Spontaneity And Social Responsibility Essay

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Pulling from both sides of the discussion, Terence Eagleton in his book Shakespeare and Society: Critical Students in Shakespearean Drama emphasizes a balance, a fusion of two views, personal spontaneity and social responsibility. This discussion comes down to what people consider when they make choices, the near term and their needs and wants or what is best for or required by society, respectively, the later is generally pro-institution. Although there are two sides of the discussion, Eagleton focuses on the views of the proponents for personal spontaneity. He analyses their arguments and finds the strengths, in adapting social institutions and weaknesses, in proposing paradoxes. He also looks at MacBeth by William Shakespeare and finds the hazards of personal spontaneity, exemplified by the repercussions of MacBeth’s …show more content…
It advocates a society where its people “will not easily be side-tracked by ill-considered calls to action” (179). Meaning they, unlike robots, will not simply follow the direction of their society, but truly consider the reasoning and implications themselves. This idea of analysing the situation shows up in Eagleton’s fusion within the institutions themselves. The reason he has this as an attribute of institutions is that he sees that this argument could slide into a “protest against action itself” (179) if left to people. This emerges later in Matthew Arnold’s book the Function of Criticism at the Present Time, the voice of this ideal, when it has “criticism assume precedence over action”(179). This would result in no larger societal action getting done as all would be consumed in analysing and criticising the calls to action. While this concept exhibits the Catch-22 of personal spontaneity, it also shows why some spontaneity is necessary in the society. Where Arnold has spontaneity in the people, Eagleton puts spontaneity in the

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