Periods of English Literature

1515 WordsOct 8, 19997 Pages
Question: Show how the voices of writers through many centuries of literature have depicted a variety of mentalities and lifestyles. . Centuries could pass, and not many changes could be easily perceived by the common man, as those changes came gradually. Yet those changes can be readily discerned when looking at England as a whole, not looking at parts of history individually. The alterations of life, when looked at from a certain literary viewpoint, can be explained when one looks at the different periods in English literature, seeing the depictions of a certain era through writings that unintentionally convey great varieties in the mentality and lifestyles of the people who lived during that time. From war and violence to the…show more content…
The Renaissance period is host to immortalized words from many a great poet, such as Shakespeare’s “To be or not to be” sonnet, and many others. The men of the period wrote about their lives in their poetry, with its many hues of passion, emotion, tragedy and triumph. The main characteristic of the Renaissance period is the Renaissance humanism, a claim of the dignity of man against hatred. Shakespeare had an image of man as he was before the Fall, and as he is still capable of being. Shakespeare also placed man between the angels and the beasts in the chain of Being that was an important concept in the Medieval mentality. Also important was society’s creation of the Renaissance man. The Renaissance man was refined, elegant, dressed splendidly, danced well, wrote poetry, and was an ornament at court, to name but a few. This idea of the perfect man contrasted greatly to the heroic ideal popular in the Anglo-Saxon period. Though the Renaissance man still had to excel in all areas of human endeavour, even soldiering and commandeering, importance was not placed as highly on these factors of the Renaissance man. Examples of such a man can be found in Sir Philip Sidney, John Donne and Sir Walter Raleigh. A few of the most celebrated writers of all times come from this period, such as Kit Marlowe and William Shakespeare. The latter

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