Humanism in Renaissance Literature

Essay by toto323 March 2006

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Renaissance age was a period of literature enlightenment and revolutionary rebirth of the classical world ( Latin and Greek classics ).

Two opposed movements appeared during the Renaissance were Scholastic which adopted beliefs of ancient writers to support the corrupted church, and the Humanism movement was against the greedy and corrupted church at that time it places the human beings at the centre of the universe. It took its name from the studi humanitatis, those studies (grammar, rhetoric, poetry, history and moral philosophy).

The arrival of Humanism in England was a revolutionary change in English literature. Humanism is known as a major social philosophy, literary and intellectual flows which developed in the 14th century in Italy.

A humanist philosophy emphasizes dignity and perfectibility of humanity, placed reason above revelation. Humanists directed the intellectual power of mysticism and reason to human studies , they believe that education is a path for

self-development and a rewarded life .

Renaissance Humanists appreciated the classical works of Greek and Latin and they consider them as a vital source for knowledge .

In fact, Petrarch is a famous outstanding figure of humanism , Francesco Petrarch, an Italian poet led the early development of Renaissance humanism.

He introduced the way humanism was experienced. Along with other humanists Petrarch tried to recognize the ancient civilization.

He rediscovered the ancient texts as his discovery of Brutus , a most important book in the Renaissance era , including texts and letters of Cicero the famous classical author of the Renaissance along with Quintilian . The discovering of Latin texts was a great achievement of humanism rather than the discovering of Greek texts.

He encouraged imitating classical works but without copying it , as in his letter to Boccaccio : "A proper imitator should take care that what he...