The Renaissance and It’s Affect on William Shakespeare’s Works

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It’s very easy to see William Shakespeare as an amazing literary genius who had a perspective on life that, to simply put it, no one else has ever had. However Shakespeare was the product of the English Renaissance. The English Renaissance was a cultural and artistic movement spanning from the later 15th century until the early 17th century, it is associated with the Italian Renaissance which started in the 14th century. Like most of northern Europe, England did not get the full effect of the Renaissance until about a century later and the height of the English Renaissance is considered to be in the Elizabethan Era (1558–1603). The Renaissance was how all of Europe moved away from the Middle Ages and into the new world. The Renaissance was …show more content…
(Leithart, 2004). In ancient Greek plays there were always 5 episodes and in every Shakespearean play there are always 5 Acts. Shakespeare’s knowledge of Greek and Roman history and mythology were useful in his plays, as they gave them more depth and created an air of knowledge.

Due to the upheaval of social hierarchy, Shakespeare was able to explore humanity within his characters, allowing them to make mistakes and be different. “The Taming of the Shrew is a text deeply invested in the idea of education--scenes of pedagogy fill the play, from Katherine's attack on the music teacher to Bianca and Lucentio's love lessons to Petruchio's taming of Katherine.” (Hutcheon, 2011). The Taming of the Shrew was one of Shakespeare’s most controversial plays and represents Shakespeare’s beginning use of shrew characters, after Katherine came: Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing; Rosalind in As You Like It and Viola in Twelfth Night. Shakespeare’s ability to explore this trait within these characters was brought about by the freedom that came with the Renaissance. Shakespeare’s play Hamlet is not only his longest play, but one of his most influential tragedies and one of his most popular during his lifetime. “Hamlet epitomizes a characteristic theme of early Renaissance humanism, the dignity of man, when he celebrates the excellence of

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