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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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4 news items

 
University of Texas at Austin News
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 09:41:15 -0700

A leading scholar of Renaissance literature, Rebhorn has won numerous literary awards and prizes, and he has been invited to lecture at major universities throughout the United States and Europe. To read more about his translation, visit Life & Letters ...

Slate Magazine (blog)

Slate Magazine (blog)
Mon, 04 Aug 2014 08:30:41 -0700

I was taken aback recently to pick up an (unnamed) magazine for which I'd written an article and see my brief bio begin with the words: "Ben Yagoda is a novelist. … " I am not a novelist, never have been, and have not (since the age of 15) even had ...

Broadway World

Broadway World
Fri, 08 Aug 2014 11:00:00 -0700

Along with Shakespeare, Jonson towers above the many influential leaders of English Renaissance literature. Through his plays, poetry, and elaborate masques for James I's court, Jonson was well-known in his day. He achieved early success with a 1598 ...
 
Broadway World
Mon, 04 Aug 2014 18:41:15 -0700

He currently teaches Renaissance Literature at the University of Oxford. Peter Stickney: Sound and Lighting Design. Peter has worked in technical theatre for over ?fteen years. In that time he has worked at many theatres throughout the UK including ...
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