The Book of Courtier Baldesar Castiglione Essay

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The Book of Courtier Baldesar Castiglione

The Renaissance was a period prompted by the rebirth in classical culture. As classical culture resurfaced, it gradually awakened and inspired the human soul, leading to tremendous development in individuality. Humans took a gigantic stride away from barbarianism and distinguished themselves by focusing on intellectual progress. The capabilities of human nature unfolded as man studied all things including himself and others. The Renaissance period marks the growth of individual thought and the emphasis on moral character. Authors such as Baldesar Castiglione and Pico Della Mirandela provide literature, emphasizing self-hood as a tool to fashion the ideal self, which became a major theme
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Pico asserts that one has the choice and potential to excel as the Supreme Maker decreed:
The nature of all other creatures is defined and restricted with lawswhich We have laid down; you, by contrast, impeded by no such restrictions, may, by your own free will, to whose custody We have assigned you, trace for yourself the lineaments of your own nature. (Oration on the Dignity of Man)

According to Pico, the Supreme Maker also addressed man to say "…you may, as the free and proud shaper of you own being, fashion yourself in the form you may prefer."(Oration on the Dignity of Man) Pico appeals to the people of the Renaissance as he argues that humans have no limitations, motivating one to master all the elements leading to an ideal self. Castiglione concentrates on military skill, speech and writing, music, painting, and love while describing the ideal character. The idea is for one to have knowledge in all subjects, master all skills, and convey modesty and grace. Pico says "…we shall find perfection and peace in the felicity of theological knowledge." (Oration on the Dignity of Man) Both Authors support education and believe that humans have the potential to improve the self by striving for perfection in all things. Leon Battista, a great man of the Renaissance said, "Men can do all things if they will." It is possible that Dante's Divine Comedy was a source

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