Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Shakespeare, Milton, Schiff

In William Shakespeare’s “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun”, John Milton’s “When I consider how my light is spent”, and Stacy Schiff’s “Know It All: Can Wikipedia Conquer Expertise?”, the idea of imperfection being a part of life that humans must cope with is subtly implied. In Shakespeare’s sonnet, the speaker describes how he views his mistress’ physical appearance. He does not describe her as being an image of beauty, but rather an image of imperfection. Even though we get the impression that he does not find anything particularly attractive about his mistress, he still longs to be with her because he will not let the physical imperfections get in the way of his love for her. In John Milton’s poem, Milton expresses his insecurity about being a blind man in society. Because he felt like his blindness left him at a great disadvantage, he expresses his fear that he did not lead a good enough life for himself. Although he felt insecure about his impairment, one way of coping with it was using his talent as a poet to his advantage and expressing his thoughts through a poem (which he in fact did in this one.) In Staci Shiff’s essay, she discusses Wales’ creation of Wikipedia and how it may not be such a reliable source for accurate information after all. The reason for this is because people are constantly writing and editing information on it everyday. However, by the end of her essay, she raises the point that even though Wikipedia’s information simply comes from our peers, the mainstream media, etc., and may not always be accurate, it is something that allows people to express themselves and their passion for knowledge. Although there may be some flaws in the system now, on a more positive note, Wales has definitely led us in the right direction for the future of online encyclopedias. Each of these authors has a different way of expressing this idea of imperfection existing throughout the world. Imperfections are not things that human beings hope for by any means, but the essential idea is that life is full of them and it is our job to cope and make the most out of what life has to offer.

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