Quotation by Gilbert Keith Chesterton

The Renaissance was, as much as anything, a revolt from the logic of the Middle Ages. We speak of the Renaissance as the birth of rationalism; it was in many ways the birth of irrationalism. It is true that the medieval Schoolmen, who had produced the finest logic that the world has ever seen, had in later years produced more logic than the world can ever be expected to stand. They had loaded and lumbered up the world with libraries of mere logic; and some effort was bound to be made to free it from such endless chains of deduction. Therefore, there was in the Renaissance a wild touch of revolt, not against religion but against reason.... When all is said, there is something a little sinister in the number of mad people in Shakespeare. We say that he uses his fools to brighten the dark background of tragedy; I think he sometimes uses them to darken it.
Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874–1936), British author. Quoted in "The Renaissance," A Certain World: A Commonplace Book, ed. W.H. Auden, Viking (1970).
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