Homework Help

What was the Renaissance? How did it influence English literature?

user profile pic

farhan9000 | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 9, 2012 at 5:22 PM via web

dislike 2 like

What was the Renaissance? How did it influence English literature?

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

wordprof | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted July 10, 2012 at 1:44 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 2 like

The Renaissance (rebirth) was a European rediscovery of the Greek and Roman culture, especially its philosophies, its principles, and its literatures (approximately 1000-1600). Through a gradual accumulation and translation of ancient texts, such as Aristotle’s Poetics and Homer’s epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey, Europe emerged from the Dark Ages into a new intellectual energy that resulted in a consolidation of the English language from its many origins (languages from invading hordes, from visitors, from its own origins in Wales and so on, from the Norman Invasion of 1066) into what can be called early modern English. The collective cultural events now referred to as the Renaissance brought Greek and Roman verse forms, dramatic structure, and epic rules to English literature, as well as logic and rhetoric, samples of which fill every anthology of English literature. To ask how the Renaissance influenced English literature is to ask where English literature came from, after its origins in oral traditions, early folk dramas, folk tales, and the like.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes