Friday, January 25, 2008

What is Man? Piece of Work and/or Sinner?

One speaker; two pictures of Man -

What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the world, the paragon of animals—and yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?
(Hamlet, Act 2, scene 2, 303–311)

Get thee to a nunnery: why wouldst thou be a breeder of sinners? I am myself indifferent honest; but yet I could accuse me of such things that it were better my mother had not borne me: I am very proud, revengeful, ambitious, with more offences at my beck than I have thoughts to put them in, imagination to give them shape, or time to act them in. What should such fellows as I do crawling between earth and heaven? We are arrant knaves, all; believe none of us. Go thy ways to a nunnery.
(Hamlet, Act 3, scene 1, 131-139)

Which is the more Biblical view of Man? Both? Neither? Do they have to be mutually exclusive?

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