The Renaissance and The Age of Exploration

DBQ document analysis

Need help with the Renaissance DBQ? We analyzed the docs in class together and also did a CAPPFLAC for each doc.  Be sure to double check your class period!


"...The status and representation of women for the majority of Western history was oppressive and restrictive. For thousands of years women enjoyed very few economic, legal, or political rights and, in theory, were expected to be submissive to their fathers or husbands. Women were confined to traditional gender roles, which forced them to remain in the domestic or private sphere of society. Women’s roles as daughters, wives, or mothers were considered their most significant function in society. For the elite members of society, the reproductive capabilities of women were an extremely important function in determining inheritances and maintaining the family line. Through all classes of society, the social system of patriarchy evolved as the primary way to regulate women’s behavior and maintain social control.


The Italian Renaissance comprised a “rebirth” of culture, literature, and art in Western Europe. The Renaissance combined the ideals of the ancient and classical texts (Roman and Greek) with the medieval values of Catholicism and the contemporary principles of humanism. Leading figures of the Renaissance continued to portray women as they were represented during the medieval period—as either virtuous and chaste or seductive and deceptive. Renaissance thinkers perpetuated this traditional representation of women using iconic images from Catholicism, such as Virgin Mary and Eve.


Although women were oftentimes depicted in Renaissance art or literature, the cultural advancements and political developments that emerged from the Renaissance overwhelmingly neglected women. The Renaissance brought a renewal and rebirth of intellect, culture, art, and social advancement that was seemingly only advantageous to men. Women continued to be used in society only for the benefits of men—as daughters who could potentially help the family through an advantageous marriage, or as wives who took care of the home and produced children to help work on the farm or to carry on a family name. The behavior of women was also an important indication of the social status and reputation of their families. Women’s sexuality, particularly among the elite, was highly regulated to ensure chastity before marriage and the legitimacy of heirs after. If a woman was accused of having an affair it could later be claimed that her child was not a legitimate heir to an inheritance, or to the throne."

Above: Period 3 - Honors World History
Above: Period 7- Honors World History