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What Does It Mean to Be Human? What Are the Ethical and Social Implications of This Definition? Term Paper

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Updated: Jul 31st, 2019

Admittedly, poets have always tried to answer very complicated questions in their works. One of the most difficult questions is, of course, what it is to be a human. Poets of the sixteenth century had their own vision.

It is possible to analyze such works as Amoretti (Sonnets 54 and 75) by Edmund Spenser, Astrophil and Stella (Sonnet 2) by Philip Sidney and “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” by Christopher Marlowe. These works contain the answer to one of the most important questions for the humanity. Notably, these answers address different aspects of people’s life.

For example, according to Marlowe, humans feel the beauty of the nature and get pleasure from observing such wonders of the nature as “valleys, groves, hills and fields, woods or creepy mountain yields” (Marlowe n.p.). Thus, being able to feel the beauty is very important.

Edmund Spenser also stresses the importance of being able to feel. However, the author also emphasizes that people should also be able to empathize. Otherwise, the poet states that these people cannot be regarded as humans but they should be seen as “senseless stones” (Spenser n.p.). Besides, Spenser states that people should be able to “immortalize” “immortal thing” (Sonnet 75 n.p.).

People have a part of immortal light in them, so they should be able to immortalize things. Thus, people should create immortal masterpieces of art. For Edmund Spenser, to be a human also meant to be free. The poet states that humans should not “suffer tyranny” (Spenser n.p.). He notes that it is very important for a human to be free and be brave enough to enjoy this freedom.

Thus, the three poets reveal three aspects of humanness. They provide a complete answer to the questions. According to their visions, to be a human is to understand the beauty of nature, to be empathetic and be brave enough to be free. Admittedly, there are a number of social and ethical implications of this definition. It is necessary to examine the ways these values are shared in the world.

Works Cited

Marlowe, Christopher. . 2013. Web.

Sidney, Philip. . 2003. Web.

Spenser, Edmund. . 2007. Web.

—. Sonnet 75. n.d. Web.

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IvyPanda. "What Does It Mean to Be Human? What Are the Ethical and Social Implications of This Definition?" July 31, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/what-does-it-mean-to-be-human-what-are-the-ethical-and-social-implications-of-this-definition-term-paper/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "What Does It Mean to Be Human? What Are the Ethical and Social Implications of This Definition?" July 31, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/what-does-it-mean-to-be-human-what-are-the-ethical-and-social-implications-of-this-definition-term-paper/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'What Does It Mean to Be Human? What Are the Ethical and Social Implications of This Definition'. 31 July.

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