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The Little Sister: Beatrice D'Este (1475-1497) Essay

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THE LITTLE SISTER: BEATRICE D’ESTE (1475-1497)

FYS: Are They Amazons? Women in Renaissance Italy
The Renaissance time period that lasted from the 14th century through the 16th century in Italy was known as an age of cultural rebirth and gave way to the introduction to humanist thinking during the transition from Medieval Europe to Early Modern Europe. Humanism was the formation of values that emphasized the agency of a human and stressed the significance of rationalism over faith. Humanists of the Renaissance tended to have great power in society and were highly scrutinized for being too ambiguous in their beliefs by later historians. One of whom, Joan Kelly, hypothesized that women were not given fair opportunities to grow intellectually while men experienced revival, so therefore women did not have a renaissance. Kelly’s controversial theory can be disproved by the famed life of Renaissance Woman, Beatrice d’Este. D’Este was born in 1475 into the House of Este, who had control of Ferrara, Italy from the 13th to the 16th century. Beatrice’s marriage to Ludovico Sforza expanded the House of Este’s rule to Milan while her older sister, Isabella, took control over Mantua through her marriage to Francesco II Gonzaga. Beatrice was under the constant scrutiny of her parents and other renaissance connoisseurs for failing to meet the expectation that she be as innovative as her older sister. Having been born into such a powerful family, no expense was spared when it came to schooling or finding a suitable mate to expand the family tree. Because of her education, sustainable means, and her prosperous family life, as well as her short but successful career as a politician, Beatrice d’Este ultimately became recognized by historians as a...


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...cluded that their relationship truly suffered.
Argument against Joan Kelly
Beatrice d’Este had an enviable period of growth, however, there were limitations to her experience because the wealth and power she had access to due to her parents and husband propelled her forward in the world of politics. Her husband, Ludovico Sforza, allowed her to participate in his legal affairs, making her feel involved, but more than that, making a direct impact on the atmosphere of the Milanese court system. In addition, her extensive education in foreign languages, mathematics, and sciences, participation in cultural affairs such as bridging France and Milan through the Treaty of Vercelli, and her acceptance by other men in high society disproves Joan Kelly’s claim that women did not have a renaissance because Beatrice d’Este did experience a rebirth in culture and antiquities.


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