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What happened to the Renaissance? LEC 12

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Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Andre Basson

1 MARS 1F90 Lecture 12 What happened to the Renaissance? 1. The term “Renaissance” and the individual a. Not familiar to anyone in the 16 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? th th b. In the 15 and 16 centuries, women take a stronger stand against male stereotypes of women [ many from the wealthy or privileged class] 2 c. Christine de Pizan and the modern feminist movement [first to earn income as woman writer - used literature (the educated class) to oppose the male dominate stereotype.] th d. Women writers in the 16 cent. i. They began to claim equality in areas traditionally regarded as a male preserve [asked for equally - like writing poetry used it to contradict the views of women] ii. Some asserted freedom from the burdens of domestic life [Christine = women lack education as men and therefore are not the same, need the same to equal out] iii. Women in political life [various parts of Europe women were in political roles] 1. In the Vatican 2. Isabella of Castile [partnership with certain man and ruled Spain] e. The idea of human free will [we can be whatever we want to be] 3. Calvin’s doctrine of predestination [Calvin = disagreed; some predestined to go to heaven and some to go to hell] (no human freedom) a. The idea that every individual is responsible for his/her own actions [can't have free will and not have responsibility for your actions(you've chosen to do what you did)] b. Luther and the freedom of the individual [claimed in human freedom - especially in the authority of the church (everyone is a priest) Freedom of the individual] i. Every man is a priest ii. The idea of Christian liberty (“A Christian man is a perfectly free lord, subject to none”) c. The link between this idea of freedom and our modern conceptions of freedom [modern society people believe in pure free will of the human being] d. Erasmus [Luther believed we did not have free will while Erasmus believes we do] e. Predestination and scientific determinism [Charles Darwin - scientific determinism as predestination] 4. Civic humanism [Modern - no more concern for our community. Renaissance - could be an individualist and proud of your humanity but still have concern for your community] a. The individual’s responsibility toward his community and vice versa [could only be an individualist through his community - Florence : as an individual you had responsibility to your community] b. Merit and excellence (the Medici) [invested money in art instead of themselves to beautify their city - benefit the community] c. Say in the government [free elections - sense of an individual standing in a community was dependant not on birth as much but on merit] people allowed to elect who should govern them. d. From republican form of government to monarchy (gave a sense of competitiveness to
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