Summary of Medieval and Renaissance Criticism

1505 Words Sep 18th, 2013 7 Pages
Summary of Medieval and Renaissance Criticism

Submitted by
R. Zothanmawia
V Semester BA
R/no: 1101BA005

MEDIEVAL CRITICISM The period between the Classical Age and the Renaissance is vaguely named the Middle Age or the Medieval Age. In England, this period spans eight centuries and historians place it from the year of composition of Beowulf in 725 AD to 1474 AD when Caxton published the first book ever printed. The only standard work that dealt with Medieval Criticism is English Literary Criticism: The Medieval Phase by J.W.H Atkins published in 1952. One major development in this age is the adoption of Christianity as the religion of the Mediterranean region. Roman Catholicism prevailed in Western Europe. Classical elements were
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He set an example in composing Divina Commedia in Italian, thus establishing spoken dialect for use in serious epic poetry. According to him, secular poetry also had hierarchy of four levels of meanings corresponding to the four levels of scriptural exegesis – the literal, the allegorical, moral and spiritual. He maintained that it was essential for a practicing critic to analyse and understand the literal sense first before he moved on to more appealing and edifying senses of higher levels of symbolic or esoteric meaning.

LITERARY CRITICISM IN THE RENAISSANCE The term ‘Renaissance’ is of Italian origin meaning ‘rebirth’ or ‘reawakening’. It stands for the historical rebirth of the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries. The movement initially started in Italy and later spread to France, Germany, England and other European countries. There are two views regarding the Renaissance movement – One view is that the Europeans believed they have discovered the greatness and superiority of the ancient Greek and Roman culture after the dark Middle Age. The other view is that the Renaissance was not an abrupt movement, but had its roots established even during the medieval times and the movement was one of gradual progression. There was a revival in the study of arts and literature, sparked by an interest in Greek and Roman literature of the Classical Age. The classics were reinterpreted by Italian men of letters. The widening of the horizon of knowledge was
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