Renaissance Literature Criticism

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The confusion over what constitutes the official period of the Renaissance and its role in history dates back to 1858. Samuel Johnson says, "The term 'Renaissance' was first prominently used by the French historian Jules Michelet." Two years later, Jacob Burckhardt immortalized the term in the publication of his The Civilization of the Renaissance, in which the period was viewed as the beginning of the modern age.

From that time until late in the twentieth century, historians and critics alike envisioned the Renaissance as a transition period between the Dark Ages—in which there was little or no technical innovation or cultivation of the arts—and the modern age. In fact, Renaissance critics themselves were under a similar impression about the importance of the time period. Critic Vernon Hall sums it up in his book A Short History of Literary Criticism, when speaking about the literary critics of the...

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This section contains 466 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Renaissance Literature Study Guide
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Literary Movements for Students
Renaissance Literature from Literary Movements for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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