Southern & Northern Renaissance the Term Paper

Total Length: 645 words ( 2 double-spaced pages)

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Even in Catholic France, the Protestant sentiment that God's grace alone can save His fallen, human creation was evident in the humanist king, Francis I's sister, Margaret, Queen of Navarre's novel when she wrote: "We must humble ourselves, for God does not bestow his graces on men because they are noble or rich; but, according as it pleases his goodness, which regards not the appearance of persons, he chooses whom he will."

Shakespeare's Hamlet is haunted by the ghost of his father from Purgatory. Purgatory was a Catholic concept. But rather than trusting the vision of the divine on earth, Hamlet is suspicious about the ability of fallen human beings to enact justice. Rather than finding good in the face of women, Hamlet sees only evil. "In considering the cultural conditions that allow tragedy to revive, we may also want to consider that the plays occurred in Christian Northern Europe; we may, therefore, want to invoke the Northern, less optimistic, view of man born into a world of temptation and sin (or a Boschian view of man)" (356-358) Hamlet has been educated at Protestant Wittenberg, thus he remains uncertain about the ability of God to appear in accurate form on earth, either in the persona of his father, and certainly not that of the monarch or a woman.
Although he experiences a kind of peace at the end of the play, as he says "Let be," in Act V, before going to his death at the hands of Laertes' trickery, it is a peace that ultimately deflates religion and the beauty of humanity, where Julius Caesar's ashes mingle with the dust of the graveyard, and his beloved childhood friend Yorick is a skull, not a living, breathing soul......

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