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THE COURTIER

By Kevin Jenkins,2014-08-12 11:27
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THE COURTIER ...

    historians, and let him be practiced also in writing verse THE COURTIER and prose, especially in our own vernacular; for besides Baldassare Castiglione (1478-1529) the satisfaction he will take in this, in this way he will never want for pleasant entertainment with the ladies, Courtier, diplomat, poet, scholar, soldier, Castiglione who are usually fond of such things. conceived the idea for his masterpiece while living at the ***** court of Urbino. Polished for a decade, published in “Nay, too much,” replied Signor Lodovico Pio, “for I 1528, it became a best seller, guiding generations of believe it is not possible in all the world to find a vessel gentlemen. Emperor Charles V kept The Courtier by his large enough to containa all the things you would have bed with the Bible and Machiavelli’s Prince. The book be in our Courtier. . . . “ takes the form of imagined soirees at Urbino with real- Here everyone laughed and the Count began again: life characters, including Duke Guidobaldo da “gentlemen, you must know that I am not satisfied with Montefeltro, his duchess Elisabetta Gonzaga, Cesare our Courtier unless . . . he can play various instruments. Gonzaga, Federico Fregoso, Casparo Pallavicino, For, no rest from toil and medicine for ailing spirits can Giuliano dé Medici, and Count Lodovico da Canosa: be found more decorous or praiseworthy in time of leisure than this; and especially in courts where . . . The Count said: “I would have our Courtier born of many things are done to please the ladies, whose a noble and genteel family; because it is far less tender and delicate spirits are readily penetrated with becoming for one of low birth to fail to do virtuous things harmony and filled with sweetness.” than for one of noble birth. For one of noble birth, should he stray from the path of the forebears, stains Passage 1 Analysis the family name, and not only fails to achieve anything 1. What do you know about the author? but loses what has been achieved already. . . .

     “Besides his noble birth, I would with the Courtier

    endowed by nature not only with talent and with beauty of countenance and person, but with that certain grace we call an „air,‟ which shall make him at first sight pleasing and lovable to all who see him. . . .

     But to come to some particulars: I hold that the principal and true profession of the Courtier must be that of arms. . . . Therefore let the man we are seeking be exceedingly fierce, harsh, and always among the first, wherever the enemy is; and in every other place, humane, modest, reserved, avoiding ostentation above 2. Summarize the reading. all things. . . . “I deem it highly important, moreover, to know how to wrestle [and ]to be a perfect horseman. . . . He should

     also know how to swim, jump, run, throw stones; for besides their usefulness in war, it is frequently necessary to show one‟s prowess in such things, whereby a good name is to be won.” *******

    At a sign from the Duchess and from Signora Emilia,

    Messer Cesare began forthwith: “If I well remember, Count, it seems to me you have repeated several times that the Courtier must accompany his every movement with grace. . . . I would wish to know by what art they can gain this grace?”

     Said the Count: “I have found quite a universal rule which in this matter seems to me valid above all others: 3. What does this work tell you about the time and that is to avoid affectation in every way possible as period? though it were some rough and dangerous reef; and to practice in all things a certain sprezzatura [nonchalance]

    so as to conceal all art and make whatever is done or said appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it.” Then the Count said, “I would have our courtier more than passably learned in letters, at least in those studies which we call the humanities. Let him be conversant not only with the Latin language, but with Greek as well, because of the abundance and variety of

     things that are so divinely written therein. Let him be versed in the poets, as well as in the orators and

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     You must know, then, that there are two methods of THE PRINCE fighting, the one by law, the other by force: the first Niccoló Machiavelli (1469-1527) method is that of men, the second of beasts, but as the first is often insufficient, one must have recourse to the Unjustly, his very name denotes despotic treachery. second. . . . A prince must imitate the fox and the lion, Loyal servant of republican Florence, he rote his cynical for the lion cannot protect himself from traps, and the prescription for power Il Principe after the Medici fox cannot defend himself from wolves. One must returned to power in 1512 and discarded him. In his therefore be a fox to recognize traps, and a lion to Discourses he perceptively analyzed ancient and frighten wolves. current events, building a philosophy of history. ******* [The prince] is rendered despicable by being thought A prince should therefore have no other aim or changeable, frivolous, effeminate, a mimic and thought, nor take up any other things for his study, but irresolute; this a prince must guard against a rock of war and its organization and discipline, for that is the danger, and so contrive that his action show grandeur, only art that is necessary to one who commands . . . it spirit, gravity and fortitude . . . and let him adhere to his not only maintains those who are born princes, but often decisions so that no one may think of deceiving or enables men of private fortune to attain to that rank. cozening him. And one sees, on the other hand, that when princes think more of luxury than of arms, they lose their state. . . . Passage 2 Analysis *******

     In taking a state the conqueror must arrange to 1. What do you know about the author?

    commit all his cruelties at once, so as not to have to recur to them every day, and by not making fresh changes, to reassure people and win them over by benefiting them. . . . Injuries should be done all together, so that being less tasted, they will give less offense. Benefits should be granted little by little, so that they may be better enjoyed. *******

     Mercenaries and auxiliaries are useless and

    dangerous, and if any one supports his state by the 2. Summarize the reading. arms of mercenaries, he will never stand firm or sure; as they are disunited, ambitious, without discipline, faithless, bold among friends, cowardly among

    enemies . . . and keep no faith with men.

     The question arises whether it is better to be loved more than feared or feared more than loved. The reply is that one ought to be both . . . but as it is difficult for the two to go together, it is much safer to be feared than loved. . . . For it may be said of men in general that they

    are ungrateful, voluble, dissemblers, anxious to avoid danger and covetous of gain; as long as your benefit them they are entirely yours. . . but when necessity approaches, they revolt. . . . Love is held by a chain of obligation, which is broken whenever it serves [men‟s] purpose; but fear is maintained by a dread of punishment, which never fails. ******* 3. What does this work tell you about the time When [the prince] is obliged to take the life of any one, let him do so when there is proper justification and period? manifest reason for it. . . . above all he must abstain from taking the property of others for men forget more easily the death of their father than the loss of their

     patrimony.

    ******* How laudable it is for a prince to keep good faith and live with integrity. . . . Still the experience of our times shows those princes to have done great things

     who have had little regard for good faith, and have been able by astuteness to confuse men‟s brains, and who have ultimately overcome those who have made loyalty their foundation.

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ILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (1564-1616) W

     Playwright and poet, the greatest English writer, born in Stratford-upon-Avon, of farming stock. He was the eldest of three sons and four daughters. Educated at the local grammar school, he married Anne Hathaway, who bore him three children. He moved to London, possibly in 1591 to be an actor. Sometime during 1592 and 1594, he wrote his first poem. His sonnets, known by 1598, though not published until 1609, fall into two groups: 1 to126 are addressed to a fair young man, and 127to154 to a ‘dark lady’ who holds the young man and poet in thrall.

    Sonnet XVIII Passage 3 Analysis

     1. What do you know about the author? 1Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

    Thou art more lovely and more temperate:

    Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, 2And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:

    Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, 2. Summarize the reading. And often is his gold complexion dimmed,

    And every fair from fair sometime declines, 3By chance or nature’s changing course untrimmed;

    But that eternal summer shall not fade 4Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest,

    Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade, 56When in eternal lines to time thou growest:

     So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, 3. What does this work tell you about the time

     So long lives this, and this gives life to thee. period?

Sonnet XIX

     Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion’s paws, And make the earth devour her own sweet brood; Passage 4 Analysis Pluck the keen teeth from the fierce tiger’s jaws, 1. What do you know about the author? 7And burn the long-lived phoenix in her blood; Make glad and sorry seasons as thou fleet’st, And do whate’er thou wilt, swift-footed Time, 8To the wide world and all her fading sweets; 2. Summarize the reading. But I forbid thee one most heinous crime Oh carve not with thy hours my love’s fair brow 9Nor draw no lines there with thine antique pen; Him in thy course untainted do allow For beauty’s pattern to succeeding men. Yet do thy worst, old Time: despite thy wrong My love shall in my verse ever live young.

     1 day may mean the period (or season) of a summer, as in the expression ―in my day‖ 2 date the period of a lease 3 untrimmed stripped of beauty 3. What does this work tell you about the time 4 that . . . owest that beauty thou possessest (ownest) 5period? lines such as lines of this poem and the other sonnets 6 growest becomes a part of 7 phoenix . . . blood The first three lines describe Time’s action on living things that change and die; the phoenix also comes to the end of years, although it is instantly reborn from its own funeral pyre. 8 sweets flowers 9 antique ancient, with a play on ―antic‖ – ―fantastic‖

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    kept clear from the sin of Adam, as our theologians THE PRAISE OF FOLLY have done? . . . They went about baptizing Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536) everywhere, and yet they never taught . . . the final cause of baptism . . . They worshiped to be sure, but Calling himself “a citizen of the world,” Erasmus of Rotterdam in spirit, following no other teaching than that of wandered through Europe in search of books, time, and revealed to them that a picture drawn with charcoal targets for his busy pen. King and commoner cherished his on a wall ought to be worshiped with the same friendship, counted him the towering intellect of the northern worship as Christ himself at least if it is drawn with Renaissance. His writings ranged from social satire and two fingers outstretched and the hair unshorn, and mind-modeling colloquies to an edition of the New Testament. has three sets of rays in the nimbus fastened to the As the goddess Folly, he needled mankind in his best-known back of the head. For who would comprehend these work:. things if he had not consumed all of thirty-six years upon the physics and metaphysics of Aristotle and I snap my fingers at the wise who tell me it is ill-the Scotists? mannered and impudent to praise oneself. That may be; but if so, they must own it becomes me all the better. What Passage 5 Analysis could be more fitting than that Folly should blow her own 1. What do you know about the author? trumpet? Is there anyone better qualified? No, I always say if you want a thing well done, do it yourself.

     I declare there is less effrontery in what I am doing than in the mock-modesty of the common run of magnates who hire a hack to write them up, and spread abroad mercenary lies to ingratiate them with the public. . . .

     You know what I am, and will not mind if I speak plainly. . . . Without folly there would be no union for the procreation of children. Who would put his neck into the noose of wedlock if he first, like a wise man, weighed all the

     disadvantages? What woman would let a man come near her if she knew or considered in time the dangers of 2. Summarize the reading. childbirth or the drudgery of bringing up a child? . . . The male was given a little extra reason, because he was born to control. . . . I instantly gave him a piece of my mind truly worthy of me; and that was he should get a

    woman to help him. Woman‟s a foolish creature with pleasing ways . . . bestial as an antidote to the austere masculine character. . . . If you doubted it was man‟s leaning towards folly that made him so fond of woman, you need only recall his absurd behavior and the rubbish he talks when he

    is making love to her. . . . To make good my claim to divinity I must prove not only that I am the giver of life, but that I make life worth living. That ought not to be difficult. Would life without pleasure be worthy of the name? . . . We know that even the Stoics do not really despise pleasure; they only decry it in public in the hope of having it all the more to themselves. Can they tell us of an y age in life that is not repulsive, tedious and unhappy if 3. What does this work tell you about the time it has not seasoning of pleasure, that is to say, of folly?

    ******* period? Perhaps it were better to pass over the theologians in silence. . . . For they may attack me with six hundred arguments, in squadrons, and drive me to make a recantation; which if I refuse, they will straightway proclaim me a heretic. By this thunderbolt they are wont to terrify any toward whom they are ill-disposed. . . . They are protected by a wall of scholastic definitions, arguments, corollaries, implicit and explicit propositions; they have so many hideaways that they could not be caught even by a net of Vulcan . . . and they abound with newly invented terms and . . . explain as pleases them the most arcane matters. . . .

     The apostles knew the mother of Jesus, but who among them has demonstrated philosophically just how she was

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    ENAISSANCE DOCUMENT ANALYSIS: SOAPS R

    Document: _______________________________________

    Subject/Speaker: What is the document about? Give the main idea. Who is the speaker? Look for Point of view (POV).

Occasion: When was the document produced and what circumstances led to its production? Look for a date and assess whether it is a

    primary or a secondary source. Primary sources are ―eyewitness‖ accounts and should date close to the time the event occurred. Secondary sources are ―hearsay‖ accounts written, usually, long after the event by a historian who bases the account on a study of primary sources.

Audience: Who was the document written/produced for? Documents can have more than one audience

Purpose: What is the reason behind the document? Designed to convince, entertain, motivate? Watch for adjectives that reveal bias.

    Significance: Examine the broader historical context? Why is this document important?

Document: _______________________________________

    Subject/Speaker: What is the document about? Give the main idea. Who is the speaker? Look for Point of view (POV).

Occasion: When was the document produced and what circumstances led to its production? Look for a date and assess whether it is a

    primary or a secondary source. Primary sources are ―eyewitness‖ accounts and should date close to the time the event occurred. Secondary

    sources are ―hearsay‖ accounts written, usually, long after the event by a historian who bases the account on a study of primary sources.

Audience: Who was the document written/produced for? Documents can have more than one audience

Purpose: What is the reason behind the document? Designed to convince, entertain, motivate? Watch for adjectives that reveal bias.

Significance: Examine the broader historical context? Why is this document important?

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