1. Granted that Machiavelli’s own historical context is remote, how far does his pattern of contrasts between political ideals and concrete realities apply today?

The pattern of contrasts between political ideals and concrete realities definitely applies in todays society. Every politician says they’re the “best’ or will do the most for society as a leader. In reality, they campaign by trashing the opponents rather than up talking themselves. Every politicians slogan should be “Ill tell you what everyone else wont do.’ Personally I don’t believe the perfect leader to be someone who throws everyone else under the bus. I would prefer a leader who takes ownership and holds himself responsible before others.

2. Sister Juana de la Cruz cuts off her hair to force herself to learn more quickly, although she knows that among young women, “the natural adornment of one’s hair is held in such high esteem.’ Finally, she enters the convent (where woman had their heads shorn). What other works have you read that emphasize the importance of a woman’s hair? Why does it seem to have so much symbolic value in such a range of cultures and times?

The only story that I can think of about is Repunzel. Her long hair is how a knight is able to come up to her tower by climbing her hair. Long hair represents beauty in society. Every time I picture a queen I get this image of a maid brushing the queens hair, and this is probably because her hair needs to be maintained because it is a status. In those times only the rich were able to wash and keep long hair like that clean so people who were poorer would keep it shorter than someone of a higher class.

3. Bear in mind that the Aztec warrior’s highest duty is to bring home live captives for sacrifice. Give the Song for Admonishing a careful reading and decide–without researching the entire Cantares Mexicanos–what possible meaning might be assigned to the figurative terms “flower’ and “song.’

I believe that the term flower is referring to the deceased warriors that had fallen in combat. As for the term “song’ I believe it has to do with whatever ceremony was practiced to honor the warriors that were captured to be sacrificed.