The importance of visualisation in Renaissance writing

Essay by honeylauzUniversity, Master's March 2003

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At this the whole grove vanished, and the whole music was discovered, sitting at the foot of the mountain, with Pleasure and Virtue seated above them. The choir invited Hercules to rest with this song.." (Jonson 'Pleasure reconciled to virtue'). Discuss the importance of the visual in Renaissance writing.

Visualisation is essential in Renaissance writing. In effect, the vision or the allusion

is often what gives Renaissance writing its depth and success. The vision is employed

for various reasons, primarily to set the scene and give evidence to what is being said,

often to show morality or irony within the text, and it helps express what the writer

wants to put across, sometimes in the form of a story that wishes to teach the reader.

The writer uses vision as an essence to show his own true emotion, and instead of

telling us outright, making the task easy for the reader, creates a vision, a middle

ground in which the reader must dissect information that is hidden and useful.


makes the reader's job far more difficult as the reader must interpret meaning

amongst the vision. That is, many 'vision' texts possess double meaning and a voice

of morality within what is being said, perhaps at the outcome of the story.

Metaphorically speaking, as in Marvell's 'The Garden' the writer transports emotion

into this vision, often a vision that is familiar to all mankind, so that the reader can

identify with the vision and relate it to their own lives ,and thus a more personal

relationship develops within writer and reader. This is shown in Marvell's 'The

Garden' as Marvell creates an illusional garden, the ultimate idea of idealised nature

and fallen things under human domination, "How vainly men themselves amaze," the

garden itself takes on a persona, "Fair quiet...