The Renaissance and Humanism

Definition of the Renaissance and Humanism

William Shakespeare’s Hamlet contains characteristics of the Renaissance and Humanism. First, however, a defintion is needed. The European Renaissance was the transition from the Middle Ages to the modern era (15th/16th century). Literally translated, the term means “rebirth”. Scientists, scholars, and artists rediscovered the values of Roman and Greek antiquity and tried to transfer them to the modern present.

The rediscovery of the ancient values came as a reaction against the Christian worldview which dated back to the Middle Ages. The followers of the Renaissance no longer viewed man as a sinner but believed in the potential of the individual. Suddenly the feelings, thoughts, and experiences of the individual mattered....

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