Shift from Medieval Scholasticism to Humanism

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The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries saw a shift away from the traditional methods of medieval "scholasticism" which focused primarily on preparing men to be doctors, lawyers and priests and instead saw the beginnings of a movement which would become known as Rennaissance Humanism. This new movement was a rejection of the traditional methods, aiming instead to create a citizenry which could read and write with eloquence, and allowing them to participate in civic life - in this we see the origins of what would later come to be known as the 'humanities' (Kristeller, 1965). It can be viewed as the fulfilment of life through reason and science, as opposed to religion and faith.
The protagonists found in Shakespeare's "Hamlet" and Marlowe's "Dr. Faustus" can be seen as literary explorers in the shift from medieval schloasticism to humanism - each embodying the ideals of humanist thought.

Prior to the societal shift away from the scholasticism which had become so evident, most productions explored contemporary, and often very Christian themes and motiffs. The Arthurian legends had provided a distinctly European system of thought based on the notions of chivalry, Christendom and faith (Green, 2007). Humanism served the predominant purpose of celebrating human accomplishment and development. It followed on from an era of institutional celebration where the church mattered more than the individuals within it, into an era where the 'contemplative life' of religion and the Church

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