Courtier

1527 Words Feb 13th, 2013 7 Pages
Mark Imber
Cultures 292
The Courtier – Response to Question 2 In the times of the Renaissance there were distinct social levels throughout the hierarchy of the Roman culture. Through this hierarchy there were dukes, serfs, peasants, aristocrats, and one specific group called “courtiers”. The book written by, Baldesar Castiglione, The Courtier helps define exactly what this social class consisted of. This book highlights many of the areas in which one would need to excel at to be considered better than an average man, and on his way to becoming a courtier. The main idea that being a courtier stems from is that of a universal man, or known during the Renaissance, “unos universal”. This was the idea of a man who was able to be proficient
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Sprezzatura, was a skill in which humanists really picked up on where they would were clothing that was extravagant yet simple, as to show people that what they were wearing was not a huge ordeal but they still look very good. Self-fashioning became very big during the Renaissance and it became an integral part of being a courtier. Self-fashioning was the way in which you composed yourself and the way physical appearance of yourself that others could see. The long-standing phrase, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” was tossed out the window if you wanted to become a courtier. Your first impression was not only based on the way you acted but also the way you dressed. Castiglione was very fond of this idea of the prowess of a man as an essential attribute of a Courtier. It is one of the few ideals that are presented in this guideline that is not argued upon between the two men.
This book is argued whether Castiglione was trying to put out a guideline as to how to become a courtier or whether it was just on philosophical ideals. The book does present many of the philosophical ideas that were rampant through the 16th century with the ideas of Socrates and Plato and the emergence of philosophy in this era. However, I would argue that this book has too many specific and particular aspects it mentions as to becoming a courtier that Castiglione was definitely trying to show to people
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