Northern Renaissance Research Paper

838 Words4 Pages
The similarities and difference between the Italian and Northern Renaissances are greatly reflected by the works of Leonardo da Vinci and William Shakespeare. While both periods invoked a rebirth of humanism, the two artists suggest how the eras differed and resembled one another. For the most part, the Italian Renaissance and Northern Renaissance both emphasized the humanistic aspect of Catholicism. While Leonardo da Vinci illustrated some religious scenes, such as The Last Supper, Shakespeare shied away from any religious influence in his various plays. Both Leonardo da Vinci and William Shakespeare stressed the importance of man in their respective works, however, they used different techniques to achieve their goals. Da Vinci emphasized…show more content…
“His plays deal first and foremost with the human personality, passions, and problems” (Guisepi). For example, the passion and common emotions that Romeo and Juliet share largely fuels the plot in Shakespeare’s tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. Their love and desire to be with one another ultimately becomes their fatal flaws. While the historical aspect of Catholicism held no prominence in his literature, Shakespeare did follow the pattern of portraying Christian virtues in his work. Throughout the time of the Northern Renaissance, “Christian Humanists thought that the best elements of classical and Christian cultures should be combined…The classical ideas of calmness, stoical patience, and broad-mindedness should be joined in human conduct with the Christian virtues of love, faith, and hope” (McKay 384). The themes of love and hope hold prominence in many of Shakespeare’s tragedies. His ability to illustrate characters through actions and emotions largely associates him with this central idea. The use of describing characters through emotive language is largely evident in Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare describes Romeo and Juliet as “star-crossed lovers”, and he perfectly illustrates this idea by showing the extremes that the two protagonists go through just to be in each other’s
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