From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Renaissance literature is European literature, after the Dark Ages over an extended period, usually considered to be initiated by Petrarch at the beginning of the Italian Renaissance, and sometimes taken to continue to the English Renaissance and into the seventeenth century. The impact of the Renaissance varied across the continent: countries where Catholicism and emergent Protestantism were, or became, dominant experienced the Renaissance in a different manner to areas where the Orthodox Church was the dominant culture and those areas of Europe under Islamic rule.
The creation of the printing press encouraged authors to write in the local vernacular rather than in the classical languages of Greek and Latin, widening the reading audience and promoting the spread of Renaissance ideas.
Some famous authors of the literary movement of the Renaissance are Dante (writer of Divine Comedy), Erasmus (The Praise of Folly), Sir Thomas More (writer of Utopia), Boccaccio, Machiavelli, Castiglione, Montaigne, Cervantes, Rabelais, Pietro Aretino, Poggio and Shakespeare.
A brief chronology of Renaissance literature
Many historians recognize the beginning of the Renaissance Period as 6 April 1341 when Francesco Petrarch was crowned Poet Laureate. This period included revolutions in art, philosophy, and science, all which contributed to development of new forms of literature. This was a time of rebirth because many of the principles exposed during the classical time period in ancient Greece and Rome were the basis of Renaissance literature.
- Allegory in Renaissance literature
- Dutch Renaissance and Golden Age literature
- Elizabethan literature
- French Renaissance literature
- Spanish Renaissance literature
Centuries in literature:
Centuries in poetry: