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Renaissance Writers


Some of the most outstanding Renaissance writers were Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Nicolas Machiavelli or Martin Luther.

The Renaissance was a cultural movement. renaissance authors had a great interest in literature, education, art and science. The Renaissance saw an influx of new ideas and new practices and left a deep cultural legacy.

The Renaissance was made possible by scientific discoveries, especially the development of J. Gutenberg’s printing press, which allowed the mass production of books.

It is considered that the heart of the Renaissance began in Florence, Italy, at the beginning of the 14TH century. This was aided by the financial and cultural support of the dominant family, the Medici surname, and later of the Vatican.

The Renaissance was literally a “renaissance,” the period in European civilization immediately after the Middle Ages characterized by a surge of interest in classical studies and values.

After a time so poorly culturally speaking, the Renaissance came with a litter of great scholars of classical letters and great cultural wisdom

Features of renaissance writers

Renaissance writers were heavily influenced by the culture of the time

Artists of that period valued Greco-Roman culture. They thought that the Greeks and Romans possessed a complete and human vision of nature, different from medieval men.

And so, the most valued qualities in humans at the time were intelligence, knowledge and artistic gifts.

The main features of renaissance authors are based on the following aspects.

The main point that characterizes the Renaissance period is anthropocentrism, as opposed to the theocentrism observed in the Middle Ages. Anthropocenrism, which placed man as the supreme creation of God and as the center of the universe. While in the Middle Ages man’s life was to be centered on God (theocentrism).

Rationalism, the Renaissance were convinced that reason was the only way to come to knowledge, and that our whole world could be explained by reason and science; The most valued qualities in humans became intelligence, knowledge and artistic gift.

Experimentalism, for the Renaissance, all knowledge had to be demonstrated with scientific experience. Renaissance man, mainly scientists, goes on to use experimental methods and observation of nature and the universe.

The most important writers of the Renaissance

Although there were a lot of recognized writers, some of them exceled for their excellent work and the influence of their writings on the world of the 14TH century.

Leonardo Da Vinci (1452 – 1519)

Leonardo wrote in small notebooks using his left hand and a technique of writing in mirror (the text is written from right to left).

He often painted with his left hand and only seemed to write with his right hand when he wanted the text to be read easily by others.

His great scientific works such as the Man of Vitruvio, the machine gun, the helical screw, the calculator and other contributions, made him a renowned figure during the Renaissance and in the world history.

Scholars hypothesized that it is possible that Leonardo was concerned that others would steal his ideas and therefore decided to use that type of writing. He introduced the speculative writing technique at that time.

Michelangelo (1475 – 1564)

Michelangelo is known in history for his extraordinary achievements in sculpture and painting, and it is said that he preferred the physical work involved with both. However, he wrote numerous literary works, including letters, journal entries and poems.

His literary skills are most marked in his poetry, which he wrote throughout his long life. Many of his poems are directed at both men and women, while his mystical religious poems are not addressed to anyone in particular.

Dealing with deep emotional issues, his poetry is not as subtle as that of many other poets, for it is perhaps a reflection of his artistic inclinations.

Nicolás Machiavelli (1469-1527)

In his time he was considered a historian, diplomat among many other things, unfolded very well in the field of politics, based on humanistic principles created an innovative political branch. The prince is his most representative work.

Martin Luther (1483-1546)

Leader of the Protestant Reformation. Martin Luther wrote 95 theses attacking the church, such as criticizing the belief that sin could be mitigated by paying money to the church.

Martin Luther was a former communiqué of the Catholic Church and was a key figure in the new Protestant religion.

Petrarch (1304 – 1374)

Francesco Petrarch, born in Arezzo, Tuscany, Italy. He was an Italian scholar, poet and humanist whose poems aimed at Laura, an idealized loved one, contributed to the Renaissance flourishing of lyric poetry.

Petrarch’s inquisitive mind and the love of the classical authors led him to travel, to visit learning men and search for monastic libraries for classical manuscripts. He was regarded as the greatest scholar of his time.

Miguel de Cervantes (1547 – 1616)

Among the renaissance writers Miguel de Cervantes He was a Spanish novelist, playwright and poet, creator of Don Quixote (1605, 1615) and is recognized for being the most important and famous figure in Spanish literature.

His novel Don Quixote has been wholly or partially translated into more than 60 languages. The editions continue to be printed regularly, and the critical discussion of the work has continued without diminishing since the EIGHTEENTH century.

At the same time, due to its wide representation in art, theatre and cinema, the figures of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza are probably visually familiar to more people than any other imaginary character in world literature.

Cervantes was a great experimenter. He tried all the major literary genres except the epic.

William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616)

William Shakespeare is one of the most prominent renaissance writers of the time, also spelled Shakspere, known as the Bard of Avon or the Swan of Avon. He was a poet, playwright and English actor, often called the English national poet and considered by many as the best playwright of all time.

Shakespeare occupies a unique position in world literature. His most famous works include Romeo and Juliet, the dream of a summer night and Hamlet.

Other poets have transcended national barriers, but the living reputation of a writer is not compared to that of Shakespeare, whose works, written at the end of the 16TH century and early XVII for a small repertoire of theatre, are interpreted now and read with more Frequency and in more countries than ever.

The prophecy of his great contemporary, the poet and playwright Ben Johnson, that Shakespeare “was not of a time, but of Eternity”, has been fulfilled.

Teresa of Avila (1515 – 1582)

Teresa de Ávila was a remarkable religious reformer of the years 1500. Born Teresa Sanchez in the city of Avila, in the center of Spain, did not receive formal education, although he read a lot since childhood.

In 1535, Teresa entered the religious order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (known as the Carmelites) and in 1562 founded a small convent called San José de Ávila.

There he introduced such reforms as a simple lifestyle, devotion to inner prayer, and rejection of racial prejudice.

In 1970 he became the first woman to receive the title of Doctor of the church, an honor granted to a select group of religious writers.

His three most famous works are his autobiography, titled: “Book of his Life”; An allegory called “The Inner Castle”; And “The way of Perfection,” a Guide to mental prayer.

Pierre de Ronsard (1524 – 1585)

Born in France, he was a poet and writer, head of the French Renaissance group of poets known as the Pléiade. Ronsard was the youngest son of a noble family in the county of Vendôme.

An illness contracted on an expedition with Princess Madeleine to Edinburgh left him partially deaf, yet his ambitions were diverted to erudition and literature.

He managed to learn to speak the Greek language thanks to Jean Dorat, he was able to read almost all the poetry of Greece known at the time

It formed a literary school which was named the Pléiade, and its objective was to produce French poetry which could be comparable with the verses of the classical antiquity.

Baldassare Castiglione (1478 – 1529)

Coming from Italy, his reputation as a writer is won by his dialogue “Il Libro del Cortegiano” (1528; Book of the Courtier).

His educational made it in the court Ludovico Sforza, in Giorgio Meru and also in Demetrius Chalcondyles, belonged a noble family.

His great work, above mentioned, was a great editorial success for the standards of the time. It was written and read by noble women, including the poet Vittoria Colonna, Isabel de Este, Marchioness of Mantua, and the mother of the author, as well as men.

In the century after its publication, it averaged an edition a year and was translated into Spanish (1534), French (1537), Latin (1561), and German (1565), in addition to the English version of Sir Thomas Hoby, The Courtyer of Conde Baldessar Castilio (1561), and the adaptation Polish of Łukasz Górnicki, Dworzanin Polski (1566, “the Polish courtier”). The book is still a classic in Italian literature.