Emotion Over Reason And Senses Over Intellect English Literature Essay

Many times in life, we allow our emotions to overcome us. Psychologically speaking, we listen to our heart over the logical mind in decisions with intimate relationships, such as high school boyfriend/girlfriend experiences and even into marital commitments. Some proven to last forever and others fall short of just that. How many times do you use your reason and intellect instead of utilizing your emotions and senses?

In ‘My Last Duchess,’ the Duke entertains an emissary that comes to negotiate the Duke’s marriage. While the Duke entertains this individual, they stop to admire the painting of the most recent Duchess. “Will’t please you sit and look at her?” The Duke explains to the man that this wife partook in flirtatious activity with everyone she came in contact with. Typical he thought, as he promised her, “My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name.”

As her behavior escalated and the Duke made his assumptions of her flirtatious activity, “I gave commands.” At this time, “All smiles stopped together.” The Duke married this Duchess with the intention of spending the rest of his life with her. The Duke listened to his ’emotion’ before thinking logically in reason. As a result, she lost her head.

This brings in emotion over reason. Before thinking logically as to how much this Duchess dedicated her life to the man she loved, the Duke took the easy way out. Oft in life we see this same pattern still with human nature. Many people today act on impulse before reasoning out truth, reason, or rhyme. This happens to shed light on why the level of divorce heightens in society today.

As the Duke and the emissary move on through the palace, the Duke points out other notable artworks that compile his collection. Married several times, he acts as if moving on to the next Duchess seems nothing short of simple. The level of intellect the Duke uses in making his decision to behead her lacks in this story.

His sense of sight allowed him to see and think the worse of the situation at hand. He believed what he saw in the Duchess’ actions of what he thought was promiscuity. However, using logic and intellect in reasoning, this painting would not have been just a painting on the wall. Instead, he possesses a constant reminder of a woman that came in to his life and he rid himself of her faster like a sack of foul trash.

As a king, Ulysses finds little meaning in the fact that because of tradition that he be forced to remain home to rule his kingdom. Instead, he desires to go out and travel and live life to the fullest because his journeys have shaped him into the person that he has become. With this mindset, he feels no remorse in leaving his family behind as well. Ulysses proclaims that, “I cannot rest from travel.” With his experiences, he asserts, “I am a part of all that I have met.”

Because of his travels, he has been exposed to many different ways of living and several unusual types of people. In defining what he longs to encounter in life, he describes his future journeys as broadening his horizons and he wishes, “to follow knowledge like a sinking star.” Basically, sitting still and ruling his kingdom is boring to him.

Here we have again, emotion over reason. He rules his kingdom and is responsible for his palace, family, people, and ensuring it functions accordingly. However, his emotions for what he yearns in life is overcoming his reason. Logically, it is his duty to care for this kingdom, yet, he struggles with his responsibilities and his emotional satisfaction. This man is willing to leave everything behind in order to carry out his lifelong dreams.

Ulysses believes that his son, Telemachus, possesses the ability to rule the kingdom better than himself. He presumes that his son will act as his successor while the great hero resumes his travels he says, “This is my son, mine own Telemachus, to whom I leave the scepter and the isle.” Ulysses makes this point confidently and at the same time he appears to patronize Telemachus.

This ‘announcement’ that Ulysses makes, he wants to believe that Telemachus will do very well as ruler of the isle, but it is obvious that Ulysses senses doubt. Ulysses makes it appear that because he has traveled so much that he may not have bestowed all of the values upon him that he could have. Potentially, Telemachus may not live up to the standards that Ulysses hopes that he can live up to.

Ulysses proclaims to the men that he has traveled with that just because they are old doesn’t mean that they cannot still live life to the fullest. The men, “Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.” Ulysses is very motivational in the form that they still have a lot of life left in them to pursue a “newer world,” and they may even reach the “Happy Isles.”

Emotion over reason and senses over intellect? What type of person are you? Are you dominated by emotion and your senses or is it reason and intellect? Some people are a little bit of both. It all falls back to the nature nurture method. If a person wears their feel goods on their sleeve, they will most commonly fall victim to sensitivity, of which is not at all bad. Some people pursue their dreams, some fall into a rut and stay there. Regardless, how were you raised? A hero? Strong? Weak? Good values? Bad values? Quitter? Persistent? Are you book smart with no common sense or street smart and lack the ability to add two and two? All of it reverts back to how you were raised and your experiences in life.

The last Duchess was probably a very sweet and loving individual of which happened to be very friendly and the Duke to offense to that. Shouldn’t he have known that before he married for the eighty-seventh time? The Duke allowed his emotion and reason to override his senses and his intellect. Ulysses had responsibilities, so? He had dreams that he wanted to pursue. He allowed his emotion and reason to do the same.

When you become an adult out on your own, let Jiminy Cricket help you out every now and then….

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