Who was the most influential: (1)Author, (2)Philosopher? (3)Artist? Prior to the 20th centry.  Three names, and a one word reason why?Going out of town, and need to write the report by tomorrow,...

Who was the most influential: (1)Author, (2)Philosopher? (3)Artist? Prior to the 20th centry.  Three names, and a one word reason why?

Going out of town, and need to write the report by tomorrow, Friday 12-9-2010, and I don't know where to start.

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Philosopher:  Socrates, the creator of the dialectic method of inquiry.  The Socratic Method, a series of questions posed to help a person determine his/her underlying beliefs, is used througout the word on millions of college campuses.  Socrates is also renown for his contribution to the field of ethics.

Artist:  Claude Monet painted Impression, Sunrise in 1872.  This painting generated the movement of Impressionism which took painting out of the studio en plein air [ in fresh air].  Monet's reflection of light upon objects and his outdoor subject matter was unprecedented and shook the world of art.

Writer:  Shakespeare, without question. The renowned critic, Harold Bloom writes,

I will not just begin with the assumption that Shakespeare palpably was much the best writer we ever will know.  Shakespeare's originality in the representation of character will be demonstrated throughout, as will the extent to which we all of us were, to a shocking degree, pragmatically reinvented by Shakespeare.  Our ideas as to what makes the self authentically human owe more to Shakespeare tha ought to be possible, ....Every other great writer may fall away. to be replaced by the anti-elitis swamp of Cultural Studies.  Shakespeare will abide, even if he were to be expelled by the academics, in itself most unlikely.  He extensively informs the language we speak, his principal characters have become our mythology, and he, rather than his involuntary follower Freud, is our psychologist.

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I'm not usually one to jump on bandwagons, but I'd have to chime in with Shakespeare as well.  Bth the length of time his work has been studied and the collection of works that is well known, reproduced, turned into plays, movies, and that enters into mainstream classrooms all over the world puts him in the forefront of my mind.

For a philosopher, I would start looking in Asia.  Confucious?  Buddha?

I'll defer to others' judgement on the artist - not my strongest area of knowledge.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

For the author, I would have to go for Dickens or Shakespeare. Not necessarily a popular choice to go for Dickens, but he definitely changed the face of Victorian litertature and came to define it in a way. As for Shakespeare, I would have to say that he has had the biggest impact on literature out of all authors - just think how central he is to the canon of literature today.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

For philosopher, I will go with St. Augustine.  I mention him because much of the theology of the Catholic Church (which was, of course, the only Christian church in the West until the 1500s) came from Augustine's thinking.

For author, I'll say St. Paul.  Again, Christianity had a huge impact on the West and Paul's letters formed much of the basis of Christianity.

kiwi eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would go with Shakespeare as my chosen author, as his works are still internationally studied, performed and enjoyed. I would choose da Vinci as the artist as again the depth of his work is still celebrated. My philosopher would be Aristotle as our foundation for logic and scientific study.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
Author- Charles Dickens (social justice), Philosopher-Plato (influenced American founders), Artist- Monet (started Impressionism, a very different style). I admit that all of these are my favorites and I am clearly biased toward them, so I picked them.
nicely | Student

For philosopher, I will go with St. Augustine.  I mention him because much of the theology of the Catholic Church (which was, of course, the only Christian church in the West until the 1500s) came from Augustine's thinking.

For author, I'll say St. Paul.  Again, Christianity had a huge impact on the West and Paul's letters formed much of the basis of Christianity.

Thanks! In your opinion, as an artist, which of the three following artists would you consider the most influental: da Vinci, Michealangelo, or Raphael? (each from the late 1400s through the 1500s)