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Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch) a major figure of the early Renaissance
Giovanni Boccaccio, statue at the Uffizi gallery, Florence

Renaissance literature refers to European literature which was influenced by the intellectual and cultural tendencies associated with the Renaissance. The earliest Renaissance literature appeared in 14th century Italy; Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, Machiavelli and Ariosto are notable examples of Italian Renaissance writers. From Italy the influence of the Renaissance spread at different rates to other countries and continued to spread throughout Europe through the 17th century. The English Renaissance and the Renaissance in Scotland date from the late 15th century to the early 17th century. In northern Europe the scholarly writings of Erasmus, the plays of Shakespeare, the poems of Edmund Spenser and the writings of Sir Philip Sidney may be considered Renaissance in character.

The literature of the Renaissance was written within the general movement of the Renaissance which arose in 13th century Italy and continued until the 16th century while being diffused into the western world. It is characterized by the adoption of a humanist philosophy, the recovery of the classical literature of Antiquity and benefited from the spread of printing in the latter part of the 15th century. For the writers of the Renaissance Greco-Roman inspiration was shown both in the themes of their writing and in the literary forms they used. The world was considered from an anthropocentic perspective. Platonic ideas were revived and put to the service of Christianity. The search for pleasures of the senses and a critical and rational spirit completed the ideological panorama of the period. New literary genres such as the essay (Montaigne) and new metrical forms such as the sonnet (Petrarch) and Spenserian stanza made their appearance.

The impact of the Renaissance varied across the continent; countries that were predominantly Catholic or Protestant experienced the Renaissance differently. Areas where the Orthodox Church was culturally dominant, as well as those areas of Europe under Islamic rule were more or less outside its influence. The period focused on self-actualization and one's ability to accept what is going on in one's life.[citation needed]

The creation of the printing press (using movable type) by Johannes Gutenberg in the 1450s encouraged authors to write in their local vernacular rather than in Greek or Latin classical languages, widening the reading audience and promoting the spread of Renaissance ideas.

See also[edit]

Literature by century[edit]

Poetry by century[edit]

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renaissance_literature — Please support Wikipedia.
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67 news items

Berkshire Eagle
Wed, 30 Jul 2014 10:26:15 -0700

It's a Cartesian split between the body and the mind that I think is anticipated through of all of classical and Renaissance literature." Garner and Smith co-adapted the play, using multiple Ovid translations to "give it a more rounded flavor" and vary ...

Times Higher Education

Times Higher Education
Wed, 30 Jul 2014 15:52:30 -0700

Peter J. Smith, reader in Renaissance literature, Nottingham Trent University, is reading Graham Holderness' Nine Lives of William Shakespeare (Continuum, 2011). “Holderness is excellent at showing how the bare facts of Shakespeare's life have been ...
The Conversation
Sun, 27 Jul 2014 13:26:15 -0700

My primary field of research is Renaissance literature, specialising in women's poetry, and the relationships between form, genre, politics and history in the period. I am the lead investigator on a collaborative ARC funded project examining the ...


Sat, 26 Jul 2014 00:07:30 -0700

How does this make me any different from the French Renaissance literature grads slinging coffee? Or from those steel, auto and lumber mill workers who thought landing one of those jobs had them set for life? Why is there an echo in here?” Those are ...

Derby Telegraph

Derby Telegraph
Fri, 25 Jul 2014 00:07:30 -0700

As part of the castle project, Dr Nicola Stacey, senior properties historian at English Heritage, worked with James Knowles, professor of renaissance literature and culture at Brunel University, to explore the significance of the royal visit to ...
Chapel Hill News
Tue, 15 Jul 2014 10:26:40 -0700

Gless, a professor of Renaissance literature at UNC-Chapel Hill, had been fighting cancer during the couple's entire relationship. When they decided to pursue parenthood, they knew Gless would not be around to raise the child, whom they had already ...

News & Observer

News & Observer
Sun, 13 Jul 2014 18:30:00 -0700

Gless, a professor of Renaissance literature at UNC-Chapel Hill, had been fighting cancer during the couple's entire relationship. When they decided to pursue parenthood, they knew Gless would not be around to raise the child, whom they had already ...

The Millions

The Millions
Wed, 23 Jul 2014 03:00:59 -0700

cover Little known fact: MOOCs (massive open online courses) were invented by Vladimir Nabokov in his campus novel, Pnin, long before Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig launched their “Online Introduction to Artificial Intelligence” in 2011. During a ...

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