Defining Freedom - Definition By Experience Essay

1198 Words 5 Pages
Defining Freedom - Definition By Experience


“Freedom” is a very difficult term to define with a short, simple statement. It is loaded with so much meaning because every person has a different set of personal experiences and ideas that can apply to their own concept of what experiencing freedom is all about. In defining freedom, it is best to start with a wide array of different ideas and put them together to create one major explanation that encompasses all the ideas. The Oxford English Dictionary offers several short definitions that can be used to build one ultimate definition. The first offered is “Exemption or release from slavery or imprisonment; personal liberty.” This definition only relates to someone who is or was in complete
…show more content…
These decisions apply to personal affairs like love and religion, civil affairs including laws and politics, and everyday choices about personal action and thought.

The concept of freedom is very prominent in Renaissance literature because the time period is laden with constant uncertainty about authority. Monarchs were floundering, education was spreading, and feudalism was no longer the way of organizing labor. Suddenly, a much larger group of people had access to books including The Bible and took a greater interest in their faith. Knowledge of all aspects of society including politics, religion, science, and labor was a form of rebellion against the minority of authority figures at the time. This new passion for personal discovery and self determination manifested itself in the literature of the day. A new focus on subjectivity and feeling became the way to express one’s self.

Renaissance literature helps to formulate the concept of freedom because it explains all the different types of liberty with examples. The first type: personal liberty mostly applies to events of personal devotion like love or religion. It seems like most of the Renaissance authors felt marriage was more of a denial of personal liberty. Bacon writes in his essay Of Marriage and the Single Life, “the most ordinary cause of a single life, is liberty” (1750). Mary Wroth seems to echo Bacon’s thoughts as she laments in one of her…