Explication des textes
Explication des textes is an internal revelation of logic in a text. Explication des textes requires the involvement a comprehensive examination of objectives and purpose of an image, structure, style and other feature of art. The front piece picture was a creative work of Thomas Hobbes.
For the purpose of introduction, Thomas Hobbes was a Derbyshire philosopher, historian and scientist of the 15th century. He is well known for his well articulated master piece of 1651 called the leviathan. He opinion was that the initial role of the government was to maintain collective security. In his arguments, he suggests that the people collectively come together in an agreement called the social contract and give the power to be ruled to the government. His books have been adopted in various universities across the world as class texts (Malcolm 502).
Explication des textes as a skill can be used on Thomas Hobbes’ works to reveal the philosopher’s hidden logic to emphasize the contents of his texts. Just as Gould acknowledges, Explication des textes is used to Leviathan to represent coherent arguments contained in the brilliance and synthesis of the philosopher’s careful construction.
The frontispiece picture has a strong muscular man standing with a sword in one hand and a whisk in the other hand. He has long hair and on top of his head he has a crown, like that of a king. He seems to be standing slightly behind a hill but he is tall enough to be seen. At the foot of the hill there are several buildings arranged in a manner to look like a city. At the center of the city, there is a tall building which looks like a palace. At what appears like the entrance to the city or a gate, there is a square with buildings and weapons of war.
Thomas Hobbes uses the picture of a strong man standing with a sword in one hand to signify the ruler or king of the people. He holds a sword to signify the power he has to force his subjects into submission. The subjects have to obey him in exchange for their lives. The sword also symbolizes the responsibility he has of protecting the people and the land against internal and external enemies. The fly whisk in his left hand signifies how the king can get to power through the social contract with the people. A social contract is a voluntary agreement between the ruler and the ruled where the ruled surrenders their power to rule to one king and they have a responsibility of obedience in exchange for protection and security. The strong body of the ruler symbolizes his ability to force people into obedience when necessary. The palace of the ruler is located around the city marked by beautiful and well built buildings symbolizing the privileges the ruler enjoys as a result of his position in the community (Malcolm 402).
The square has pictures of military artifacts like machine guns, fighting soldiers on horses, the kings crown cap, the palace, uniformed military officers standing at an alert and other symbols of the state. They seem to symbolize the sovereignty of the republic which Thomas Hobbes is referring to in the text. The writings, LEVIATHAN or MATTER FORME and POWER of a COMMON WEALTH ECCLESIASTICALL and CIVIL by THOMAS HOBBES of MALMESBVRY represent the title of the philosopher’s work and the author.
Malcolm, Noel. Aspects of Hobbes, New York: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print.