The Renaissance was a period of European history that would change the world forever. It changed the way people saw art (and other things) and the way people acted. The Renaissance began in 14th-century Italy and spread to the rest of Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. In this period, the society of the Middle Ages with its agricultural economy and church filled life, was transformed into a society that was increasingly influenced by central politics, with a more urban, commercial economy and interests in education, the arts, and music.
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The word “renaissance” (meaning “rebirth” in Latin) wasfirst used in 1855 by the French historian Jules Michelet. Then the great Swiss historian Jakob Burckhardt used and developed on Michelet’s concept. Jakob marked the era as nothing less than ;the birth of modern humanity and consciousness after a long period of decay;. During the Renaissance, many European scholars and artists, especially in Italy, studied the art of ancient Greece and Rome. They wanted to recapture the spirit of the Greek and Roman cultures into their own artistic and literary works.
The Renaissance overlapped the end of the Middle Ages, which began approximately in the 400;s. The leaders of the Renaissance began rejecting many ideas and attitudes of the Middle Ages. For example, people back in the Middle Ages thought that their responsibility was to pray to God and concentrate on saving their soul. Individuals from the Renaissance, on the other hand, argued that people;s responsibilities and duties should be directed at the society in which they lived. The Renaissance also saw the discovery and exploration of new continents, the growth of commerce, and the invention of paper, printing, the mariner;s compass, and gunpowder.
The rebirth of literature, art, and new development of the family structure, was created as a transition from the disastrous Middle Ages to the age of “rebirth,” the Renaissance. These areas of advancements became the major differences of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The Renaissance created numerous improvements in literature since the Middle Ages. In medieval Europe literature was mainly written by the church, therefore used religion as the main topic, and was also written in Latin. Most people of the Middle Ages did not have the ability to use Latin, therefore made the books useless to ordinary people. Since the clergy dictated literary movement, it contained little or no criticism of either the church or politics.
Renaissance was the era of literary revolution. People started to write books in the vernacular language. This made it more accessible to ordinary people. Literature began to criticize both the church and politics. Machiavelli’s “The Prince” rejected the standard Christian view that the state is subject to divine law, exemplifying the disappearing control of church over literature. Hand-written literature of the Middle Ages, limited the amount of books and scripts that could be published. At last, during the Renaissance, Johannes Gutenberg had an inventory breakthrough, the printing press. Thefirst book that was actually published by Gutenberg was the bible, which was published in German vernacular and made understandable for the German people. The printing press greatly increased the number of literature that became published. This increased the popularity of books throughout Europe. During the Renaissance the literary works were mostly created by humanists. Humanist movement not only focused on the study of Greco-Roman literature, but also created the books imitating those of Greek and Roman classics.