European Literature and Europe's History Analytical Essay by Nicky

A review of several pieces of literature originating from the European continent from the 1400s to the 1700s that shed light on European history.
# 150322 | 2,897 words | 5 sources | MLA | 2012 | US
Published on Jan 30, 2012 in Literature (English) , Literature (French) , History (European - 16th Century)

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The writer of this paper focuses on three notable works that provide a glimpse of early sixteenth century Europe. The paper looks at Martin Luther's "On the Freedom of a Christian" that speaks of what he thinks is happening with the Catholic faith, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola's treatise "Oration on the Dignity of Man" that has religious fervor but mapped a more humanist approach, and de Montaigne's "Of Cannibals" that compares the societies of Europe to those of the new world. The paper also discusses De La Fayette's "The Princess of Cleves" and Defoe's "The Further Adventures of Robinson Crusoe" that are fictional accounts but have a basis in facts. The writer concludes that his/her course on European history provided a good foundation on European history.

From the Paper:

"There is no lack of written literary and historical materials originating from the European continent from the 1400s to the 1700s. Depending on whether it is fiction or non-fictional writing, the themes are recurring. For the non-fictional writings, the themes are centered on the virtues of the Christian faith and the ongoing social, political and economic condition. The fictional ones also have their share of Christian-centric themes but others saw a rehash of stories found in Greek and Roman literature. Although the Christian faith had a strong hold on what to write and what not to write, the period of the Renaissance begun changing that hold albeit on a more reserved basis. European colonial masters such as Great Britain, Spain, Italy and France started founding colonies and territories across the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. From these voyages, some of the writings changed because it has incorporated the experiences of those who have gone across the seas. What was unheard of previously became part of the stories - fiction and / or fact - and provided information, knowledge and entertaining to whomever read or listened.
"This course on European history with emphasis on written documentations provided a glimpse of how things were at the start and how things evolved several hundred years later or more specifically during the mid-1700s. Although emphasis were on writings of French, English, Spanish and German in origin, these nonetheless provided a clear and vivid picture of how people were during those times and how they changed throughout the decades and even centuries."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • De La Fayette, Marie de la Vergne. The Princess of Cleves. France: The Author, 1678. The Project Gutenberg, (accessed August 8, 2009).
  • Defoe, Daniel. The Further Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. England: The Author, 1719. The Project Gutenberg, (accessed August 8, 2009).
  • Halsall, Paul. "Dedicatory: Letter of Martin Luther to Pope Leo X." Modern History Sourcebook: Martin Luther: On the Freedom of a Christian. October 1998, (accessed August 8, 2009).
  • Shalizi, Cosma R. Oration on the Dignity of Man by Giovanni Pico della Mirandola. 21 November 1994, (accessed August 8, 2009).
  • W.W. Norton and Company. "Michel de Montaigne, from Of Cannibals." The Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Sixteenth Century: Topics. 2009, (accessed August 8, 2009).

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European Literature and Europe's History (2012, January 30) Retrieved April 07, 2020, from

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