Tag Archives: Miranda Walters

Medieval Literature VS. Renaissance Literature

The first page from the epic, Beowulf.

An example of Renaissance Literature – From Geoffrey Whitney, A Choice of Emblemes, a gift to Traister of Francis O. Mattson.



The Renaissance began in Italy 14th century, but didnt really spread around Europe until the 17th century.


The Renaissance started in Florence, Italy.


There are many well known Renaissance authors, but some of the most known are Shakespeare and the author of “Don Quixote” Miguel de Cervantes

For more info:

About the renaissance:

Types of Renaissance literature:

About renaissance authors:


Medieaval Literature:


Medieval literature includes many broad works from AD 500 until the start of  the spread of the Renaissance.


Many works of medievals times are anonymous, like the story “Sir Gawain and the Green knight” we read in class. (The author’s pen name is “Pearl Poet” but we don’t know his real name)  Some works were thought to be written by monks like Beowulf. One of the most well known authors was Chaucer, writer of those lovely Canterbury Tales.


More info:



Both eras have both religous and secular works but there was a larger amount of religous and moral stories in both time periods.There are obvious differences like time period, but there is also a lot more. Medieval lierature was primarily written in Latin, the main language of the Roman church. The invention of the printer press led to authors writing in their own language during te Renaissance. The Renaissance was an intelluctual awakening from the Dark Ages, an illerate era, while the Medieval ages led to that almost backwards  time.


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Posted by on November 1, 2012 in Thomas More's Utopia, Uncategorized


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A Word for the Hour by John Greenleaf Whittier

Written on January 16th, 1861

The firmament breaks up. In black eclipse
Light after light goes out. One evil star,
Luridly glaring through the smoke of war,
As in the dream of the Apocalypse,
Drags others down. Let us not weakly weep
Nor rashly threaten. Give us grace to keep
Our faith and patience; wherefore should we leap
On one hand into fratricidal fight,
Or, on the other, yield eternal right,
Frame lies of laws, and good and ill confound?
What fear we? Safe on freedom’s vantage ground
Our feet are planted; let us there remain
In un-revengeful calm, no means untried
Which truth can sanction, no just claim denied,
The sad spectators of a suicide!
They break the lines of Union: shall we light
The fires of hell to weld anew the chain
On that red anvil where each blow is pain?
Draw we not even now a freer breath,
As from our shoulders falls a load of death
Loathsome as that the Tuscan’s victim bore
When keen with life to a dead horror bound?
Why take we up the accursed thing again?
Pity, forgive, but urge them back no more
Who, drunk with passion, flaunt disunion’s rag
With its vile reptile blazon. Let us press
The golden cluster on our brave old flag
In closer union, and, if numbering less,
Brighter shall shine the stars which still remain.

This poem best captures the essence of the Civil War. I chose this poem because John Greenleaf Whittier cleverly refers to America as the sky, and refers to the individual states as stars. By doing this, the reader can understand the true destructiveness of the Civil War. When the heavens are breaking apart in the beginning of the poem, it represents the sectionalism that was becoming evident during and before the Civil War period. When the stars begin to burn out one by one, this represents the states threatening to secede from the union. This poem also shows that when the war ends, the states that remain will become closer and shine brighter than ever before, even if the southern states secede.

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Posted by on November 16, 2011 in Civil War Poetry