Humanism Essay

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In the dedication of The garden of eloquence (1577), Henry Peacham speaks of 'wisdom and eloquence, the only ornaments whereby man's life is beautified.' The coupling is significant; wisdom and eloquence are two parts of one ideal. Wisdom cannot express itself properly without eloquence; eloquence is so much empty verbiage without wisdom. It should be stressed again that the emphasis on style in Renaissance literary theory is not formalism. The intimate connection between style and thought is often reiterated; in the Apophthegms, Erasmus recounts an anecdote about Socrates, who said to a youth who had been sent by his father to be seen by the philosopher, 'Speak that I may see you,'

signifying that the mind of man is manifested less in
his face than in his speech (oratio), because this is
the surest and least lying mirror of the soul.

Diseases of the mind issue in...

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This section contains 1,460 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Humanism Study Guide
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Literary Movements for Students
Humanism from Literary Movements for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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