Diagnostic Essay

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York University
Huma 1170 M: The Modern Age
Winter 2011

DIAGNOSTIC ESSAY
Due Monday January 24 in tutorial
Worth 15%

Instructions





Choose ONE of the following topics from below and write a 4 page essay (8.5” x 11” paper, single-sided, double-spaced, 12 point font)
Your essay should be in proper essay form using proper English Please review the course policies in the syllabus on Late Assignments, Religious Observance, and Academic Dishonesty
If you need help understanding the assignment or with your writing, please see your TA and/or the Writing Department sooner than later

Topics
1. John of Salisbury describes society as a body. The cover image of Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan shows the body of the sovereign as comprised of members of society. Discuss the difference. 2. Discuss the difference between the place of the human being in the great chain of being and in Pico della Mirandola’s “The Dignity of Man.”

3. Revenge and suicide were two common practices in ancient honour codes. As Hamlet is dying, Horatio says, “I am more an antique Roman than a Dane” (V.ii.343). How does this line and Hamlet’s response to it help to make sense of Hamlet’s response to revenge in the play? 4. Descartes represents his project as destroying old buildings and building new ones. Hobbes imagines a “state of nature” out of which he institutes the “social contract.” Discuss the relationship between these two gestures and what they say about the Early Modern period.

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