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Role of Identity in Nathan the Wise and Peruvian Letters - Essay Example

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[European Enlightenment] Role of Identity in “Nathan the Wise” and “Peruvian Letters” In life, it is undeniable that each person is different, yet may be said to be similar because of identity. There are different people with different identities. By implication, it means that identity springs forth in various categories…
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Role of Identity in Nathan the Wise and Peruvian Letters
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Download file to see previous pages Broadly, there are many sides to identity that can be considered; one of them has to do with whether its depiction is fluid, susceptible to change or fixed. There are many texts that depict identity on different level; however, Gottholo Ephraim Lessing’s Nathan, the Wise and Letter from the Peruvian Woman by Francoise Graffiny are the one that have been chosen for this purpose. Most times, the issues that degenerate into serious challenges are not worth it. It is often the case that people are not enlightened about such issues because had it been that they were enlightened about them, they would realize that there is absolutely no course for such challenges, in the first place. For example, as depicted in Gottholo Ephraim Lessing’s “Nathan, the Wise”, there is no just cause for people of different religion to have cause to raise issues that touch on which of them is superior. There is also no cause for them to argue over whom they can marry and relate with and those they cannot. In the same light, if everyone in the world realizes that all identities are one and same they would never be concerned about who they can help and whom they cannot help. All these and more are clearly exemplified in “Nathan, the Wise.” It must be noted that the world would be a more peaceable place to live if all and sundry sincerely care for their neighbor as much as they care about themselves, irrespective of whatever their coloration in terms of identity is. As depicted in Gottholo Ephraim Lessing’s “Nathan, the Wise”, identity, particularly religious identity, is fluid. There are good men in every land. The tree of life has many branches and roots. Let not the topmost twig presume that it alone has sprung from mother earth… We did not choose our races for ourselves. Jews, Moslems, Christians – all alike are men. Let me hope I have in you—a man. (Lessing 2003, p.18) As the saying goes, no man is an island. No identity is an island. No religion is an island. No matter which religion anyone belongs, one thing is in common—humanity. If everyone is not humane to their neighbors because they are not of the same religion, there would have been an end to the human race a long time ago. The best way identity can be to the good of all of humanity is when it is flexible. When the German Templar of the Third Crusade rescued Recha, he never cared about Recha’s identity, national or religious, what prevailed at that moment was the humanity they shared (Lessing 2003 p.19). It was later that issues that have to do with identity started raising their ugly heads. In the same light, the Saracen, sultan Saladin, spares the Templar’s life just because the Templar resembles his (the Saracen’s) brother (Lessing 2003 p.8). Also, it was later that issues that have to do with their differing identities came up. From this, one can state that as depicted in “Nathan, the Wise”, identity could be so fluid that no matter how prejudiced anybody may be about the identity of others, they can still realize a need to be good to them. It is definite that there will be almost no challenge in the world, if everyone shared the kind of opinion Nathan, the supposed possessor of “the greatest gift, wisdom, and the most worthless, riches” (Lessing 2003 p. 5) has about issues. In the play, he is indeed the wise one. On many occasion, he reveals the fact that understanding is premium. He also makes us believe that if everyone, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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