Renaissance literature ✅

We explain what Renaissance literature is. What importance it gives to nature, and what its main characteristics are.

Renaissance literature is the type of literature that corresponds to the Renaissance period. It took place between the 14th and 15th centuries.
In Renaissance literature, we try to focus on nature as a symbol of perfection and a source of pleasure. However it is described as a domesticated and idealized nature. This will be the place for pastors to express their sorrows of love. Then and by way of summary. We expose the main characteristics and genres of Renaissance literature.

Historical context Renaissance literature

At the height of this literary current occurs the discovery of America (1492). This led to the man of that time to overvalue the science and reason above the faith. In this way, man went on to give human reason a supreme value.

In this context arises in Italy (Florence) a type of literary form. That centuries later would lead to what we now know as novels: Renaissance literature.


There were two tendencies or approaches that are evident in the Spanish Renaissance literature. On the one hand, this literature tries to express the idealization of reality and on the other it is reflected in critical realism.

Universal Vision

During this period, and as a result of the discoveries and scientific advances that occur. The man will have a anthropocentric vision. It is also during this period that the power of the pope’s figure begins to be questioned. And the church in general.

Renaissance, contemporary and medieval literature

The role of Nature

We try to focus on nature as a symbol of perfection and a source of pleasure. However it is described as a domesticated and idealized nature. This will be the place for pastors to express their sorrows of love.

The Enunciator

Enunciator, (the poetic voice) that speaks in the composition is an innovation of this type of literature.

The role of Love

Love plays a key role among the main themes of Renaissance literature. But this one possesses a melancholy tint. It treats topics about a loving poet who cries (singing). Because of the impossibility of being with the woman he loves.

The role of the beloved woman

She is the one who is devoted to poetry. This will present several features:
Clear eyes, blonde hair, white complexion

Lyric poetry

It is the privileged form of this type of literature. This expresses a new sensibility and manifests a purely loving feeling. It has as a form of expression to the sonnet.

Renaissance literature Styles

The styles that are maintained are those of the medieval period. However, new styles emerge, adding to the aforementioned resurgence. Some of the new styles are:

The verse in Decasílabos and sonnets.
Foreign issues arise and refer to universality.

Renaissance, contemporary and medieval literature

Works of Renaissance literature

Some of the outstanding works and authors or representatives of the Renaissance literature are. “The Divine Comedy” by Dante Alighieri. “Furious Orlando” by Ludovico Aryanto; “Jerusalem Liberta” by Torquato Tasso. “The Queen of the Fairies” of Edmund Spencer “The courtier” of Castiglione; “The Prince” of Machiavelli.

Contemporary literature

We explain what contemporary literature is and what its main characteristics are. Historical context, themes, authors.

What is contemporary literature?

Contemporary literature refers to the literary styles used in the period from the nineteenth century to the present. Its birth is attributed to the events of the Industrial Revolution and the French Revolution.

This period of the literature has as general characteristic the constantly finding itself in renovation. It is a period crossed by large changes at the social level. Cultural and political. Therefore, literature will reflect these 3 axes and their constant changes.

Thus, the literature wishes to expose the expressiveness of the authors. Highlighting social inequalities and the consequences of modernity and progress. The themes used by the authors of contemporary literature. They show objective realities, denounce social issues and inequalities.

The objective is to break with the concepts, models and aesthetic parameters above (Renaissance. Baroque and illustrated or neoclassical). With contemporary literature, literary expressions such as comics and manga emerge. It also influences magazines, pamphlets. Newspapers, radio, movies and television. That is to say in the nascent means of communication.

Among the featured authors are. Duarte Camilo Cela, Ignacio Aldecoa. Blas de Otero, Manuel Vasquez, Isabel Allende and Jorge Luis Borges.

Renaissance, contemporary and medieval literature

Characteristics of contemporary literature


The ideals that Embandera French literature have its bases in the thought of the Enlightenment. Thus it could be said that it was the French Revolution. Which sets a precedent and marks the course of contemporary literature.

Perception of the world

As a result of the social, political and cultural changes that go through this period. (World Wars, invasions, atomic wars, shootings, overthrow of regimes, etc.). The vision of man will be reflected as a world full of hostility.


Since it is a very large historical period and where many important facts have happened. One can distinguish two large currents.

The first current or topics that will focus on contemporary literature. They refer to the alienation of man. To the loneliness that this one feels. Anguish as a result of the social changes of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In other words, human beings go through a loss of identity. And the literature will accompany this process of search and reunion.

Towards the second half of the twentieth century, a new trend began towards the reunion of the subject. So, new trends like sociology, psychology. Music therapy, Chromotherapy, among others. They help in this search of the individual. It is in this second period that the body acquires some importance and literature, It manifests the need for a utopian or fantasy world for the human being. It is also given a place for friendship, solidarity and fraternity.

New mass genera

As mentioned above. With the advent of new technologies and the industrial boom. The expression of the average social classes arises. It appears thus the popular culture like literary expression. From there the fantastic themes, mystery and science fiction are born.

The perception of time

For contemporary literature time does not elapse chronologically, i.e. It is not written respecting the real time invariably. Thus, there may be stories beginning at the end to quickly relate the beginning. Or you can introduce others where you start in the middle of the story. Then we provide data and then count the beginning and finally the end.


Since the narrator can be multiple. also contemporary works. They are characterized by passing with great ease from one verbal time to another. This is also allowed. Thanks to the lack of linearity in the time that was mentioned in the previous point.

This way. The jumps in time (memories, visions towards the future and returns to the present of the story). They allow the use of several verbal tenses.

Renaissance, contemporary and medieval literature

Narrator type

In contemporary literature there is no single voice of the narrator who knows and knows everything. On the contrary, this allows stories in the first person where the close treatment with the reader is rescued. Reducing the gap between the two.
It makes clear that there is no single point of view or reality. But rather as many viewpoints as narrators exist, however. It is important to remark, that the artist. Poet or contemporary architect is always dissatisfied with the reality they express.

The poetry

Poetry presents another break from the previous artistic current since here. The use of the verse is lost, using the free verse. Some authors stop using traditional techniques and even dare to write in a disorderly way. This expresses the need for society to express and explore the inner world of human beings.

Limits of Reality

Contemporary works carry an imprint in which they play between the boundary between reality and fiction. In this way they work in both scenarios and fluctuate between the parallel and the opposite.

Medieval literature

We explain what medieval literature is and what its main characteristics are. The historical context, its genres, and authors.

What is medieval literature?

Medieval literature is all written during the Middle Ages, that is to say. The Western historical period between the fall of the Roman Empire of the West in the year 476. And the arrival of Columbus in America in 1492.

For a long time it was thought that the Middle Ages was a obscurantist time and practically devoid of artistic manifestations. That does not obey to the dominant religious thought. This is because the church as an institution became the protector of European knowledge. Protecting books and works of art from Barbarian invasions. But then controlling people’s access to reading and books.

However, later studies have shown that there is much more than Christian literature. Although it is what predominates in the authors of the time.

Renaissance, contemporary and medieval literature
Characteristics of Medieval literature


From a literary point of view. The literature of the Middle Ages can be divided into two stages.

Medieval stage. It covers the first texts of this stage, in which the romance and the Juglarescasic verses predominate. With a marked influence of the popular and the rural. And their religious counterpart, such as sacramental acts and theological treatises.

Prerrenacentista stage. As its name suggests, it is the late stage of the Middle Ages. Just before the Renaissance, characterized by the entrenchment of the bourgeoisie. And their new ways of conceiving society and the world.


Many of the literary works of the Middle Ages lacked a defined author, especially those of popular court. Transmitted orally from one minstrel or one bard to another. This also caters to the EEI very low literacy rates. That characterized the society of this epoch. In which the letter was reserved for the clergy.

Similarly, many works of a more daring or transgressor character. Written by the monks and priests themselves, they remained anonymous. To avoid the persecution of the Catholic Inquisition.

Didacticism and moral

Because of the strong influence on the social control of religion in the societies of the time. Literature was required to be a vehicle of moral content. Ethical and didactical of Christianity. So it was often a exemplary, controlled literature. Such is the case of the Christian bestiaries. In which animals were attributed imaginary properties. According to the moral judgement of them the religious imaginary.

However, many other works escaped this bias. Retaking Latin or pagan traditions and recreándolas more freely. The problem is that many of these works were not written and there was no good way to keep them.

The Knights-errant

Chivalrous literature makes its entry into the Middle Ages. As a form of fiction in which converged Christian values and symbols with the fantastic pagan imaginary. Often represented under monstrous and villains forms. The Epic of the Christian Knight who defeated the pagan monsters and imposed the religious truth through his sword. It was a very common narrative throughout this period.


Initially, the literature was written in Latin, language in which the mass was dictated and the religious texts were transmitted. However, towards the lower Middle Ages the texts written in national languages are predominant. That serve to begin to unify linguistically the various European populations of the time. This will be the prelude to the coming nationalism with the modern age.


Religious texts are part of the most important literature of the Middle Ages. Usually written by priests. Examples of this are the theological sum of Saint Thomas Aquinas, the Confessions of St. Augustine. and an extensive hagiográfica work. That is to say, life stories of the members of the Catholic saints.


The poetry of the Middle Ages, both lyrical and epic, both religious and popular. It clamped in the use of the verse. This is mainly due to the oral origin of many of them. From traditional songbooks or romances that were in verse in order to memorize them. This trend will remain in the literature written until later centuries.


As has been said, medieval literature often undertakes the construction of a Christian imaginary. But it does not ignore the pagan traditions that accompany it. So, the Nordic, Celtic imaginary. Latinos and even islamics have room in these works. Though often occupying a place of otherness, suspicion, when not of antagonism.

Feudal order

Most medieval works demonstrate the feudal order of the society in which they were born, for example, exalting the faithfulness of the Knights-errant to a king or a lord; Despite which many works such as Tristan and Isolde, for example, showed timid transgressions of that order through love stories. Many of them were proscribeded by immoral and censored by the church.


Who are the representatives of medieval literature? A small list of medieval authors includes the names of.

Fernando Rojas, Gonzalo de Berceo, Jaufré Rudel, Rimbaut harangue, Alfonso X “the Wise”. Giovanni Bocaccio, Don Juan Manuel, Beroul, Gottfried von Strassburg. Geoffrey Chaucer, the Archpriest of Hita. Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo, Saint Thomas Aquinas. St. Augustine, Isidore of Seville, Saint Ambrose and many others.