Renaissance Literature

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How would I write an essay on how the Renaissance influenced sixteenth-century English poetry?

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When writing an essay on this topic, consider how the Renaissance was a flowering of all the arts, including poetry. In England, just as on the European continent, the classical artistic styles of the ancient Greeks and Romans were being reinvented. Livy, Virgil, Ovid, and Horace became the inspiration for many English poets of the sixteenth century.

English Renaissance poetry is also full of emotion. Depicting the true human condition was a focus of Renaissance artists. English poets liked to explore ideas about what makes a person who they are and how this is reflected in their emotional state. An examination of Shakespeare's sonnets or Spenser's The Faerie Queene will provide many examples of this.

It is also important to remember that Italy was the birthplace and cultural center of the Renaissance. Many sixteenth-century English poets had connections, either directly or indirectly, to Italy. Adapting Italian styles for an English audience was a common pursuit among English artists. For instance, the sonnet, which is emblematic of English Renaissance poetry, originated in Italy.

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