Difference between Medieval and Renaissance literature

The medieval era and the Renaissance are two different periods in history. There are clear differences in language, style, and volume of literature during these two periods. Literature in the Middle Ages was characterized by Christianity and chivalry, while the literature of the Renaissance was strongly influenced by the development of art and science and the emergence of humanism. This is the main difference between medieval and Renaissance literature.

Medieval literature

The Middle Ages or Medieval era lasted from 5 th century to the 15th century. Therefore, the literature that belongs to this period is known as medieval literature. Nevertheless, it is important to note that the English literature, as they say, begins with the epic poem Beowulf, which was written somewhere between the 8 th and 11 th century. One of the most important features of early medieval literature is that most literary works were written in Old English, such as in the case of Beowulf. Much of the early Middle Ages literature was also anonymous.

Religion occupied an important place in medieval literature; Most of the works used Christian themes such as death and resurrection, good and evil, and heaven and earth. The code of chivalry and courtly love were also well-known themes of medieval literature. These themes were commonly used in a genre called romances or chivalric romance, which usually dealt with the adventures of a knight errant with many heroic and chivalrous qualities. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a great example of this genre. Difference between Medieval and Renaissance literature

The Pearl Poet Pearl, Patience, Purity, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight of Langland Pierce Plowman John Gower Confessio Amantis and Jeffrey Chaucer’s Works, Including The Canterbury Tales Here are some examples of medieval literature.

Renaissance Literature

The Renaissance was a cultural and artistic movement that bridged the gap between the Middle Ages and modern history. The English Renaissance dates from the late 15th and early 17th centuries. The introduction of the printing press was a major event during this period that led to the flowering of literature.

Renaissance Literature was mainly influenced by the ideas of art, politics, and religion of the Renaissance; in addition, he was also strongly influenced by Greek and Roman literature. Drama and poetry were the most popular forms of Renaissance literature.

Renaissance writers explored religious and social themes in their work; religious topics were often explored in very different ways than medieval writers. John Milton’s Paradise Lost and Christopher Marlowe Dr. Faust Here are some examples for this topic. Difference between Medieval and Renaissance literature

William Shakespeare is one of the most popular examples of Renaissance writers. His work was influenced by the Greek tragedy, historical and social problems.

Edmund Spencer, William Shakespeare, Ben Johnson, Sir Philip Sidney, Christopher Marlowe, John Donne, and George Herbert are some notable figures in Renaissance literature.

Difference between Medieval and Renaissance literature

A period of time

Medieval literature is literature that belongs to the Middle Ages. (5 th – 15 th century)

Renaissance Literature is literature from the 15th to the early 17th century.


Medieval literature was written in Old English and Middle English.

Renaissance Literature was written in early modern English.


Medieval literature focused on concepts such as religion, chivalry, and courtly love.

Renaissance Literature dealt with religion, historical and social issues.


Medieval literature focused on religious topics.

Renaissance Literature explored religion in a different way.

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