Leviathan

Summary

Book I, Chapters 10-13

Summary Book I, Chapters 10-13

Significantly, the state of nature, the "state of meer nature," is called a state. The natural condition of mankind is thus not only a temporal condition, something that happened in the past, nor is it merely a potential deterioration of culture, something that happens in civil war. It is also a circumstance of geographical place. A striking parallel will soon become evident, providing novelistic structure to Hobbes's writing; the state of nature and the state of the Leviathan are two sides of the same coin, and the characters of the natural men, as well as the character of fear, traffic back and forth between the different states. This literariness will be more apparent after Hobbes discusses the engineering of the Leviathan.

By finding traces of the state of nature in civil war, Hobbes endows his book with a relevance wider than first acknowledged. Not only is it an objective pursuit of philosophical knowledge, but it is also a political commentary on the English Civil Wars. Hobbes makes his political sympathies quite clear when he describes the time of Charles I's regicide as having been plagued with the horrors characteristic of a state of nature. By crafting such a brutal image of civil war, Hobbes's rhetoric strives to terrify his reader; in contemplating civil war, the reader is supposed to experience the same fear felt by natural man in a state of nature. Rather than sticking to an intellectual persuasion, Hobbes gladly employs more emotional techniques to convince his audience and thereby further displays his literary sensibility.