Renaissance Literature

Chief Characteristics of Renaissance English Literature

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Renaissance literature is a rich blend of early British and European literary traditions. Influences came from the middle ages, classical antiquity, and early modern philosophy. The first literary renaissance in Europe could be dated to 1364 with Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.

The Renaissance period in England represents a time of artistic, scientific, and cultural revival. The English literature produced during this period is characterized by the increased use of colloquialism, satire, realism, and gritty humor.

Definition of Renaissance English Literature

Renaissance English literature is considered to be the literature of the European Renaissance. It is typified by the use of vernacular languages, which were more accessible to the masses than Latin or Greek; it can also include translations and retellings in English of ancient classics. The term “English” includes both literature written in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and Anglo-Saxon areas of Britain (such as Cornwall), but does not usually extend to other languages written or spoken on the island, such as Scottish Gaelic or Cornish.

Use of Language in Renaissance Literature

Renaissance literature is characterized by many different types of language. One example would be the use of metaphors. For instance, Shakespeare often speaks of love as a “longing nightingale” in Romeo and Juliet, which is a metaphor for the feeling associated with love. Another characteristic of renaissance literature is that it uses irony.

Renaissance literature was a literary movement that spanned from the latter half of the 14th century to the mid 17th century. This time period saw many changes, including an increase in literacy rates and a flourishing of vernacular. Vernacular is the term used to describe the native language of a population as opposed to a literary or learned language. Vernacular is also sometimes called “the mother tongue”.

Read About: What Are the Chief Characteristics of the Age of Geoffrey Chaucer in English Literature?

The use of vernacular allowed for more personal expression and creativity through writing because people could write in their own voice instead of using the complicated, formal style that Latin had been used for centuries before. Renaissance English literature is famous for its use of language.

The most important feature of this time period is the development of the English language. The English language was not standardized until around 1487, so it relied on oral tradition. Writers often used archaic words to evoke a sense of antiquity. This new type of writing relied heavily on allusions and allegories that were accessible to educated readers who could understand them, but gave more meaning to those with an understanding of the Bible.

Types of Literature Written During the Renaissance Period

During the Renaissance, literature was dominated by two types of writing: poetry and drama. Much of the poetry was written in verse form, often following a set rhyming scheme. Drama was more popular than comedy during this period, although comedies were still performed on occasion.

The most popular types of literature during this time period were romances, epics, and prose. These pieces usually took on the form of entertaining stories with deep meaning. The romances were usually about knights in search of adventure, while the epics were often about conquering lands. Prose was typically more controversial than the other two forms because it often discussed topics that would have been considered inappropriate for those from a higher class.

Renaissance literature is typically viewed as literature written in England during the 16th and 17th centuries. This period was the time of the Italian Renaissance, which had a great impact on English culture. Writers were influenced by classical language and style, and often studied Latin and Greek at school. Writers used this knowledge to imitate ancient styles in order to create their own original works.

The Chief Characteristics of English Literature in the Renaissance Period

Renaissance literature was pretty diverse when it came to form. The works that we would typically associate with the Renaissance age are often in the forms of poetry and drama, but there were also a lot of serialized stories and pamphlets released during this time period. There were also a lot of translations and adaptations taking place during the Renaissance which made the literature more accessible to a wider audience.

English literature in the Renaissance period is characterized by a break with medieval values and an attempt to restore the classical Greek and Roman ideals. This change in ideology is evident in poetry, drama, and prose. The poetry of this era is often characterized by elaborate allusions to classical myths. Drama was stimulated by the revival of Roman theater, while prose was centered on discussions of moral philosophy.

English literature during the renaissance period is often characterized by an increased concern for individualism, self-knowledge, and issues of morality. These characteristics are often seen in works like “The Canterbury Tales” by Geoffrey Chaucer and “Hero and Leander” by Christopher Marlowe.


Renaissance literature is defined by the intellectual flowering of Europe, in the 15th and 16th centuries. It is characterized by a broad variety of interrelated literary forms, ranging from popular “low” styles, such as ballads and plays, to high forms that are often studied in schools or universities.

The English Literature of the Renaissance is characterized by its variety, with writers showing different ways of representing the world. These writers are also different in their attitude to social and moral norms. This diversity is also seen in the various forms of literature that were written during this period, among which are the sonnet, the epic poem, and narrative fiction.

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