Concerns of Medieval Europe

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Concerns of Medieval Europe

The 16th and early 17th centuries of Western Europe were dark and dramatic, as French Catholics had slaughtered more than ten thousand Protestants in Paris on August 23rd, 1572. However, during this period, people began to challenge and question religion. Francis (Francois) Rabelais published his satirical novels Gargantua and Pantagruel (between 1532 and 1564) to criticize the French Catholic Church on social hypocrisy; about forty years later, Miguel de Cervantes completed his satirical book Don Quixote (in 1605) to show readers the absurdity of government in society. The social concerns of their time were religion and politics, which remain hot topics in today’s world. Rabelais’s books Gargantua and Pantagruel criticize the Catholic Church because it had obtained excessive political power, as it began to constitute social laws for life. The Catholic Church was using excommunication as a tool to maintain control of

people and society, even though the church was deceitful to its own followers. Rabelais suggests that the church was too arrogant for constructing laws for people to follow, although, individuals should not dismiss religion entirely, but rather keep it aside while they purse a humanistic education. In his books, he mentions clergymen as having human qualities of heroism, bravery, and humor, even though they were piously corrupt. In chapter eight, the character Gargantua writes a letter to his son Pantagruel about pursing a
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