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Different Viewpoints On Human Nature Essay

739 words - 3 pages

Different Viewpoints on Human Nature

Throughout history there have been arguments about anything and everything that is disagreeable. People innately have there own and often different opinions. A prominent discussion topic throughout history has been the nature of mankind. Many have written works about human nature but few are discussed in greater detail than Candide, The Prince, and Essay on Man. Voltaire, Niccolo Machiavelli, and Alexander Pope, who wrote these three works respectively, concur with each other on many view points. But it is their differences that make the works unique.
Voltaire wrote Candide in 1759 during the period known as the Enlightenment. It is a story that has a deeper symbolic meaning about life and human nature. At face value it seems to be an optimistic tale that speaks highly of man. But when looked at closely, it envelops a whole new meaning. It is full of sexual allusions and darker views on human nature and man himself. This wasn't exactly a new concept, it was just brought about in a different and unusual way. Candide is different from the other works in the fact that it was written as a story about a baron's son, which Voltaire uses as a third party media to get his views across. Both Machiavelli and Pope were straightforward in their works. Another difference between Voltaire and the others is his sarcasm. Candide translated into English means optimism. In this work, Voltaire was not saying that people are good. He says that people are greedy, power driven beings that put themselves above others. Yet his literal words all seem happy and joyful. He uses his wit and sarcasm to get his point across.
The Prince, written in 1513 by Niccolo Machiavelli, is an essay about how to rule a state and keep its adjuncts content. Whether it be a princedom, a republic or a mixture of the two. In his essay, human nature and how it interacts with the prince is discussed greatly. Machiavelli tells the prince that he should be as greedy and as devious as can be gotten away with. He explains how to gain and control states and gives examples...

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