The goddess Folly gives a speech, praising herself and explaining how much humanity benefits from her services, from politicians to philosophers, aristocrats, schoolteachers, poets, lawyers, theologians, monarchs and the clergy. At the same time, her discourse provides a satire of Erasmus's world, poking fun at false pedantry and the aberrations of Christianity. Woven throughout her monologue, a thread of irony calls into question the goddess's own words, in which ambiguities, allusions and interpretations collide in a way that makes Praise of Folly enduringly fascinating.
Erasmus devoted his life to the study of theology and the defence of Christian ideals. He rose to a prominent position in the Church, and achieved fame for his writings. He played an important part in history by fostering the intellectual climate for the Reformation, and many of his ideas have a legacy which endures to the present day.