What were the influences of the Renaissance on English Literature?
The Renaissance emphases on humanism, democratic representation, nationalism and an emerging middle class. Humanism fostered the idea of man's importance within society as opposed to his importance within the a solely religious context. Democratic representation helped to inspire the up-building of the middle class by instilling a sense of individual value while nationalism made the culture and society equally important with the aristocracy (ruling powers). These were reflected in literature in works like Shakespeare's As You Like It in which the usurper of power is deposed and Thomas Aquinas writings that joined Classical literature with Church doctrine. These influences all stemmed from the spread of Classical Greek and Latin literature.