Renaissance writers who influenced the modern world
More than anything else, what shaped the Middle Ages in Europe was the domination of the Catholic Church and prevailing levels of unstable politics (at least in comparison to the century of steady rule of Rome). Considering pagan and threatening by ancient and ancient Rome philosophies and literatures, the Church disheartened her studies and teachings and the collapse of a united religious community into many small empires and dukedoms.
The outcome of these elements was a shifting from a people-centered intellect to one that celebrates the things that kept the community together - common religions and cults. During the Renaissance, a time that began in the late fourteenth and lasted until the seventeenth centuries. It was far from returning all of a sudden to academic and aesthetic achievements, it was really a re-discovery of the human-centred philosophy and arts of antiquity, paired with those cultures that drove Europe to become socially and intellectually revolting, celebrating the mortal corpus and revealing itself near the nostalgic for works of Rome and Greece, which all of a sudden seemed again contemporary and revolution.
Much of the Renaissance, far from a wondrous common source of common inspirations, was triggered by the Byzantine Empire's downfall and the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire. Massively influxes of refugees from the East to Italy - especially to Florence, where politics and culture provided an inviting setting - once again put these ideals to the fore.
Almost at the same epoch, the Black Death depleted the population throughout Europe and compelled the survivalists to look not at the hereafter but at their real ordeal. It is important to remember that the Renaissance, as in many historic epochs, had little knowledge that they were in such a celebrated age.
Beyond the fine arts, the Renaissance experienced the demise of the papacy's influence and the intensified contacts between Europe's forces and other civilizations through commerce and research. It made the earth radically more solid, allowing individuals to care for things beyond fundamental existence - things like fine arts and literary.
Indeed, some of the writers who arose during the Renaissance remained the most powerful writers of all times and were in charge of literature technologies, thoughts and philosophical research that are still being lent and researched today. Not only will the works of these 10 Renaissance writers give you a good understanding of what influenced Renaissance thought and thought, they will also give you a sound understanding of contemporary script in general, because these writers are the place where our contemporary mind for literacy began.
There is no talk about literary - in any way - without referring to Shakespeare. Its impact cannot be overestimated. Creator of many words that are still in use today (including enchanted, which could be his greatest achievement), he shaped many of the sentences and expressions we still use today (every single occasion you try to crack the icy spell, say a brief pray to Bill), and he coded certain histories and possibilities of action that have become the unseen words of every composition.
Virtually no other author has had a greater impact on the Anglophone languages, with the possible exceptions of... Chaucer's impact can be summed up in one sentence: Shakespeare wouldn't be Shakespeare without him. Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales" was not only used for the first serious work of literature (English was regarded as the "common" tongue for the illiterate at a period when the British imperial dynasty still regarded itself in many respects as being the formal tongue of the courtyard and French), but Chaucer's method of using five accents in one line was ascribed directly to the Islamic pent parameter used by Shakespeare and his peers.
Only a few writers have an adjective name (see Shakespearean), and Machiavelli is one of them thanks to his most celebrated work "The Prince". Machiavelli's concentration on earthly rather than celestial powers is an indication of the general change in his life as the Renaissance gathered momentum.
Its notion that there was a separation between official and personal morals, and its support for force, assassination and policy tricks to acquire and retain authority, is the notion of Machiavellianism when we describe bright, when wicked policy makers or intriguers. Several have attempted to transform "The Prince" as a satirical work or even a kind of revolution manual (arguing that the crowd were actually the suppressed crowds to show them how to bring down their rulers), but it plays almost no role; Machiavelli's impact is undeniable.
The work, which appeared in 1605, also left its mark on much of what today is the contemporary Castilian tongue; in this respect, it must be considered equivalent to Shakespeare in respect of artistic casts. Playing with speech, using wordplay and contradiction for a funny effect, Cervantes' picture of the faithful Sancho, following his blinded mind, which tipped over against the windmill, is miserable over the years.
From Dostoyevsky's The Idiot to Rushdie's "The Moor's Last Sigh", the books are expressly inspired by "Don Quixote", which explains his literature as well. Though you know nothing else about Dante or the Renaissance, you have learned of Dante's greatest work, The Divine Comedy, which is still being tested by many contemporary works such as Dan Brown's Inferno; every case you reference a Ring of Hell, you allude to Dante's view of Satan's realm.
It is very complicated in its structures and reference, and also in its translations it is very nice in its own languages. Dealing with many doctrinal and ecclesiastical issues, it shows Dante's Renaissance figures in a variety of ways, criticizing and commenting on Florentine political, social and cultural life today. It is hard for the present-day readers to understand all humour, insult and comment, but the impact of poetry can be felt throughout the whole of post-cultur.
Besides, how many writers are known only by their first names? Thane is not a well-known name outside English and literary subjects, but his impact on writing in the following years is epoch. As one of the first "metaphysical" writers, Donne more or less devised several different pictorial technologies in his more or less intricate work. His main technique was to use two apparently contradictory conceptions to create mighty metaphor.
He is ironic and the often sniffy, frivolous style of his work is surprising to many who find older typefaces floral and pretentious. What's more, his work is often ironic. Donne's work also stands for a shifting of emphasis from literature, which almost entirely focused on religion, to a much more intimate work, a tendency that began in the Renaissance and is still continuing today.
Abstaining from the rigid, highly controlled types of existing literary practice in favour of more relaxed rhythm, very similar to real language, was a revolution, and the waves of his innovation are still beating against it. Not as well-known as Shakespeare, Spenser's impact on the field of poems is as dramatic as his best-known work, The Fairy Queen.
On the way there, Spenser created a poetical texture known to this day as Spenserian Stanza and a sonnett technique known as Spenserian Sunnet, both of which were imitated by later writers such as Coleridge and Shakespeare. Poesy is your marmalade or not, Spenser is present everywhere in contemporary music.
During the early Renaissance, Boccaccio was living and working in Florence and created a vast work that laid down some of the fundamental origins of the new humanistic emphasis of this epoch. Worked both in "popular" ltalian (the common jargon actually used by people) and in more informal Roman works, and his work had a direct influence on both Chaucer and Shakespeare, not to speak of every author who has ever known.
Boccaccio can be thanked in a small way every single times you see a line of dialog in a novel that makes you feel the part. Petrarca, one of the early Renaissance writers, was compelled by his late Roman Catholic fathers to go to law school. However, he gave up this work as soon as his fathers death, and decided to go into studying the language and his work.
Popularizing the poetical shape of the sonnets, he was one of the first writers to shy away from the formally textured styles of conventional poems in favour of a more relaxed, realist way of dealing with it. Petrarca became very much in demand in England and therefore has a huge impact on our contemporary literary world; Petrarca has integrated many of Petrarca's ideas and technique into his own typeface, and Petrarca was one of the most powerful writers in the British-speaking world well into the nineteenth centuries, which ensured that our contemporary literary term became a major part of this fourteenth-wentury author.
One of the first and most powerful applications of this technology, Milton, who made bad policy choices in his lifetime and written many of his most famous works after going totally insane, composes "Paradise Lost" in empty verses. Today these breakthroughs may seem evident - but that in itself is proof of Milton's clout.
He was one of the first great comedians of the Renaissance. Of course, there has always been humour in the written word, but Molière re-invented it as a kind of welfare satire that had an unbelievable impact on France's general cultures and literary life. He was bold and perilous in his readiness to satirise symbols and centres of government, whether politically, religiously or culturally - only the fact that King Louis XIV favoured him, explained his own existence - was a sign of his desire to write plays which is still the norm in many respects today.
It is not a set of islets of performance; every new script, piece or poetry is the climax of everything that has happened before. The impact is passed from work to work, thinned, alchemistically modified and reused. The eleven Renaissance writers may seem outdated and strange to the contemporary readers - but their impact can be felt in almost everything you are nowadays.