How Did Writers Reflect Renaissance Values in Their Work?

February 15, 2024

During the Renaissance, writers reflected renaissance values in their work by emphasizing humanism, which emphasized the study of human nature and achievements. They promoted a renewed interest in classical literature and culture as a source of wisdom and a model for life. Writers like Petrarch, Boccaccio, and Machiavelli demonstrated the values of humanism through their writings.

The renaissance also saw an increase in writing using the vernacular, the language of one's homeland. This development was facilitated by the invention of movable type printing. This allowed books to be produced more quickly and inexpensively. It also encouraged people to learn to read. Writers began to use a variety of literary forms, including the sonnet. One of the most famous works of Renaissance literature is The Decameron, a collection of 100 tales told by ten storytellers who had gathered together in Florence to escape the black plague over ten nights. The stories in the book, which range from erotic to tragic, give us a glimpse of the everyday lives of renaissance Italians.

The renaissance also saw a rise in the social status of visual artists. Artists had long been seen as humble craftsmen, but renaissance patrons appreciated their ingenuity and considered them worthy of models to emulate. This new respect for artistic creativity helped to foster a broader subject matter in art, which went beyond the traditional biblical and religious themes that had dominated earlier periods. Painters and sculptors began to incorporate realism into their works, as well. For example, the anatomical accuracy of Brunelleschi's polychromed wood crucifix in Santa Maria Novella enabled Christians to feel a strong physical presence for their spiritual savior.

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