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440 Renaissance Essay Topics

english renaissance essay questions

Renaissance is a period in European history that followed the Middle Ages and changed the perspective on the world around. It is characterized by growing interest in Classical antiquity and the revival of European art and literature. During that time, even the way of thinking transformed, impacted by numerous inventions, discoveries, and cultural growth.

The key characteristics of the period are a willingness to learn, faith in humanism, the rebirth of naturalism , secularism, and mastery of linear perspective. You can explore them all with our Renaissance essay topics. Our experts have prepared a list of ideas for various academic papers and assignments. Besides, check how to write a Renaissance essay to get the highest score!

🔝 Top 12 Renaissance Topics

🖼️ renaissance topics list: general, 🎨 renaissance art essay topics.

  • 🏰 Renaissance Research: Architecture

🧑‍🦱 Renaissance Research Topics: Humanism

🔭 renaissance essay questions: science.

  • ➕ 60 More Renaissance Topics

✍️ How to Write a Renaissance Essay

🔗 references.

  • Exploring the philosophy behind humanism.
  • How did Middle Ages influence the Renaissance?
  • Niccolò Machiavelli and political science.
  • Themes and Characters in Shakespeare’s Plays .
  • The Italian Renaissance through literature.
  • What is the role of Christian humanism in the Renaissance?
  • Comparing the art of Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo.
  • What is the secret behind Mona Lisa’s popularity?
  • Renaissance in Italian City-States .
  • The impact of the early Renaissance on Western civilization.
  • Exploring Albrecht Durer’s importance to the history of printmaking.
  • What was the impact of Renaissance ideas on religious reformations?
  • The concept and principles of humanism in the Renaissance.
  • Understanding the political and social changes during the Renaissance.
  • The cultural shift from the Dark Ages to the Renaissance.
  • Where and how did the Renaissance start?
  • The Renaissance as a period of progress and enlightenment.
  • How did the Renaissance help spread the modern Western worldview?
  • The impact of the Renaissance on modern art and architecture.
  • “Othello” by William Shakespeare .
  • How did the Catholic Church shape Renaissance culture?
  • The achievements of the Middle Ages that impacted the Renaissance.
  • The role of the Medici family in the Renaissance development.
  • Factors that drove the beginning of the Renaissance era.
  • Exploring how Protestant Reformation influenced the Renaissance.
  • The scientific and artistic principles discovered by Leonardo da Vinci.
  • Understanding the phenomenon of the High Renaissance.
  • “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare: The Character of Gertrude .
  • An overview of the greatest Renaissance geniuses and their contributions.
  • The main qualities of a Renaissance man.
  • The influence of classical mythology on Renaissance art and literature.
  • Printing press and knowledge during the Renaissance.
  • The relationship between the Renaissance and the Scientific Revolution .
  • Patronage and the development of art during the Renaissance.
  • Women’s contributions to art and sciences during the Renaissance.
  • The cultural exchange between Europe and the Ottoman Empire .
  • How did the Renaissance change modern education systems and curricula?
  • The influence of Renaissance thought on the Enlightenment .
  • Leonardo Da Vinci: Biography, Style and Work .
  • Understanding the difference between the Renaissance and the Baroque period.
  • Renaissance literature and modern storytelling techniques and principles.
  • The effect of humanism on philosophy and culture.
  • How did the Renaissance challenge the church?
  • Establishing the Renaissance’s impact on democracy and individual rights.
  • The contributions of Renaissance artists and writers to Western culture.
  • How did the Renaissance’s thought impact modern science?
  • The relationship between the Renaissance and the Age of Exploration.
  • “The Taming of the Shrew” by Shakespeare: Katherine and Petruchio .
  • Language and linguistic theories concerning the Renaissance influence.
  • The global exchange of ideas during the Renaissance.
  • The Renaissance and the development of modern capitalism .
  • Exploring the concept of cultural diffusion during the Renaissance.
  • The cultural impact of the Renaissance on Shakespeare’s works.
  • Trade and commerce during the Renaissance.
  • Factors contributing to the Renaissance cities’ cultural and economic growth.
  • How did the Renaissance impact the development of modern medicine?
  • The influence of Renaissance art on contemporary fashion and design.
  • Culinary practices and food culture in the Renaissance context.
  • The Art of Drama. ‘Hamlet’ by William Shakespeare .
  • The Renaissance and changes in modern banking and financial systems.
  • Music and the cultural and social life of Renaissance Europe.
  • How did the Renaissance change modern political theory and government?
  • Contemporary sports and leisure activities impacted by the Renaissance period.
  • Did the Protestant Reformation impact the development of modern Europe?
  • How did the Renaissance support the spread of European imperialism ?
  • Shakespeare’s poems and plays as the masterpieces of Renaissance literature.
  • Cultural values, traditions, and norms during the Renaissance period.
  • Examining modern literary forms and styles in connection to the Renaissance.
  • The relationship between the Renaissance and contemporary philosophy and theology .
  • Women’s social roles during the Renaissance and other historical periods.
  • Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare .
  • Contemporary art and design movements that originate from the Renaissance.
  • Exploring the concept of Renaissance concerning capitalism development.
  • What was the relationship between Renaissance science and religion ?
  • The spread of knowledge during the Renaissance epoch.
  • Understanding the cultural conflicts and intolerance during the Renaissance.
  • The core qualities of Renaissance intellectual thought.
  • Did the Renaissance contribute to modern communication technologies?
  • Modern colonialism and the global cultural exchange during the Renaissance.
  • To what extent was the Renaissance a revolutionary period?
  • The consequences of the Renaissance colonization for different countries.
  • Was the Renaissance a continuation of previous trends and developments?
  • Exploring the Renaissance as a period of regression and ignorance.
  • “The Prince” by Niccolo Machiavelli .
  • The outcomes of modern capitalism and economic systems for society.
  • The Renaissance as an epoch of cultural exchange and openness.
  • Alchemy and the scientific and cultural developments of the Renaissance.
  • Renaissance medicine compared to modern medical practices and beliefs.
  • The study of magic and astrology during the Renaissance.
  • The Renaissance and modern music and musical instruments.
  • Religious dissent and heresy in the Renaissance cultural developments.
  • Exploring the concept of the occult through the Renaissance lens.
  • Modern recreational activities originating from the Renaissance.
  • How did the Renaissance shape modern fashion and clothing styles?
  • Modern gardening and landscaping techniques and the Renaissance influence.
  • Transportation and communication technologies that the Renaissance shaped.
  • The most famous artistic works created during the Renaissance.
  • John Donne’s Poems .
  • Understanding the outcomes of the Renaissance explorers’ journeys.
  • The Renaissance as a process of cultural and intellectual change.
  • How important was religion during the Renaissance epoch?
  • Protestantism as a new form of Christianity.
  • The reasons behind the demise of the Renaissance.
  • The Counter-Reformation movement and its impact on the Renaissance thinkers.
  • Did the Renaissance overshadow the culture of the Middle Ages?
  • Changes in the Renaissance people’s perception of the world.
  • Was the Renaissance the dawn of a new age?
  • Factors that led to the end of the Italian Renaissance.
  • The most influential works of art from the Renaissance era.
  • What makes the Renaissance unique compared to other historical periods?
  • Periodization of the Renaissance and the main characteristics of art.
  • Architectural composition during the Renaissance.
  • The secret of realistic Renaissance paintings and sculptures.
  • The Proto-Renaissance and the greatest artists of this time.
  • Features of Giotto di Bondone’s art during Proto-Renaissance.
  • The Sistine Madonna as a painting of the High Renaissance.
  • Raphael’s Painting “Madonna in a Chair”.
  • Why are Leonardo da Vinci’s Renaissance artworks unique?
  • Technological advancements and the establishment of musical ideas during the Renaissance.
  • First musical instruments during the Renaissance.
  • Collections and art of England, France, and Germany in the Renaissance.
  • Fine art and its place in the Italian Renaissance perceptions.
  • Who were the famous muses in the famous Renaissance paintings?
  • The influence of Renaissance development on European music.
  • Modern interpretations of Renaissance art.
  • Mysteries behind the works of Leonardo da Vinci.
  • Italy as the first country to enter the Renaissance.
  • Vitruvian Man as a symbol of the Renaissance.
  • Locating Shakespeare’s Revisionist Perspective in Henriad .
  • The fall of the Byzantine empire and Renaissance art.
  • How did the Renaissance influence music?
  • Mona Lisa and her role during the Renaissance.
  • How did science influence the fine art of the Renaissance?
  • The reflection of Renaissance Florence fashion in the paintings.
  • Why did Renaissance culture pique the interest of humanists?
  • Where did the Renaissance era begin?
  • Niccolo Machiavelli as the most influential author of the Renaissance.
  • The Pope and the famous Sistine Chapel.
  • The origins and ideals of Renaissance art.
  • Novels Renaissance Analysis .
  • Features of the Italian and Northern Renaissance art.
  • Tiziano Vecelli as a famous Late Renaissance Artist.
  • The Medici as a famous Italian dynasty patronizing art.
  • The difference between Italian art and Northern Renaissance art.
  • The Florentine School as the center of Renaissance art innovation.
  • La Comedia and Dante Alighieri as symbols of Renaissance literature.
  • The main features of Renaissance literature.
  • Albrecht Dürer and his techniques in Renaissance paintings.
  • A preferable narrative in Renaissance art.
  • Dürer’s works that shocked the German townsfolk.
  • The types of artwork performed by Titian during the Renaissance.
  • European artists who were inspired by Titian’s Renaissance works.
  • “Twelfth Night of What You Will” by William Shakespeare: Plots and Themes .
  • Michelangelo Buonarroti and his well-known works.
  • The main hero in Michelangelo’s works.
  • The works of the Renaissance that were destroyed with time.
  • The role of religion during the Renaissance .
  • Religious motifs in the art of the Renaissance.
  • Beauty and harmony in the poems of the Renaissance.
  • Which works made the Renaissance artists famous?
  • Mythology as an inspirational factor in the Renaissance.
  • The role of color and symmetry in Renaissance paintings.
  • Prospero’s Books and Shakespeare .
  • The breadth of reality coverage in Renaissance paintings.
  • The role of Roman and Greek philosophy in Renaissance art.
  • What role did education play in forms of Renaissance art?
  • The birth of radical ideas during the Proto-Renaissance period.
  • The perception of femininity in the paintings of Renaissance artists.
  • Perceptions of divine and human in the works of Renaissance writers.
  • Geometrical forms in Renaissance art.
  • The role of symbolism in Renaissance paintings, music, and literature.
  • Renaissance iconography and famous artists.
  • The meaning behind nude bodies in Renaissance art.
  • How does Renaissance nudity shape the perception of the human body?
  • Ancient heritage in Renaissance art.
  • Italian Renaissance artists: Lifestyle and thinking.
  • Humanism as the dominant feature of Renaissance culture and art.
  • How is the principle of humanism connected with art discoveries?
  • What was the artistic revolution of the Renaissance?
  • “Othello” by Shakespeare: Heroes Analysis .
  • The peculiarity of artists’ works of the high Italian Renaissance.
  • Renaissance as a cultural and artistic phenomenon.
  • Renaissance: the link between the Middle Ages and Modern Times.
  • The role of the ancient heritage in Renaissance art.
  • The phenomenon of the Islamic Renaissance.
  • Filippo Brunelleschi and Early Renaissance architecture.
  • Sandro Botticelli and Biblical and antique themes in painting.
  • Raphael Santi created the perfect image of a Renaissance man.
  • Leonardo da Vinci: the artist and scientist.
  • Leonardo da Vinci as the embodiment of the ideal of the Renaissance.
  • Hieronymus Bosch and alternatives to the Christian worldview.
  • Rembrandt and his portraits as stories about human life.
  • Renaissance poetry as a history of personal feeling.
  • Petrarch’s poetry and the embodiment of the ideas of humanism.
  • Works of William Shakespeare through the prism of humanistic ideals.
  • Shakespeare and the heroes fighting for their happiness and freedom.
  • Renaissance music through religious to secular themes.
  • The presence of realism and anatomy in Renaissance art.
  • Linear perspective and light in Renaissance portraits.
  • Formation of new genres and early realism in Renaissance literature.
  • The difference between Renaissance realism and later stages in literature.
  • Who created the term Renaissance and what does it mean?
  • Gertrude and Ophelia in Shakespeare’s Hamlet Play .
  • What cultural perceptions and beliefs are reflected in Renaissance art?
  • What instruments were used for the creation of Renaissance paintings?
  • Principles of Renaissance architecture and the styles of churches.
  • Understanding nature and eternity in Renaissance works.
  • The nude figure in Botticelli’s painting The Birth of Venus .
  • Innocence and defenselessness against seduction in Renaissance paintings.
  • The body as an object of beauty in Renaissance paintings.
  • A series of self-portraits by the artist Domenico Ghirlandaio.
  • Landscapes in early Dutch paintings in the Northern Renaissance.
  • The flagellation of Jesus Christ by the Romans in Renaissance art.
  • Perspectives of artists in Renaissance works.
  • Shakespeare: Fading Away .

🏰 Renaissance Research Paper Topics: Architecture

  • What makes Brunelleschi’s church buildings so unique?
  • How would you describe the most distinguishing characteristic of Brunelleschi’s work?
  • How much of an impact did Cimabue have on Renaissance architecture?
  • Can you explain the distinction between the “Early Renaissance” and the “High Renaissance”?
  • To what extent do these individuals exemplify the High Renaissance?
  • How did the transition from Renaissance to Mannerism building style occur?
  • Is the Pisa Cathedral an excellent example of Romanesque design in Tuscany?
  • What role did the church have in shaping Renaissance design?
  • What methods were used to spread Renaissance-style buildings across Italy?
  • How did the Renaissance improve upon previous building techniques?
  • In what ways did the styles of the Italian Renaissance’s buildings evolve?
  • What factors led to the development of Renaissance architecture in Italy?
  • Does the return to classical play a role in explaining the Renaissance?
  • How did Gothic elements find their way into Renaissance buildings?
  • What factors led to the growth of the Renaissance architectural style?
  • The Renaissance period’s heavy reliance on Greek and Roman architectural styles.
  • Can you explain the philosophical underpinnings of Renaissance design?
  • How important was the first book dedicated to architecture?
  • How did Roman architecture play a role in the development of the Italian Renaissance?
  • What makes Tempietto the best of the High Renaissance?
  • What did Venice contribute to Renaissance design?
  • Where may these characteristics of Palladian architecture be shown in depictions?
  • Who or what were the catalysts for the push toward Palladianism?
  • For Renaissance architects, Vitruvius was essential to their growth.
  • Where did the architects of the Renaissance get their ideas?
  • The 15th-century renaissance style of architecture and its aftereffects on the modern world.
  • Putting Renaissance design to work in the modern world.
  • How did Renaissance architects accomplish such elegant simplicity in their works?
  • Why did the Renaissance have such a blatantly violent style of building?
  • If symmetry is so important, then what motivates Renaissance architects?
  • In what ways were the five classical orders significant?
  • How did the Renaissance influence building styles all around the world?
  • Where did renaissance architecture have its start?
  • What did renaissance architects focus on initially?
  • Discuss the impact of socioeconomic stratification on Renaissance building styles.
  • Europe’s rise and fall from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance.
  • Why did the Medici family drive the growth of Italian architecture?
  • Which buildings have been most obviously modeled by those of the Italian Renaissance?
  • What was different about the Italian Mannerist movement from the traditional Renaissance?
  • The history of the Vatican’s connection to Giulio Romano.
  • How does Giulio Romano use deception in his artwork?
  • Why did Giacomo della Porta draw on so many sources for his creations?
  • How was Palladio’s version of classicism different from the norm?
  • What changes does the Italian Renaissance bring to the architecture of the Baltic Sea?
  • What aspects of the Renaissance did Western culture take on?
  • Can it be said that Dürer’s art represents a new phase of the Renaissance?
  • Which aspects of the Renaissance may be seen in some Postmodern buildings?
  • Why did the Renaissance period prove so popular regarding secular structures in cities?
  • Castle of Amboise: a product of the Renaissance?
  • The critical role that guilds had in the development of Renaissance architecture.
  • What were the effects of the Renaissance on the building trades?
  • The influence of medieval theology on Renaissance humanism.
  • How did Renaissance humanists respond to medieval scholasticism ?
  • What role did literacy play in promoting humanism in the Renaissance period?
  • Differences between medieval and Renaissance moral values.
  • The goals of the Italian Renaissance humanists’ study of humanities.
  • The development of poetry in the Renaissance.
  • Humanism and Renaissance Period .
  • The evolution of the studia humanitatis concept in the Italian Renaissance.
  • What are the cultural causes of Renaissance humanism?
  • What are the social causes of Renaissance humanism?
  • What are the religious causes of Renaissance humanism?
  • How did Christianity impact the principles of Renaissance humanism?
  • What are the philosophical premises of Renaissance humanism?
  • The similarities and differences between paganism and Renaissance.
  • Renaissance humanists’ interpretation of Christianity via Epicureanism.
  • The role of Neo-Platonism in the context of Renaissance theology.
  • The opposition between humanistic and religious views in the period of the Renaissance.
  • What are the implications of “Yates’s thesis” on scientific method development in the Renaissance?
  • What role did the reformation play in the evolution of the Renaissance?
  • Differences in Eugenio Garin’s and Paul Oskar Kristeller’s views on Renaissance.
  • The manifestations of republicanism in Florence and Venice and the Baron thesis.
  • Ideas of humanism in the British Reformation literature.
  • Ideas of humanism in the British Reformation poetry.
  • Ideas of humanism in Italian literature.
  • Humanistic themes’ manifestation in the Dutch Renaissance literature
  • Ideas of humanism in British Renaissance art.
  • Ideas of humanism in Italian Renaissance art.
  • Ideas of humanism in the Dutch Renaissance art.
  • Human Nature in Philosophy of Locke and Hobbes .
  • How did humanists promote civic virtue?
  • The opposition between the church and humanists in Spain in the 16th century.
  • Moral philosophy schools in Renaissance.
  • Renaissance humanists’ beliefs about the importance of education.
  • What role did Latin grammar and rhetoric play in the Renaissance’s perception of proper education?
  • The contemporary cultural heritage of Renaissance humanism.
  • The role of Ancient Greek philosophy in shaping Renaissance ideas.
  • The role of Ancient Roman philosophy in shaping Renaissance ideas.
  • Want is the meaning of a virtuous individual according to Renaissance humanism?
  • Impact of antique literature on Renaissance humanistic doctrines.
  • How did the church perceive the promotion of non-religious studies during the early Renaissance?
  • Why is Dante Alighieri considered a founding father of the Renaissance?
  • Why is Petrarch considered a founding father of the Renaissance?
  • Why is Giovanni Boccaccio considered a founding father of the Renaissance?
  • Humanistic motifs in Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy.
  • Humanistic ideas in Petrarch’s poetry.
  • Late humanism ideas in Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron.
  • Impact of Dante’s terza rima on the poetry of the Renaissance.
  • Impact of Boccaccio’s ottava rima on the poetry of the Renaissance.
  • Desiderius Erasmus’ views on education in the context of the Renaissance.
  • Why did humanists refer to Cicero as an example?
  • Women in Shakespeare’s Richard III .
  • How did the humanistic ideas of the Renaissance promote science development?
  • The manifestations of humanism in Renaissance architecture.
  • Why did Renaissance ideas lose their impact in the 16th century?
  • Petrarch’s role in reaching an agreement between Christians and classics.
  • Coexistence of astronomy and astrology during the Renaissance.
  • Cardano’s Ars Magna as a significant contribution to the cubic equation theory.
  • Role of Ferrari’s general solution to the quartic equation for the development of mathematics .
  • François Viète’s contributions to the theory of equations.
  • Regiomontanus’s contributions to the development of trigonometry.
  • Role of logarithmic tables in the development of Renaissance mathematics.
  • Copernicus’s points of evidence for the heliocentric theory.
  • Brahe’s astronomical observations as the evidence of Kepler’s laws of planetary motion.
  • Brahe’s arguments against Copernican theory and their impact on the development of astronomy.
  • Role of Stevin’s findings for the development of Archimedean tradition in physics.
  • Gilbert’s studies on magnetism and magnetic pole.
  • Paracelsus’s innovative approach to applying chemistry to medicine .
  • Development of Paracelsus’s concept of four elements.
  • Alchemy’s challenges due to the development of chemistry in the Renaissance era.
  • Role of illustration in establishing knowledge standards in botany during the Renaissance.
  • The significance of dissection performances in the development of Renaissance anatomy studies.
  • Leonhard Fuchs’s contributions to the development of botany.
  • Lobelius’s role in the building classification system for herbs.
  • Merian’s findings on metamorphosis in insects.
  • Women’s contributions to the development of Renaissance science: the case of Maria Sibylla Merian.
  • Role of the Renaissance medical schools in the advancements of animal anatomy.
  • Harvey’s discoveries in the human anatomy.
  • Harvey’s contribution to the explanation of pulmonary circulation.
  • Harvey’s arguments for blood circulation in the human body.
  • Gesner’s discoveries of exotic birds and animals.
  • Vesalius’s contributions to the knowledge about the human body .
  • Jean Fernel’s impact on the development of physiology .
  • Relevance of Jean Fernel’s description of human body functions.
  • Ambroise Paré’s role in the establishment of new surgery.
  • Ambroise Paré’s developments in surgical instruments.
  • Ambroise Paré’s contributions to the design of the prosthetics.
  • Role of Renaissance mathematics in the development of navigation science.
  • Effects of geographical discoveries on the advancements of Renaissance botany and zoology.
  • Importance of Da Vinci’s studies on human eye vision.
  • Da Vinci’s findings in human physiology.
  • Da Vinci’s contribution to the submarine design.
  • Role of Bologna and Padua universities in the development of linguistics .
  • Reasons behind the increased interest in algebra among Renaissance students.
  • Emerging humanities disciplines during the Italian Renaissance.
  • The changes in the concept of the cosmos in European Renaissance philosophy.
  • Role of geometry in the development of Renaissance urbanism.
  • Implications of geometry in the development of Renaissance architecture.
  • The significance of Renaissance scientific discoveries in the production of modernized weapons.
  • Importance of printing technology emergence for the development of Renaissance science.
  • Medici family’s contributions to the development of sciences in Italy.
  • Importance of empiricism in the development of sciences during the Renaissance.
  • Concept of harmony in Renaissance scientists’ studies of nature.
  • Newton’s mathematical description of the motion.
  • Newton’s contributions to the science of mechanics.
  • D’Armato’s impact on the development of optics.
  • Jansen’s early microscope and its contribution to studies in natural sciences .
  • Masaccio’s contributions to the study of aerial perspective.
  • Impact of the fall of Constantinople on European scientific discoveries.
  • Scientific implications in Bramante’s High Renaissance architecture.
  • The emergence of acoustic science and the development of polyphonic music during the Renaissance.
  • Galileo’s contributions to the invention of the thermometer.
  • Torricelli’s invention of the barometer and its role in the advancements in physics.
  • Jean-Baptiste Denys’s experiments on blood transfusion and their role in the development of medicine.

➕ 60 More Renaissance Topics to Write About

  • The reformation of the Church during the Renaissance period.
  • Christian humanists and their impact on society of the fourteenth century.
  • The influence of antiquity on art from the Renaissance era.
  • Analysis of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.”
  • Reasons behind the popularity of humanism in Italy during the early 14th century.
  • The Medici family’s role and contributions to the development of the Renaissance movement.
  • The analysis of the works and influence of Leonardo da Vinci.
  • Shakespeare’s Hamlet Relation to Death and Life .
  • What ideological changes separate the Middle Ages from the Renaissance era?
  • The shifts in song topics between the thirteenth and the fourteenth centuries.
  • How has the decreased role of the Church affected art?
  • The causes of the Protestant Reformation during the 16th century.
  • The public’s views on the Bible during the Renaissance era.
  • What factors caused the Renaissance period to end?
  • History of Alexander the Great .
  • The importance of the geopolitical location of Italy in the spread of humanism.
  • The impact of the Renaissance on western and Northern European countries.
  • The emergence of the middle class during the Renaissance.
  • The public’s perception of food as a marker of one’s social class in the 15th century.
  • The political side of poetry in the Renaissance period.
  • Donne’s and Marvell’s Stories Comparison .
  • The comparison of the oratory skills of Renaissance and Antique philosophers.
  • The return of classical architecture during the fourteenth century.
  • The psychological portrait of a true Renaissance man.
  • Portraits as symbols of social status during the Renaissance.
  • Famous Italian Renaissance muses and their impact on art.
  • The influence of Greece and Rome on the formation of the Renaissance.
  • The shift of the public’s views on consumerism in the 14th century.
  • Machiavelli’s “The Prince” and Bad Characters in Movies .
  • Why Petrarch earned his title as the “father of humanism?”
  • The role of women in Renaissance society.
  • Prominent women of the Renaissance period and their influence on society.
  • Realism in Renaissance-era sculptures and paintings.
  • Raphael Sanzio’s works and how they reflect his era.
  • Shakespeare’s Macbeth: Review of Tragedy .
  • The prevalent trends among Renaissance writers.
  • The views on morals during the Renaissance period.
  • Machiavelli and his influence on politics during the 16th century.
  • The expansion of educational programs in 15th-century Italy.
  • The development of astronomy during the Renaissance.
  • Common themes of English Renaissance poets.
  • Western Ideologies – Journal on Each Philosopher.
  • What northern traditions were incorporated into Renaissance art in the fifteenth century?
  • The spread of Renaissance styles in European countries.
  • Humanism-inspired social reforms in Northern Europe during the Renaissance period.
  • How do the works of William Shakespeare reflect Renaissance values?
  • How did the printing press help people spread humanism?
  • Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night”: Character Analysis on Public Speaking .
  • Discoveries prompted by newly formed humanistic social values.
  • The decreasing political power of the Church in the 16th century and its impact on politics.
  • Issues of the Catholic Church during the Renaissance period.
  • Martin Luther’s goals during the Reformation of the Church.
  • How did the Renaissance lead to the establishment of the Inquisition?
  • The rise of Protestantism in England during the 16th century.
  • Death as the Mystery in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” .
  • How do the inventions of Leonardo da Vinci reflect humanistic values?
  • Why is the Renaissance era also called the Age of Discovery?
  • Renaissance philosophers and their inspiration from the Ancient period.
  • What are the distinct qualities of the High Renaissance period?
  • The Challenge of Adapting the Plays of Shakespeare into West Side Story and Kiss Me Kate, and Problems Posed by the Hays Code .

Most probably, any history course about Renaissance will require students to write an essay on the period. You can choose an idea for your paper by browsing the above topics. As for the writing itself, in this section, we’ll explain how to nail a Renaissance essay.

  • Study your topic. When you get a task or pick a paper idea, take time to understand what you’re dealing with. Read it out loud and pay attention to specific keywords such as “explain,” “discuss,” and “analyze.” These words tell you what approach you need to take in defending or exploring your viewpoint. Then, do some preliminary research to understand the Renaissance topic and what it entails.
  • Be careful in your research. With so many sources about Renaissance, you should focus only on the materials that are relevant to you. Imagining the scope of work will set realistic expectations for you. So, identify what literature is available to you and what areas lack information. Keep in mind that you need only trustworthy sources for your paper. You can start your research from websites like Renaissance.com and History.com – they will lead you to credible materials.
  • First, you can write a linear plan , which is helpful for papers with a rigid structure. Here, you offer a breakdown of your points in chronological order. For instance, if you are going to give an account of some events, this method will be excellent.
  • Second, you can try creating a tabular plan . It is the best for comparative assignments and if you need to visualize data. For example, when examining two Renaissance artists, you will find a tabular plan convenient. It’s the central message of your paper that will lead both the argumentation and the readers.
  • Create your first draft. Now you can start writing your essay. Ensure your first draft has an introduction with a thesis statement and a clear purpose. Then, write at least two body paragraphs demonstrating your points and supporting evidence. Finally, your conclusion should reflect the first paragraph and summarize your arguments.
  • Double-check and proofread. This last step will determine how polished and well-written your Renaissance essay is. Scan the whole paper slowly and carefully. Ask someone to read it for you or use our text-to-speech tool . It is a great way to “hear” your writing to determine what needs to be fixed or changed. Maybe you repeat some words too often, or something isn’t clear. Afterward, check for grammar and punctuation mistakes.

Thank you for reading the article to the very end! We hope you found it helpful, and all the best with finding the best Renaissance essay topic that works for you.

  • Renaissance: Definition, Meaning, History, Artists, Art, & Facts – Britannica
  • Renaissance Philosophy — Internet Encyclopedia of Phylosophy
  • General Characteristics of the Renaissance – Brooklyn College
  • Color in Renaissance Painting — The J. Paul Getty Museum
  • Architecture in Renaissance Italy – The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • A Guide to Renaissance Humanism – ThoughtCo
  • Humanism in Art: A Guide to Renaissance Humanism – MasterClass

186 Renaissance Essay Topics & Examples

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  • William Shakespeare and the Renaissance.
  • 15th Century Northern Renaissance.
  • Scottish Literature before the Enlightenment.
  • The Timeline of the French Renaissance.
  • What We Forgot about Leonardo da Vinci.
  • Italian Paintings of the Renaissance.
  • Influential Poetry of the 16th Century.
  • How the Reformation Learned from the Renaissance.
  • The Medici Family and Its Impact on Arts.
  • Painters of the High Renaissance.
  • Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance Within a short period, Harlem was transformed in to one of the trendiest neighborhoods in the whole of New York. Although Langston’s poems, spoke of the experiences of black Americans in light of a white […]
  • Sculptors of the Italian Renaissance These aspects are evident among current sculptors.”Significance of Sculptors of the Italian Renaissance” This is a research investigating and analyzing the different arguments on philosophical nature of Sculptors of the Italian Renaissance, from various art […]
  • Artistic Renaissance Humanism Renaissance Humanism: During the period of 1400 and 1650, the humanism term was used for main social philosophy and intellectual and literary works.”Expansion of trade, growth of prosperity and luxury and widening social contacts created […]
  • The Renaissance and Religion What was communicated from the pope was final regardless of who the subject was.[1] The Catholic Church was the only church in the world and its branches were in many countries.
  • Art During the Renaissance Though the artistic revolution is considered in this article as the major element of the renaissance, it was a result of the revolutions in the other elements such as the scientific, philosophical and the linguistic […]
  • William Shakespeare and the Renaissance Period These people noticed that the few people of the upper class were using the law and religion to their advantage, which led them to benefit more from the available resources as compared to the other […]
  • Classical and Renaissance Humanities Art This can be explained by the fact that Greco-Roman artists of the era were convinced of the existence of dialectical relationship between the concepts of aesthetic/intellectual finesse, civil virtuousness and the notion of physical health, […]
  • The Renaissance and Its Cultural, Political and Economic Influence Renaissance which is also referred as the rebirth is the period that started in the 14th century and ended up in the 17th century.
  • Art Appreciation on Renaissance Paintings The paintings identified for this analysis are the Madonna and Child in Glory by Jacopa di Cione in the period between 1360 and 1365, and the Adoration of the Shepherds by Giovanni Agostino da Lori […]
  • Harlem Renaissance: The Cultural Movement In 1931, she collaborated with Langston Hughes in the production of the play “Mule Bone,” which was never published because of the tension between the two writers, and in 1934, she authored her first novel, […]
  • The Age of Renaissance, Enlightenment & Revolutionary Period The arrival of French forces to confront the weakened British army in the battle of Yorktown is what compelled the opponents of the Americans to give in.
  • The Renaissance in Europe The whole reason behind the renaissance artists was the representation of nature in their work where the standards were however deviated into the reflection of the human beings as the central focus.
  • The Concept of High Renaissance The three geniuses of the Renaissance, Leonardo, Michelangelo and Rafael, were the cornerstones of the new era, the era when the boundaries between the art and life began to vanish.
  • Deism: The Child of the Renaissance In this essay, we are going to discuss and explain the deism of the period of Enlightenment and show the relations between ides of deism and Enlightenment philosophy through the analysis of teaching such great […]
  • Harlem Renaissance: Historical and Social Background It was a period of social integration and the development of literary and artistic skills by the African Americans. The Harlem Renaissance was a period of artistic explosion of the African Americans and an opportunity […]
  • The Renaissance Era: People and Events Among the changes realized at the time was the restoration of pope as the head of the church in England. The battle of Agincourt was a war fought between the English and the French in […]
  • A Time-Travel to the Renaissance Epoch: Behind the Velvet Curtain A perfect specimen of the Flemish oil painting style with its attention to the tiniest details, the picture under the title The Ambassadors by Hans Holbein the Younger is truly a masterpiece embodying the ideas […]
  • Giotto as the First Renaissance Painter Behind Italian Renaissance was a great painter and architect, Giotto di Bondone, who existed in the 13th and 14th century.”The Renaissance was a period of artistic and cultural achievement in Europe from the fourteenth to […]
  • Introduction to Art, Renaissance and Baroque Art Baroque art has been referred to as the form of art that utilises a lot of ornamentation to create a dramatic effect.
  • Art Introduction to Art; Renaissance and Baroque Art The Renaissance is the period which marks the growth of literary works in the sixteenth-century in Spain, where El Greco lived and worked until his death.
  • History and Aspects of Italian Renaissance The period of renaissance began in the city of Florence, Italy, and it was characterized by numerous innovations, particularly in art, which, was the main concern regarding perspective, composition and the subject matter.
  • Hamlet’s Renaissance Culture Conflict The death of Hamlet as the play ends indicates that though he was the definite answer to all the questions before him as he faced death, he was not in any position to give any […]
  • The Literature of the Renaissance Period The main features of the Renaissance culture which also determine the elements of the Renaissance literature are the philosophy of humanism, the secular character of the art pieces, and the orientation on the antique patterns.
  • A History of Modern Europe: From the Renaissance to the Present In regard to the buildup of history of the continent, it was characterized by many uprisings from countries including France and Germany. This paper seeks to explain the intrigues that led to the historical uprisings […]
  • Angelina Grimke’s Contribution to the Harlem Renaissance Grimke’s play was one of the first to be written by black authors highlighting the plight of blacks in the US.
  • Comparison of Renaissance Works of Art The technique that Leonardo da Vinci used in this painting, therefore, became a trendsetter in the art revolution of the time. The application of a lion in renaissance art is largely associated with Saint Jerome.
  • Art Analysis: “Mona Lisa” and “The Creation of the Heavens” The work depicts a sense of harmony, and the smile of the woman shows happiness. The moon was a symbol of the Virgin Mary’s influence on the church, and the sun had an association with […]
  • The Representation of Women in the Paintings of the High Renaissance and the Recurring Tendencies of the XXI Century As it has been stressed, the manner in which the artists of the High Renaissance depicted women in their work had a lot of points of contact with the image of women in the modern […]
  • Nudity in the Paintings of the Renaissance One of the most famous female nudes in the history of art was the Spanish painting called ‘The Nude Maja’ done by Francisco Goya. Thus, the artists of the Renaissance brought about the rise of […]
  • The concept of Renaissance Humanism in Botticelli’s ‘Madonna and Child with Adoring Angel’ In this case, it is worth noting that the use of lines, colors, shades and shapes are renaissance in nature, the theme is religious but a number of aspects provide evidence of humanism in the […]
  • History of Renaissance Period The rapid development of knowledge has taken several hundred years and led to the world of the modern advancements. It is interesting to note that according to Spielvogel, “the earliest humanlike creatures-known as hominids-existed in […]
  • Literary Works of Harlem Renaissance The Harlem Renaissance was a term used collectively by social thinkers to represent the efforts by African-Americans to transcend the white-favored government systems in the new states, especially New York, from the southern states where […]
  • Humanism of Renaissance Era Platonic philosophy, precisely the concept of world of forms, had dominated the medieval era that subjected the human body, as a shadow of a real body in the world of forms, to little or no […]
  • Art and Design: A Review of the Renaissance, 17th-18th centuries and 21st Century design trends One of the most intriguing aspects in the rococo technique had to be the use of elegant and florid designs that transformed architectural designs into works of art.
  • Design Continuities between the Renaissance and the 17th and 18th Centuries Examples of the continuities in the 17th and 18th Centuries The architecture of the 17th and 18th centuries plays an important role in the history of art and design. This is why this room seems […]
  • Renaissance and the Church This paper seeks to establish the various ways that the rise and the near collapse of the church were due to the renaissance period.
  • Renaissance Versus Baroque The era of baroque was an outcome of the struggle of the artists who denied a chance to exhibit their talents in the renaissance period.
  • Renaissance Paintings by Jan Van Eyck and Filippo Lippi The difference between the background and the foreground of the image is difficult to determine because the dark coloring has overlapped the other elements.
  • External Value creation concepts within Renaissance Hotel and Resort group The product in the case of Renaissance is facilities like the bar, hotel room, gym and spa and the garden how the hotel presents this product accompanied by people to offers the products that is […]
  • Renaissance art piece formal analysis This piece of art was worked out as the part of the high altar of the Monastery of San Sisto in Piacenza.
  • Italian Renaissance: “Laocoon and His Sons” by Baccio Bandinelli This paper provides a research on the artistic works of this period with the aim of constructing a reasoning concerning the artists of this period, the reasons for engaging in these activities.
  • The Italian Renaissance: Leonardo Da Vinci It marked the transformation of the continent from the middle ages to the modern era. Leonardo captured the emotion and attitudes of his subject as was expected in the renaissance.
  • The Literary Renaissance: The Many Faces of Modernism London nails down the major problems of the post-war U.S.society: “This tower [.] represented [.] the serenity of nature amid the struggles of the individual nature in the wind, and nature in the vision of […]
  • Listening Log: Music in the Middle Ages and Renaissance A composition that offers a real spiritual journey, Pope Marcellus Mass is a true representation of the Middle Ages and renaissance.
  • Harlem Renaissance Poets Overview The poet describes how the musician sways to the rhythm of the blues and the emotional uplifting he gets out of the experience.
  • Harlem Renaissance and Astonishing Literary Creativity Nevertheless, one of the most vital changes that laced the Harem Renaissance was the culture of music as explored in the remaining section of the paper.
  • City States in Ancient Greece and Renaissance Italy Similarities According to Spencer the invasion by the Dorians was one reason that strengthened the growth of the city states. In Italy, the city-states authority belonged to rich and the gentries.
  • Twelfth Century Renaissance: How Francis and his Franciscan Brothers both Reacted and Benefited from its Development Although the church was the dominant force that supported political and religious leaders, there were several efforts to change this system in the 12th century.
  • “The Fall of the House of Usher” and “Benito Cereno” The narrator appears surprised of the status of his friend’s house, with the inside appearing as spooky as the compound of the house.
  • The Renaissance Theatre Development The most important influence of the Protestant Reformation on English Renaissance Drama was the rejection of pastoral features of medieval drama.
  • The Medieval and Renaissance Periods Description The medieval age lasted between the fifth and the fifteenth century in Europe and it started with the collapse of the Roman Empire.
  • Religious Symbolism in Renaissance Paintings Although the art pieces created by Masaccio, del Castagno and Lippi may seem completely different, with the common thread of Christianity as the only thing that links them, a close analysis of the messages behind […]
  • Raphael: A Renaissance Master Although the style that Rafael developed over the course of his evolution as an artist was influenced greatly by the works of Leonardo da Vinci in terms of composition and technical expression and Michelangelo in […]
  • Stress and Strains in the Renaissance Society In this essay, the stressors are outlined, a major stressor is identified from among the many and how the renaissance society responded to the stressor is discussed in detail. The rebellion by peasants caused a […]
  • Harlem Renaissance’ History: Issues of Negro Writers The Harlem Renaissance, also known as the ‘New Negro Movement,’ refers to the blossoming of African American intellectual and cultural life in the decade of the 1920s.
  • The City of Florence during European Arts Renaissance For instance, the Medici family, one of the most wealthy and powerful families in Florence, controlled the city and its economy.
  • Romanticism, Baroque and Renaissance Paintings’ Analysis It is possible to focus on such artworks as the Wanderer above the Sea of Fog by Caspar Friedrich, The Taking of Christ by Caravaggio, and Raphael’s The School of Athens.
  • Pollaiuolo vs. Titian: Two Renaissance Artists Comparison For instance, in the fourteen century and at the beginning of the fifteenth century, “the profile form of a portrait head, largely inspired by antique coins,” was widespread.
  • Harlem Renaissance: African American Art The use of OBSCURA cameras was one of the strategies that advanced the works of art that several artists of the time executed.
  • The Harlem Renaissance and the Struggle for a Black Identity The failure of Reconstruction and the implementation of the racial segregation threw the Afro-Americans into a difficult dilemma. Booker Washington was a prominent figure of the Post-Reconstruction Era and the leader of the Afro-American community.
  • Northern Renaissance Representatives In specific, the theme of human body proportions is well-reflected in the engraving The Fall of Men; the brilliant use of color and attention to details in oils, characteristic of Michelangelo and Da Vinci, are […]
  • Renaissance Period Aspects and Values The Renaissance Period became the greatest period of human creativity since Athens in the 5th century. The Florentines therefore “wanted to flow in the footsteps of these Greek thinkers”.
  • Renaissance and Baroque: the Epochs’ Greatest Examples One more work to be found in the time capsule is one of the best works by another master of Renaissance, Raphael.
  • Italian Renaissance Gardens and Their Significance The people of that time perceived the garden as a way of communicating with God, as a work of art equal to the creations of sculptors and painters, and as a symbol of majesty and […]
  • Pregnant Female Body in Renaissance and Modern Art Thus, he considered Mona Lisa to be a symbol of the origin of life, and the female image as a symbolic source of natural powers of creation and destruction.
  • Renaissance Music Shift from Sacred to Secular The purpose of this paper is to describe how the shift of musical themes from sacred to secular was illustrated in renaissance music.
  • Pre-Renaissance Mythology, Sculptures, Paintings Firstly the archaeologists get the chronology of the ancient artifacts and remains. In the backdrop, there is the vine of Dionysus which acts as a highly symbolic and decorative mark.
  • The Renaissance in Italy The Italian Renaissance marked the end of one era in Europe and the start of a new one. Apparently, the Dome of Florence was an important symbol of Renaissance culture in Italy and was regarded […]
  • Renaissance Art Works’ Comparison The chapel is located in the Vatican and is one of the most illustrious artworks in the western world. The entrance to the chapel is marked by two frescoes which symbolize the last episodes of […]
  • Renaissance Poetry: Sonnets of William Shakespeare Apparently, the wide variety of themes that he chose for his writings also contribute to their popularity: the complexity of human soul, its ability to rise and fall, wisdom and vanity, purity and vice, the […]
  • Italian and Dutch Renaissance Art Comparison Masaccio’s frescos were drawn on stone and had an emphasis on realism in accordance with the traditions of Renaissance, which sought the rebirth of art as it were in antiquity, particularly during the times of […]
  • High Renaissance Art In the course of the development of the High Renaissance, Rome exceeded Florence due to the ambition of the clergy’s ambitions to reinforce the glory of Rome through art.
  • Renaissance and Realism Art Periods The paintings of the time alongside the artwork were presented mythically and also depicted the religious aspect. The presence of the monarchial administration helped most merchants to come up, something that led to the development […]
  • Cognitive Coaching: A Foundation for Renaissance Schools Namely, the authors offer moving the attention from the techniques used and the learners’ perception and capabilities to the cognitive processes of the teachers the mechanisms that are responsible for their reflection on the experiences, […]
  • Harlem Renaissance and Its Role for Afro-Americans The movement also helped to pave the way for the further struggle of the African-American population for their rights because now they emerged as educated and talented people.
  • Urban Society and Humanism in Renaissance Art The role of education and literacy was significant as well because many people were able to spread the opinions of these individuals and make everyone believe that the art of Renaissance was the best.
  • Renaissance Services Company’s Internalization Samir Fancy is the founder and CEO of this company and has an impeccable academic and professional background in finance and accounting, and this is believed to be the driving force that pushes him to […]
  • Medieval History: From Dark Ages to Renaissance The causes of this protestant movement can be linked to the poor leadership of the church and the ability of people to read the Bible on their own.
  • “Western Renaissance” in Europe After World War II Modernization in the economical sphere, particularly in trade and agriculture created an opportunity to improve the activities of such countries as Italy, Great Britain, Western Germany, and the USA. However, the problems remained and in […]
  • Renaissance-Related Changes in Art and Science The term Renaissance is French and it means new birth. This means that scholarly works to art to music and politics were affected by the new era.
  • Renaissance Papacy in Western Europe The Popes of the renaissance period were elected by a constituted cardinals dominated by relatives to the Pope, members of the powerful Italians and the representatives of the catholic monarchs in the Europe.
  • Renaissance and Baroque Periods Comparison The Italian Baroque and the Italian Renaissance are those periods in the history of art that attract the attention of both artists and representatives of the general public.
  • Renaissance Aspects and Ideas How can these ideas be used to explain the differences between the art of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance? The question was “if the universe is a single thing, how are all the diverse […]
  • History of Art: Medieval and Renaissance It would be necessary to investigate the role of these artworks in explaining the revolution of Christianity. Ideally, the relation of these descriptions to the present world is evident.
  • Renaissance and Enlightenment Advancements This went against the popular science of the time, which held that the earth was at the centre of the universe, with the sun, moon and stars revolving around it.
  • Renaissance as an Inspirational Era in Europe The development of crafts and trade, the rise of the role of cities, as well as political events in Western Europe in the XII and XIII centuries entailed significant changes in the whole way of […]
  • Music of the Middle Ages and Renaissance Music In the Middle Ages, music was the prerogative of the church, and most of the musical works were sacred and based on chants, which were part of the religion from the very beginning of Christianity.
  • Legacies of the Renaissance and Reformation The exceptional volume of the innovations introduced to the life of people and the developmental power it had on the country appears to trace the connections of those changes in the 21st century.
  • Perspective Drawing Used by Renaissance Architects The culture of the Renaissance was based on the philosophy of humanism, which affirms the beauty and dignity of a person, the strength of his or her mind and will, as well as creative possibilities.
  • Perspective Drawing in Renaissance Architecture The culture of the Renaissance was based on the philosophy of humanism, which affirms the beauty and dignity of a person, the strength of his or her mind and will, as well as creative possibilities.
  • The Value of Renaissance The era of the Renaissance in art is characterized by the revival of sculpture, architecture, painting, and music. In social life, the period of the Renaissance is associated with exploration and discovery of the world.
  • Renaissance Movement in Europe The book by Chrysoloras introduced the Renaissance audience to the key concepts of Greek art. The painting is characteristic of the Early Renaissance.
  • Albrecht Durer: The Renaissance Mind Mirrored in Art The free Imperial city of Nuremberg was at the height of prosperity during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries during which period there was also great progress in the realms of arts and science.
  • Rembrandt, a Master of Renaissance Painting His latest pictures are the final development of the largest seeing and the most effective rendering ever known in the Dutch School.
  • Modern Western Civilization: The Renaissance Besides the highly valuable narrative of past events and great historic movements, the motives of the AP Program in European History include the development of: The understanding of fundamental themes in the European History.
  • Lorenzo de Medici’s Life and Influence on High Renaissance Art It is thought to be a period which had a lot of influence in the life of Middle Ages and which reflected the cultural advance in the life of Europeans.
  • Harlem Renaissance Movement Analysis It was around this time that they began to advocate racial equality with the Americans and with the birth of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1909 their struggle for the […]
  • Aims and Motivations of Voyages in the Renaissance Due to the unwillingness of the Dias crew not to travel further, the voyage was cut short and returned to Portugal.
  • Visual Perspective in Renaissance Art Murray has argued that perspective allowed the illiterate and the literate to visualize a picture and created a pictorial space that unified the beholder with the image.
  • The Impact of Female Humanist Writers on Renaissance Literature The humanist movement began in Italy and gave shape to the Renaissance, the new age of interest in the arts, education, and the classics of ancient Greece and Rome.
  • The Renaissance: Its History and Impact on America and Europe The first semi of the twentieth century saw America emerging as a World’s wonderful authority, and as one of the grown-up democracies in the middle of the British colonies.
  • Harlem Renaissance Influence on Afro-American Culture The Harlem Renaissance is widely known as a period in the history of the United States that greatly influenced the general development of American society and in particular the development of Afro-American culture.
  • Origins and Worldview in Renaissance and Enlightenment The culture of Renaissance and Enlightenment of Rhetoric study contributed to the nature of the official papers of the USA. The reason is the difference among people as to their opinions in the positions of […]
  • Art at the Renaissance and the Age of Baroque Renaissance painting, on the one hand, originated from medieval depiction of religious themes and stories as well as from Ancient Greek and Roman patterns of human beauty, freedom and value, clearly demonstrated by the Renaissance […]
  • Art in The Epoch of Renaissance The Epoch of Renaissance emerged on the territory of Italy, becoming the true Rebirth of the national cultural life of the people throughout the whole world.
  • High Renaissance in the 16th Century The development of the High Renaissance art in the 16th century in the three Italian cities that are rightfully considered to be the places where Renaissance was born Florence, Rome, and Venice is one of […]
  • The Impact of the Renaissance on West Europe The Renaissance, as it is discussed today, was not a simultaneous event that occurred throughout Europe all at once, but it is characterized by specific characteristics of thought.”The term ‘Renaissance’ might now be defined as […]
  • The Visual Arts of the Early Renaissance Period The modern era brought in the renaissance period, Which was later brought up by Jules Mitchelete of Paris and Jacob Burckhardt of Basle and they go on to describe this period as the discovery of […]
  • Dante’s Divine Comedy and the Renaissance Among these is the new emphasis on private piety that develops with mysticism; the new literacy of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries that encouraged the recording of private ruminations, the autobiographical emphasis of authorship in […]
  • Harlem Renaissance and African American Culture The Harlem Reissuance grew after the abolition of slavery and later culminated into a greater force with the consequences brought about by WWI and the change in the cultural and social structure in the American […]
  • Renaissance Art: Statue of ‘Laocoön and His Sons’ Every detail of the Laocoon statue presents a spectator with appetitive, rational, and spiritual standpoints with regards to Plato’s Tripartite Soul.
  • Homosexuality in Renaissance Italy As we begin to read the history of art in Italy one finds some examples of homosexuality among the notables of the time.
  • The Renaissance – One of European History’s Greatest Periods It is surrounded by Asia, the Arctic Ocean, and the Atlantic Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea, and the Black Sea. One of European history’s greatest periods was the Renaissance which was the time roughly from […]
  • The Fashion of the Renaissance Period The renaissance period was a time when the fashion of both men and women in Europe underwent a radical change with the discarding of some parts of the medieval style of clothing and the invention […]
  • Interpretation of a Renaissance Man Analysis The Renaissance is considered as the age of the bourgeois, humanist and cultivated – or at any rate paying homage to the ideal of humanism.
  • Italian and Northern European Renaissance Comparison It was also a cultural period between the 14th and 15th centuries, it is believed to have begun in Florence in Italy before spreading to the rest of Europe.
  • Importance of the Renaissance and the Reformation for the European Society Answering the question about the importance of the Renaissance and the Reformation for the shaping of the European society, it is important to consider the background of these epochs.
  • Renaissance Architecture and Culture in Italy This building is the heart of the city designed by Brunelleschi and di Cambria in 1462; the towers of the cathedral could be seen above the city being a king symbol of Florence during the […]
  • “Renaissance and Reformation: The Intellectual Genesis” by Anthony Levi Given the fact that we now live in time of political correctness, it comes as no surprise that the majority of contemporary historians adopt a very careful approach to the discussion of what were the […]
  • Zionism: A Revolution or a Renaissance Thus the rationale of Israel, embodied in its economic, cultural, as well as social institutions, comprise the following: to build up Hebrew as the national language; to take up mass immigration of Jews who cannot […]
  • The Time Hidden Capsules During the Renaissance and Baroque Periods In addition, the history of the church is indicated in art by the use of paintings and sculptures. I have also identified the items that were found in each of these capsules.
  • The Renaissance Time During Romeo and Juliet Men and women performed different roles in the household; the man was responsible for farming while the woman took care of the poultry and dairy. In the upper-class, marriages were arranged and the parents chose […]
  • Western Art From the Renaissance to the Early 20th Century The Renaissance was exemplified by a highlight on the arts of Ancient Greece and Rome; this resulted in the various changes that were executed on both the technical characteristics of sculpture and painting.
  • Leonardo Da Vinci – The Greatest Artist of Renaissance In the modern day, Leonardo da Vinci is considered by many to be the greatest artist and possibly even the greatest person of all time. The greatness of Leonardo is evidenced by the description of […]
  • Renaissance Changes in the Garden Design The movement introduced geometric patterns in the designing of the gardens. In England, the gardens had terraces and a series of gallery that created beautiful scenery.
  • Medieval and Renaissance Art Religious Style and Propaganda The main task of these artworks was to inspire and awe the people, to show the greatness and almightiness of God.
  • Love Poetry of the Renaissance The love poetry of the Renaissance is a genre that gave rise to a new style focusing on human feelings as the highest form of manifestation of spiritual experiences.
  • Characteristics of the Love Poetry of the Renaissance For the love poetry of the Renaissance, attention to the human essence was riveted, and the soul was perceived as a receptacle of all emotions and experiences.
  • The Difference Between the Renaissance and the Baroque This is embodied in the key defining elements of the renaissance and baroque architectures as clearly demonstrated by the Loggia of the Ospedale degli Innocenti by Filippo Brunelleschi and the facade of Il Ges by […]
  • Music, Cosmology and Architecture in the Renaissance Renaissance was the period that followed the Middle Ages in Europe and the rest of the world. In this effort, the renaissance architects sort to demonstrate the human intellect by portraying beauty in structures and, […]
  • Renaissance Period Authors and Literature The conclusion of this stanza suggests that this mixing of their blood inside the flea is not a sin and is more than what he and the woman did.
  • The Perception of Money, Wealth, and Power: Early Renaissance vs. Nowadays In the Renaissance period, power was a questionable pursuit and could be viewed as less stable due to more frequent upheavals.
  • Time Capsule Assignment: Baroque & Renaissance The more mankind urged towards progress and the notion of relevant freedom in the expression of personal views and thoughts, the more developed the spheres in which it was involved and which influenced mankind much […]
  • Biblical Art: From the Middle Ages to the Renaissance In the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the Catholic Church’s heads commissioned artists to produce visual art to decorate the chapels and cathedrals. Of the suitors, Joseph is the only one barefooted and with a […]
  • Heaven & Hell in Art of the Renaissance It should primarily be mentioned that both Heaven & hell in art: The birth of the Italian Renaissance and The unchained art of the Renaissance are interesting and very insightful videos.
  • Proto-Renaissance and Its Most Important Examples The frescoes on the walls of the Chapel tell the stories of Christ and the Virgin Mary. The technique of using the frescoes to paint the inside walls of the Chapel was a mastermind.
  • The High Renaissance: The Pietà by Michelangelo The art of the High Renaissance dates from the late 15th century and the first three decades of the 16th century.
  • Harlem Renaissance: Historical Roots and Climate Harlem Renaissance is, undoubtedly, a phenomenon unmatched in the strength of its impact both on the contemporary culture of the 1920s and 1930s, but also on the very identity of all African-Americans to this day.
  • Harlem Renaissance: “Dream Boogie” Poem by Langston Hughes Therefore, the selected work represents the ideals of the Harlem Renaissance and can be used for improving the understanding of the movement.
  • The Harlem Renaissance and American Culture The Harlem Renaissance was born as a result of the significant events which occurred in the lives of Afro-Americans at the beginning of the 20th century.
  • Portrayal of Human Figure in Renaissance Periods It is one of the most famous in the world and is now in the National Gallery in London. The human figure is depicted in a very realistic way, with the use of light and […]
  • Renaissance and Executive Order Draft: Summary The situation with the rejection of brutalism is a complete analogy of the period mentioned above in terms of architecture and approach to design.
  • Renaissance and Romanticism: Concepts of Beauty Titian, as a representative of the Renaissance, depicted a portrait of a girl in compliance with all the canons of his time.
  • How “Street Life in Renaissance Rome” Complicates Our Understanding Such evidence complicates the understanding of the Renaissance in a way that the conventional view of the period promotes the idea that it was the time when only the rich and powerful impacted society.
  • Patronage and the Mechanical Arts in the Renaissance Period This paper will discuss the scholarly source on Agricola, patronage, and mechanical arts during the Renaissance period and the connection of the new source to information literacy.
  • Botticelli as a Representative of the Early Renaissance The work of Botticelli represents a humanistic approach to art that flourished during the period of patronage of the Medici, who were supportive of the development of society at the expense of science and art.
  • Did the Renaissance Witness the Rise of the Concept of the Individual?
  • How Did Art Change During Renaissance?
  • What Was the Overall Impact of the Harlem Renaissance?
  • What Changed During the Renaissance and Reformation?
  • How Can Renaissance Coffee Shop Build Upon Their Marketing Mix to Increase Their Sales?
  • Did Women and Men Benefit Equally from the Renaissance?
  • Why Did the Renaissance Happen in Italy First?
  • Why Was Florence the Seat of the Early Italian Renaissance?
  • What Was the Renaissance Like?
  • Why Has the Renaissance Been Called the Birth of Modernity?
  • Why Did the Discoveries of the Renaissance Make Little?
  • What Changes Took Place During the Renaissance and Why Did These Changes Happen?
  • How Art Changed and Evolved During the Renaissance Between 1350 and 1550?
  • How Did Music from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance?
  • Did the Harlem Renaissance Make Important Contributions to the African American Experience?
  • How Contemporary Art Owes the Renaissance?
  • Did Men and Women Have Benefit Equally from the Renaissance Period?
  • How Was the Northern Renaissance Unfolded?
  • Why Did the Renaissance Begin When and Where?
  • What Was Reborn During the Renaissance?
  • Was the Harlem Renaissance a Failure or Not?
  • What Impact Did the Renaissance Have on the Western World?
  • Was the Scientific Revolution Largely a Result of Technological Shifts from the Renaissance?
  • How Did Renaissance Advances in Studio Art and Architecture Effect Stage Design?
  • How Did Isabella d’Este Influence the Renaissance Period?
  • Was the Medical Renaissance an Important Period in Medical History?
  • How Did Artists And Writers Reflect Renaissance Ideals?
  • Was the 20th Century a Renaissance Period for the United States?
  • How Did Harlem Renaissance Lead to Many Social Changes?
  • Why Did The Renaissance Come from Northern Europe?
  • Chicago (A-D)
  • Chicago (N-B)

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Renaissance Love Poetry

English renaissance.

The English Renaissance was a cultural and artistic movement in England dating from the late 15th to the early 17th century. It is associated with the pan-European Renaissance that is usually regarded as beginning in Italy in the late 14th century. Like most of northern Europe, England saw little of these developments until more than a century later. The beginning of the English Renaissance is often taken, as a convenience, to be 1485, when the Battle of Bosworth Field ended the Wars of the Roses and inaugurated the Tudor Dynasty. Renaissance style and ideas, however, were slow to penetrate England, and the Elizabethan era in the second half of the 16th century is usually regarded as the height of the English Renaissance.

Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I, standing in a white embroidered gown with large bustle and sleeves and small waist, with a high lace collar.  She is holding a folded fan and a pair of gloves, and standing on top of a world map.  Thunder clouds appear over her left shoulder, and breaking sun over her right.

Queen Elizabeth I standing on a map of England

The English Renaissance is different from the Italian Renaissance in several ways. The dominant art forms of the English Renaissance were literature and music. Visual arts in the English Renaissance were much less significant than in the Italian Renaissance. The English period began far later than the Italian, which is usually considered to begin in the late 14th century, and was moving into Mannerism and the Baroque by the 1550s or earlier. In contrast, the English Renaissance can only be said to begin, shakily, in the 1520s, and continued until perhaps 1620.

England had a strong tradition of literature in the English vernacular, which gradually increased as English use of the printing press became common by the mid 16th century. By the time of Elizabethan literature a vigorous literary culture in both drama and poetry included poets such as Edmund Spenser, whose verse epic The Faerie Queene had a strong influence on English literature but was eventually overshadowed by the lyrics of William Shakespeare, Thomas Wyatt and others. Typically, the works of these playwrights and poets circulated in manuscript form for some time before they were published, and above all the plays of English Renaissance theatre were the outstanding legacy of the period.

The English theatre scene, which performed both for the court and nobility in private performances, and a very wide public in the theatres, was the most crowded in Europe, with a host of other playwrights as well as the giant figures of Christopher Marlowe, Shakespeare and Ben Jonson. Elizabeth herself was a product of Renaissance humanism trained by Roger Ascham, and wrote occasional poems such as On Monsieur’s Departure at critical moments of her life. Philosophers and intellectuals included Thomas More and Francis Bacon. All the 16th century Tudor monarchs were highly educated, as was much of the nobility, and Italian literature had a considerable following, providing the sources for many of Shakespeare’s plays. English thought advanced towards modern science with the Baconian Method, a forerunner of the Scientific Method. The language of the Book of Common Prayer , first published in 1549, and at the end of the period the Authorised Version (“King James Version” to Americans) of the Bible (1611) had enduring impacts on the English consciousness.

Criticism of the idea of the English Renaissance

Oil painting of a young man lying on the ground in a forest.  His head is propped on his bent arm, and he is covered by a shield.  In the background is a plumed horse in blue armor, a squire, and hunting apparatus

Edward Herbert, 1st Baron Herbert of Cherbury, circa 1610-14

The notion of calling this period “The Renaissance” is a modern invention, having been popularized by the historian Jacob Burckhardt in the 19th century. The idea of the Renaissance has come under increased criticism by many cultural historians, and some have contended that the “English Renaissance” has no real tie with the artistic achievements and aims of the Italian artists (Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Donatello) who are closely identified with Renaissance visual art. Whereas from the perspective of literary history, England had already experienced a flourishing of literature over 200 years before the time of Shakespeare, during the last decades of the fourteenth century. Geoffrey Chaucer’s popularizing of English as a medium of literary composition rather than Latin occurred only 50 years after Dante had started using Italian for serious poetry, and Chaucer translated works by both Boccaccio and Petrarch into Middle English. At the same time William Langland, author of Piers Plowman , and John Gower were also writing in English. In the fifteenth century, Thomas Malory, author of Le Morte D’Arthur , was a notable figure. For this reason, scholars find the singularity of the period called the English Renaissance questionable; C. S. Lewis, a professor of Medieval and Renaissance literature at Oxford and Cambridge, famously remarked to a colleague that he had “discovered” that there was no English Renaissance, and that if there had been one, it had “no effect whatsoever.”

Historians have also begun to consider the word “Renaissance” as an unnecessarily loaded word that implies an unambiguously positive “rebirth” from the supposedly more primitive Middle Ages. Some historians have asked the question “a renaissance for whom?,” pointing out, for example, that the status of women in society arguably declined during the Renaissance. Many historians and cultural historians now prefer to use the term “early modern” for this period, a term that highlights the period as a transitional one that led to the modern world, but attempts to avoid positive or negative connotations.

Other cultural historians have countered that, regardless of whether the name “renaissance” is apt, there was undeniably an artistic flowering in England under the Tudor monarchs, culminating in Shakespeare and his contemporaries.

Major English Renaissance authors

The major literary figures in the English Renaissance include:

  • Francis Bacon
  • Francis Beaumont
  • George Chapman
  • Thomas Dekker
  • John Fletcher
  • Christopher Marlowe
  • Philip Massinger
  • Thomas Middleton
  • Thomas More
  • Thomas Nashe
  • William Rowley
  • William Shakespeare
  • James Shirley
  • Philip Sidney
  • Edmund Spenser
  • John Webster
  • Thomas Wyatt
  • William Tyndale
  • English Renaissance. Provided by : Wikipedia. Located at : https://en.wikipedia.org/?title=English_Renaissance . License : CC BY-SA: Attribution-ShareAlike
  • Image of Queen Elizabeth I. Authored by : Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger. Located at : https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Queen_Elizabeth_I_(%27The_Ditchley_portrait%27)_by_Marcus_Gheeraerts_the_Younger.jpg . License : Public Domain: No Known Copyright
  • Image of Edward Herbert. Authored by : Isaac Oliver. Located at : https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Edward_Herbert_1st_Baron_Herbert_of_Cherbury_by_Isaac_Oliver.jpg . License : Public Domain: No Known Copyright

Topics Base

Everything begins with an idea!

Renaissance Essay Topics

The Renaissance is a cultural movement that took place in Europe from the 14 th to the 17 th century. It’s one of the best moves in the history of Europe that changed the cultural and ethical principles and values of the Europeans in many ways. The renaissance era brought about many changes in the philosophical, scientific, art, musical, and religious beliefs of the people in many ways.

A powerful forces behind the renaissance movement was the great works of Rome and Greece. The Renaissance of classical texts by Italian scholars was another reason that spurred this movement. The renaissance movement took place for so long, such that it brought a whole lot of cultural and ethical changes.

The movement was organic and had no organized goals or leaders. The Renaissance gave birth to a whole lot of talents, sculptors, and painters being the most common. It also brought about great musicians, engineers, and scholars. Students can handle renaissance essays from a range of angles, addressing a variety of essential issues. You can write about any of the artists of that era, the impact of the renaissance movement, or the role architecture and art play in the campaign.

  • The role women played during the renaissance era
  • The effects of the Renaissance
  • How the renaissance movement shaped the world
  • Michelangelo as one of the best Renaissance artists
  • A quick look at the Harlem Renaissance
  • The role Lorenzo De Medici played in the Renaissance movement
  • How humanism affected by Renaissance art
  • The role Isabella d’ Este played in the Renaissance movement
  • The role Leonardo Da Vinci played in the Italian Renaissance
  • Some of the best minds of the renaissance movement
  • How the Renaissance changed the view of humanism
  • How the renaissance era relates to medieval times?
  • Who were the masterminds in the renaissance movement?
  • A quick look at the history and success of the renaissance movement
  • How the renaissance movement affected the European world?
  • Common renaissance art categories and options
  • The role Sandro Boticelli played in the renaissance era
  • A quick look at the renaissance era fashion
  • The medical architecture of the renaissance era
  • The way sports were during the renaissance era
  • The role played the Patron in the renaissance movement
  • David statures as a true reflection of the renaissance art
  • The mysterious changes in art during the renaissance period
  • How did the renaissance period change from the 14 th to the 17 th century?
  • The most common imperial power structures in Italy during the renaissance era
  • A look at the renaissance age
  • How the American Renaissance was
  • The effects of the black death on the Italian Renaissance
  • How the Renaissance declined?
  • The start of the renaissance movement
  • The cultural identity of the Harlem renaissance pioneers
  • How human anatomy was understood during the renaissance period
  • The most popular heroes during the renaissance period
  • The role the great villains played in the renaissance movement
  • The purpose of the family in the renaissance movement
  • A quick look at the English renaissance movement

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English Renaissance Literature

Introduction to english renaissance literature.

‘Renaissance’ is a French term which means rebirth or revival; Rebirth of literature and art in the 14th and 16th century on the old classical models. It was in fact the rediscovery of Greek and Romance literature in the 15th century. 

The classical literature came to Europe. Gutenberg’s Printing press printed it in Europe and Caxton’s press brought it to London, England. Europe which was sunk in the darkness was glowing with the beams of knowledge. In the beginning, renaissance started in Italy. Then it came to France. It took more than a century to reach England.

Renaissance provides the foundations to the modern age. The term ‘renaissance’ was invented in the 19th century. One of the French authors wrote, man ‘re-find himself’ at this age. In Italy, it started in the late 1300s. This was the time when Roman Catholic doctrine was declining. The interest started developing in the Greek and Latin texts. Socrates, Plato, Aristotle,  Seneca, Cicero, Ovid, Virgil and Plutarch were the men of great influence. 

Fall of Constantinople in 1453 was another factor that brought about renaissance. Many scholars fled and brought printed books and manuscripts to Italy. 

The English Renaissance roughly starts from the 1520s. It is very different from that of the Italian Renaissance in many ways. The movement penetrated slowly in England because she was not that much accepting of the change. The Elizabethan period is regarded as the highest time in the English Renaissance.

In many ways, the English Renaissance is different from that of the Italian renaissance. Music and literature were the dominant forms in English renaissance. Visual art was very much famous in Italy. It developed in Italian cities of Florence and Venice in the safe hands of Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael. Visual art was not significant in the English Renaissance. The tradition of literature in England was very strong and the printing press strengthened it more. In the Elizabethan age, the literary culture had fully developed. 

Drama and poetry were the leading genres which gave great names to the English Renaissance.  Spencer’s verse epic, The Faerie Queene is one the influential works of that time. This verse epic has had a great influence on English literature but it was overshadowed when Shakespeare, Wyatt and Surrey stepped into the genre of poetry. The drama was very much famous in this age. Marlow, Shakespeare, Jonson, Lily and Thomas Nash were the leading dramatists during the English renaissance. 

The theater tradition got popularized during this age. Shakespeare,  the leading figure, was an actor and has a share in a theater. In theater, the plays of Marlowe, Shakespeare and Jonson were performed. The Queen herself is regarded as the product of renaissance. She was married to the nation and wrote some occasional poems. Among intellectuals and philosophers, this age has Francis m Bacon and Thomas More. 

The Tudors of the 16th century were highly educated. It does not focus on the literature related to Christianity. The focus of this age was on pre- Christian literature which was from Greeks and Romans.

Characteristics of English Renaissance Literature

Wonders of love and beauty.

Renaissance has been the age of wonders. It also has a love for beauty. This was the time when the strong foundations of religion began to shake. Science, art and literature began to rise up. Religion was not as strong as it used to be. Printing press has brought literature and knowledge to everyone’s threshold. Books were in common man’s access. The world was viewed differently by the writers and the readers. Curiosity aroused and man became the centre of the universe. Writers started to be creative as the Creator of the universe. The man took imaginative plight and wrote wonderful pieces of literature. 

The people started loving designs and they gave much importance to beauty. The minimalist style of writing, which is very common in modern age, was not popular at that time. This did not impress the renaissance writers and readers. The witty, clever and sharp minds were appreciated. The sound, flow and beauty of the language were the concerns of the writers and the readers. 

Along with this, their focus was also on the depth, thoughtfulness and originality of the idea. The renaissance gave many such writers who satisfy these desires. Even modern readers feel immersed when he goes through the writings of the renaissance. 

The humanistic philosophy got renewed along with all cultural interests and classical things. Greece and Roman writings came to Europe and man was the center of humanistic philosophy. The Middle Ages are often regarded as The Dark Ages because of unkind happenings. Plagues, wars and fires made these Middle Ages as Dark Ages. This made people focus on heaven and afterlife. This made people believe that this life is a test of their goodness. If one is good and does good deeds, he is considered to go to heaven. 

So whatever the Middle Age Europeans did, they did not do for now but for an afterlife.  But wars, plagues and unpleasant happenings brought great impact on people’s life. Their attitude toward life has changed.  They started living a new life. Everything around them has changed. They began enjoying their life. They started focusing on their present life. They were no more interested in the soul. Man and his body were significant instead of soul and essence.

Getting classical education has become the interest of the people. People were interested in studying, history, philosophy, literature, physics and geometry. Virgil’s Aeneid is the epic that has allusions in abundance. This was about the War of Troy and the start of Rome. Why did it appeal to the people? It appealed because of its political bodies. 

The political body of Elizabethan England mattered the most to Shakespeare. He loved and stood-in for the political body of Rome. He wrote his bloodiest play, with the title of Titus Andronicus, which is about the problems of Elizabethan England. His dramas have political conflicts which represent the political condition of the age.

Humanism and Religion

This was the time when humanism witnessed its own rise. Humanism is a belief that humans are good by nature and they have something to offer. This belief has shaken the foundations of religion. It also made fun of the religion. England’s religious renaissance was flamed up with the lively love affair between Henry VIII and Anne Boyle. 

Catherine of Aragon was the wife of Henry VIII. She could not get him a male child. He made this the reason and started his affair with Boyle. At that time, it was thought to be the fault of a woman, if she did not have a male child. Henry VIII married many times to get a male heir. It was an easy task for him to get divorced from Catherine Aragon. It was difficult to compete with the enmity of the church. 

At that time the church had been the centre of powers. It had supreme authority. In this conflict with the Church, he took a bold decision. He founded Anglican Church and himself became the Head of the Church of England. It suggests that he could do anything for his desires. Catholics, Protestants and Anglicans were engaged in a great struggle for the redemption of people’s souls. 

Magic and Religion

In rural England, people were under the spell of magic. In order to resolve the issues of their head and heart, they sought refuge in magic. Their aim was to purify their souls. It does not mean that witches do exist in reality. At that time, people believed in them. Even today, in the backward corners of the world, people do believe in magic and amulets.

This panoply of religions, provided the literature, which was full of such superstitious things. The superstitious beliefs of Greeks and Romans also came from Europeans. Greek and Roman myths were very popular at that time, and poets and playwrights were obsessed with these myths. They used such myths in abundance.  

For example, the themes of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale are those ideas on which Christianity put stress.  But the play itself comes out of the myth of Pygmalion. And allusions from classical literature brings life to the play. Let’s consider Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Everything happens in an Italian city, Verona. Italy has been the official place where the pope lived. The use of love language in Romeo and Juliet symbolizes religious worship. 

Political peace and stability is the key characteristic of this age. Queen Elizabeth has managed it quite brilliantly both inside and outside of the country. A working agreement has come with Scotland. The northern barons were rebels and they were kept in check. The border areas were traditionally disturbed but she maintained and sustained peace brilliantly in those conflicting areas. She was a good administrator and under her administration, England made progress rapidly.

Rise of Merchant Class

Social development was another key feature of the age. Industrial towns started growing rapidly and it gave employment to the thousands. When trade and commerce increased, it enriched England. The tax was imposed on the rich to support the poor. 

Religious Serenity

This was the environment in which the literary activities started to increase. This was also the age of religious tolerance. When she was crowned, she witnessed the nation as divided in itself. The Catholics were in the north. The south was of Protestants. Reformation was followed by Scotland. Ireland was different from all three and was following its own old traditional religion. 

It was Queen Elizabeth who made the Anglican Church a reality. Anglican Church was a kind of agreement between Catholics and Protestants. It tried to settle down the things between both. It was accepted by both, the Catholics and the Protestants. All the English nation was impressed by the religious policy of the Queen. This policy has maintained tolerance in society. The whole nation was united enthusiastically.

Now the mind was free from all kinds of fears. The man was no more feared by the persecution. The mind was very creative and engaged in creative activity. This religious peace paved the ways for literary activities. This was the most glorious literary period in the history of English literature.

Sense and feeling of patriotism is another characteristic of the English Renaissance. This age is considered to be the age of patriotism. The Queen loved her country passionately and her court was the best court of Europe. Her court was so sumptuous that it dazzled the eyes of the people. 

She had moderate policies which made her popular in her masses. She was known as the Queen Virgin, wedded to the nation. She was worshipped during her reign. She has been in prominent authors and poets literary works.

 In Spencer’s Faerie Queen, she is Gloriana. In Raleigh’s work, she is Cynthia. Shakespeare calls her fair vestal throned by the West. All classes of men were inspired by the Queen. England made progress swiftly during her times. The literature witnessed its highest period during her reign.

Timeline of the Movement

Publication of the gutenberg bible 1454-1455.

The 15th century witnessed the greatest invention ever in the form of the printing press. The Gutenberg Bible is the very first publication in the Western world. The exact date of the publication is not obvious but one thing is damn sure that it set foundations of the English Renaissance. It worked miraculously and enlightened the darkest West with the light of knowledge. 

More’s Utopia was written in 1516

Thomas More’s exploration of Utopia; The perfect kind of society, a quest for new lands. It is a great book to read. It is also regarded as the finest piece of literature of the age of quest and exploration.

Martin Luther started the anti-Catholic Church movement in 1517

Martin Luther stood up against the Catholic Church. What it becomes when a little dose of humanism is mixed up with Catholicism. A new kind of thing named Lutheranism appears.

Copernicus Navigated Revolution of Sun in 1543

In this year comes Copernicus’s Revolutions of the Celestial Orbits Earth. Now the sun does not move. The earth does. It is the planetary body which moves around the sun. It will sound like a revolutionary idea if you were born in the 16th century. 

Queen Elizabeth came to the throne in 1558

Queen Elizabeth, who never married but was wedded to the nation, occupied the throne. She refused to marry. Her time is known as the golden period in the history of England. 

Marlow and Shakespeare were born in 1564

The great twins, Marlowe and Shakespeare were born this year. Marlowe is known as the greatest Elizabethan dramatist. He paved ways for Shakespeare and others. He was stabbed to death in an inn and his career ended just after it started. After Marlow, Shakespeare took the torch and led the crew. 

London Stock Exchange and Battle of Lepanto in 1571

This was the year when the London Stock Exchange was created. Also the year of the Battle of Lepanto. This was the age when the merchant class raised itself up and it was also the rising of English Renaissance. 

First theatre in 1576

The year when the first theatre was built. It was the first permanent kind of theatre. It all happened in England folks. 

Drake explored the shape of the earth 1577-1580

Sir Francis Drake circumnavigated the world.  And explored that earth is not flat rather it is round.

Shakespeare became famous 1585

Shakespeare started acting and writing the plays. He is simply going to become the most famous play writer. Shabash Shakes!

Fight between English and Spanish Armies in 1588

It was the year when English fleet forced the Spanish Armada to kneel down before them. It was indeed a bloody battle. Lives laid down. Death danced. A lot of lives ended on both sides. The power scale bent towards England after this.

Spenser’s Faerie Queen in 1590

Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queen was performed in the court of the Queen and it was a big hit. 

Death of Shakespeare 1616

Shakespeare is no more with us. Rest in peace legendary Shakespeare!  Renaissance is left a bit more but Our Shakes is gone!

Major Poets of English Renaissance

The English Renaissance produced many good poets. One of the great historians called this age as the nest of singing birds. Because this period gave some great poets to the English literature. The poetry of this age represents the true spirit of its times. 

Themes of the poetry were: Love, patriotism, philosophical and satire. Thomas Wyatt and Earl of Surrey travelled abroad, especially to Italy. Italy was the hub of literary activities and renaissance also sprung from that region. Classical influence and Italian literature was brought to England by these two men. 

They used Italian form to compose their poetry. They are rightly called the true harbingers of the renaissance in England. They composed songs and sonnets and also called the first modern poets. The brief introduction of the great poets of the age is given below with their works.

Sir Thomas Wyatt

It was Sir Thomas Wyatt who bestowed English Poetry with grace, harmony and nobility. He kept Italian models in his view and composed his poetry. He composed songs, sonnets, madrigals and elegies. It was Wyatt who brought sonnets to England from Italy. Sonnet became so popular in England that this form was used by Shakespeare, Milton, Spenser, Sidney, Wordsworth, Keats, Shelley, Arnold and many others. Personal and Autobiographical note in English poetry was introduced by him. He is not famous for his sonnets but for lyrics and songs he composed.

Earl of Surrey

Surrey worked under the supervision of Sir Thomas Wyatt. He was Wyatt’s disciple. He was not an independent poetic figure. He composed better sonnets than that of Wyatt. Wyatt followed the Petrarchan models whereas Surrey modified it and developed a typical English form from it. The form modified by Surrey is expressive, whereas the Petrarchan form is impressive. 

The modified form of Surrey is used by Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s sonnets are known as Shakespearean Sonnet. Surrey translated Aeneid as he used blank verse for the first time in English poetry.

Sir Philip Sidney

Sir Philip Sidney is one of the most celebrated poets before Shakespeare and Spenser. He is a well-learned man who is mainly known for Arcadia, which is a romance and Apology for Poetry, in which he defends poetry and explains its principles. Then he published the collections of his sonnets known as Astrophel and Stella.

This consists of 108 love sonnets. First time in English poetry, personal feelings have been expressed. In tone and style, he owes to Petrarch and Ronsard.

The lady of May, The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia, Astrophel and Stella, The Sidney Psalms, An Apology for Poetry

Thomas Sackville

Sackville, the first Earl of Dorset was a great humanist. He contributed to English poetry with The Induction. What makes him superior to Wyatt and Surrey is freedom from technical errors. His works include Gorboduc, The Mirror for Magistrates, Induction   

Edmund Spenser

Edmund Spenser, the creator of The Faerie Queene is rightly called the poet’s poet. He is a legendary figure and all English is indebted to him. C. Rickett names him as the child of Renaissance and Reformation. He has the seriousness of Milton. Both can be equally ranked in English Poetry. Spenser was also a humanist. 

His poetical works are the following; The Shepherd’s Calendar, which was published in 1579. Then Amoretti was published in 1595, in which he composed 88 sonnets on the Petrarchan pattern. He also composed a beautiful ode, on his marriage with Elizabeth Boyle, with the title of Epithalamion. This ode was published in 1959, centuries after his departure. 

On the death of Sir Philip Sidney, he composed an elegy, with the title of Astrophel in 1596. His other ode on marriage was Prothalamion. In order to glorify love and humour, he wrote Four Hymns in 1576. His well-known work is his epic, The Faerie Queene, which was published in 1590.

William Shakespeare

He was an unknown country boy who became known to the world for his mastery in playwriting. His pen produced play after play, mighty dramas, legendary characters and unrivalled work. Shakespeare simply takes an old play or poem, mould tenderest feelings into them and lo and behold! We find his work more wonderful than the last one.  He lived in a play loving age and that is why his work is overmastered in this genre. 

At the time of death, twenty-one plays were staged and manuscripted, and various had been printed in quarto. His first printed collection is known as Folio published in 1623. It was arranged by two actors, Heming and Condell. It contained thirty-six of the thirty-seven plays of Shakespeare. 

His typical works are classified in four periods; early experiment, development, maturity and gloom and late experiment. His plays are classified in three classes; historical, comedy and tragedy. Following is a short guide of his notable works of all times. 

Comedies: Merchant of Venice, Midsummer Night’s Dream, As you like it, Winter’s Tale, The Tempest, Twelfth Night.

Tragedies: Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Hamlet, King Lear, Othello

Historical Plays: Julius Caesar, Richard III, Henry IV, Henry V, Henry VIII, Coriolanus, Antony and Cleopatra. 

Poems: Venus and Adonis, The Rape of Lucrece, One Hundred and Fifty Four Sonnets

Doubtful Plays: Titus Andronicus, Henry VI, Richard III, Edward III

Jonson also is known as ‘dictator of London’ is the most commanding literary figure of the renaissance period. As a poet laureate, he criticized the romantic tendencies of his age and helped restore the classic form drama. 

Apparently he failed and the romantic school held grounds strongly but his influence grew gradually. There are many myths about Jonson’s hostility with Shakespeare. He scoffed Shakespeare’s plays for being nonsensical and using inexistent coasts.  

Dramas: Sejanus, Catiline, Everyman in his Humor, 

Comedies: The Case is Altered, Eastward Hoe, The Devil Is an Ass, The Magnetic Lady, The Sad Shepherd, The Alchemist, A Tale of Tub

Poetry: A Celebration of Charis, Execration against Vulcan

Christopher Marlowe

The Renaissance age is the age of drama and poetry. In drama Marlowe paved the way for Shakespeare. Marlowe wrote four plays, his themes include life and death, the struggle for power and human passions. The language he used is splendid and poetic. The age was man-centred. The man was central and it was the age of humanism. God was no more in the centre. Man has started questioning him in many ways.

Marlowe’s doomed character, Dr Faustus truly represents the spirit of the renaissance. He is a university scholar, who exchanges his soul for magical powers. He signs the agreement and gets extensive powers for 24 years. Dr. Faustus gets everything he desires. He wishes to meet Helen of Troy, who became the cause of the Trojan War. The war was fought in the BC in Greece, centuries before the Renaissance age.

Plays: Dido, Queen of Carthage, Tamburlaine, The Jew of Malta, Doctor Faustus, Edward II, The Massacre at Paris

Poetry: Translation of Book One of Lucan’s Pharsalia, Translation of Ovid’s Amores, The Passionate Shepherd to His Love, Hero and Leander

Major Texts of English Renaissance

In the Renaissance period of English literary history revival of learning brought considerable literature into being. With the invention of the printing press in the 16th century, English literary tradition increased gradually and an abundance of books was printed. Men’s minds were so occupied with classics that native English literature went behind the back screen. 

Roger Ascham (1515-1568) published his famous book Toxophilus in 1545 and clearly addressed in its prologue the dissatisfaction raised by the scholars of that era. He apologized to native English writers for hiding their talent. 

Even in Italy, no great literature was produced in order to revive the classics. Except for a few books worthy of remembrance are found in this era. Here is a brief summary of them.  

Praise of Folly

The most conspicuous book appeared in England during this period is undoubtedly Erasmus’ Praise of Folly. Erasmus is the greatest writer of the Renaissance who lived most part of his life in France, Italy, England and Switzerland. This book was first published in 1511 in the reign of Henry VIII. It was originally written in Latin and translated into many European languages. 

The book is about songs of victory for New Learning that have dragged away humanity from three foes; ignorance, superstition and vice.  Folly in the title basically denotes the cruelty of kings, the selfishness of clergymen and ignorant standards of education.

Thomas More’s Utopia also known as ‘Kingdom of Nowhere’ was published in 1516. It addresses the social conditions of that time. Bellamy’s Looking Backward is inspired by Utopia. It is his book in which we find historical words of French Revolution; Liberty, Fraternity and Equality. More learned from a sailor about a kingdom of nowhere where social upheavals are dealt with common sense and justice.  When he heard of this land, he promptly wondered why his country is still uncivilized after fifteen centuries of Christianity. If we read this book now, we will ask the same question.

Translation of the New Testament

Another influential literary text of this era is Tyndale’s translation of the New Testament (1525). He translated the New Testament and some parts of the Old Testament from the original Greek and Hebrew language respectively. His work was later included in Crammer’s Great Bible (1539) and was read in almost every Church of England. 

This translation brought English to a standard level for scholars and fixed English for native speakers. It laid the foundation for an authorized version of the Bible.

Tottel’s Miscellany

It appeared in 1557 as the first collection of miscellaneous poems composed by court poets. Half of the poems belonged to Sir Thomas Wyatt and Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey also known as Wyatt and Surrey. In collaboration, they both wrote enormous Sonnets inspired by those of Italy. Surrey is also celebrated during the renaissance period not only for his poetic sonnets but also two translations of Virgil’s work in ‘Strange Meter’. 

The stranger meter was later known as a blank verse which had no etymological trails in English history. Thus the major contribution of Surrey and Wyatt was to introduce sonnets and blank verse in English literary tradition.

Morte d’Arthur

Undoubtedly the greatest text of the renaissance period is Morte d’Arthur written by Malory. It is a collection of King Arthur’s romances told in a prose style. He weaves the legends around the Holy Grail and maintains the spirit of medieval Christianity. Though the subject matter of this book is medieval, Malory preserved the legends of Britain and found a place in the renaissance period.

In this section, we have learned that the Revival of Learning was a significant characteristic of the renaissance period. Erasmus’  Praise of Folly, More’s Utopia, Tyndale’s translation of the New Testament and Malory’s Morte d’Arthur are notable works. Surrey and Wyatt also gave English intellectual progress by introducing sonnet and blank verse. 

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Renaissance – 7 ESL English Discussion Questions

Renaissance

Summary reminder:

The Renaissance was a fervent period of European cultural , artistic , political and economic “ rebirth ” following the Middle Ages. Generally described as taking place from the 14th century to the 17th century , the Renaissance promoted the rediscovery of classical philosophy , literature , and art .

The Renaissance is probably best known for its artistic developments and for the development of “Humanism” a movement that emphasized the importance of creating citizens who were able to engage in the civil life of their community.

The Renaissance is a period from the 14th to the 17th century, considered the bridge between the Middle Ages and Modern history. It started as a cultural movement in Italy in the Late Medieval period and later spread to the rest of Europe.

The word ‘ renaissance ’ is a French word which means ‘ rebirth ’.

A turning point in history that took the world from the medieval past to the modern present in regards to ideas about life, education, art/literature, and the world in general.

1- Explain how Renaissance ideas about life differed from those of the Middle Ages .

2- What were the objectives of the civic humanists ?

3- What was Machiavelli’s contribution to political philosophy?

4- Why was art important in the Renaissance?

5- Do you think certain countries should learn from the Renaissance ? Elaborate.

6- Do you think the world needs a new renaissance to take our civil life to the next level?

7- Can you explain the difference between revolution and Renaissance ? Is change possible without blood and victims ?

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English Renaissance Period - Essay Example

English Renaissance Period

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