Free «Sor Juana» Essay Sample

1. Although separated by space (the ocean) and time (first and last decade of the century), Shakespeare’s Hamlet and The Answer by Sor Juana have some ideas in common from the ideological perspective. Hamlet advises Ophelia to go to the monastery in order to preserve her virtues while Sor Juana claims to have chosen the nunnery as the best possible option to “safeguard her salvation.” Moreover, Sor Juana admits her “total rejection of marriage,” while Hamlet warns Ophelia of the slander she would not avoid in case of getting married. What does this reveal about the values and attitude of the 17th century’s society towards marriage and nunnery from the perspective of ethics, perception of soul, and intellectual development?

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2. Several times the author mentions her intellectual ability given from the above as “light” and “gift,” which was quite significant and allowed her to develop very quickly. On the other hand, she has been struggling hard to “bury her intellect” and fight the harmful temptation to get to know more, although unsuccessfully. What were the main reasons for the contradicting views on enlightenment in the author’s society, what factors forced the author to suppress her natural abilities and produced the inner conflict? Did she truly agree with such view even when trying to conform to the norms?

3. Already in the 17th century the author presents her strong opinion on the need for multidimensional development of personality and complexity of science. In which way are the basic sciences connected and why is it necessary (if it is) to apply multidiscipline approach for a fruitful research combining different spheres of knowledge? 

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