Comparing Aristotle's 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon'

783 Words4 Pages
Assignment 5
In the Politics, Aristotle describes three basic sorts of people, known as the beast, the citizen, and the god. Gods and beasts are both barbaric to Aristotle, because their ends are needs, not virtue. This is illustrated on page 109 when he says, “He who is without a polis, by reason of his own nature and not of some accident, is either a poor sort of being, or a being higher than man” (Aristotle, 1996, pg. 109.) This means that man is either a beast or a god if he chooses to be apart from the polis. Aristotle also says, “Not being self-sufficient when they are isolated, all individuals are so many parts all equally depending on the whole. The man who is isolated—who is unable to share in the benefits of political association,
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Jen is a beast because to her, being free means being outside the polis, which is why she leaves to live in the desert. She also thinks power is freedom, which is shown by the scene she beats everyone up in the criminal underworld. She also states in the movie that being a fighter would be exciting, to be totally free, in which Yu responds that fighters also have rules, such as friendship, trust, and integrity. Lo, also known as Dark Cloud, is also a beast because he, by choice, was living with his nomadic tribe instead of living in the polis. Also in the movie, one character is striving to reach the truth, which means he wants to be a god. This character is Li Mu Bai. He attempts to reach the truth by going to Wudan. However, he rejects god and the truth after he had reached it. He stated, “No. I didn't feel the bliss of enlightenment. Instead I was surrounded by an endless sorrow. I couldn't bear it. I broke off my meditation. I couldn't go on. There was something pulling me back” (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, 2000.)
The citizen described by Aristotle is a member of the polis. The polis is particularly important in defining the citizen because it is what allows self-sufficiency. This self-sufficiency creates an artificial equality that causes people to do things for the public good. This is virtuous to Aristotle. Virtue is important to the community because it is contributing to the community’s
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