Religious Hypocrisy In Renaissance England. Essay

3421 words - 14 pages

Godly Hypocrisy:Renaissance Christians in Actions and WordsAs Illustrated by the Plays of Wm. Shakespeare"If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge! If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? Why revenge! The villainy you teach me I will execute..."During the Renaissance, men were willing to fight and die for their religion. Wars were waged to defeat the "pagan empires" of the East, while the heathen within--the Jew--was relegated to second-class citizenship. All non-Christian faiths were consigned to the category of "godless", and a great deal of blood was shed over the conversion of these 'lost souls'. Christianity was the one true faith, and it was the special mission of the holy European male to spread salvation to the world--even if it meant hatred and death.As Shylock suggests in the above quotation, Renaissance Christians preached peace, disdaining the "warlike and vengeful" Turks--while they, themselves, were deeply imeshed in the cycle of bloody revenge. Many other hypocrisies are plainly evident, in a simple observation of "Christian doctrine" and the actions undertaken in the name of it. During this time period, of which vestiges remain even today, the Jew was seen as a greedy, two-faced subhuman. Not only did English Jews refuse to believe in Christ as Savior, but they had, in fact, been responsible for His death--thus condemning themselves to lives of eternal persecution. In his article "Shylock and the 'Conditioned Imagination'", Michael Echeruo notes that"The Jew was thus identified as a reject, as an inveterate hater of Christ and Christians.In medieval drama, the Jew is shown consistently in this role. Though the New Testament made it clear that Christ was scourged and tormented by Roman soldiers, the Play of Corpus Christi (1415) has four Jews accusing Christ..."The Turk, on the other hand, (a name applied to the "general enemy Ottoman", but also applicable to Moors and other Eastern peoples), was feared for his refusal to "turn the other cheek". They were also looked down upon for the practice of circumcision, supposedly banned by the Bible.However, when the Bible is actually examined, how many of these ideas hold up in comparison to the text? And, if they are not in the scriptures, where did they come from? Is it possible that many Renaissance interpretations of Christianity were, in fact, a perversion of the text--conveniently tailored to suit the fears and prejudices of the day? Shakespeare's plays seem to believe so. They also seem to hint at an even deeper ambivalence: even when an idea was supported by the Bible, it seems few were willing to practice the "Christian ideals" they espoused.In many of his plays, William Shakespeare was willing to bring to the stage a portrayal of his society's hypocrisy. Although they are, indeed, "a reflection of his times", it seems that these reflections are, at the very least, tellingly accurate. Even today, how many streetcorner...

Find Another Essay On Religious Hypocrisy in Renaissance England.

Art and Architecture in the Middle Ages and Renaissance

1128 words - 5 pages architecture. They had gothic style cathedrals in England. Gothic style buildings usually had pointy arches and big windows (class notes). The gothic style started in Italy with Italian churches in about 1200 A.D then the style became popular in France with cathedrals (Robin Urton). Along with most of the religious influence, the gothic style was diminished with the start of the Renaissance. With the study of classical antiquity, the ancient Greek

Medieval vs Renaissance: Corruption in the Church.

645 words - 3 pages religious obligations. Medieval beliefs about the human body were that the flesh is sinful and should not be seen or touched. The clergy obviously thought differently about the human body and leaned more towards the Renaissance ideas. The political issues of the clergy were seated in their lust for power and money and their variety of privileges. The sale of church offices had a lot to do with the political corruption. Important, as well as

European Renaissance: Connections between modern day cultural and political institutions and the Renaissance.

2460 words - 10 pages towns to increase their independence. During the Renaissance these Italian city-states transitioned into territorial states all seeking to expand. The states had notable differences in political and military power (Smith).This type of territorial unification also took place in places such as Spain, France, and England. Modern diplomacy started during this time. When the Peace of Lodi agreement of 1454 was signed by the Italian states, it became

How the Events of 14th Cent. Led to Renaissance

855 words - 3 pages The Renaissance age was a period characterized by a change toward a flowering economy; less religious society; appreciation of the arts; education; government; rebirth in man; and human emphasis on their uniqueness, capabilities, and achievements. All of the changes to Renaissance characteristics were stimulated by the Great Schism's, Hundred Years War's, and the Black Death's effect - population loss, nationalism, higher per capita, and

The Influence of Renaissance in Art and Architecture

1083 words - 4 pages buildings and more focus on religious styles (Deliyannis). This is evident through the many cathedrals in England. While Middle Age architecture was influenced by Romanesque architecture, Renaissance architecture was influenced by classical antiquity (Hankins). Classical antiquity is known as the revial of the cultures of Greece and Rome. Renaissance architecture focused on symmetry, proportion and geometry. The Pazzi Chapel in Florence was greatly

The Influence of The English Renaissance

1822 words - 7 pages society.inspiration for the renaissance was found in many places. The true inspiration for the renaissance came from foreign studies mostly from the Italian Renaissance. It inspired not only royalty but the artist themselves most of them at some point in time after studying in England travelled to Italy to master a new way of learning. What they learned set a path of new discovery and cultural understanding. The new platonic learning style founded in Italy


1295 words - 6 pages began to flower during the renaissance which began in 1300 A.D. Renaissance was realized by reviving the ancient Greek and roman learning. This saw the transformation of Europe from medieval to modern world. Scholars at this time felt that they needed to bring about the rebirth of civilization. There were achievements in both arts and sciences. There were also big concerns in religious matters; in short this movement was not religious and worldly

Defend or Refute - "The Renaissance was a new development, strikingly different from the preceding Middle Ages." - This essay agrees with this quote, and gives many reason as to why.

1323 words - 5 pages peasants and the nobles, there was no "real" middle class. The main focus of life was religion. To become a good citizen you had to give up wealth, and sacrifice luxuries in order to have a good afterlife. Education was only through the Church, for religious purposes, so their was no any education in liberal arts. Art only existed in religious themes, and looked completely different from Renaissance art because they did not know of the new techniques

Michelangelo Buonarroti

1062 words - 4 pages , religious art was void of expressing man in a human way. Only figures; such as, Christ and Christian icons would be drawn without form , gender, or nudity.. Renaissance artists also glorified human form by creating copies of the human form in sculptures; such as, David and the Pieta. Michelangelo had many other kinds of creations he formed, but he mainly created sculptures. Sculptures are blocks of marble or chunks of clay took on three dimensional


678 words - 3 pages The word renaissance means rebirth. The thought of rebirth came from the Europeans when they rediscovered the dominance of Greek and Roman culture after many centuries of what they thought was an intellectual and cultural drop. The renaissance was a series of cultural movements in the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries. These movements began in Italy and eventually spread into Germany, France, England, and other parts of Europe. The renaissance was


1559 words - 6 pages Ages, but it rose back up again during the Renaissance period. A lot of magnificent work was written at that time that we still read and enjoy. William Shakespeare was a brilliant English poet and playwright. He was considered the best poet in England at that time. Shakespeare was very good at what he wrote, and he was good at writing in blank verse. He wrote a lot of plays, more than a hundred and fifty sonnets. People still used a lot of his

Similar Essays

Exploring The Renaissance In England Essay

909 words - 4 pages reason of this conversion is absolutely linked with the Henrys’ desire of new wife. But heavy responsibilities of being a catholic did not led him to divorce thus he changed his doctrine and became a protestant. This complication affected society and the religious beliefs In England. I would like to refer some remarks on political issues that accrued in England during the Renaissance period. England, as it is known, a monarchy. The major

Finding The Ideal Religious System In England

1798 words - 7 pages In the early seventeenth century, religion played an important role in England. Religion fueled many disputes, such as The English Civil War and the invasion of Scotland and Ireland. Law and customs were usually based on religion. Even the government was divided because of religious opinions. As the supreme religious authority monarchs were often in very difficult positions. They had to balance all the religious needs of their subjects

What Was The Situation In Terms Of Religious Faith In England 1558 1603 And How Did Central Government Attempt To Change This Situation?

2129 words - 9 pages Elizabeth I succeeded the throne of England in 1558 and became Queen to a nation that had previously undergone 25 years of religious turmoil and change. The national Catholicism of her father, Henry VIII had been replaced by Protestant religious reforms during her brother, Edward VI's reign. These changes were then followed by Mary I's attempts to re-establish Catholicism in England after his death. When Elizabeth ascended the throne it seemed

Niccolò Machiavelli And Desiderius Erasmus: Two Styles Of Humanism

534 words - 2 pages Machiavelli and Erasmus were both humanists, but had very different points of view. Machiavelli whose writing was from the Italian humanist's view, when Erasmus wrote from the points of view of Christian humanist in Europe may be one of reasons for huge differences in Machiavelli's and Erasmus' thoughts. However, these two styles of humanism provided us means to "generalize about the meaning of the Renaissance."(303).According to Lawrence in his