erasmus' The Praise of Folly." 123HelpMe.com. 23 Oct 2019
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
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 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... [tags: Papers]
1043 words (3 pages)
- ... Certainly its theological merit is utterly overshadowed by much of the rest of his body of work. • Hard to know how much import Erasmus himself attached to the work given his writings hence and it place as a relatively insignificant part of a substantial corpus of work over his life. • The power and potency of Praise of Folly and the effectiveness of Folly as a serious messenger were perhaps inadvertent on the part of the author. • It’s more important historically then literarily. • Already in chapter 40, under the guise of continuing frivolify and without any change of tone or style, Erasmus has thrown in a list of pious superstitions, quite long enough to make a thologians hair stand o... [tags: humanism, church, power]
1145 words (3.3 pages)
- Desiderius Erasmus wrote his seminal masterpiece of christian humanism “Praise of Folly” in 1511, yet the effects and influence of this small piece of cathartic, witty banter would permeate social consciousness in the european renaissance mind and play a significant role in the revolutionary state of church politics in the days before and after Martin Luther’s reformation. In his mere 40,000 words, Erasmus succeeded in highlighting most of contemporary critical theory about the Catholic church and the state of spiritualism as a whole through the ingenious conceit of the lady, Folly.... [tags: Critique, Popular Devotion]
1747 words (5 pages)
- A date that may have little connotation in the minds of history students everywhere was, in fact, the date that gave birth to a man more brave than any comic book could ever illustrate. On October 28, 1466, Desiderius Erasmus was born the illegitimate son of Margaretha Rogers and Gerard in Rotterdam, Holland. Despite such a dull and seemingly trite birth, Erasmus would grow to be a great influence in the Renaissance era. Through the questioning of established people and institutions, such as modern theologians and education systems, Erasmus became known as the “Prince of the Humanists” and a great revolutionary known throughout the world.... [tags: essays research papers]
635 words (1.8 pages)
- Desiderius Erasmus, the Great Humanist Desiderius Erasmus was one of the great humanists. He was well educated and practice scholasticism. He was also a great writer, who wrote books of many types. He is even called the greatest European scholar of the 16th century (Britannica Macropedia). He was also courageous, as he criticized the Church harshly. It was said by R. C. Trench that "Erasmus laid the egg of the Reformation and Luther hatched it." Erasmus was the illegitimate son of a priest named Gerard.... [tags: Biography Biographies Essays]
581 words (1.7 pages)
- Desiderius Erasmus, a man of few spoken words, wrote many arguments about how the church was being run. He felt that everyone acted “godly” and thought that they were above people. He critiqued not only those in the church, but many broad generalizations of people as well, citing the bible. Most of Erasmus’ disdain for the way things were run was due to the circumstances he was raised in. With his “The Praise of Folly” Erasmus shows his humanistic worldview, as well as tells people what they should change in order to live a better life.... [tags: Religion, Philosophy]
1026 words (2.9 pages)
- During the Reformation period, there were a few individuals whose ideas had a great impact on society. Two of these people are Martin Luther and Desiderius Erasmus. While they shared similar ideas about what religion should be, there were also ways in which they differed. Martin Luther was an extremely intelligent man, who gave up law school to become a monk. He created some turmoil in the Catholic Church community with some of his ideas on what religion should be. Using the printing press as his weapon of choice, Luther looked to spread his ideas around to the common man.... [tags: Comparing Martin Luther and Desiderius Erasmus]
634 words (1.8 pages)
- In Praise of Folly - Erasmus' Dichotomy The Silenus box is a "case carved like an ugly Silenus" that can be "opened to reveal beautiful, precious objects" (Erasmus 43, footnote). This box appears in Erasmus' Praise of Folly as a metaphor for the central claim in the novel, which is that that which appears to be Folly (ugly) externally, is wise (precious) within. Erasmus reveals this dichotomy on three levels: in the image of the box itself, in his genuine praise of Folly, and in the structure of the novel as a whole.... [tags: In Praise of Folly Essays]
1269 words (3.6 pages)
- Critiquing Society through In Praise of Folly It may seem strange to praise Folly, but there is one certain advantage to foolishness: the freedom to speak the truth. In Praise of Folly, Erasmus put this freedom to good use in reminding his readers, a society greatly corrupted by worldly concerns, that one cannot serve both God and Mammon. He smoothed over his satire by assuring us that "there is merit in being attacked by Folly" (7), and finished with the reminder that "it's Folly and a woman who's been speaking" (134), a disclaimer that allowed him to be as harsh as he needed to be in his criticism.... [tags: In Praise of Folly Essays Papers Erasmus]
1322 words (3.8 pages)
- Humor and Criticism in Erasmuss Praise of Folly Humor and Criticism in Praise of Folly Erasmus’s Praise of Folly is a humor-filled satire of pretty much everything. It is filled with wit and sarcasm which make light of serious problems and blow insignificant issues out of proportion all the while bringing a smile to the reader’s face. It is not stinging humor at the expense of others (unless, of course, the shoe fits), rather it is directed towards everyone. Erasmus even includes himself in the joke, practically parodying himself in the first section (xvi).... [tags: essays papers]
1304 words (3.7 pages)
Originally meant for private circulation, the Praise of Folly scourges the abuses and follies of the various classes of society, especially the church. It is a cold-blooded, deliberate attempt to discredit the church, and its satire and stinging comment on ecclesiastical conditions are not intended as a healing medicine but a deadly poison. As one can see, numerous connections prove that the Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus, could not have been written at a different time period other than sixteenth century Europe.