The Traveling Museum of Literature

Presenting: Renaissance Writers

The Traveling Museum of Literature: Renaissance

The Renaissance literature had a lot of help in development from the printing press. With more people becoming literate there was more of a need for writers. There are many authors of the Renaissance, ranging from translators like George Chapman to playwrights and poets such as William Shakespeare and Edmund Spenser.


12:00-1:30 The Beginnings of the Printing Press

1:30-3:00 Translators of the Renaissance

3:00-4:30 Poets of the Renaissances

4:30-6:00 Playwrights of the Renaissances

The Printing Press

The printing press was invented during the Renaissance, mid-15th century, by Johannes Gutenberg. The printing press allowed for books to be mass produced in multiple different languages because monks and scribes didn’t have to write them by hand anymore. Due to the fact that books were being produced in vernacular, or languages that majority of the people could understand, more of the population became literate. Having a literate population lead to the demand for books, allowing the printing press to flourish.

Translators of the Renaissance

George Chapman is best known for his translations of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. His translation of the Odyssey is written in iambic pentameter, but the translation of the Iliad is written in iambic heptameter. Chapman added onto Homer’s original pieces in order to add detail, and was admired for doing so. Myles Coverdale however is best known for translating the Bible. This may be shocking because he preached against some of the main views of the Catholics like the worship of images and the traditional form of confession. Another thing that Coverdale was involved in is the early development of hymns books, or godly songs, that made it easier for the less-privileged to interpret the teachings of the Bible.

Poets of the Renaissance

One of the many famous poets of the Renaissance time is Philip Sidney. Sidney is well known for his long narrative poem, The Arcadia, he also wrote a sonnet cycle, Astrophil and Stella. He mainly wrote poems for his sister Mary’s entertainment. Much like Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser wrote poems during the Renaissance era. Spenser’s main contribution was The Faerie Queene.

Playwrights of the Renaisssance

One of the most famous playwrights of the Renaissance came about near the end. William Shakespeare wrote three different types of plays; historical, comedic, and tragic. He was one of the first people to use new words that hadn’t been used before. In his plays he also developed his characters, twisted multiple story lines, and based them on history. Although, William Shakespeare is perhaps the most well known playwright from the Renaissance Ben Jonson also wrote plays. In fact he popularized the comedy of humors and paved the way for Shakespeare's success.

Traveling Literature Museum

During this trip around the world the Traveling Literature Museum will be presenting the Renaissance era. It will include how there came to be a need for writers and many of the styles of writing that were explored along with the people who were well known for their writing. Hope to see you there!!