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How Renaissance Came to England? | Characteristics of Renaissance

The Renaissance denotes the gradual enlightenment of the human thoughts after the darkness of middle ages. The term Renaissance is applied to a period of human history following the middle ages. It is often mentioned to have started in Italy within the late 14th century & to have continued in to have continued in Western Europe all through the 15th 16th century. We use the term Renaissance to cover the entire movement whose essence was lengthy enough that it made Taine to exclaim that “Man so long blinded, had suddenly opened his eyes and seen”. The word Renaissance is a French word i.e. “Regain” and “naissance-birth” which suggests one thing which was reborn. It was a human spirit that was reborn & awakened after an extended slumber of the middle ages. The Renaissance was the revival of art and literature underneath the affect of classical models. European civilization throughout these centuries enjoyed a specific good cultural outburst and enthusiastic zeal within the classical i.e. Greek and Latin literature and Art was revived.

Renaissance, nevertheless was not solely the revival of learning, nor was it merely a new curiosity within the art and literature of the Greek and Romans however something greater than that. It was a time when Europeans started to alter their outlook on life and think for themselves. They had been now not happy with the feudalism of the society. Their absolute and unquestioning religion and church was shaken to its roots. They started to question the authority of the church.

In the year 1453 the Turks conquered Constantinople and the scholars in massive numbers left the east. These scholars came to Italy through – Greece and carried a big amount of material of Greek art and literature. From Italy the affect of Renaissance turned a critical movement. With the arrival of the printing press, many more books had been written not solely in Latin and the language of the learned people but in addition within the language of common person.


The Revival of Learning

During the Renaissance there was a revival of classical learning. The study of the classical authors turned a passion with the individuals of this age. Instead of ravenous on arid productions of the inferior schoolmen, the intelligent young people of the day turned to Greek philosophy & Poetry for nourishment.


The rediscovery and reinterpretation of antiquity gave birth to a new tradition, that of humanism. The humanists led by Erasmus started to take interest in life & in mankind.

Under the new creed life now not appeared a mere penance to be endured by good, Christians in preparation for heaven, people started to take interest on this life and strove hard to make it better and happier. They cultivated a healthy sense of magnificence. They developed a fantastic zest for life. They loved life immensely and needed to live life lovingly.

Read About: How Art for Art’s Sake Movement was Started? Art for Art’s Sake Explained

Nationalism and Patriotism

The defeat of the Spanish Armada introduced concerning the revival of nationalistic and patriotic feelings among the many people of this time. An intense patriotism turned one of many excellent features of the Elizabethan age and as Hudson describes it fantastically, it confirmed itself in a keen interest in England’s past, satisfaction in England’s greatness, hatred of England’s enemies and additional unusual loyalty to England’s queen.

Age of Material Advancement

In material surroundings and comforts too there have been great changes and enhancements happening. Commerce was making very appreciable progress. Fresh means of wealth were being initially or totally developed.

Spirit of Enquiry

The Renaissance enkindled man’s spirit of Enquiry, his inquisitiveness his want to know the unknown. With the Renaissance we see the start of the modern world out of the ashes of the dark ages the discovery of the world and the discovery of man. It marked the period of untrammeled individualism in life, ideas, faith and art.

Prose in Renaissance

Although fragments of English prose are found in early drama however its actual developments began with early histories and English rendering of the Bible. Men linked with public life used prose freely. The English prose was taking form among the many masses. The new English was infinitely wealthy in words, superior in sentence arrangement and but easy in structure. John Wycliffe had translated for the first time the whole Bible into the language of the individuals. William Tyndale suffered a lot to get the Bible translated and printed in English prose. He shaped the undertaking of translating the scriptures into the vernacular however discovering difficulties in England went to Hamburg. He himself was arrested for heresy imprisoned and strangled and burnt.

Thomas More ‘Utopia’ is written in Latin. Sir Philip Sidney wrote a prose romance referred to as Arcadia. Bacon was the principal prose grasp of the time.

Drama in Renaissance

Among the literary literary types which attained attained a excessive degree of perfection throughout this era, drama ranks first. Drama made a swift and great leap into maturity. In the theatre of the period each the Renaissance and the Reformation saw their influence.

The affect of the classical antiquity is more clearly seen within the first regular comedy ‘Ralph Roister Doister’ by, Nicholas Udall and first tragedy ‘Gorbeduc’ was written by was written by the humanists – Thomas Sackville and Thomas Norton in imitation of Seneca.

Renaissance witnessed the start and development of the University wits, a group of young man related to Oxford or Cambridge. They based the Elizabethan school of drama. E.g. Marlowe, Thomas Kyd, John Lyly, Robert Green & Nash.

Poetry in Renaissance

Humanism impressed the renewal of poetry additionally. The poetry of the period reveals great affect of the Italian Renaissance. Both Wyatt and Surrey had been influenced by Italian Models through the period (1550-1580) Wyatt, Surrey, Sidney and the university wits prepared the way for the Elizabethans. The English genius of the Elizabethans having absorbed the lesson of international writers add to them the youth and vigor of its own spirit. The result was a fullness, freshness and grandeur of style, unequalled in some other period of our literature.

Edmund Spenser was influenced by the Renaissance to a fantastic extent and reflected the Renaissance spirit in his works. He was a worshipper of the Renaissance beliefs, next comes Shakespeare.

Shakespeare – Venus and Adonais

Sidney – Astrophel and Stella

John Milton – Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained

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