preview

Molding Shakespeare

Satisfactory Essays
Molding Shakespeare The creation of a profound poet and playwright, William Shakespeare, was the direct result of the Renaissance. In order to understand how Shakespeare came to be, there is first a need to understand exactly what the Renaissance was. The original Italian word, ‘Rinascimento’, means ‘rebirth’ (Wilberg). This refers of course to the rebirth of learning. The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spread all over Europe and was considered the division between the Middle Ages and the Modern Era (Castellan). During this movement literature was one of the many arts that took on an innovative form due to the new and awakened perspectives of man. However before the Renaissance, known as the medieval times, people were considered subject to God. Also, because people were considered subject to God, medieval literature placed a great emphasis on the blend of fantasy and reality. Though literary characters displayed human characteristics, their personalities transcended those of fictitious figures such as leaders, Saints, and even God. Even works of romance and honor had a religious overtone hidden within them. Unfortunately this limited the amount of manuscripts that were recorded because only monks could hand-copy the manuscripts of written works (Ahn). For this reason only a few manuscripts were actually available to the rich and noble leaving peasants to pass stories down from generation to generation orally. This dramatically changed in the Renaissance.
In contrast to medieval literature, new revolutions of the Renaissance, such as the printing press, immensely gapped the bridge between such primitive literature and the literature of the middle ages. Because of the printing press, literature was then allowed to become widespread throughout Europe. Also perhaps the most vivid distinction between these two types of literature is that the modern
Get Access