Characteristics Of The Renaissance

What are four characteristics of the Renaissance?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Renaissance, or "Rebirth," was a revival of learning and art in Europe after the Dark Ages. Here are major characteristics of this period:

1. The influence of the Italian scholar Petrarch, who revitalized interest in the classical thought of the Greeks and Romans. This revival of classical thought was a rejection of the "barbarism" and the "corruptions" of the centuries since the times of the Greeks and Romans.

2. The embracing of Humanism made sweeping changes. Whereas medieval scholars had been concerned with the harnessing of reason in the service and defense of religion, the Renaissance scholar, poet, and philosopher concerned himself with the real world, the world of nature and men, As a consequence, universities became more secular, producing now educated laymen; heretofore, only those of the religious orders had been scholars. Renaissance art, too, became more natural and realistic.

3. The commercial revolution began as feudalism died and different areas of the European countries developed important urban commercial centers. Regional self-sufficiency also began as areas concentrated on what they best produced, such as raw materials, grain and other foods, or creation of needed tools, etc. By the middle of the period, small-scale trading evolved into commercial capitalism and a revolution had certainly begun as trading was conducted overseas.

4. The creation of the Renaissance state came about after the decline of papal and Imperial dominance left Italy and a bellicose condition began as larger states absorbed lesser ones. As a result, the forerunners of the modern state began as the Medieval republican city governments that ruled outlying territories as well were replaced by an individual despot in Milan, a powerful, rich oligarchy in Venice and Florence, and by the pope in papal states around Rome.

ssandhu05 | Student

The Renaissance (1500-1600) was a time when (1) Europe started to "open" up from the past Medieval Era. This meant navies, travel, globalization, and trading. It was also the period where there was the (2) rise of the monarch versus the church, with the Protestant Reformation starting to occur. Also, the Renaissance was the (3) time of the Elizabethan Era (1558-1603) because of Queen Elizabeth I, who reigned over England and was one of the first and few woman to rule at all. If looking at art and literature, then we note that (4) the Renaissance was the period in which Shakespeare lived his life and had written his plays and poems, which was very impacting to history of literature.