Birth of a New Era

Powerful Essays
Birth of a New Era

Despite the problems of the fourteenth century, it marked the beginnings of extraordinary changes in numerous facets of fifteenth century society. This astonishing revolution was coined the Renaissance, which meant “rebirth.” The Renaissance led to such literary pioneers as Niccolò Machiavelli. His work, The Prince, gave detailed instructions as to what qualities a perfect leader must possess and how to use these qualities. Machiavelli presented a thorough account of a perfect prince and how he achieved and maintained power. Machiavelli’s The Prince is a classic literary example of Renaissance writing in the ideas it conveys and how it conveys them.

The Renaissance, a time of cultural achievements and economic and political evolution, developed out of the plague, famine, and death of the fourteenth century. As opposed to the Middle Ages, the Renaissance introduced such ideas that embodied three characteristics: individualism, humanism, and secularism. With the arrival of the Renaissance came the cultural evolution and the introduction of many remarkable individuals, such as Michelangelo. Due to the emphasis in the Middle Ages to religion, individualism during the period was nonexistent because of the Christian determent of self-absorption. Literature emerged in the Renaissance accentuating the individual, which helped to give birth to talented artists and writers. Individualism put emphasis on personality and uniqueness and using one’s abilities to their full potential. The Renaissance was all about a quest for glory. Oddly enough, Middle Age artists typically painted and sculpted anonymously but the Renaissance saw the emergence of artwork with the artist’s signature. Pages 232-234 of Disco...

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...m a little liberal. Free will was hardly recognized in God’s plan. God and fate were considered to be the only sources of human action. Even though Machiavelli clearly supported Renaissance ideas in this instance, he still admits that a successful prince can easily be ruined if not prepared for whatever luck may have in store for him.

Machiavelli’s The Prince successfully expressed many ideas of the Renaissance. He detailed how the government should work and what past leaders had done to lead to their downfall. He emphasized the problems of an ecclesiastical government and how the prince should do everything in his power to suppress the Church and the pope for the good of the State. Machiavellian ideas also coincided with that of other Renaissance authors in that it was necessary for the prince to be both feared and loved.


The Prince
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