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The Evolution of Representations of the 'Libertine' - Essay Example

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Summary
The 17th and 18th centuries witnessed a plethora of great writers whose salacious tastes and observations served as scintillating cover-up to their scornful disdain of the social norms of the times, largely in Europe and particularly within the environs of France.
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The Evolution of Representations of the Libertine
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Download file to see previous pages These issues had largely to do with factors or methodologies for keeping anarchies at bay and holding on to power.
Uneasy lay the heads that held the crown. The dark ages did not provide any help by way of alternative means of ruling and administering. Theologians were divided in their loyalty and beliefs. Blind faith, superstition or outright bullying tactics were the order of the day. The mighty monarch ruled with an iron fist till death or till he was deposed or treacherously killed. This lasted until the 14th century A.D.
The Renaissance descended like a breath of fresh air everywhere in Europe. The media of books and theatres whetted the appetite of the peasants and royalty alike, but having promised the moon it still left a void in the hearts and minds of both. This was enough for fertile creativity to wind its way through the corridors of subtle extravaganzas prevalent with the royalty in its grotesque mismatches of high-handed aristocracy and ignoble reality of the suffering masses.
In the circumstances, what better way to exploit the social anomalies than the dangling of the naughty albeit decent Francois, the poor but enigmatic pcaro, and the sleaze, the intrigue, the portrayal of social and political inequalities and hypocrisies, and the ambiguities of living in a exploitative system and the artistic means of its exposure. The situation was not all that entertaining.
The metamorphosis from medieval to modern era claimed its share of intrigue, suspense and bloodshed. If it started with a simple laughter from the pages of Charles Sorel it also revolutionized France with staggering effect.
The Renaissance factor
Beginning from the 14th century, Europe witnessed an awakening that was to transform the way people thought and worked. Changes were beginning to happen economically, politically, in the field of art and religion, education, and these had their cascading effects on social and familial life. (Renaissance)
The nature of transformation was epochal so much so that literature, scientific discoveries and inventions, sea voyages for discovery of new continents and regions, and even exploration of space by rockets became topics of great interest and research. There was a paradigm shift in the way people of all walks of life began to think. They dreamed! New and successful ideas, discoveries and inventions were fodder to their beliefs that nothing was impossible. (From Cyrano to Jean-Luc Picard)
It was an awakening of continental proportion that initiated the preference for logic and reason as the ideal means to establish facts and find out truth. It also lent credence to the fundamentals of cause and effect as responsible for events, situations and actions. These concepts dramatically changed the ways of thinking and execution. They equipped science and literature with profound and effective insights and methodologies for developing theories and strategies.
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