Humanism In The Divine Comedy

1099 Words 5 Pages
Meredith McCarty
Mr. Muti, Mrs. Russler
History, English
The Road to Humanism Literary humanism was a movement that revived classical literature and the values expressed in classical writings and was central to the early Renaissance. Some of the most prominent representatives of the early Renaissance were Petrarch and Pico de Mirandola. Both introduced humanism to the Renaissance and were influenced by the late medieval writer and poet Dante Alighieri. Dante was best known for writing “The Divine Comedy”, which is a trilogy of poems that take you on a journey through the three layers of the afterlife:
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Which is that they will have no legacy after they die. Overall, Petrarch influenced many writers after him, just as Dante had for him and his work. Giovanni Pico de Mirandola was a significant figure in the history of Renaissance humanism. He was born in 1463 and the prince of Mirandola's son. He studied Jewish, Arabic, and other diverse philosophies. He had a very short life and died in 1494 (Harper, 1). He is best known for the “Oration on the Dignity of Man”. He had published 900 theses that he had planned to discuss with other scholars in a public debate. But Pope Innocent VIII found them to be heretic, so the debate never took place and the oration was never published. In the speech, he states that “One man when he came into life the father conferred the seeds of all kinds and the germs of every way of life. Whatever seeds each man cultivates will grow to maturity and bear in him their own fruit. If they be vegetative, he will be like a plant. If sensitive, he will become brutish. If rational, he will grow into a heavenly being. If intellectual, he will grow into an angel and the son of God” (Mirandola, 2). In this quote, Mirandola is saying that however a man is raised will affect the way he acts in life. He first states that the sensitive will become brutish, the rational will become angels, and last, the intellectual will become an angel and the son of God. Like Petrarch, he puts the intellectual above anything else and also closest to God. This represents humanism because the document puts knowledge before religion. This is related to Dante because he also influenced Pico de Mirandola and his

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