The Italian Renaissance

The literatures that were discovered right from the fifteenth through to the seventeenth century gave birth to the European renaissance. Most of the literary works were found right in Rome and Greece. Rome is found in Italy. As such, the Italian Renaissance is a collection of literary works found in Rome and the geographical locations bordering Rome. Some of the literary works that are found in The Italian Renaissance include Francesco Petrarca and the letter to prosperity, Giovani Bocfcaccio and stories from the Decameron and Giovanni Pico Della Mirandola. Other include Leonardo da Vinci and selections from the notebooks, Niccoli Machiavelli and selections from the Prince and Giorgio Vasari and selections from the lives of Famous Artists. The book The Italian Renaissance Reader by Julia Bondanella is an anthology of a serious of literary works that depicts the free will that many human had and continue to have even in the present world. Human conduct and freedom is a theme that transcends the entire book. This paper delves on the set of premises that are presented in the book, The Italian Renaissance.


One of the contributors in the development of the book is Alberti. Alberti presents himself as a crusader of human good. He premises that doing good is not only the avoidance of harm to any being but the conduct of ensuring that the common good transcends to the majority of the population. In the book, Alberti makes the contribution that reason is a concept that is worth more than fortune. Therefore, Alberti asserts the need for a reader of the book to have and gain firm knowledge on the understanding of Renaissance ideas of personal responsibility.

Albert emerges in the book as a philosopher. In the book, he presents the premise that human need to draw their lessons from nature and nature need to enable the human beings to have fundamental respect on the decision that they make and the rippled effects of their choices and decisions. According to Alberti, taking a personal responsibility kicks off with the set of ideas and the level of reasoning and understanding that one employs. From his illusion of nature, one gets the feeling that nature is benign and nature gets to balance all its components without pointing out to any bias on its subject. As such, Alberti wants the reader to have the understanding that fairness in the manner at which their treat each other and the general conduct that they have in the society is important in establishing the extent to which humans can live in harmony. Living in harmony could entail one losing out on some aspects of life but rather gaining on the friendships and personal relationships that one is able to forge. In his presentation of harmony, he comes up with the philosophy of historia. Historia explains that different components of the world are able to co exist with each other without any likelihood of conflicts arising. Historia goes ahead to assert that human beings are able to live together with buildings and animals owing to the gift of the benign nature. The benign nature is, therefore, the source of harmony that humans need to replicate. Replication of the character of harmony requires one to have the ideals that are set to ensure that there is fairness and high level of equality in the world.

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In the book, one author by the name Pico in his literary work titles Oration on the Dignity of Man presents the idea and concept behind self determination of humans. Pico begins by the presentation of the premise that establishes that human beings are superior to all other creatures that exist in the World. According to Pico, the decision by God to enables the human beings to choose wisely what they so want affirms the felicity of man. He goes ahead to present a warning that the freewill that has been presented to man by God ought to be used wisely to ensure that they do cause unnecessary harm or pain to other living beings. The benchmark that Pico places for all the human beings to follow is that of Cherubim. Cherubim are supernatural beings who have dedicated his life in service to God. Cherubim have an angelic character that exonerates him from any likelihood of causing harm. Pico is known to have done wide research on the free will that God has deposited on humans and has further gone ahead to study what different religions have to say regarding the free will of humans. The study of religions seems to be important to Pico as religion sets the ethical benchmark that the subscribers of the various religions need to identify with. According to Pico, humans are in control of their destined. However, one of the prices that human beings have to pay as a result of their free will is evil. The premise by Pico regarding freewill is true. Many human beings have a choice to do what they generally consider to be right of wrong. However, there are a set of repercussions that humans have to face in light of the decisions that they make thus resulting evil. Lifted verbose from the book by Bondanella, Pico asserts “oh unsurpassed generosity of God…to whom it is granted to have what he chooses…” according to the quote that is presented by the author, human beings have the choice and the right to do what they want to do and doing evil might as well be one of the choices that human beings have the freedom to choose. God is associated with good. Were it not for the freedom that God has granted humanity then humanity could not have any option but to strictly subscribe to good ideals. However, the free will that God has granted to humans sets the loopholes that many humans may choose to exploit leading to evil.

Concisely, the discussion of the freewill that has been granted to the human beings during the renaiisance period leads to the discussion of compassion in the book. Compassion is listed in the beginning of the decameron. The idea and ideal of compassion is presented by Boccaccio. Boccaccio presents the premises that allude to the point that compassion is what leads up to the identification of the ills within the society. One of the ills that Boccaccio is able to point out is the inability of women to have the right and freedom to free speech unlike their male counterparts. The premise that is presented by Boccaccio is not in tandem with the premise that is laid forth by Pico. According to Pico, human beings have the free will to choose what is right for them and what is assumably wring for then to do or to indulge in. however, the decision of the right and wrong cannot lead to compassion. Though one may opt to choose on whether to be compassionate or not, the descion is kt limited to the choise that one is having but the circukstaces of the event.

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