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The Life of Galileo Themes

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The Life of Galileo Themes

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  • August 19, 2013
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Is intellectual freedom to be treasured above all else?

In Bertolt Brechts, The life of Galileo, the idea of the Catholic church controlling information is a central theme. The conflict of intellectual freedom; between the individual and authority. The Life of Galileo suggests that it is only through the process of questioning – and engaging that society can learn and grow, and one should treasure their intellectual freedom, as depicted through the main character, Galileo. When Galileo discovers new evidence about the rotation of the planets around the sun he is overcome with a great amount of will power, and goes against the authority of the church that forbids one from coming out with new ideas that challenge the fundamental beliefs of the church and god. However Galileo is prepared to challenge the beliefs of the Church, for he believes his cause is much greater, and his extensive knowledge must be shared to the world. Galileo states “I have made discoveries we can no longer withhold from the world.” Galileo treasures intellectual freedom above all else, and ignores the consequences he will face as a result of his revelation. Galileo believes that in order for society to grow, one must be free To question and challenge.Galileo plans to move to Florence and be accepted at Court, to infiltrate and begin toprove his discoveries. He resolves to give the Pope and his monks all the evidence theyneed to believe him, for he strongly believes that his evidence is credible; saying;"belief ... is one thing; facts, tangible facts, are another ... Gentlemen, I beseech you in all humanity to trust your eyes." Despite Galileo insisting on his right to intellectual freedom, it is evident that Galileo values his life more than his teachings. Galileo recants on his beliefs; suggesting that he may be week when he is faced with conflict. For a man who is at first so determined to prove his new discoveries, the belief that the Earth moved around the sun, to then recant these...