Questions and Answers

Essays by Michel De Montaigne (Part 1)


  1. What are the various ways in which Montaigne uses the word "barbarous" and its cognates ("barbarian", "barbarity", etc.) in "On Cannibals"?
  2. What is the distinction between regret, remorse, and repentance as Montaigne uses these terms in "On Repentance"?

My Response:

1. Montaigne uses this word to describe the people from the other place, adopting the lens of his fellow "civilized" people, but also uses it to describe the people in his society. He notices that they use the word to describe people that are contrary to their own culture, no matter whether they are better or not. He realizes that in many ways, the "barbarians" from that other place lead a much happier, more leisure lifestyle. He also shows how even though their actions (e.g. cannibalism) may seem barbarous, it is actually less so than actions of those in his country (e.g. feeding living people to the dogs/pigs).


So this answer was a bit on the weaker side, I think. Most of my points were fairly obvious and my wording was pretty awkward, but I think I still effectively answered the question. What do you think? For this response, I got a check mark for a grade.

The bounty for this page is $25