Literature of the Renaissance
Pick 1 of the topics below
1. During the Renaissance, notions of Ewope’s and of humankind’s centrality in the
world were challenged and partially discredited by advances in scientific theory, a
rediscovery of Greco-Roman culture, and the so-called discovery of the Americas-
2. The Renaissance reached its peak at different times in different cultures, beginning
in Italy with the visual arts and, nearly two centuries later, working its way as far as
England, where its achievements are most recognized in drama.
3. An interest in the nature of this life rather than in the life to come is of central
importance in the works of Petrarch and Erasmus-
4. The Renaissance tendency toward perfection is well illustrated by Machiavelli’s ideal
prince and Castiglione’s ideal courtier, but is also illustrated in the reworking of older
literary traditions such as in Ariosto’sOrlando Furioso-
5. French rulers and aristocrats adopted the artistic, literary, and social values of the
more sophisticated Italian city-states such as Castiglione’s Urbino-
6. Spain’s major contributions to Renaissance literature can be traced to Cervantes
and Lope de Vega.
7. Works from the English tradition, including Paradise Lost, Hamlet, and Othello,
question the values of the Renaissance.
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