The Renaissance embraced humanism, which celebrated the goodness, achievement, and centrality of humans and the human experience. Examples of celebrating the human being abound in Renaissance art, from Michelangelo's David to da Vinci's Vitruvian Man. In both these cases, the human form is central and shown in its best light as noble and beautiful. Renaissance art also celebrates the female form, such as in Botticelli's The Birth of Venus. Unlike in medieval art, humans were no longer only depicted as merely subordinate to the divine.
Renaissance writers and artists also embraced realism. Artists like Michelangelo and da Vinci dissected corpses and studied perspective so that their sculptures and paintings would be as realistic as possible. Writers, for example Machiavelli in The Prince, tried to show how power really worked in the world and to divorce it from religious virtues. Playwrights like Shakespeare went beyond the allegorical "types" of medieval theater to depict realistic human characters. If actors on the medieval stage played a virtue or a vice, Renaissance actors depicted well-rounded human beings with both virtues and vices, such as Hamlet or Othello.