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About the English Renaissance

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About the English Renaissance by Herminne Tonita -

In England the Renaissance is usually thought of as beginning with the accession of the House of Tudor to the throne in 1485. Politically, this marks the end of the period of civil wars among the old feudal aristocracy-the War of the Roses, and the establishment of something like a modern, efficient, centralized state. This date is also close to that of the introduction of printing into England- an invention without which the great cultural changes could not have occurred. Culturally, the important periods were the reign of Henry VIII and especially of his daughter, Elizabeth I.

Several distinctive features characterize the English Renaissance. The first is the influence of the classics: Italian, German, Dutch and Spanish scholars had already worked on the ancien t Greek and Latin writers and had produced works of their own inspired by the classics. English culture was revitalized not so much directly by the classics as by the contemporary Europeans under the Reformation. This influx of foreign influences, both contemporary and ancient, might have overwhelmed the native English literary tradition, but for two more distinctive features: England, as an insular country followed a course of social and political history which was to a great extent independent of what was going on in Europe and this assisted the country in preserving its cultural independence. Owing to the example of the 14 th century poet Chaucer, the native literature was sufficiently vigorous and experienced in assimilating foreign influences without being subjected to them.

Another characteristic is that English Renaissance was largely literary and achieved its finest expression in the so- called Elizabethan drama, namely in the plays of William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe and Ben Johnson, as well as in the essays of Francis Bacon.

A fifth characteristic is the coinciding of the Renaissance and the lateness of its impact in England, in contrast to the rest of Europe where the Reformation succeeded the Renaissance.

About the English Renaissance written by Herminne Tonita for FamousWhy.com
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Tags: about, english renaissance, house of tudor, english history



Category: Education  - ( Education Archive)

Date Added: 28 January '07


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