Montaigne Essays Summary Cannibals

When King Pyrrhus invaded Italy, having viewed and considered the order of the army the Romans sent out to meet him; “I know not,” said he, “what kind of barbarians” (for so the Greeks called all other nations) “these may be; but the disposition of this army that I see has nothing of barbarism in it.”—[Plutarch, , c.

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This discovery of so vast a country seems to be of very great consideration.

I cannot be sure, that hereafter there may not be another, so many wiser men than we having been deceived in this.

It is also interesting to reflect on the extent to which a writer is themselves present in their own work.

Montaigne makes no secret of the fact that he himself is the subject of his essays: , whilst recognising that this very self is constantly evolving.

What I hadn’t realised until recently is how directly Gonzalo’s speech (II, I, Lines 150-167) corresponds to Montaigne’s text.“It is a nation, would I answer Plato, that hath no kinde of traffike, no knowledge of Letters, no intelligence of numbers, no name of magistrate, nor of politike superioritie; no use of service, or riches or of povertie; no contracts, no successions, no partitions, no occupation but idle; no respect of kindred, no use of wine, corne, or mettle.

The very words that import lying, falsehood, treason, dissimulations, covetousness, envie, detraction, and pardon, were never heard of amongst them.

By which it appears how cautious men ought to be of taking things upon trust from vulgar opinion, and that we are to judge by the eye of reason, and not from common report.

I long had a man in my house that lived ten or twelve years in the New World, discovered in these latter days, and in that part of it where Villegaignon landed,—[At Brazil, in 1557.]—which he called Antarctic France.

It is frequently the case that people try to “read” Shakespeare in their reading of his plays.

Whilst it is perhaps too simplistic to consider particular characters/aspects of the plays biographical, I would argue that a writer is necessarily present in their own work.


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