King Lear Author:William Shakespeare The Mediaeval view of man was generally not an exalted one. It saw him as more or less depraved, fallen from Grace as a result of Adam's sin; and the things of this world as of little value in terms of his salvation. Natural life was thought of mainly as a preparation for man's entry into Eternity. But Renaissance thought soon began to rehabi... more »litate man and nature. Without denying man's need for Grace, men came gradually to accept the idea that there were "goods," values, "innocent delights" to be had in the world here and now. Man himself was seen no longer as wholly vile and depraved, incapaple even of desiring goodness, but rather as Shakespeare saw him in Hamlet:
"What a peice of work is man! How noble in reason!
how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an angel!
in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world!
the paragon of animals!"
It was, indeed, a very stirring time to be alive in. it was a time like spring, when promise, opportunity, challenge, and growth appeared where none had been dreamed before. Perhaps this is why there is so much poetry of springtime in the age of Shakespeare.« less