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What are the differences between Renaissance and Pre-Renaissance literature?

Renaissance literature differs from pre-Renaissance literature in more wholly integrating the work of Greek and Roman writers, many of whom had been recently rediscovered. Renaissance literature is humanistic, focusing on human beings as the crown of God's creation. Renaissance authors increasingly produced literature that reflected human interiority and individuality, as seen in playwrights such as Marlowe and Shakespeare.

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The predominant difference between Renaissance literature and the medieval literature which immediately preceded it is the shift from a religious conception of the universe to a more humanistic one. While God and religion were still significant, creators were more interested in the glory of man and the world during this period. Renaissance-era artists and thinkers were also enthralled by classical Greek and Roman art, literature, and philosophy, and they often incorporated it into their work. In contrast, such elements were viewed as too "pagan" during the middle ages, even though there were medieval philosophers such as Thomas Aquinas who took inspiration from them as well. Notice how often the Greco-Roman gods and other mythical figures are referenced in Renaissance paintings and plays, for instance.

Portrayals of human nature were also more nuanced in Renaissance-era literature. Medieval literature and drama tended to focus on allegory , simplifying human beings to particular types....

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