Shakespeare-the English Renaissance

Topics: Florence, Political philosophy, Renaissance Pages: 2 (679 words) Published: May 25, 2006
The English Renaissance began in England from the early sixteenth to the early seventeenth century. This era in English history is described as a cultural and artistic movement and sometimes referred to as "the age of Shakespeare" or "the Elizabethan era," taking the name after the English Renaissance's most famous author and monarch. William Shakespeare, however, was not the only influential writer during that time. In fact much of his work was influenced by famous philosophical thinkers at the time, including Thomas Moore and Niccolo Machiavelli. Their philosophies of a perfect society and a perfect leader are reflected not only in Shakespeare's writing, but in the writings of many others. The ideas of strength, power, and paradise were a common theme in England at the time and also in a poem by Michael Drayton called Ode. To the Virginian Voyage! Niccolo Machiavelli's most famous piece of work, The Prince, was first written not as a book but as a letter to Lorenzo de' Medici, ruler of Florence, composed as a guide on how to be a ruler. Machiavelli offered practical advice on a variety of matters, he believed that ultimately, in order for a ruler to become great and powerful, he or she had to follow certain steps such as be feared rather than love, know when to be strong or cunning, to hide your weaknesses and to avoid hatred. When talking about fortune and how to go about it, Machiavelli argued that while two men can work equally as hard to achieve their goal only one might, while in a different scenario, one man can work hard and the other one not over the same goal and they both achieve it. Machiavelli, however, also acknowledges that " it is better to be heady" in other words headstrong, bold and impetuous, "than wary" and it is better to keep fortune in "obedience, to ruffle and force her." Therefore, fortune, according to Machiavelli is most likely to come " to young men because they are less respective, more rough, and command her with more...
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