From the perspectives of the Renaissance, Humanism and Petrarch, the society has changed in many different ways. The Renaissance is believed to be a cultural movement from the 14th to the 17th centuries where studies and improvements on the worldly and secular were the focus of the intellectuals during the time. They met such an objective by reviving the ideas from antiquity as well as by novel approaches to thought, one of which is the method of learning called “humanism”.
The approach of humanists is to study the ancient texts and combine that study with reasoning as well as empirical evidence instead of focusing on the resolution of the conflicts among the authors of these texts (Jurdjevic, p. 997). By doing so, humanists personified the idea of the genius of humanity and the treatment of the human mind as the source of this unparalleled and extraordinary genius.
Francesco Petrarca or Petrarch is oftentimes associated with the reputation of being the father of Italy’s Renaissance humanism or the father of humanism itself largely because of his status as having been able to perfect the sonnet which made the sonnet one of the popular art forms even up to this day. All of these aspects have largely contributed to the changes in the society. The characteristics of the Renaissance encompass the developments in the fields of science and art.
More specifically, the Renaissance spurred the growth of the awareness of man towards classical antiquity as well as man’s penchant for imitating and studying nature than ever before. In terms of the intellectual landscape, political thinkers or philosophers paved the way for the resurrection of the ideas instigated by the Roman and Greek thinkers. For example, Thomas More and Niccolo Machiavelli used the Greek and Roman ideas in critiquing the structure of the government that was present during their time.
Perhaps the most notable change during the Renaissance is the development of linear perspective in the arts that is characterized as very realistic. Among the notable artists associated with the Renaissance are Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Donatello. On the other hand, humanism during the Renaissance was an intellectual movement during the last few years of the 14th century that developed out of the rediscovery of the Greek and Latin texts by the scholars from Europe.
In the beginning, one who is a humanist is considered as a teacher of Latin literature and nothing more. However, the middle part of the 15th century saw the development in humanism specifically in the way in which the concept of ‘humanism’ itself is treated as a curriculum composed of poetry, grammar, moral philosophy and rhetoric to name a few. Humanists during the Renaissance approved of the several aspects of man: human worth, self and individual dignity.
The liberal arts were also an integral part of the practice of enriching those different sides to people. These things were absent to the years before the Renaissance movement. Lastly, Petrarch was one of the earliest Renaissance humanists famous for his Italian poetry and who primarily wrote in Latin. He wrote various Latin texts ranging from letters—some of which were letters to Cicero and Virgil—and poetry—such as “Trionfi” as well “Canzoniere”—to several introspective essays.
Petrarch is also known for being the first to provide a combination of abstract entities pertaining to classical culture with that of Christian philosophy, further believing in his work “Secretum meum” that achievements related to secular inclinations do not necessarily entail an authentic relationship with God. Petrarch contributed to the change in the society in the sense that he initiated the humanist approach in expanding the boundaries of the human intellect.
In conclusion, the Renaissance was a cultural movement which produced some of the brightest minds in human history who have effected considerable change in the way people thought of their society and in the society as a whole. Petrarch played a significant role in initiating the humanist movement through his Latin works, thereby providing the fundamental idea of going back to the antiquities and, from there, using reason and empirical evidence to arrive at the recognition of the human worth.