Erasmus of Rotterdam is highly critical of the monastic life. Not as one who avoids hard work. He accuses a certain segment as doing such; but also to argue if one follows the letter of discipline as just as much folly because the participant does not work either to further God's Kingdom or the general well-being on earth. He accuses the participants of being self-absorbed and not really humble. Highly critical of monks and monastic life as not being self-sacrificing, but rather self-gratifying: To be perceived as wise but in truth teaching trivia. To follow the trivia of the monastery but to be disobedient to God's will.
Elizabeth I: Speech to the Troops at Tilbury
Elizabeth evokes courage later in her Tilbury speech by comparing herself to a king. Elizabeth at first admits reality that she is just a “weak and feeble woman.” Then she claims to be almost a king trapped in a woman’s body. By saying she has “the heart and stomach of a king,” she uses symbols to show she is much like a man. The heart would be a symbol of the virtues of courage, bravery and loyalty. The stomach would be a symbol for being able to keep breakfast down as the bodies and gore of battle pile up around them. Elizabeth is saying she could be right in the midst of battle with them, and the soldiers would never see a feminine quality about her the entire time. She is hinting that Spain is attacking her because she is a woman, even though she has shown all these qualities of a man. Even if the Spanish cannot see her masculine qualities, she has made sure the English can. She says rather than be dishonored she will “take up arms, I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder...” She again is offering to fight, even though in practicality she never will. Taking on the role of general, judge, and rewarder is assigning herself tasks that are reserved for men. Elizabeth’s words defiantly show she is trying to portray herself as a woman with masculine qualities, and that these qualities are what makes a good ruler.
Erasmus and Luther: The Reformer’s Dilemma
Both Luther and Erasmus respected and supported each other’s teachings until when they dug deeper and found out that their views and ways of reforming clashed. Luther was very bold and stood away from the church with the risk of being excommunicated, and strived to make greater change to a few at a time while Erasmus always got permission from the state, and thought it was better to have less change to a greater group of people. Luther viewed Erasmus as a coward who did not really understand scripture and Erasmus saw Luther as a violent tragedy.
Luther did act out, and many did not tolerate his bold and rebellious actions, but he full out supported what he believed was true and right. Erasmus did not stray away from the church and Luther calls him a coward for not fully standing up to what is right,