Low Stakes Paper
Is our earth really round? Or is it flat as a pancake? This is the question that confused people for thousands of years, and finally, it was listed as the second of 20 in a pamphlet on common errors in the human history in 1945 by British History association. Christianity has often referred earth as flat, which suggests that one will eventually fall off the edge if he continues to travel. Although, Aristotle had an idea of spherical earth, it was not accepted by the society at the time. As a writer, Ludvic Holberg emphasized ethics and practical knowledge throughout his life, but just like Aristotle, the community did not accept his ideas. In the story of “Erasmus Montanus”, one of the biggest issues between the villagers and the Rasmus Berg was the acceptance of the idea of flat earth. Although Rasmus admitted that the earth is flat at the end of the play, it was ironic that he was actually right about the spherical earth. In “Erasmus Montanus”, in order to mock the society and manage audience’s responses, Holberg not only provides humor, but also reveals the conflicts and contradictions between learned and unlearned people, science and church, as well as social norms and personal opinions. “Erasmus Montanus” was written in 1722, but it was not published until 25 years later, because philosophers believed that this play is more than just a comedy. The play delivers moral messages through contradictions, and one of them challenges the learned scholars. Holberg questions the importance of the theoretical belief over the practical belief by contradicting the characteristics of learned scholar Erasmus and uneducated farmer, his brother Jacob. Erasmus was raised in the farm, and studied philosophy and disputation in Copenhagen University, as he grew older. In lots of Holberg’s plays, he mocks scholars for being so full of academic pride, envy each other and depicts the unlearned...