Makes Renaissance So Exceptional?
Each epoch brought certain changes into the world history. In the course of time new values and understanding of life were gradually formed. Some changes were easily accepted in society, others needed time to get used to. Speaking about the epoch of Renaissance, I can’t help saying that it was an exceptional period in history for several reasons. Firstly people changed their attitude to life. From that time on, people began to pay more attention to learning. Knowledge of different subjects was supposed to help them to understand the surrounding world. People strived to become scientists, discoverers, poets and painters at the same time. Curious broad-minded people with a great variety interests were especially appreciated. In comparison with them modern people became more pragmatic. Human individuality and freedom of thoughts was revealed in different spheres of people’s life. The very fact that people used to know and apply to life absolutely different subjects simultaneously makes the epoch exceptional. Nowadays it’s hard to imagine that people could cope with such a great amount of information which they ought to know. It seems to be impossible that one may spend the whole life in search of truth.
What motivated people to explore the world so passionately? I think that the main reason was feeling of love and beauty. They made people move forward, concentrate on certain subject and then proceed to another. Originally humanism meant love to people. During the epoch of Renaissance human was the central value. One may say that people were proud and conceit. Personally I would rather say it was their general condition. I think such self-estimation came from heart and was later expressed in creative works of art.
Italian humanists required freedom for people. One may ask what’s so special about it. Nowadays people are free to express any idea they like and no one will oppress or accuse it. Even modern literature has no limitations. We live in the period when we are free to publish anything we like. In this way Renaissance has certain common features with present days. The main difference however is that people now don’t strive for knowledge so passionately. Although nowadays we consume great amounts of information every day, few of us are well-read in different subjects. It is more likely that a person will chose one particular sphere to work in. Freedom (in its true concept) means individual personality. Humanism proves that people are free to do whatever they like and nobody has rights to interfere with their activity. People used to express their individuality in literature, music, art, science. I remember having read that the most characteristic feature of Renaissance in Italy is particular interest in music. People invented new instruments and participated in orchestra. A lot of new branches in music were developed during this period. It’s common knowledge that every person has certain skills and talents. The main peculiarity of the Renaissance is that people valued themselves higher then anything in the world and listened attentively to personal desires and needs.
People of Renaissance praised beauty in the first place (Burckhardt, 2005). They saw beauty in women’s appearance. It also differs this epoch from others, because as we know from history women were usually suppressed in society and their role wasn’t so significant. During Renaissance however the power of women’s beauty was overwhelming. It was the first time in the whole history of humanity when women took up an exceptional place. That’s why numerous artists painted portraits of young women whose beauty had a self-sufficing meaning. Still being a child of about 9 years old Dante Alighieri met Beatrice and sincerely fell in love with her forever. His love strengthened year after year and was finally expressed in talented poems. Literary language was purified and enriched during the Renaissance. Dante and many other Italian writers used exalted and magnificent language in their works. Literature raised serious problems of human existence. It reflected people’s ideals, aspirations and desires (Burckhardt, 2005). Exceptional beauty of beloved women changed world around. Poets and philosophers tried to solve the questions of aesthetics. They thought over harmony, grace, elegance and greatness of beautiful women.
The Renaissance is absolutely special as it represents a new take to old traditions. A peculiar thing about Renaissance is that people at that time praised human body as an ideal of proportions. Leonardo da Vinci for example valued enormous power of eyesight. It is the greatest privilege to see the beauty of the world. Eyes are the best instrument to explore world around. During the Renaissance people considered one great painting to be worth thousands of words, because only art can truly reveal the beauty. Works of artists were highly estimated by people all over the world. Leonardo da Vinci managed to create clear proportions of human body. Although he was influenced by ancient philosopher Vitruvius, nevertheless he was first to explain the idea thoroughly. It was originally planned to be a sketch of naked person with legs and arms spread. Nowadays however it is valued as a masterpiece. The circle around the man symbolized spiritual sphere, while the square was supposed to represent material side of people’s life. A lot of other geniuses of Renaissance praised the perfection of human body, which was a radically new outlook. In this way I consider it one more exceptional feature of this epoch. People were valued not only by extraordinary spiritual and mental abilities. Physical appearance was also taken into account.
In conclusion I’d like to say that Renaissance was one of the most significant periods ever known. For the first time in human history people showed truly outstanding creative abilities in different spheres of life. The very idea of universal man skillful in science, music, mathematics, arts, poetry and prose undoubtedly makes this period exceptional. People strived to learn as much as possible. May be for this reason people of Renaissance made so many inventions and discoveries.
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