Age of Renassaince Essay

This essay has a total of 926 words and 4 pages.

Age of Renassaince

The Renaissance, which began in Italy in the fourteenth century, was a period of great
change in art, culture, and science. The word Renaissance means rebirth. Many of the
greatest artists in history, such as Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, lived during this
period, but did not follow the trends of society. Great artist like Michelangelo and da
Vinci began their own trends based on personal experience and beliefs.

Renaissance's society was very different from feudal society of the Middle Ages. There are
many contrasts in the ideals and values of the Renaissance and of the Middle Ages. The
Middle Ages was a time of great suffering, including famine and wide spread disease. The
Renaissance, however, was a revival of art, learning, and literature. The purpose of life
was viewed differently during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. During "The Age of
Faith," or the Middle Ages, man's purpose was to serve God. Life was a journey. The life
of highest value was the contemplative life, a life devoted to God.

In sharp contrast, man's purpose during the Renaissance was to exercise virtue, or the excellence as a man.
During the Renaissance, towns in southern Europe had grown greatly in size. The wealthy
people who lived in Renaissance society had more leisure time and money than did those of
the Middle Ages. This meant they could spend more time studying new ideas and had could
afford to patronize the arts. During the Renaissance, people became tired of the trends of
the Middle Ages. To them, the feudal period had been a period of inactivity and sluggish
growth. People of the Renaissance admired the Classical Age and the great artists and
philosophers of ancient Greece and Rome. Humanism, an intellectual and cultural movement
based on the study of classical works, was highly regarded during the Renaissance.
Characteristics of humanism include scientific attitude, a love of beauty, the practice of
human virtue, love of proportion, celebration of man, and action. Humanists were strong
believers in ethics, and they believed that eloquence was a representation of ethics.

In the 1400's, the feudal system became weak and national Governments became stronger.
People put more emphasis on humanism than on the church. During the Renaissance,
technology had advanced. Martin Luther started the reformation against the Catholic
Church. As the effect of the Reformation, a middle class emerged making it possible for
people to travel more. Technology became more advanced and more available to the common
public. The printing press made it possible to publish books. Ideas of the Renaissance
were spread through some of these books and commoners could own a copy of the Bible. The
weakening of the Roman Catholic Church, brought about by the Protestant Reformation,
changed the way people felt about the church and its importance in their life.

Diversity became an interest of the city population, and the wealth of the cities provided
opportunity for the cultivation of any culture taste or talent. Wealth also provided the
means for unprecedented luxury and display, and led to a more conscious refinement of
social life.

Michelangelo was a republican, but his notion of freedom did not apply to the free
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