1. Nicolo Machiavelli was a brilliant man who dabbled in all the social science fields, and then some. He was a philosopher, politician, writer. But, in my opinion, even genius’s in the 1500’s ideas may be outdated in modern history, with some exceptions, because we’ve had 500 years of talking about it and exploring about it, so for example Machiavelli’s belief in violence being necessary for stabilization of power. His name has even been used as an adjective in modern English for overpowering someone of a threat to you: “Machiavellian.’ However, Machiavelli was named perhaps the father of modernity, by Leo Strauss, as his book “The Prince,’ seems to characterize the behavior of modern politics. So whereas I disagree with Machiavelli’s proposed political ideas, his beliefs are not without fans in the modern world today.
2. The way I see it, hair is revered because it’s a distinguishing part about being a woman, and traditionally gender roles are very strong with women being smart and noble and men being hardworking and the provider. Growing hair takes patience and time, as well as good health, so a womans’ hair is like a visual of her womanhood. However, when being a woman isn’t a priority to some individuals, and a greater identity is being strove for, like a career in the armed forces, or like how Pocahontas cuts her long beautiful hair to fight for her people, or being in a convent, when one can learn being a woman is more that what’s on the outside.
3. It sounds like a song about war and glory and cowardice; the first line mentions the song and the beating of drums to wake his friends, so I think that means waking them for war. And I think the flowers are God’s gift to those that fight for him on earth, whom he rewards when they go up to heaven after fighting. I do think there is a reference to god and his greatness, with the imagery of “where the flood and blaze are spreading, where the sprit eagle shines, and jaguar growls,’ (pg1). And then the closing statement is very invoking, “Offer your shield, stand up, you eagle jaguar!’ I think he means offer your fight to the cause, much like the Aztec warriors. Or maybe the flowers are the live captives they sought for sacrifice.. whatever the flowers are, they’re a revered thing.