Type: Literary Analysis
Pages: 3 | Words: 638
Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Montaigne was one of the most prolific writers during the time of the French Renaissance. It is the period of Renaissance that most philosophers and writers differed in the majority of their views on humanity. These differences motivated many writers and philosophers to write books and other papers explaining their opinions about human identity. Montaigne’s views about humanity were at variance with the views of other writers such as Pico who believed that human beings were the greatest among all God’s creations. This essay explicates Montaigne’s views on the human identity.

Montaigne had an idea that human beings are inferior to all other creatures in the Universe. In his works he states that a man claims to be the master of the Universe, however, he cannot even master himself. Concerning this assertion, Montaigne is of the view that human beings do not have the capacity for taking care and controlling the rest of the world that surrounds them. Montaigne does not agree with the opinion that human beings are the best creatures created by God, ones who are to take care about the Universe. In line with the view that human beings live in the world that they cannot command, Montaigne goes ahead and talks about the failures of a man. He achieves this by citing some of the disasters that a man has caused for the Globe. He sums up the failure of human beings with the assertion that “presumption is our natural and original malady”.

In addition, he tries to compare humanity to other creatures. Montaigne believes that other creatures are more reasonable than human beings, because they understand them more than human beings do. Montaigne asserts that “other creatures consider human beings to beasts the same way human beings perceive them to be”. Thus, this implies that human beings are at the same level with other creatures. In fact, Montaigne reiterates that some creatures could even be superior to human beings because of their actions. He explains the ways in which animals have power over humans so that they improve the nature. Montaigne’s aim in his works is to present the view that human beings are inferior to all other creatures that were created by God.

Finally, Montaigne is of the view that human beings are always restless and reel with a natural intoxication. This implies that human beings are the most unsettled creatures as they move from one place to another every minute (Whitehead, 78). They are in constant motion as they seek different opportunities and other interests. In the course of this movement around the Universe, human beings are notorious as they tamper with the well-established natural systems. Furthermore, this portrays their little reasoning and care about the overall environment. Therefore, he asserts that human beings need to find a resting place that will help them rediscover themselves.   

In conclusion, it is worth mentioning that the Renaissance period is much debated as each writer wants his or her views about humanity to be considered the best. Montaigne writes his essay explaining how human beings are inferior to other creatures of the Universe. Notably, most of his views about the identity of human beings are based on Science and not Christianity. According to him, human beings have many faults in their behavior and are remarkable for the failures because they cannot even control the world that they are living in. Montaigne points out that other creatures like animals may be superior to humans because of the idea that all humans are the beasts. It is vital to note that all the views held by Montaigne were meant to belittle the importance of a man and to portray his inferiority in the Universe. Additionally, these views imply that a man does not have the authority to take control over other creatures because they are more superior to him.

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