Characteristics of a Well-Rounded Person
According to Sayre (2011), the term ‘I’uomo universal’ has the same meaning as universal man. It refers to an all-round, self-independent, and progressive being. Castiglione illustrates a universal man as ideal (Sayre, 2011). Castiglione explores several characteristics of the perfect man include being of nobility and from a reputable race, eye catching, and well dressed.
In terms of personality, Castiglione describes the perfect man as articulate and confident in speech and walk, respectively. In the perspective of Castiglione, the well-rounded courtier’s excellent characteristics make him to be sensitive of what to discuss with everyone at any given time (Reiner, 2009).
In terms of physique, the perfect man is supposed to be medium built, that is, neither too tall or too short. In terms of military capability, the perfect man in the perspective of Castiglione is excellent in weaponry and handling different aspects of combat, from horse riding and footwork. In terms of social skills, the well-rounded person should have excellent skills in conflict resolution through demonstration of unmatched prudence and courage in all situations (Sherry, 2009).
Moreover, the well-rounded person is described as being very brave with heroism stamina as a solder figure and a loyal fighter. As part of the proactive interaction skills, the courtier is described as a multilingual individual who can fit in more than three cultures with ease and a lover of art and music (Sayre, 2011).
As survey study involving ten participants was created based on the characteristics of a well-rounded person as described by Castiglione in the book, The Courtier. The participants were expected to confirm if the characteristics of the courtier are applicable to the standards of being a gentleperson in the view of the current society. The survey questions are listed below.
- In your view, what do you think qualifies a person to be declared gentle?
- What makes a person to qualify as being born or raised in a gentle race?
- In your view, do you prefer specialization in an area or being all-rounded in several areas?
- In the current mass society, does the physique of a person determines who others view him, in terms of being a gentleperson?
- Based on you physique, skills, and personality, do you think you qualify to be referred to as a gentleperson?
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The survey sample consisted of five males and five females within the age of 20-60 years. In generating the sample size, the elements of gender balance, age balance, and, similarity in social environment were considered. In answering question one, the ten participants has similar response on the qualities of a gentle person. The respondents identified elements such as experience, achievements, and knowledge as the prerequisites of being a gentleman.
In answering question two, nine respondents stated that nobility comes from good character while one respondent stated that nobility is beyond control of a person. All the respondents agreed that specialization is more practical that being well-rounded in the current dynamic society. In answering question four and five, all the respondents agreed that physical appearance has direct influence of perceived gentles and that they were all gentlepersons.
I partially agree with some of the characteristics of being a well-rounded person as discussed by Castiglione. Many outstanding personalities in the society have characteristics such as articulate speech, confidence, medium built, and attractive social skills. However, I disagree with the characteristics of nobility and physical appearance as determining perfection in a person.
Reiner, L. (2009). Castiglione’s the Book of the Courtier (Il Libro del Cortegiano): A Classic in the Making. Annali d’Italianistica, 27(1), 471-472.
Sayre, H. (2011). The Humanities: Culture, Continuity, and Change. Upper Saddle
River, N. J.: Prentice Hall.
Sherry, R. (2009). Castiglione’s the Book of the Courtier (Il Libro del Cortegiano): A Classic in the Making. Quaderni d’italianistica, 30(1), 196-197.