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Renaissance art was characterized by realism and naturalism. Artists strived to depict people and objects in a true-to-life way. They used techniques, such as perspective, shadows and light to add depth to their work. Emotion was another quality that artists tried to infuse into their pieces. While many artists and thinkers used their talents to express new ideas, some Europeans took to the seas to learn more about the world around them.


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In a period known as the Age of Discovery, several important explorations were made. Voyagers launched expeditions to travel the entire globe. Humanism encouraged Europeans to question the role of the Roman Catholic church during the Renaissance. As more people learned how to read, write and interpret ideas, they began to closely examine and critique religion as they knew it. Also, the printing press allowed for texts, including the Bible, to be easily reproduced and widely read by the people, themselves, for the first time.

In the 16th century, Martin Luther , a German monk, led the Protestant Reformation — a revolutionary movement that caused a split in the Catholic church. Luther questioned many of the practices of the church and whether they aligned with the teachings of the Bible. As a result, a new form of Christianity , known as Protestantism, was created.

By the end of the 15th century, numerous wars had plagued the Italian peninsula. Spanish, French and German invaders battling for Italian territories caused disruption and instability in the region. Also, changing trade routes led to a period of economic decline and limited the amount of money that wealthy contributors could spend on the arts.

Chaucer: Celebrated Poet And Author (MAKERS OF THE MIDDLE AGES AND RENAISSANCE) - tynyxofuje.cf

Later, in a movement known as the Counter-Reformation, the Catholic church censored artists and writers in response to the Protestant Reformation. Many Renaissance thinkers feared being too bold, which stifled creativity. Furthermore, in , the Council of Trent established the Roman Inquisition , which made humanism and any views that challenged the Catholic church an act of heresy punishable by death. By the early 17th century, the Renaissance movement had died out, giving way to the Age of Enlightenment.

The Renaissance, History World International. Facts About the Renaissance, Biography Online. Facts About the Renaissance Period, Interestingfacts. What is Humanism? International Humanist and Ethical Union. Why Did the Italian Renaissance End? But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting the past to the present.

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Book Chaucer: Celebrated Poet And Author (Makers Of The Middle Ages And Renaissance)

Bean, and Perdue Farms, Inc. Let how you can be requested and be a violation. The spiritual drought of March that is relieved by the moist refreshment of April is figurative, pointing specifically to the transition from the parched morbidity of Lent to the fruitful exuberance of Easter. Modernity has had some success in solving problems before which the European Middle Ages stood helpless: infant mortality, life expectancy, and epidemic morbidity.

A good deal of what we think of as medieval political or social thought was really the application of certain widely accepted theological ideas. If you actually believe in sin, and in the depressing human tendency toward it, your social institutions are likely to be frankly coercive. Marriage was supposed to regulate those sexual passions that, as any reader of the old epics knew, threatened the Trojan founder of Rome even as they had destroyed the great city from which he fled.

Chivalry might impose some degree of rational measure on the bloody business of war. Chaucer set his tales in the context of a famous communal penitential endeavor—a pilgrimage to Canterbury. The pilgrims came, said Chaucer, from the remotest parts of every shire. His own imaginary group started out at the Tabard, a public house in Southwark next door to another called the Bell. This probably elicited a laugh from contemporary readers.

But it hardly matters. The poet so deftly and economically conveys the flagrantly mixed motives of his pilgrims, the vast chasm between spiritual theory and carnal reality, that no one will expect some simple moral tract.

That ought not, however, to keep us from seeing the complex moral tract. The social institutions of coercion—monarchy, marriage, the formal apparatus of law and order—could limit the social consequences of human sin; but no system of justice expressed in the whipping post, pillory, and gibbet could remedy sin itself. That required the channeling of divine mercy in the sacrament of penance. The matched tales of Friar and Summoner, who are bitter enemies, offer a particularly trenchant critique.


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The abominable and corrupt Summoner, who arraigns delinquents in the ecclesiastical court, is in theory an agent of Justice. But the question Chaucer raises in his diptych is more profound. The life of the professional ascetic is, in theory, a permanent act of penance. The verbs of motion most apt for Summoner and Pardoner are probably prowling or hunting ; for the Wife of Bath it would be cruising. The sight of the sacramental grid beneath the textual surface should alarm no one.

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You still have Jolly Geoff in all his generosity and geniality. But if you grasp the penitential plan, you also have some preparation for the downer at the end of the poem, when the narrator himself becomes very solemn and preachy. The same thing happens in Troilus.

One can stay only so long at the fair. Eventually, dances end and dancers fail.


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Some medieval religious houses featured a ghoulish display on the exterior of buildings on the public road. I myself doubt that Chaucer ever truly planned to accomplish the announced program of four tales per pilgrim, two each on the road to Canterbury and two on the road back, or actually to have a return trip at all. This unlikely plan allowed him to indicate in numerical terms his ambition to outdo The Decameron , with its mere hundred tales. From the very start, it was intended to tie the whole project together— to knytte up al this feeste and make an ende , as the Parson himself puts it.

The Parson was a learned man, a clerk; he knew that text came from Latin texere , to weave.