Machiavelli 's The Prince, Da Ponte 's Don Giovanni, And Nicholas Till 's Mozart And The Enlightenment

1159 WordsJun 13, 20165 Pages
Many of the texts in First Year Seminar this year have dealt with some aspect of integrity and dignity. Based on the various discussions of the texts and secondary readings - Machiavelli’s The Prince, Da Ponte’s Don Giovanni, and Nicholas Till’s Mozart and the Enlightenment in particular - these terms can be defined as morality and honor, respectively. Machiavelli’s Prince must appear moral without necessarily being moral to maintain respect amongst his subjects. Don Giovanni chooses to die even when given the chance to repent and redeem himself. Till argues that Don Giovanni is an amoral character, and thus can not be considered evil. In each of these examples, one may argue that the characters give up their integrity for the sake of maintaining their dignity. Making such a claim, however, implicitly suggests that integrity and dignity are two exclusive concepts and that one can be considered more important than the other. This is not necessarily true; in fact, the terms are more closely related than they are different in the sense that one can only ever define dignity in terms of integrity. How is one supposed to define what is honorable without having some sense of morality or a moral code? Consequently, it is impossible to give up integrity in order to maintain dignity, as some may argue; in fact, to maintain integrity is to maintain dignity, and to lose integrity is to lose dignity. Accepting the fact that integrity and dignity are exclusive, raises some important

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