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Does the Literature of Renaissance Have Any Relevance In the 21st Century

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Does the Literature of Renaissance Have Any Relevance In the Twenty-First Century? In many ways the age of Renaissance was similar to the times we live in. It was the beginning of the modern era which saw a revolution in almost every aspect of life: living became prosperous for the average people, a new money-based economy was being built. Geniuses were producing scientific inventions which were improving the quality of life. The printing press created a media revolution. It was the epoch of an immense increase in knowledge of the world, the time of far-reaching voyages of exploration leading to India, the New World, Far East and Egypt - 'to seek new worlds for gold, for praise, for glory', as Sir Walter Ralegh stated. Suddenly, people realized they had limitless potentials to discover new things about the world, which is so characteristic for our times, too. Also the writers started to explore human nature in an insightful way. As a result, the Renaissance literature demonstrates characters full of conflicts and passions, universal for all epochs, also the twenty-first century. ...read more.


At the same time, he cannot live with what he has done and remain the same person. The killing is continued, bringing even greater suffering on Macbeth as he tries to remove the moral distress. We witness his gradual dehumanization when he continues to murder in order to get peace of mind, but instead he loses everything life has to offer: To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day To the last syllable of recorded time, And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more: it is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing. While in Macbeth there is a violent struggle between opposite feelings: ambition and the stings of conscience, in Othello we can observe the change from the most tender love to torments of jealousy and madness of hatred. ...read more.


Literature of Renaissance had its interest in human passions, as shown in the above examples, but it was also concerned with man's relationship with God and the eternal perspective. This topic was investigated by metaphysical poets in their lyric poems which were brief but intense meditations, characterized by striking use of wit, irony and wordplay, with references to alchemy, sea-voyages, mythology, alchemy and cosmology. John Donne in his Holy Sonnet begs God to recreate and purge his corrupted soul, an usurp'd towne, invaded by an enemy - Satan. He asks God to break the uncleanness by force, using images of violence and brutality: Batter my heart, three person'd God; for you As yet but knocke, breathe, shine and seeke to mend; That I may rise, and stand, o'erthrow mee, 'and bend Your force, to breake, blowe, burn and make me new. Man is tied by profane bonds and his natural weakness can only be broken by God's force. What is shocking in the image is the erotic nature of the violence which is strengthened into a symbolic language to speak to God as the one true lover. Images of violence coexist with love and religion, creating an intensity and tension in the poem. ...read more.

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