MARS 1F90 Lecture Notes - Christine De Pizan, Jacob Burckhardt, Determinism

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MARS 1F90
Lecture 12
What happened to the Renaissance?
1. The term “Renaissance” and the individual
a. Not familiar to anyone in the 16th cent. [they did not know that it was considered a
particular period in history at the time - did not use the term renaissance]
b. “Rinascita” [Italians used this term to describe a rediscovery time- intellectuals
understood that it was different then the middle ages]
c. Jean Michelet [began applying the term renaissance 'la renaissance']
i. History of France [his book, 7 volumes - on the history of France]
ii. La Renaissance: [7th volume of his books only named La Renaissance]“…
the discovery of the world and the discovery of man. The sixteenth
century … went from Columbus to Copernicus, from Copernicus to Galileo,
from the discovery of the earth to that of the heavens. Man refound
himself.” [defined the renaissance as ..*see above* discovery of man - the
past 500 yrs were a time where the focus fell on humanity as opposed to the
preceding 500 yrs that focused on God. God -> humanity] Essential idea of
the renaissance is the rediscovery of the idea of the individual
iii. The Renaissance as the rediscovery of the individual, especially in writers
like Rabelais, Montaigne, and Shakespeare
d. Jacob Burckhardt and his emphasis on the development of an individual awareness
in the Renaissance [Burckhardt and individualism - he placed emphasis on it in the
renaissance - the idea of the sense of the self (individual awareness)]
rediscovering merit and achievement as status in society - asked for portraits of
themselves = sense of the individual
e. Petrarch and the idea of the individual
i. He writes 365 poems between 1327 and 1374 (Il Canzoniere)[ his love for
Laura - but in describing his love, it's his sense of trying to find identity]
ii. The subject of his poetry is the idealized female figure
iii. the complexity of his individuality [I am unlike anybody else - sense of
individual- as he describes its like a process of him shaping his identity]
iv. He uses his poetry to explore the complexity of his individuality (“I am
unlike anybody I know”)
v. It’s almost as if his identity is shaped by his love for Laura
2. The status of women [women begin to take a stronger stand against male stereotypes of
women - being to write]
a. Did women have a Renaissance?
b. In the 15th and 16th centuries, women take a stronger stand against male stereotypes
of women [ many from the wealthy or privileged class]
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