What are the main features of the Renaissance ?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The French word renaissance means "rebirth."  The Renaissance was a period in which artists and writers rejected the restrictions of the Middle Ages in order to develop new ideals, enthusiasm, and interests; most notably, there was a Revival of Learning, a new thirst for knowledge and enjoyment in knowledge.  The results of this "rebirth" were a widespread study of art and literature, as well as a delving into the mysteries of the natural world.

The Renaissance did not so much result in a change in subjects of study as it did in establishing a new viewpoint from which well-known facts may be considered.  Humanism arose as did a devotion to Greek and Latin studies in a perfect form, rejecting the "dog-Latin" of the Middle Ages. Painters sought to capture real people rather than general types and individual personalities rather than universal human traits. Extending to all parts of Europe, the Renaissance brought new arts such as printing, new geographical discoveries, and cultivation of trade by sea. 

In fact, the spirit of the Renaissance was above all secular as the Renaissance scholar was more concerned with form than content--for example, the correct use of words, the purification of style, the restoration of classical languages.

garciajbas | Student

The overall feature of the Renaissance was Enlightenment. Now let me explain what that meant in Renaissance times. It was the ability of an individual to think on his own, to stir away from the common norm of society; which was to believe in what the church said. That is pretty much the theme of the Renaissance. Also many people, such as, Leonardo Da Vinci, Michael Angelo, Gianlorenzo Bernini, along with others were having ephiphanies dealing with religion. It was during these sudden ephihanies that Da vinci painted the Last Supper, Michael Angelo painted the ceiling and walls of the Sistine Chapel, and where Bernini sculpted The Ecstacy of St. Teresa. Also in this time Science was becoming popular after the drawings of Da Vinci. This was the main highlight of the era. Science was starting to gain prominence amongst the community, thus outraging the church.

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