On the Dignity of Man

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1 & 2. What makes man so special, even more admirable than the angels, according to the author? Be sure to use a few words from the text "in quotations" in your answer. How does this view of man differ from earlier views? What's "new" in the Renaissance about this idea?"

According to Pico Della Mirandola, man is so special and even more admirable than the angels because man is a creation of God made in his image. He states that “man is rightfully names a magnificent miracle and a wondrous creation.” Mirandola also states that God created all things be needed to create something “some creature [that would] think on the plan of his great work, and love its infinite beauty, and stand in awe at its immenseness”. Earlier views of man according to Mirandola tend to avoid the “heart of the matter”. Mirandola lists these views of man including that man is “close to the gods”, he is the “master of all the lower creatures”, and he is able to reason. He states that he agrees with these early views but they do not address why man is this way. This is when he states that it is through the creation of man that man has these special and important attributes. This is also the “new” aspect of humanism through the Renaissance; that man is able to be whatever he wants to be through the creation of God. 3. How does our image of the Young Man correspond to this idea? What do you see in this man's attitude that is in contrast to some of the religious imagery in the lecture?  

The Young Man in the portrait is sitting up straight seeming very proper yet calm. He displays confidence while his hand touches his sword. This shows his strength and his clothes may depict his power. The numbers on the table can also represent his intelligence. All of these factors play into Mirandola’s On the Dignity of Man because it represents all good attributes of man that correlate with man’s creation. The man’s attitude is very calm and confident and, what I noticed, was that the man is looking...
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