What a piece of work is man!
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What a piece of work is man! book
Man, the little world, as Ficino called him, following a tradition that goes apparently back to Democritus was viewed as synchronized to the big world's dynamism, becoming both author and object of change, when he acted on himself. The difference between God and man is that God contains all things in Himself as their origin, and man contains all things in himself as their center. Hence in God all things are of better stamp than in themselves, whereas in man inferior things are of nobler mark and the superior are degenerate. The philosophers thought humanity with the metaphysical Adam in their mind, and conceived emancipation as the actualization of that archetype, while Shakespeare represented on stage real men and women as changing entities in time. Hamlet's speech to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in Act II proves that he was familiar with the glorification of man in perennial philosophy: What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason.