The Fourth Stage of Literary Renaissance Criticism
This article describes the fourth stage of Literary Renaissance Criticism and the influences of hermeneutics, Neoclassicism, and satire. If you are interested in the development of literary criticism during the Renaissance, you should read this article. It contains important information for students of art and literature. There are several key characteristics of literary Renaissance Criticism. This article aims to give you a basic understanding of these factors. It also provides you with some additional resources for further study.
The fourth stage of Literary Renaissance Criticism
"An Essay on Criticism," written by Alexander Pope, is a seminal essay in English literature. It discusses formalism, research into classics, and the notion that critics should not make writers look like fools. It also highlights the importance of understanding literature and the work as a whole, and what the work of art should be for a proper critic. Regardless of the genre, the aim of criticism is to make contemporary thought as fresh and vital as possible.
The new "universal man" embodied by Edmund Spenser and Sir Philip Sidney epitomized this new, Renaissance critical movement. These writers sought to explore beyond the strictures of the Church's teachings and began to interpret the scriptures. As their scholarship deepened, they also developed a new appreciation for the human experience. This was further reflected in the idea of human perfection in this life.
The revival of classical education in the late 1800s brought with it a new generation of scholars. As the Roman Catholic Church and cities became increasingly prosperous, religious corruption and the influence of the Church declined. In response, Renaissance writers rediscovered classical literature and incorporated it into their works. The era is still widely recognized as the "Golden Age" of literature, but its impact is a very different one from today.
Shakespeare's ambiguity has long been noted by critics. In fact, the ambiguity that the critics have noted in the play invites readers to engage in discussion. The same is true for other Renaissance writers. In addition to Shakespeare, other Renaissance writers have heeded this invitation. So, "Preface to Shakespeare" is a classic example of the fourth stage of Literary Renaissance Criticism. If we look at the text, the authors of the play were likely to have used the same techniques as Shakespeare.
Influence of hermeneutics
A study of Renaissance literary criticism must address the influence of Neoplatonism and its Neoplatonic intimations. Neoplatonism, a philosophical movement initiated by the late fifteenth century, asserts that the physical is transformed into a mental reality. Its influences include Plotinus and late classical hermetic texts. It promises to transform art into an ally of a higher truth, and Renaissance writers use it as a critical tool.
This theory was based on a tradition of philological and religious thought. The idea of a text's "hermeneutic" nature is fundamental to the study of literature. Hermeneutical arguments imply that an author's meaning should be in line with the truth and meaning of the text. It is important to remember that there are different ways to interpret a text. For example, it is possible to interpret a poem differently depending on the subject matter.
In this book, hermeneutics plays a crucial role in analyzing and evaluating literary Renaissance criticism. Its use of extraliterary materials provides insight into contemporary readers and writers' intentions, and helps illuminate the artificiality of the age. In addition to literature, hermeneutics also illuminates the role of philology and theology in Renaissance literature. The influence of hermeneutics on literary Renaissance criticism has a broader significance than one might realize.
Another influential figure in literary Renaissance criticism is Patrizi, who became a philosopher in Rome and Ferrara. Patrizi's anti-Aristotelian agenda impacted his writings on literary criticism. In his second book, he rejects imitatio as a necessary component of poetry. The alternative program, however, displays traces of Platonism. Nonetheless, his new program seems even more innovative than before.
Influence of Neoclassicism
The art of the late 17th and early 18th centuries was still widely popular among Renaissance artists. Neoclassicists, however, ignored the architecture and art of Archaic Greece and Late Antiquity. They favored the "Rococo" art of ancient Palmyra, revealing it only through engravings in Wood's The Ruins of Palmyra. This style was a response to the tumultuous history of Greek architecture and sculpture.
The philosophy of the time reflected neoclassicism's focus on reason, order, and wit. The first person narrative was extremely successful, presenting the thoughts and actions of a single character. Moral fables and parodies also became popular. Women's reading material expanded from the classics to novels. Poetry became dominated by the rhymed couplet. Romantic tragedies and comedies of manners and heroic dramas were popular with audiences.
In France, the change reflected the influence of France and England. In England, the Neoclassicists emphasized that poetry should follow nature rather than conform to a rigid theory of form. Pope himself advocated this approach in his essay on literary criticism. The Neoclassicists continued to draw from classical literature, while emphasizing the importance of originality. They sought to evoke a sense of authenticity in literature, rather than to try to make it appear more refined.
English writers also contributed to Neoclassicism. Milton's Paradise Lost, for example, reflects the political turmoil in England. Other major British critics, such as John Drydon, also known as "Glorious John," reflected the Neoclassical themes of genius triumphing over formal imperfections. Other Neoclassical authors included Locke and Newton. It's a fascinating period in British literature.
The Neoclassical movement, or the New Classicism, was a general cultural movement during the seventeenth century. The emphasis on logic and common sense, as well as properness, became prevalent in literature. It developed in response to the disorder and commotion of the Renaissance period, and spanned novels, diaries, and essays. Neoclassicism also formalized grammar and became an important influence on the Romantic movement.
Influence of Satire
Satire is a literary genre that has been a popular form throughout history. Its influence can be traced to antiquity. In the early Middle Ages, satire took the form of songs performed by vagants. The famous Carmina Burana is an anthology of such songs. The first literary satirist in Colonial America, Ebenezer Cooke, wrote "The Sot-Weed Factor" (1708). In the late Middle Ages, moral satire was prevalent in the literature, especially when a person acted in an un-christian manner. During this period, the Canterbury Tales and Etienne de Fougeres were some of the most famous examples.
While satire often evades censorship, it has been known to run into serious opposition. Satire writers often face retribution from people in power, and they may be subject to a trial or censorship. In some cases, this criticism is counterproductive, but the effect is still beneficial. Satire writers can make a person's life more enjoyable and fulfilling if they make the reader laugh instead of making them feel depressed.
Another example of the influence of satire on the literary Renaissance is Erasmus' The Praise of Folly (1511). In this satire, the goddess Folly is referred to as a fool, which is used to denigrate religious foolishness. This work irked conservative Church officials. The use of the word "folly" throughout the work has remained a puzzle for readers for over four centuries.
Throughout history, critics have recognized the influential role of satire in the literature of the Renaissance. The "Preface to Shakespeare" by Samuel Johnson in the 18th century, in particular, shows the influence of satire on literary criticism. This book, like Shakespeare's Mac Flecknoe, inspired the other Renaissance writers to write the famous novel Dunciad. The influence of satire on the literary Renaissance has continued to this day.