Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Representative Men is a collection of seven lectures by Ralph Waldo Emerson, published as a book of essays in 1850. The first essay discusses the role played by "great men" in society, and the remaining six each extoll the virtues of one of six men deemed by Emerson to be great: Plato ("the Philosopher"), Emanuel Swedenborg ("the Mystic"), Michel de Montaigne ("the Skeptic"), William Shakespeare ("the Poet"), Napoleon ("the Man of the World"), and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe ("the Writer"). The work was described by Matthew Arnold as "the most important work done in prose".