The Book Of The Courtier

Decent Essays

The Renaissance can be described as a time of rebirth in Europe between the fourteenth and sixteenth century, following the middle ages. It was an era of shift in the perspective of world view, and increased interest in the revival of classical values and knowledge. This renaissance came about as a reaction to the hierarchy and problems in the catholic church. Before the renaissance in the fourteenth century, the catholic church, along with the Pope, held a great amount of power in society and was at the top of the hierarchy above the state, household, and the individual. The Pope was seen as the “broker” between man and God, which was seen when individuals would go to the church to confess to God through the Pope. When issues in the Roman …show more content…

This book described the “ideal renaissance gentleman” through advice given by the courtier. Throughout the book are conversations between the courtiers of the Duke of Urbino, discussing the vision of a perfect court. It is an example of a dialogue, which is a popular renaissance literary structure, composed of drama and conversation. Castiglione’s work had a large impact on the aristocratic idea of the perfect English gentlemen and was thought to be an interpretation of Renaissance court life. The Book of the Courtier was a representation of the ideas and values of Renaissance Humanism, as it emphasized the growth of individual thought and character. This relates to one of the concepts of the Renaissance, “exaltation of human capacities and potential”. The value of the individual is believed to be important in the humanistic way of life. Society was starting to become more concerned with human potential and achievements. Focus was turning away from spiritual matter, and turning towards more worldly matter. This book epitomized the “universal man”, or the “renaissance man”, which is a man that excels in everything. This brings us to an important renaissance term mentioned by Castiglione, known as sprezzatura. Sprezzatura means to preform well, without appearing to have put in much effort or thought about the matter and is mentioned …show more content…

As society was changing and focusing on more humanistic values, so were the features of art, music, and literary pieces. Renaissance Humanism consisted of focusing on the value of the individual and more secular matter, reviving the classical past, and emotions and sentiment, which are all expressed throughout Renaissance artwork. The School of Athens depicts the significance of intellect and human potential through the most important scholars like Plato and Aristotle. The Book of Courtier portrayed “the exaltation of human capacities and potential” through advice given by the courtier about how to to be the “ideal Renaissance gentleman”. Castiglione’s work depicts the importance of the value placed on the individual. Lastly, Flow My Tears represents the concept of “emotional complexity and depth”. Dowland used such emotional complexity when composing his work, to accurately express the sentimental value of the Renaissance. Whether it be a painting, a book, or an ayre, the concepts and values of the Renaissance were being represented. Change in art was coinciding with the change and values in society. These works still remain significant today, as they display the principles and values of the Renaissance

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