The European Renaissance was a not just a cultural and literary revolution but also a social one. The middle of the fourteenth century saw the beginning of a number of events that would shape the future of the world and how we live. This era of the renaissance saw a complete change in the approach to literature and writing, Science and Technology, Religion and culture. It is only necessary that we take a look at this fascinating period of transformation in the European society.
The Renaissance writers, unlike the European romanticists who preceded them, were more interested in the expression of the classical view than on self-expression. The Renaissance writers found solace in 'imitation' of the classical style of writing and thoughts but were in no way cheap plagiarists. To the renaissance writing consisted of three things: art, imitation and exercise. This Renaissance age, which means 'Rebirth', that lasted for over three centuries from 14 th to the 17 th, saw the revival of 'poetry' that was accused of being an aid for the corruption of the youth in the society by elaborating and glorifying all that is immoral including lust and wantonness. Poetry was seen by the philosophers as an enemy to the social good and so was excluded.The Renaissance Literature glorified war and invasion and praised the courage of defending one's nation. Though these writers prescribed to imitation, they never accepted any thought without careful considerations. Thus mere antiquity did not earn the patronage of these writers.
The Renaissance saw a great deal of religious reformations including the launch and propagation of the Protestantism by Martin Luther King. This marked the beginning of the end of the supreme control that the papacy had over the entire European continent. This led to drastic religious and moral reforms and put the power back in the hands of the people.
Science was probably the biggest beneficiary of the Renaissance revolution in Europe. Almost all important discoveries, to which the modern science vows everything, was made in this little span of three centuries. Renaissance probably gave these scientists the courage that they needed to publish their discoveries which were earlier suppressed by the church, deeming it as heresy and punishing these great men as enemies to Christianity.
Also in this little time were born the Greatest of painters and scupltors the world has seen including Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Boticelli, Caravaggio, Massacio and others. Their works have been regarded as the greatest ever and have been very rarely matched afterwards.
The concept of 'The Great Chain of Being' was one of the important thoughts of the Renaissance era. In simple words this thought provided that every being in this earth has its own place in the chain and this place depended upon the manifestation of the spirit inside. Thus everyone was expected to play his role according to his place in the chain and deviation from this causes chaos. But Political leaders of some European nations during this era were accused of using this concept to their own selfish ends.
The Renaissance also gave rise to a very important school of thought called 'Humanism'. Humanism shifted the focus from the other world to the present life that a man lives thus putting an end to the over emphasis on religion and rituals for the sake of the after world. This in turn resulted in the growth of the modern political system by making public life more important and fashionable to man. Social involvement was seen as the epitome of a dignified human life rather than futile religious doctrines.
Thus the age of the renaissance can very well be credited for ushering in the modern age and the improvement of the human society.
Only at times? :)
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