As a whole, the general movement we call the Renaissance can be seen in a number of different ways. It can be seen as a revolt against the stable and ordered but restrictive world of the later Middle Ages. More positively, it can be seen as what Walter Pater, two of whose formulations on the subject have already been quoted, calls ‘a general excitement and enlightening of the human mind’. This excitement found expression in a freely-ranging curiosity which tended to enlighten men both about themselves and about the world and the universe around them. It found expression also in the new individualism in conduct, philosophy, religion, and art, which is so prominent a feature of the age. Perhaps these three-an impulse towards emancipation, a spirit of inquiry, and an assertion of individualism-are the leading characteristics of the movement.