Gothic Elements In Shakespeare

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The Middle Ages followed immediately after the fall of the Roman Empire. The Black Plague had taken millions of lives and the Hundred Years’ War had decimated the people of Europe. After that period of distress, the survivors were concerned about salvation, protection, food and shelter, political power, which came in the form of wealth, and the Church. Gothic architecture was another staple of the Middle Ages. Gothic cathedrals were looming, formidable structures with spires that pointed up towards God and the heavens. The spires were one of many features of gothic architecture that pushed churchgoers to focus on God and his perfection instead of theirselves. However, moving on into the Renaissance, this principle flipped 180 degrees. Looking…show more content…
Born in 1564, Shakespeare was subject to the influences of humanism, some of which are reflected in his works. In Richard III, the character Clarence is known for his eloquence. By having Richard warn the murderers of Clarence’s rhetorical mastery, Shakespeare hints at the power of eloquence: “But, sirs, be sudden in the execution, withal obdurate, do not hear him plead; for Clarence is well-spoken, and perhaps may move your hearts to pity if you mark him” (Act I, scene iii). Through the character Richard, Shakespeare is essentially saying that spoken rhetoric can be so powerful that it would even make callous assassins would think twice about killing. In the next scene, Richard proves to be rightly concerned as Clarence almost convinces the assassins to spare him. In the dungeon, Clarence reminds the murderers that they would be going against God if they go through with the murder: “Hast thou that holy feeling in thy soul, to counsel me to make my peace with God, and art thou yet to thy own soul so blind, that thou wilt war with God by murdering me? Ah, sirs, consider, he that set you on to do this deed will hate you for the deed” (Act I, scene iv). By mentioning God, Clarence makes the murderers weigh the consequences of his murder. One would think murderers would show indifference to their victim’s words, but Clarence is so persuasive in his reasoning that they waver in their action. Jeremy Lopez from Rice…show more content…
Donatello was born in 1386 in Florence, Italy. His early education took place in the home of the Martellis, a wealthy Florentine family of bankers and art patrons. Here, he was likely trained by a local goldsmith in metallurgy and metal fabrication. Later on in 1403, Donatello studied with Lorenzo Ghiberti, who was a metalsmith and sculptor. Donatello’s early works, such as the David, reflected a Gothic style. However, in the early 1410s, Donatello’s art showed a progression towards a more classical style. Like Petrarch, Donatello also wished to emulate the ancients. But since he was an sculptor, he looked to the artists of antiquity instead. With his friends Masaccio (a painter) and Brunelleschi (an architect), Donatello traveled Rome in the 1420s to study classical art. Once there, they measured and calculated the proportions of the art to fully capture the styles. Analyzing the Roman art also allowed the artists the discover the purpose of art. One value that Donatello gleaned from the classical art was the beauty of the human body. Classical art often depicted humans as beautiful, majestic creatures, and this was the aspect that Donatello applied to his own sculptures. Because he focused on the beauty of the human body, many of his sculptures were nude. For example, in his Gattamelata, “The first visual touchstone is a small relief passage of two nude horsemen located on the back
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