A Comparison of the Medieval and Renaissance Eras

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A Comparison of the Medieval and Renaissance Eras

It is amazing how significantly various aspects of society can and will change over a prolonged period of time. Between the time periods of the Medieval era and the Renaissance, one can note numerous significant changes, mainly those pertaining to art and religion. In general, ideals and subjects during the Renaissance became more secular. In Medieval times, people seemed to focus mainly on the church, God, and the afterlife; Whereas during the Renaissance, the focus was more secular: humans and life on earth. Although these two eras differ in many ways, the most concentrated differences deal with the realms of architecture, painting, and philosophy.

Architecture noticeably shifted from religious awe to classical reason between the Medieval era and the Renaissance. During the Middle Ages, architecture was aimed mainly at making advancements in the church. Medieval cathedrals had very distinct features, such as pointed spires, which were exactly that -- spires, or steeples, that were pointed and extended upward from the tower area; the rose window, which was a large stained glass window that was located on the front of the tower; and squared-off exterior walls, which were a contrast to the usual rounded exterior designs that people were accustomed to. Overall, cathedrals during this time could have very elegant features due to the excellent techniques of support and stabilization. Buttresses, simple extensions of the cathedral wall to enhance support, and flying buttresses, stone structures set away from the cathedral wall and attached at the top, contributed to the excellent support that Medieval cathedrals experienced. While architectural advancements during the Middle Ages were concerned mainly with making elegant reformations in the structure of the cathedral, architecture during the Renaissance was much less religion- centered, and revolved more around classical reason and secularity....
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