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Michel de Montaigne - Assignment Example

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1) Who is the author? Has he actually met the people he describes?
The author is Michel de Montaigne. The people he describes in his “Essays” are partly real and partly imaginative. …
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Michel de Montaigne
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Montaigne essay Who is the Has he actually met the people he describes? The is Michel de Montaigne. The people he describes in his“Essays” are partly real and partly imaginative. In fact, the people described in his “Of Cannibals” were the results of his reflections upon his meeting with a cannibal who had been brought to France by the French explorer Villegagnon. He had met this cannibal in Rouen in 1562 and makes a reflection on such people in his essay, some fifteen years later. 2) How does Montaigne define the term “barbarous” or “savage”? Montaigne defines the term “barbarous” or “savage” in a way to give the meaning noble and natural barbarism or savagery. In his view, “there is nothing barbarous and savage in this nation, by anything that I can gather, excepting, that every one gives the title of barbarism to everything that is not in use in his own country… They are savages at the same rate that we say fruit are wild, which nature produces of herself and by her own ordinary progress…” (Montaigne) Therefore, it is important to recognize that Montaigne correlate the term “barbarous” or “savage” with nature and naturalness and establishes that the so called “barbarous” or “savage” people are so close to nature and reality. 3) How does he see religion, warfare and polygamy among the said cannibals? According to Montaigne, the Cannibals had the perfect religion as they were so close to the nature and they, unlike the ‘civilized’ Europeans, did not eat a man alive on the question piety and religion. On the topic of their warfare, Montaigne maintains “that their wars are throughout noble and generous, and carry as much excuse and fair pretense, as that human malady is capable of; having with them no other foundation than the sole jealousy of valor.” (Montaigne) Montaigne also justifies the practice of polygamy, which was practiced among the New World natives, as rational, and he refers to the legitimate polygamy in the Bible. “In the Bible, Sarah, with Leah and Rachel, the two wives of Jacob, gave the most beautiful of their handmaids to their husbands...” (Montaigne) 4) Explain the social critique of Montaigne’s own society contained in the parable that begins with “Three of these people...no breeches.”? In the parable that begins with “Three of these people...no breeches”, Montaigne makes a social critique of his own society and brings out the contradiction in the social customs they had. It is the paradox of civility and civilization that the author reveals in this parable and he is undoubtedly effective in this. Work Cited Montaigne, Michel de. Essays. 1575. Charles Cotton. (Transln). 11 June 2011. . Read More
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