NOTES ON PAPER - the ignorant in knowledge and in the...

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Ridiculous NOTES ON PAPER Social and gender relations in Pharaonic Egypt Social hierarchies? Gender hierarchies? What ideas of behavior does the text espouse? What sorts of societal or political problems is the text responding to? Written during the Old Kingdom—time of development in literature, art, architecture— functions of a prospering and growing society This document reveals the importance of wisdom and teaching, especially to the upper class. That Ptahhotep took the time to produce a code of conduct for his son demonstrates a level of commitment to the development of a strong society through education and right conduct. We know from the introduction that Ptahhotep was the Mayor of the city, giving him a high position of authority and position within Egyptian society. The second paragraph of introduction acknowledges that Ptahhotep speaks as a means of, “instructing
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Unformatted text preview: the ignorant in knowledge and in the standard of excellent discourse, as profit for him who will hear, as woe to him who would neglect them” (Ptahhotep 29). A simple generalization that can be gathered from this text is that those who seek and possess knowledge will be profitable and those who do not will remain inferior. In the opening lines of instruction Ptahhotep seems to almost immediately contradict himself, “Don’t be proud of your knowledge, consult the ignorant and the wise; the limits of art are not reached, no artist’s skills are perfect.” Ptahhotep accepts the importance that Egyptian society places upon knowledge but emphasizes that man must remain humble. By opening this way Ptahhotep sets the stage for the remainder of his instructions, and we will continue to see the importance of humility come into play throughout the text....
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