The Praise of Folly Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Where was Erasmus when he was writing The Praise of Folly?

Erasmus claims that he was on his way from Italy to England when he wrote Praise of Folly. He also claims he was on horseback.

2. Why did Erasmus dedicate his book to Thomas More?

Erasmus dedicated his book to Thomas More because the two were great friends and because Erasmus knew that his friend would appreciate the humor of the book. Also, the very idea of writing about folly came from a play on More's name.

3. Did Erasmus anticipate criticism for his book? Why or why not?

Yes, Erasmus anticipated that people would criticize his book. The two main charges, he believed, would be against the book's frivolity and sarcasm.

4. Did Erasmus consider The Praise of Folly too frivolous for a theologian?

No, Erasmus did not consider The Praise of Folly too frivolous for a theologian. He argues that famous authors before him had written frivolity and fun in a thesis. To validate his point, Erasmus lists several authors who wrote lighthearted works.

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