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  • is a broad category of active ethical philosophies that affirm the dignity and worth of all people, based on the ability to determine right and wrong by appeal to universal human qualities
  • Humanism can be thought of as a supplement for people’s religion.
  • Rejects dependence on faith, the supernatural, or divinely revealed texts
  • Based on the common characteristics of human nature
  • It supports scientific skepticism and the scientific method, rejecting authoritarianism extreme skepticism, and rendering faith an unacceptable basis for action.
  • It began in the last decades of the 14th century; it brought the study of Latin and Greek languages and also caused more people to study more of science, philosophy, art, and the poetry of classical antiquity.


  • In the renaissance, imitation meant “following predecessors” not mirroring life.
  • The writer was to translate the moral vision of the past to the present readers. They “imitated” great works.
  • They were to write works that have the same spirit of the originals, and learn from them.

The protestant reformation

  • was to reject the medieval form of christianity.
  • The reformation spilt Europe into protestant and catholic countries which often went to wars about this with each other during this period.
  • Martin Luther said that the church was corrupt and it should be reformed so that it was equal enough for the common people. He wanted it to be fairer to all people, not just the rich and the well educated.
  • He wanted the language of the bible to be translated into the language of the common people.
  • A closely related Protestant doctrine was the rejection of the authority of the Church and its priests to mediate between human beings and God.


  • Literature changed greatly and had a sense of rebirth. It was most known in the works of William Shakespeare.
  • The printing press encouraged authors to write in the vernacular language instead of the language of the “well educated’. This spread the promotion of renaissance ideas.
  • Literature was all about the social and cultural world in England.
  • The frame tale or a dialogued short story, the attraction was how people performed the story to the non-literate public. The stories were vulgar or sophistication or both.