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Humanism during the Renaissance During the renaissance there was a renewed interest in the arts and the traditional views of society came into question People began to explore the power of the human mind A term often used to describe the increasing interest in the powers of the human mind is humanism Generally humanism stresses the individuals creative reasoning and aesthetic powers However during the Renaissance individual ideas about humanism differed Writers and philosophers of the Renaissance time period expressed their opinions about human nature and humans roles in the universe through their writings Pico della Mirandolas Oration on the dignity of man which glorifies humanity and praises the human ability to reason offers the opposing view to Shakespeares Hamlet and Montaignes essay Mans presumption and Littleness which both suggest that humans are no higher in the universal order of things than any other of Gods creatures Pico begins his essay by informing his readers that he knows where humans stand in the divine order of the world Pico believes that humans were the last creatures created by God and that Gods purpose in creating them was to fulfill his desire for someone to appreciate the great wonders and beauties of his world When the work was finished the Craftsman kept wishing that there were someone to ponder the plan of so great a work therefore he finally took thought concerning the creation of man Mirandola 224 It is also Picos belief that when Humans were created they were given qualities both divine and earthly and could become whatever they chose We have made thee neither of heaven nor of earth neither mortal nor immortal so that with freedom of choice thou mayest fashion thyself in whatever shape thou shalt prefer Mirandola 225 Picos conclusion
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