What were the effects of the Renaissance on English literature?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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The Renaissance had several major effects on English literature.

First, it marked a rediscovery of many classical texts that had been unknown in the Middle Ages. For example, the recovery of Greek novels, and in particular their translation into French by Amyot, led to a certain type of pastoral English novel, exemplified by Lyly's Euphues.

Classical models strongly influenced drama. Seneca's tragedies were models for the Elizabethan and Jacobean genre of revenge tragedy, and Latin versions of Greek New Comedy influenced romantic comedy.

Protestantism, with its emphasis on reading the Bible in the vernacular, contributed to the growth of vernacular literacy, and thus the audience for literary works in English.


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