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?
I think his pattern of contrasts between political ideals and concrete realities really do apply to today’s world. Now is a good time to talk about this since elections are going on and you can see examples of this all over the media. There is a lot of negative energy put into elections in order to make the one person look better than the other. Sometimes, this method does work and sometimes it doesn’t but the success rate of this approach does not make it right. According to Machiavelli, he describes the perfect ruler in such a way where saying anything bad about him/her would be a lie. The ruler would respected and known as a person who was true to his people. This kind of political leader just isn’t common these days, and people are okay with that kind of campaigning. It is okay as long as the people are happy with their leader which also isn’t that common these days either.
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?
Sister Juana de la Cruz chooses to cut off her hair if she did not learn, and she wouldn’t of if she learned more quickly. There are a lot of stories in which hair represents not only a form of power but other characteristics also. In the bible and the story of Samson, the power that his hair possessed made him feel more whole and a sense of strength. When it was cut off, he lost all of that and felt very weak. Another story is Medusa in which her head of snakes represented evil and was to show fear.
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 think it all has to do with sacrificing to the Gods. The term ‘song’ is a way to give the proper sacrificial thanks if you will in order to do it correctly. The warriors were their flowers and wanted to do things right for the Gods in order to praise them correctly.