Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Last Blog

As my Humanities 2001 class comes to an end I have one final exam to prepare for, the Interdisciplinary Essay. I just took the Lit. Final in my class and thought I did very well in certain areas like, identifying quotes and answering the reading questions. The two sections of the test that I struggled with the most were both about the period concepts. I knew what most of the concepts meant, however the hard part was remembering which period or culture to label them as.

Last semester the concepts were a lot easier to distinguish between because they were all so different from one another, but this semester the periods and cultures basically create one big period except for Islam of course. Also I felt like last semester the concepts were mentioned and explained a lot more in each portion of the literature, music, and art. This semester I felt like the different subject areas did not complete the whole puzzle for me, but it could be that the periods were a lot similar. The concepts were also hard to distinguish because sometimes concepts would begin to appear at the end of one period, but not fully be present until the next time period. A lot of the periods also had many concepts in common and it was not easy to remember which ones they did not have in common. Another thing a girl in my class mentioned, which I believe also to be true, is that each concept had at least a paragraph of an explanation making it harder to figure out which part to focus in on and then only a portion of the explanation actually made it onto the exam. I know we are not suppose to memorize the material, but actually understand it, however it might be more helpful if there was more guidance what to pull out of the explanations.

The Lit. Final helped me to see that I know my Literature, but that I definitely need to carefully review the different concepts so that I can excel on the essay. This course also helped me to prepare for Humanities 2002 where the whole course is just like the second semester of Humanities 2001.

WORD: 370

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What is the Renaissance Self?

During the Renaissance period, individualism and focus on the self began to emerge through the literature and art of this time. The word Renaissance means Rebirth which is a good description of what was happening during this time. There was a rebirth of new prospectives. The people of this time changed their prospective on the human and that it is viewed as a self rather than a soul.
The self during the Renaissance was important to bring into existence. During the time of the Renaissance social status was based on one’s bloodline and how much land they owned rather than on money. In the story of Nastagio and the cruel maiden, Nastagio loves the cruel maiden, however, she does not love him back. She is of greater social status than Nastagio which makes her even more desireable. He goes to the extreme of frightening her with a display of another couple that were once in a similar situation as them. The display is of a knight chasing around a naked woman who he had loved so much that he was driven to kill himself because she would not have him. After the naked woman had gone to hell her duty there was to be chased around everyday by the knight and brutally killed with him ripping out her heart for as long as she was cruel to him. This display got to the cruel maiden and she immediately had a change of heart and agreed to be Nastagio‘s wife. This tale brings out the concept of how one would practically do whatever it took in order to bring themself into existence both socially and to their lover.
This concept of the self is also brought out through the art of the Renaissance. In the piece, Giving of Keys to Saint Peter, there is a new depth present. There is a depth in the lines that are on the courtyard that direct the focus towards the center of what is suppose to be the Sisteenth Chapel. In the chapel are two human figures looking out of the door towards the presenting of the key. The two human figures seem as though they are a reflection of the viewer looking at the painting. The painting makes the viewer feel like they are a part of the painting. Like they are the one’s looking at this scene from inside the chapel. The concept of bringing the self into existence is evident through this including of the viewer, however, it is even more evident when the focus is on one of characters in the scene that is the actual painter himself, Piatro.