History: European/The Renaissance was a time of new life, which rose out of the darkness and barbarism of the Middle A term paper 3604

History: European term papers
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The word Renaissance means "rebirth," and it truly was. It was thought that the human spirit had truly awakened from the Middle Ages. People of the Renaissance and the Age of Enlightenment saw themselves as living in a new age, which arose out of darkness and barbarism. And their perceptions were accurate, due to drastic changes in art, literature, and schooling to name a few.

The first aspect of life that was a sign of a new age was the painting. The entire feelings invested in the paintings had changed. The new paintings kept the old ideas of religious, conservative themes. However, the presentation and conception had changed, with a new awareness for space. "With the discovery of the mathematics of perspective, space was presented in exact relation to the beholder's eye," (P + C, 56). This allowed the viewer to recognize the third dimension view as well. The use of faraway scenery and meticulous use of architecture was emphasized to create the illusion of a moment in time captured. However, the intention was not to insinuate eternity, such as those in the Middle Ages. "…but to present a familiar theme in an understandable setting, often with a narrative content…" (P + C, 56). This forever revolutionized the methods artists would go about their paintings.

Secondly, literature found anew in the Renaissance. In the Middle Ages, writing was technical, informative, and historical. All writing was in Latin. Writers in the Renaissance found new qualities. The same topics of politics and such were used; however, they were not based on a foundation of religion. An elegant, precise form of writing was desired. They continued to write in Latin, but "most of the humanists wrote in Italian also," (P + C, 57), a first for writers. Finally, persuasion became an accepted new way of writing, rather than presenting opinions as the only truth, rather than a controversy.

A third way the Renaissance had brought a new life to Europe was through schooling and education. First, the whole concept of secondary school, "high school," was sprung right from the Renaissance. During the Middle Ages, children of all ages were grouped with one teacher, only offering a limited curriculum, forcing students to retain little information. "The Renaissance launched the idea of putting different age groups or levels of accomplishment into separate classes, in separate rooms, each with its own teacher, with periodic promotion from one level to the next," (P + C, 60). In addition to learning Latin, it was emphasized that Latin would improve communication and understanding of their native language. "The student learned Latin-and Greek- in order to read the ancient writings- epics, lyrics, orations, letters, histories, dialogues, and philosophical treatises…which opened new horizons in all directions," (P + C, 60). It could be stated that the new educational developments may have dramatically changed, and improved lives in Europe.

The Middle Ages truly differed from the Renaissance in Europe. The Middle Ages was a time of dark realism, with dry, unformed ways of conveying their art and literature. The Renaissance brought the old ways, and opened new paths by adding creativity. Perspective improved art. The loss of religion in literature left room for individual style and thinking. The schools in Europe had finally found organization and improved one's character. In conclusion, the Renaissance was undeniably a time of rebirth, and new ways of living.

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