Lecture 1

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University of Toronto St. George
Victoria College Courses
Manuela Scarci

VIC342 – Women and Writing Lecture 1 September 14, 2011 The Renaissance (some people call it The Early Modern Age): • Artistic period • Reflowering of the arts • Revival of the time before the middle ages • Rebirth of classics: Greek and Roman civilizations • Roman Empire before Christ, ends in 500 • Beginning of the Renaissance: 1300 – 1650 • Roman Empire can exist because of the centralized government system • What Romans did when they conquered a place: made roads o Imposed laws on the territory they conquered • Latin gets transformed into French, Spanish, Italian, etc. • Jacob Burckhardt: 1887 – the civilization of the Renaissance in Italy o Triumph of individualism – Europe was living a grey period, Italy was flourishing • The dawn of the modern period vs. “the dark ages” (time between Roman empire and Roman empire) • Early Italian literature: Dante (1265 – 1321), Petrarch, Boccaccio • Medieval men were preoccupied with the divine and the salvation of his soul • Renaissance wasn’t secular but the movement shifted o Dante’s Beatrice becomes more angel-like; idealized, not humanlike  She is instrumental to saving his soul  The woman that is more than a woman  Doesn’t age  Dante must look up – (to God) o Petrarch’s Laura ages and is an actual woman; he says his love is unaltered (Petrarch is a humanist)  Looks here in the present and earth  Allure of this world  Laura leaves reluctantly o Boccaccio  Love stories, adultery, ideal loves  First true “modern man”  Connected to instincts and human instincts  Always sexual fruition • The gradual shift from Dante  Boccaccio • Leonardo Da Vinci (can do a lot of things really well) • Michelangelo – David  at the time, it wasn’t recognized, people didn’t like it o Connected himself to the Romans; the nakedness of man; Michelangelo’s interpretation and connected with Roman culture • Why was Italy
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