In "Self-Reliance," Emerson lists several men who defied unjust laws and suffered the consequences. Who were they?

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In the fourteenth paragraph of his essaySelf-Reliance,” Ralph Waldo Emerson writes:

Is it so bad then to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great...

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In the fourteenth paragraph of his essaySelf-Reliance,” Ralph Waldo Emerson writes:

Is it so bad then to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.

Pythagoras (570-495 B.C.) was an ancient Greek philosopher and mathematician. Socrates (470?-399 B.C.) was a Greek philosopher and teacher. Jesus (8-4 B.C.-29? A.D.) was a Jewish preacher who founded the religion of Christianity. Martin Luther (1483-1546) was a German theologian who led the Protestant Reformation in Germany and founded the Lutheran religion. Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) was a Polish astronomer who proved that the sun, not the earth, was at the center of our universe. Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) was an Italian astronomer, mathematician, and physicist. Isaac Newton (1642-1727) was an English mathematician, known for discovering the law of gravity. Emerson’s point is that these major discoverers, inventors, and philosophers were chastised during their lifetimes for thinking “outside of the box,” so to speak. But history has proven their theories to be correct, after all.

At the same time, Henry Thoreau has a similar list in the 16th paragraph of "Civil Disobedience."

Why does [the American government] not encourage its citizens to be on the alert to point out its faults, and do better than it would have them? Why does it always crucify Christ, and excommunicate Copernicus and Luther, and pronounce Washington and Franklin rebels?

It's interesting that he uses some of the same personalities as examples of people who protested against the norm or who rallied against widely-held belief systems. Thoreau's lecture and essay were written a few years after Emerson's "Self-Reliance."

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