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					What is the Renaissance?

  What do you associate with
   Renaissance characters?
             Renaissance
• How do Renaissance writers portray
  characters?
           Renaissance characters
• They follow in the tradition of the Middle Ages: they
  explore the relationship of their characters to their
  social roles (Canterbury Tales)
• Yet the most memorable characters of the Renaissance
  enjoy greater autonomy and more fully realized
  personalities than Chaucer’s pilgrims
• Broad-minded Gargantua
• Idealistic but mad Quixote,
• Romantic but doomed Othello
• Characters are presented in acts of thought, fantasy,
  doubt, and internal debate
Salvadore Dali, Don Quixote
Fabrizio Moraes,Don Quixote
Gargantua
Gustave Dore, Gargantua
Othello
Othello and Desdemona
Hamlet
              Renaissance
• What are the reasons for the shift toward
  internal, mental portraiture?
        Revolutionary changes

• On scientific, geographical, and scholarly
  fronts, the world of Renaissance Europe
  was undergoing revolutionary change
• Renaissance authors could not passively
  receive the traditional wisdom of previous
  ages
        Revolutionary changes
• As a result of the new discoveries (Copernicus,
  Galileo, Columbus), the Renaissance mind had
  to reconcieve the nature of the universe
• The new discoveries challenged European and
  human centrality in the world
• The compass, the printing press, and the gun
  were ‘signs of the union of the entire world’
• For John Donne, the new discoveries amount to a
  second creation, so radical is the new theory of
  the world’s construction (no firm ground to stand
  on)
         Renaissance

• What is the meaning of the
  term Renaissance?
         the term ‘Renaissance’

• ‘rebirth’- one impulse toward creativity
  came from the example of ancient culture
• The restoration of ancient canons was
  regarded as a glorious achievement
• Machiavelli: rulers should be as keen on
  the imitation of ancient virtues as are artists,
  lawyers, and the scientists
   What is the chronological span of
            the movement?
• The peak of the Renaissance can be shown to have
  occurred at different times in different countries (elasticity)
• Inception in Italy (visual arts)
• It developed later in England (main achievements in
  drama)
• The meaning of the word widened: it conveys artistic
  creativity, zest for life and knowledge, sensory delight
• References to classical mythology, philosophy, and
  literature are not ornaments or affectations
• E.g. Erasmus speaks in a cluster of classical allusions in
  The Praise of Folly
Erasmus
Erasmus, In Praise of Folly
          Humanist

• What is the meaning of the
  term Humanist?
    meaning of the term ‘humanist’
• 14th c. the people who gave new impulse to the
  emulation of the classics
• The word is related to what we call the
  humanities, and the humanities at that time were
  Latin and Greek
• Every cultivated person wrote and spoke Latin,
  with the result that a Western community of
  intellectuals could exist, a spiritual ‘republic of
  letters’ above individual nations
            Vocation

• Where does the archetype of
  literature as a vocation come
  from?
                        Vocation
• Petrarch – anticipated certain ideals of the high
  Renaissance:
• A lofty conception of the literary art, a taste for the good
  life, basic pacifism, strong sense of the memories of
  antiquity
• Visionary and imaginative element:
• Lack of a scientific sense of history (e.g. Shakespeare’s
  Romans)
• Hackneyed, inaccurate notion that the ‘light’ of the
  Renaissance broke through a long ‘night’ of the Middle
  Ages
Francesco Petrarca
Petrarch
          Renaissance

• What is the definition of
  Renaissance?
  Definition of the Renaissance
• Preoccupation with this life rather than with
  the life beyond
• Medieval man; conceives of life on earth as
  transient
• Renaissance man: earthly interests,
  immediate enjoyment
          Renaissance

• What is the Renaissance code of
  behavior?
                 T
  The Renaissance code of behavior
• Human action is judged not in terms of right or
  wrong, of good and evil, but in terms of its
  effectiveness, of the delight it affords (amoral,
  aesthetic character?)
• Architecture, sculpture, rhetoric: taste for the
  harmonious and the memorable
• Virtue –connotes active power, technical skill,
  ‘virtuoso’
• Machiavellian prince: efficient management of
  princely powers not goodness
Florence
Renaissance architecture
Sculpture
       The presence of God in the
              Renaissance
• Unrestrained and self-sufficient practice of one’s
  virtues (Machiavelli, Rabelais, Cellini)
• such virtues and skills are God's gift
• But the presence of God in the Renaissance is less
  dominating than in the Middle Ages (extemporal
  design)
• Conflict between the values of worldly goods and
  spiritual renunciation
• Church and state inextricably bound together
• Papacy-political as well as spiritual power
Machiavelli
                    Machiavelli
•   "These methods are very cruel, and enemies to all
  government not merely Christian but human, and any man
  ought to avoid them and prefer to live a private life rather
  than to be a king who brings such ruin on men.
  Notwithstanding, a ruler who does not wish to take that
  first good way of lawful government, if he wishes to
  maintain himself, must enter upon this evil one. But men
  take certain middle ways that are very injurious; indeed,
  they are unable to be altogether good or altogether bad."
• Niccolo Machiavelli
  The Prince
Machiavelli
            Church and state
• Charles V of Spain united most of Europe under
  his rule and declared himself the Holy Roman
  Emperor
• Henry VIII of England broke with the Catholic
  church and declared himself head of the Church
  of England
• The Reformist movements (Luther, Calvin) were
  rapidly adopted by Renaissance princes bridling
  under papal authority
         Religion vs. pleasure
• Sensuous appraisal of a woman’s beauties plays
  a large part in poetry
• Religious convictions did not hamper poets to
  appreciate sensuous beauty
• A woman’s body: a spiritual experience and ‘a
  paradise on earth’ to conquer
• E.g. Renaissance Madonnas serve celebrations
  of earthly beauty rather than mystical hopes of
  salvation
Raphael, Madonna
Raphael, Madonna

				
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