Books and Movies Reviews

Renaissance Ideals in Shakespeare's Hamlet

Shakespeare is referred to as a Renaissance writer, specifically an Elizabethan poet and playwright. Through his many works he displays the Renaissance thought and concerns, and Hamlet is no exception. Through Hamlet's contemplation of death, his character is solidly connected to the ideals of the Renaissance.
The Renaissance is considered a period of rebirth for culture and learning. It is traditionally identified at the period of European history that closes the Middle Ages, spanning from the 14th to the mid-17th centuries. Considered the beginning of the modern world, the Renaissance period experienced a rebirth of ancient Greek philosophies, and a renewed interest in classical art forms and sensitivities. Many artists began to explore and expand the work done in the classical age, concentrating on the human form and the depiction of ancient mythologies. Mathematics was also of extreme importance at the time, often considered to have potential to reveal profound and universal truths.
One particularly interesting philosophical movement is referred to as Renaissance Humanism. This movement concentrated on exploring Man's place in nature, considering mankind as a part of nature as opposed to the Medieval culture that considered man apart from nature, considering him privileged and removed from the base considerations of animals. Humanism acknowledged Man's place among the natural order, believing that human action can, and does, have both positive and negative effects on the world around him. These ideas developed into a push towards relying on reason when seeking truth as opposed to the Christian values that dominated the earlier times. He accepted that his role in the universe is not a passive one, and that God was to be reached not through archaic subordination and blind dedication, but through deep introspection and evidence gathered through the senses.
One such archaic belief that was left behind in the …

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