Renaissance Meaning & Definition


Renaissance Meaning & Definition

Renaissance Renaissance Meaning & Definition

Renaissance Meaning & Definition

The term ‘Renaissance’ is a French word that means ‘rebirth’, ‘revival’ or ‘reawakening’. Literary, it refers to the revival or reawakening of the classical Greek (Hellenic) and partially Latin literature, arts and culture along with the ancient Greek outlooks (philosophy) towards life in the late fifteenth century after a long sleep in the Middle Ages. The main tenets or features of the classical Greek literature that revived and fell their influences on the writers, thinkers and artists of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries were emphases on intellectual freedom (freedom of thought), thirst for more knowledge, craving for power and wealth, love of beauty, love of music, love of comfort and luxury and above all emphasis on the superiority of man (humanism). Virtually, Renaissance was a revolt or reaction against absolute ecclesiastical supremacy over human affairs. In other words, to say, Renaissance was a blow on the head of the Medieval stagnant and rigid dogmas of life that revolved around the narrower ecclesiastical tradition that checked the intellectual freedom of man.          

There is a marked historical background that caused the Renaissance (the revival of Classical Greek Literature and Learning) and that is the conquest of Constantinople, the capital of the Roman Empire by the Turks in 1453. The ancient city of Constantinople was the main center of studying ancient Greek literature where the scholars of the world gathered and pursued their studies. But the study of the literature was restricted to the class of a few scholars only. It did not get dissemination to the outside lands. But fortunately, when the Turks made a conquest over Constantinople, the scholars of the city left the land with their secret manuscripts and took shelter in other lands, especially in Italy. Thence Greek Literature became open to all and it got dissemination to other European countries.  Especially it was Italy that grasped the main tenets and principles of ancient Greek arts and literature first and then it spread to France and Spain. Later on, its spirit reached England via France in the 16th century. The Elizabethan thinkers and writers were influenced much by the tenets of the Renaissance which got revealed exhaustively in all their writings. 0 0 0.


N. B. The article originally belongs to the book entitled ‘ The Laws of Literature by Menonim Menonimus

Books on Literary Criticism by M. Menonimus:

  1. World Short Story Criticism
  2. World Poetry Criticism
  3. World Drama Criticism
  4. World Novel Criticism
  5. World Essay Criticism
  6. Indian English Poetry Criticism
  7. Indian English Poets and Poetry Chief Features
  8. Emily Dickinson’s Poetry-A Thematic Study
  9. Walt Whitman’s Poetry-A Thematic Study
  10. Critical Essays on English Poetry
  11. Tawfiq al-Hakim’s Novel: Return of the Spirit-An Analytical Study
  12. Tawfiq al-Hakim’s Novel: ‘Yawmiyyat Naib Fil Arayaf’-An Analytical Study
  13. Analytical Studies of Some Arabic Short Stories
  14. A Brief History of Arabic Literature: Pre-Islamic Period (500 AD-622 AD)
  15. A Brief History of Arabic Literature: Early Islamic Period (622 AD-661 AD) …

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I am Menonim Menonimus, a Philosopher & Writer.


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