Thursday, May 16, 2013

Oration on the Dignity of Man Q-STYLE OF PICO DELLO MIRANDOLA

Oration on the Dignity of Man  Q-STYLE OF PICO DELLO MIRANDOLA
          “Style is the structuring of choices made within the  frame work of a literary   language and of a literary  form.”-Gleason
          By choices Gleason means choices of types of sentences, clauses, phrases, words, metaphors, tunes, images and graph logical markers. So it is quite clear that through the style we can classify the work of a particular writer. According to Walter Pater, “to arrive at a great style the first step that a writer should take is to be careful in his selection of words. secondly, to make a work  grand and great an authors should keep the theme of the  work in mind and should use   the style favorable to his  style.” 

v Pico’s style:-
          Pico belonged to the age and country from where the Renaissance took its birth. And his work ‘Oration…’ has been considered as the manifesto of the Italian Renaissance. It has been described as the most elegant “Oration…” which was published in 1496, with the added elegant phrase, “on the Dignity of Man.”
          In this oration he is at his best as far as his style is concerned. In this oration we find that he has poured in his mind manifold writing gifts. He brought to this project an immense mind, insatiable curiosity, infallible memory and a confidence in his intellectual capacities that few if any have ever matched before or since. His large project was the synthesis of all human knowledge into a single whole.

          The title itself suggests that the style of this book is oration, rather it is a lecture delivered at Rome by Mirandella, and the theme of his oration is to celebrate the dignified status of man. The language, sentence and statements he is using now and then is of oration. Pauses are also found  spread around. Paragraphs and sentences are very long. Phrases like…“so to say,  I ashes.”

          Etc leads us to the conclusion that it is an oration and this style reflects throughout the book.  He ends his oration in typical style of an orator saying…  “let us now with the prayer   that the outcome may be  fortunate as to the sound of  war-trumpets, join battle.”
          After this, there may be some question and other observations too.

v Typical Renaissance style:-
          The style which has always been with Renaissance writers was ‘self confidence’, self pride and ‘I’ at the centre, being formed in the text here and there. In the first paragraph is the proof itself. He expresses his view on human beings. ‘I’ is dominant. The sentence below reflects his opinion about the status of man which is the theme of his project …
          “I feel that, I have come to  some understanding of why  man is the most fortunate  of living things…how marvelous and splendid  creature a man is.”
          So he throughout presents a signature, a style of Renaissance writers that has ‘self’ at the centre.

v Confidence in tone:-
          It can be realized that while going through the oration one can realize that there is  crystal confidence in his tone, arguments and voices. He puts forth the arguments then argues it and then comes to the conclusion. If he opposes something he gives enough support to his arguments by  opposition because the age in which he was living was an age of debate and discussion. Because He was strongly of the opinion that
          “the greatest dignity of  Humanity is the boundless  Power of self-transformation.”

          His ‘oration’ gives an ardent support to his belief of self-confidence. Such examples would be found when Pico goes against the philosopher of his age. Though philosophy at that time was being considered as an important branch of knowledge, but he very confidently declares that he isn’t against philosophy but so called philosophers who by using the mask of philosophy wrongly philosophized the people. However, he at the same time eulogized philosophy by saying that…
          “philosophy has taught me  to rely on my own conviction   rather than on the judgment   of others.”

          So one can safely declare that it is philosophy and its interest in it which gave him such a confidence. His style of writing is no doubt clearly apparent in his oration.

v Prescriptive style:-
          It is well known to the reader that Pico is also known as a renaissance spiritualist. He was of the opinion that it is the spiritual faculty of man which makes the man the angel. He says the individual human beings are the microcosm. That is, the individual human being can express the whole of creation and can express the whole of divine. If one wants to find God then one can look into  one’s own soul for the individual perfectly express the whole of divinity. For this reason he argues that human beings can become any aspect of the universe. So being a spiritualist by nature he gives tips to the human beings in order to enrich the people spiritually.

v Use of symbols:-
          According to Aristotle,
          “only that writer may be  deemed as a great one who   has got a mastery over  images and symbols.” Actually speaking, however profound the idea may be, it has no value in the realm or art and literature unless it is woven into the fabric of art and beauty. The Mirandola project is also rich in beauty because of its daring use of symbols.

          This use of chameleon as a symbol of man is a genial one. Here though he uses symbol of  chameleon, but he becomes propitious in his argument that man is by nature mutual and capable of  transforming itself. His argument is symbolized in the figure of speech where he says, 
          “who then will not look  with awe upon this our  chameleon or who at least  will look greater with admiration  on any other being?”

          Another interesting use of symbol is found in his argument about the true place of god and man. He says in this whole universe god is at the centre and in the universe on earth man is at the centre, there he presents a symbol of ladder to give vitality to his arguments. He says…
          “in the bosom of the father who reigns above the ladder,  we shall find perfection and  peace…”

          He only means to say that between man and god there is a ladder, (spiritual faculty). God is, who reigns above the ladder; so in order to reach god we are supposed to make use of the ladder. Many other symbols are also used in the text, through which Pico gives us direction, a broad area of reference, rather than like an item in an allegorical.

v Demerits:-
          There is saying in Sanskrit that, “Sampurna Keval Hari” Every human being has some demerits. It is universally acknowledged that ‘oration’ by Pico is the most read of the Renaissance and no work more forcefully, eloquently affect the reader but oration. However, this masterpiece of his is also not free from its juvenility. Because the reader can notice that in the beginning of the oration, author is very confident clear presenting self opinion but as the project goes forward, he seems somewhat dizzy. He quotes more and more example from other philosophers like Plato, Aristotle and other. In the field of religion, he frequently takes help of his argument already put forth by Parsi Zoroturust and pagan culture ending portion of the oration is the proof of his dazzled status.

v Conclusion:-
          In spite of some demerits his oration stands out like a beacon among other renaissance works. This has the entire characteristic, favorable to its style.  

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