analysis four questions, at least one page for each

This paper consists of four sections. Your task is to choose one citation from each section and to write a critical commentary/analysis. You should consider the context of the citation, who is speaking, and why they say what they do. Feel free to draw on your knowledge of Plato, More, Machiavelli, and Boétie when writing your commentary.

Please do not write a summary of the book or the life of the theorist. An analysis is a focused piece of writing that examines a particular citation n detail.

Be sure to write precise, clear sentences. Analyses are normally one to two pages in length, double-spaced, and written in Times New Roman 12 point font.

Remember to:

  • Include a cover page with your name, the professor’s name, the class and section number, and the date.
  • Please use Times New Roman 12 point font.
  • Start a new page for each answer.
  • Number your answers clearly.
  • Check spelling and grammar.

Critically analyze one of the following citations from Socrates:

From the Apology

1. ‘No man on earth who conscientiously opposes either you or any other organized democracy, and flatly prevents a great many wrongs and illegalities from taking place in the state to which he belongs, can possibly escape with his life. The true champion of justice, if he intends to survive even for a short time, must necessarily confine himself to private life and leave politics alone.’

From the Crito

2. ‘Compared with your mother and father your country is something far more precious, more venerable, more sacred, and held in greater honor both among the gods and among all reasonable men.’

Critically analyze one of the following citations from Thomas More:

From Book One

3. ‘There’s certainly no room for the academic variety [of philosophy], which says what it thinks irrespective of the circumstances. But there is a more civilized form of philosophy which knows the dramatic context, so to speak, tries to fit in with it, and plays an appropriate part in the current performance.’

From Book Two

4. ‘…war is the one thing they have in mind when accumulating all that wealth. You see, it’s meant to protect them in the event of any major crisis or emergency. Its chief function is to provide colossal rates for foreign mercenaries.’

Critically analyze one of the following citations from Niccolo Machiavelli:

5. ‘We can say that cruelty is used well (if it is permissible to talk in this way of what is evil) when it is employed once for all, and one’s safety depends on it, and then it is not persisted in but as far as possible turned to the good of one’s subjects. Cruelty badly used is that which, although infrequent to start with, as time goes on, rather than disappearing grows in intensity. [Those who use the latter method]…cannot possibly stay in power.’

6. ‘…the gulf between how one should live and how one does live is so wide that a man who neglects what is actually done for what should be done learns the way to self-destruction rather than self-preservation…if a prince wants to maintain his rule he must learn not to be virtuous, and to make use of this or not according to need.’

Critically analyze one of the following citations from Etienne de la Boétie:

7. ‘…let us imagine some newborn individuals, neither acquainted with slavery nor desirous of liberty, ignorant indeed of the very words. If they were permitted to choose between being slaves and free men, to which would they give their vote? There can be no doubt that they would much prefer to be guided by reason itself than to be ordered about by the whims of a single man.’

8. ‘Men are like handsome race horses who first bite the bit and later like it, and rearing under the saddle a while soon learn to enjoy displaying their harness and prance proudly beneath their trappings.’

Required Text:

  • Plato, The Trial and Death of Socrates/The Last Days of Socrates…

  • More, Utopia

  • Machiavelli, The Prince…

  • Etienne de la Boétie, Discourse on Voluntary Servitude…

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