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Encyclopedia > French Renaissance literature

French and
Francophone Literature

French literature
By Category
French language
French literature is, generally speaking, literature written in the French language, particularly by citizens of France; it may also refer to literature written by people living in France who speak other traditional non-French languages. ... French (français, langue française) is one of the most important Romance languages, outnumbered in speakers only by Spanish and Portuguese. ...

French literary history

Medieval
16th Century - 17th Century
18th Century - 19th Century
20th Century - Contemporary Medieval French literature is, for the purpose of this article, literature written in Oïl languages (including Old French and early Middle French) during the period from the eleventh century to the end of the fifteenth century. ... Louis XIV King of France and Navarre By Hyacinthe Rigaud (1701) French literature of the 17th century spans the reigns of Henry IV of France, the Regency of Marie de Medici, Louis XIII of France, the Regency of Anne of Austria (and the civil war called the Fronde) and the... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... French literature of the twentieth century is, for the purpose of this article, literature written in French from (roughly) 1895 to 1990. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ...

Francophone literature

Francophone literature
Literature of Quebec
Postcolonial literature
Literature of Haiti
Francophone literature is literature written in the French language. ... This is an article about Literature in Quebec, a province of Canada. ... Postcolonial literature is a branch of literature concerned with the political and cultural independence of peoples formerly subjugated in colonial empires. ... Bold text Religion of Haiti In Haiti there are four religions: Catholic , Protestant, Islamic , and Voodoo. ...

French language authors

Chronological list Chronological list of French language authors (regardless of nationality), by date of birth. ...

French Writers

Writers - Novelists
Playwrights - Poets
Essayists
Short Story Writers

Forms

Novel - Poetry - Plays
French poetry is a category of French literature. ...

Genres

Science Fiction - Comics
Essay - Detective Fiction
French science fiction is a substantial genre within French literature. ... Tintin, one of the most famous Belgian comics Franco-Belgian comics are comics or comic books written in Belgium and France. ... An essay is a short work that treats a topic from an authors personal point of view, often taking into account subjective experiences and personal reflections upon them. ...

Movements

Naturalism - Symbolism
Surrealism - Existentialism
Nouveau Roman
Theater of the Absurd For other meanings see Naturalism. ... Surrealism is a cultural, artistic, and intellectual movement oriented toward the liberation of the mind by emphasizing the critical and imaginative faculties of the unconscious mind and the attainment of a state different from, more than, and ultimately truer than everyday reality: the sur-real, i. ... ... Nouveau roman refers to certain 1950s French novels that diverged from classical literary genres. ... The Theatre of the Absurd is a phrase used in reference to particular plays written by a number of primarily European playwrights in the late 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, as well as to the style of theatre which has evolved from their work. ...

Criticism & Awards

Literary theory - Critics
Literary Prizes Literary theory is the theory (or the philosophy) of the interpretation of literature and literary criticism. ...

Most visited

Molière - Racine - Balzac
Stendhal - Flaubert
Emile Zola - Marcel Proust
Samuel Beckett - Albert Camus
Molière, engraved frontispiece to his Works Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, better known as Molière (January 15, 1622 – February 17, 1673), was a French theatre writer, director and actor, one of the masters of comic satire. ... Jean Racine (December 22, 1639 – April 21, 1699) was a French dramatist, one of the big three of 17th century France (along with Molière and Corneille). ... Honoré de Balzac Honoré de Balzac (May 20, 1799 – August 18, 1850) was a French novelist. ... Marie-Henri Beyle (January 23, 1783 – March 23, 1842), better known by his penname Stendhal, was a 19th century French writer. ... Gustave Flaubert Gustave Flaubert (December 12, 1821 – May 8, 1880) was a French novelist who is counted among the greatest Western novelists. ... mile Zola (April 2, 1840 - September 29, 1902) was an influential French novelist, the most important example of the literary school of naturalism, and a major figure in the political liberalization of France. ... Marcel-Valentin-Louis-Eugène-Georges Proust (July 10, 1871 – November 18, 1922) was a French intellectual, novelist, essayist and critic, best known as the author of In Search of Lost Time (in French À la recherche du temps perdu, also translated previously as Remembrance of Things Past), a monumental work... Samuel Barclay Beckett (April 13, 1906 – December 22, 1989) was an Irish playwright, novelist and poet. ... Albert Camus (November 7, 1913 – January 4, 1960) was a French author and philosopher and one of the principal luminaries (with Jean-Paul Sartre) of existentialism. ...

France Portal
Literature Portal

French Renaissance literature is, for the purpose of this article, literature written in French (Middle French) from the French invasion of Italy in 1494 to 1600, or roughly the period from the reign of Charles VIII of France to the ascension of Henri IV of France to the throne. The reigns of François I (from 1515 to 1547) and his son Henri II (from 1547 to 1559) are generally considered the apex of the French Renaissance. After Henri II's unfortunate death in a joust, the country was ruled by his widow Catherine de Medici and her sons François II, Charles IX and Henri III, and although the Renaissance continued to flourish, the French Wars of Religion between huguenots and catholics ravished the country. Middle French (le moyen français) is a historical division of the French language which covers the period from (roughly) 1340 to 1610. ... Events January 25 - Alfonso II becomes King of Naples. ... // Events January January 1 - Scotland adopts January 1st as being New Years Day February February 17 - Giordano Bruno burned at the stake for heresy in Rome July July 2 - Battle of Nieuwpoort: Dutch forces under Maurice of Nassau defeat Spanish forces under Archduke Albert in a battle on the... Charles VIII the Affable (French: Charles VIII lAffable) (June 30, 1470 – April 7, 1498) was King of France from 1483 to his death. ... By Frans Pourbus the younger. ... Francis I (French: François Ier) (September 12, 1494 – July 31, 1547), called the Father and Restorer of Letters (French: le Père et Restaurateur des Lettres), was crowned King of France in 1515 in the cathedral at Reims and reigned until 1547. ... Henry II (French: Henri II) (March 31, 1519 – July 10, 1559), a member of the Valois Dynasty, was King of France from July 31, 1547 until his death. ... Catherine de Medici (April 13, 1519–January 5, 1589), born in Italy as Caterina Maria Romola di Lorenzo de Medici, and later queen of France under the French name Catherine de M dicis, was the wife of King Henry II of France, of the Valois branch of the kings of... Francis II (French: François II) (January 19, 1544 – December 5, 1560) was a King of France (1559 – 1560). ... Charles IX (June 27, 1550 – May 30, 1574) was born Charles-Maximilien, the son of King Henri II of France and Catherine de Medici. ... Henry III (French: Henri III; Polish: Henryk III Walezy; September 19, 1551 – August 2, 1589) was King of Poland (1573-1574) and subsequently King of France (1574-1589). ... The French Wars of Religion were a series of conflicts fought between Catholics and Huguenots (Protestants) from the middle of the sixteenth century to the Edict of Nantes in 1598, including civil infighting as well as military operations. ... In the 16th and 17th centuries, the name of Huguenots came to apply to members of the Protestant Reformed Church of France. ...


For more information on historical developments in this period see: Renaissance, History of France and Valois Dynasty. By region Italian Renaissance Spanish Renaissance Northern Renaissance French Renaissance German Renaissance English Renaissance The Renaissance, also known as Il Rinascimento (in Italian), was an influential cultural movement which brought about a period of scientific revolution and artistic transformation, at the dawn of modern European history. ... The History of France has been divided into a series of separate historical articles navigable through the template to the right. ... The Valois Dynasty succeeded the Capetian Dynasty as rulers of France from 1328-1589. ...


For information on French art of the period, see French Renaissance. By region Italian Renaissance Spanish Renaissance Northern Renaissance French Renaissance German Renaissance English Renaissance The French Renaissance is roughly the period from Charles VIII of France through Henri IV of France and is said to begin with the French invasion of Italy in 1494. ...

Contents


Introduction

The sixteenth century in France was a remarkable period of literary creation (the language of this period is called Middle French). The use of the printing press (aiding the diffusion of works by ancient Latin and Greek authors), the development of humanism and Neo-Platonism, and the discovery (through the wars in Italy and through Henri II’s marriage with Catherine de Medici) of the cultivated refinement of the Italian courts (Baldassare Castiglione’s book ‘’the Courtier’’ was also particularly important in this respect) would profoundly modify the French literary landscape and the mental outlook (or “mentalité”) of the period. There is a slow evolution from the rude warrior class to a cultivated noble class (giving rise to the idea of the “honnête homme” in the seventeenth century). In all genres, there is a great interest in love (both physical and platonic) and in psychological and moral analysis. Middle French (le moyen français) is a historical division of the French language which covers the period from (roughly) 1340 to 1610. ... The printing press is a mechanical device for printing many copies of a text on rectangular sheets of paper. ... ... Neoplatonism (also Neo-Platonism) is an ancient school of philosophy beginning in the 3rd century A.D. It was based on the teachings of Plato and Platonists; but it interpreted Plato in many new ways, such that Neoplatonism was quite different from what Plato taught, though not many Neoplatonists would... Baldassare Castiglione, count of Novellata (December 6, 1478 – February 2, 1529), was a diplomat and one of the most important Renaissance authors. ...


This period saw: a proliferation of pamphlets, tracts, satires and memoirs; the success of short-story collections (“nouvelles”) as well as collections of oral tales and anecdotes (“propos and devis”); a public fascination with tragic tales from Italy (most notably those of Bandello); a considerable increase in the translating and publishing of contemporary European authors (especially Italians and Spaniards) compared to authors from the Middle Ages and classical antiquity; a important increase in the number of religious works sold (devotional books would beat out the “belles-lettres” as the most sold genre in France at the beginning of the seventeenth century); and finally, the publication of important works of moral and philosophical reflection. Matteo Bandello (1480—1562) was an Italian novelist. ...


The history of literature of the Renaissance is not monolithic: the royal court, the universities, the general public, the "noblesse de robe", the provincial noble, and the humanist all encountered different influences and developed different tastes. Humanist theater would come slowly to the general public; the old warrior class discovered court etiquette and polished manners only over time; and the extravagance of the Italian-inspired court was frequently criticized by detractors. Literacy itself is an important issue in the dissemination of the texts of the Renaissance: the culture of the 16th century remains profoundly oral, and the short story, the chivalric novel and Rabelais's works make this orality a central part of their style. Finally, the Renaissance book was a physical and economic object of great scarcity and -- depending on its size and illustrations -- of great prestige. A library such as Montaigne's was a rare occurrence for people other than lawyers and members of parliament who had had an elite education in the universities; for the public, the broadsheet or penny press (with woodcut illustrations) sold door to door by colporters would have been their only access to the written word. As a literary genre, romance refers to a style of heroic prose and verse narrative current in Europe from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. ... François Rabelais (ca. ...


Poetry

Poetry in the first years of the sixteenth century is characterised by the elaborate sonorous and graphic experimentation and skillful word games of a number of Northern poets (such as Jean Lemaire de Belges and Jean Molinet), generally called “les Grands Rhétoriqueurs” who continued to develop poetic techniques from the previous century. Soon however, the impact of Petrarch (the sonnet cycle addressed to an idealised lover, the use of amorous pardoxes), Italian poets in the French court (like Luigi Alamanni), Italian Neo-platonism and humanism, and the rediscovery of certain Greek poets (such as Pindar and Anacreon) would profoundly modify the French tradition. In this respect, the French poets Clément Marot and Melin de Saint-Gelais are transitional figures: they are credited with some of the first sonnets in French, but their poems continue to employ many of the traditional forms. Jean Lemaire de Belges (ca 1473 – ca 1525) was a Walloon poet and historian who lived primarily in France. ... Jean Molinet (1435—1507) was a French poet and chronicler. ... The Grands Rhétoriqueurs or simply the Rhétoriqueurs is the name given to a group of poets from 1460 to 1520 (or from François Villon to Clément Marot) working in Northern France, Flanders and the Duchy of Burgundy whose poetic production was dominated by (1) an extremely... From the c. ... The sonnet cycle is a series of sonnets usually on a given theme, dedicated to a particular individual, or both. ... Luigi Alamanni (sometimes spelt Alemanni) (1495-1556), Italian poet and statesman, was born in Florence. ... Neoplatonism (also Neo-Platonism) is an ancient school of philosophy beginning in the 3rd century A.D. It was based on the teachings of Plato and Platonists; but it interpreted Plato in many new ways, such that Neoplatonism was quite different from what Plato taught, though not many Neoplatonists would... ... Pindar (or Pindarus) (522 BC – 443 BC), objectively the greatest lyric poet of ancient Greece, was born at Cynoscephalae, a village in Thebes. ... Anacreon (born ca. ... Clément Marot (1496-1544), was a French poet of the Renaissance period. ... Melin de Saint-Gelais (November 3, 1487 - 1558) was a French poet. ... Francesco Petrarca or Petrarch, one of the best-known of the early Italian sonnet writers The term sonnet is derived from the Provençal word sonet and the Italian word sonetto, both meaning little song. ...


The new direction of poetry is fully apparent in the work of the humanist Jacques Peletier du Mans. In 1541, he published the first French translation of Horace's "Ars poetica" and in 1547 he published a collection poems "Œuvres poétiques", which included translations from the first two cantos of Homer's Odyssey and the first book of Virgil's Georgics, twelve Petrarchian sonnets, three Horacian odes and a Martial-like epigram; this poetry collection also included the first published poems of Joachim Du Bellay and Pierre de Ronsard. Jacques Peletier du Mans (1517 Le Mans – 1582 Paris) was a humanist, poet and mathematician of the French Renaissance. ... Horace Quintus Horatius Flaccus, (December 8, 65 BC - November 27, 8 BC), known in the English-speaking world as Horace, was the leading lyric poet in Latin, the son of a freedman, but himself born free. ... Bust of Homer in the British Museum For other uses, see Homer (disambiguation). ... Odysseus and Nausicaä - by Charles Gleyre The Odyssey (Greek Οδύσσεια) is the second of the two great Greek epic poems ascribed to Homer, the first of which is the Iliad. ... A sculpture of Virgil, probably from the 1st century AD. Publius Vergilius Maro (October 15, 70 BC–19 BC), known in English as Virgil or Vergil, is a Latin poet, the author of the Eclogues, the Georgics and the Aeneid, the last being an epic poem of twelve books that... The Georgics, written in 29 BC, is the second major work by the Latin poet Virgil. ... From the c. ... Francesco Petrarca or Petrarch, one of the best-known of the early Italian sonnet writers The term sonnet is derived from the Provençal word sonet and the Italian word sonetto, both meaning little song. ... Horace Quintus Horatius Flaccus, (December 8, 65 BC - November 27, 8 BC), known in the English-speaking world as Horace, was the leading lyric poet in Latin, the son of a freedman, but himself born free. ... Ode is a form of stately and elaborate lyrical verse. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... An epigram is a short poem with a clever twist at the end or a concise and witty statement. ... Joachim du Bellay (c. ... Pierre de Ronsard, commonly referred to as Ronsard (September 11, 1524 – December, 1585), was a French poet and prince of poets (as his own generation in France called him). ...


Around Ronsard, Du Bellay and Jean Antoine de Baïf there formed a group of radical young noble poets of the court (generally known today as La Pléiade, although use of this term is debated). The character of their literary program was given in Du Bellay's manifesto, the "Defense and Illustration of the French Language" (1549) which maintained that French (like the Tuscan of Petrarch and Dante) was a worthy language for literary expression and which promulgated a program of linguistic and literary production (including the imitation of Latin and Greek genres) and purification. For some of the members of the Pléiade, the act of the poety itself was seen as a form of divine inspiration (see Pontus de Tyard for example), a possession by the muses akin to romantic passion, prophetic fervor or alcoholic delirium. Jean Antoine de Baïf (1532 - 1589) was a French poet and member of the Pléiade. ... The Pléiade was a group of 16th-century French poets whose principal members were Pierre de Ronsard, Joachim du Bellay and Jean-Antoine de Baïf. ... From the c. ... Dante redirects here. ... Pontus de Tyard (c. ... In Greek mythology, the Muses (Greek Μουσαι, Mousai) are nine archaic goddesses who embody the right evocation of myth, inspired through remembered and improvised song and traditional music and dances. ...


The forms that dominate the poetic production of the period are the Petrarchian sonnet cycle (developed around an amorous encounter or an idealized woman) and the Horace/Anacreon ode (especially of the "carpe diem" - life is short, seize the day - variety). Ronsard also tried early on to adapt the Pindaric ode into French. Throughout the period, the use of mythology is frequent, but so too is a depiction of the natural world (woods, rivers). Other genres include the paradoxical encomium (such as Remy Belleau's poem prasing the oyster), the “blason” of the female body (a poetic desciption of a body part), and propagandistic verse. From the c. ... The sonnet cycle is a series of sonnets usually on a given theme, dedicated to a particular individual, or both. ... Horace Quintus Horatius Flaccus, (December 8, 65 BC - November 27, 8 BC), known in the English-speaking world as Horace, was the leading lyric poet in Latin, the son of a freedman, but himself born free. ... Anacreon (born ca. ... Ode is a form of stately and elaborate lyrical verse. ... This article is about the Latin phrase. ... Pindar (or Pindarus) (522 BC – 443 BC), objectively the greatest lyric poet of ancient Greece, was born at Cynoscephalae, a village in Thebes. ... ... Encomium: A Tribute to Led Zeppelin is a tribute album by various artists dedicated to Led Zeppelin, released by Atlantic Records on March 14, 1995. ... Remy (or Rémi) Belleau (1528 Nogent-le-Rotrou - 1577 Paris), was a poet of the French Renaissance. ... Blason, (French for splendor) in literature and especially in poetry, is a way of praising a woman by singling out different parts of her body and finding appropriate metaphors to compare them with. ...


Du Bellay's greatest poems were written during his long stay in Rome; his discovery of the ruined city, dismay at the corruption of the Papal court and loneliness gave rise to a sonnet cycle of remarkable sadness and severity. City motto: Senatus Populusque Romanus – SPQR (The Senate and the People of Rome) Founded 21 April 753 BC mythical, 1st millennium BC Region Latium Mayor Walter Veltroni (Left-Wing Democrats) Area  - City Proper  1290 km² Population  - City (2004)  - Metropolitan  - Density (city proper) 2,823,807 almost 4,000,000 1...


Although Ronsard attempted a long epic poem of the origins of the French monarchy entitled “La Franciade” (modeled on Virgil and Homer), this experiment was largely judged a failure, and he remains most remembered today for his various collections of Amours (or love poems), "Odes' and Hymnes. In mathematics, see epic morphism. ... A sculpture of Virgil, probably from the 1st century AD. Publius Vergilius Maro (October 15, 70 BC–19 BC), known in English as Virgil or Vergil, is a Latin poet, the author of the Eclogues, the Georgics and the Aeneid, the last being an epic poem of twelve books that... Bust of Homer in the British Museum For other uses, see Homer (disambiguation). ...


Jacques Peletier du Mans's later encyclopedic collection "L'Amour des amours", consisting of a sonnet cycle and a series of poems describing meteors, planets and the heavens, would influence the poets Jean Antoine de Baïf and Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas (whose Semaine is a baroque description of the creation of the world). The sonnet cycle is a series of sonnets usually on a given theme, dedicated to a particular individual, or both. ... Jean Antoine de Baïf (1532 - 1589) was a French poet and member of the Pléiade. ... Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas (1544–1590) was a French poet. ...


Several poets of the period -- Jean Antoine de Baïf (who founded an "Académie de Poésie et Musique" in 1570), Blaise de Vigenère and others -- attempted to adapt into French the Latin, Greek or Hebrew poetic meters; these experiments were called "vers mesurés" and "prose mesuré". Blaise de Vigenère (April 5, 1523 - 1596) was a French diplomat and cryptographer. ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in the region around Rome called Latium. ... Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afro-Asiatic language family spoken by more than 6 million people, mainly in Israel, the West Bank, the United States and by Jewish communities around the world. ... In literature, meter or metre (sometimes known as prosody) is a term used in the scansion (analysis into metrical patterns) of poetry, usually indicated by the kind of feet and the number of them. ...


Although the royal court was the center of much of the century's poetry, Lyons – the second largest city in France in the Renaissance – also had its poets and humanists, most notably Maurice Scève, Louise Labé, Olivier de Magny and Pontus de Tyard. Scève's Délie, objet de plus haulte vertu - composed of 449 ten syllable ten line poems (dizains) and published with numerous engraved emblems - is exemplary in its use of amorous paradoxes and (often obscur) allegory to describe the suffering of a lover. Lyons), see Lyons (disambiguation). ... Maurice Scève (c. ... Louise Labé. Engraving by Pierre Woeiriot, 1555 Louise Charlin Perrin Labé, (c. ... Pontus de Tyard (c. ... An emblem consists of a pictorial image, abstract or representational, that epitomizes a concept - often a concept of a moral truth or an allegory. ... An allegory (from Greek αλλος, allos, other, and αγορευειν, agoreuein, to speak in public) is a figurative mode of representation conveying a meaning other than and in addition to the literal. ...


Poetry at the end of the century was profoundly marked by the civil wars: pessimism, dourness and a call for retreat from the world predominate (as in Jean de Sponde). However, the horrors of the war were also to inspire one protestant poet, Agrippa d'Aubigné, to write a brillant poem on the conflict:Les Tragiques. The French Wars of Religion were a series of conflicts fought between Catholics and Huguenots (Protestants) from the middle of the sixteenth century to the Edict of Nantes in 1598, including civil infighting as well as military operations. ... Agrippa dAubigné Théodore-Agrippa dAubigné (February 8, 1552 – April 29, 1630) was a French poet, soldier, propagandist and chronicler. ...


Principle French poetry collections published in the 16th century:

Clément Marot (1496-1544), was a French poet of the Renaissance period. ... Clément Marot (1496-1544), was a French poet of the Renaissance period. ... Maurice Scève (c. ... Jacques Peletier du Mans (1517 Le Mans – 1582 Paris) was a humanist, poet and mathematician of the French Renaissance. ... Melin de Saint-Gelais (November 3, 1487 - 1558) was a French poet. ... Joachim du Bellay (c. ... Pierre de Ronsard, commonly referred to as Ronsard (September 11, 1524 – December, 1585), was a French poet and prince of poets (as his own generation in France called him). ... Pontus de Tyard (c. ... Jean Antoine de Baïf (1532 - 1589) was a French poet and member of the Pléiade. ... Pierre de Ronsard, commonly referred to as Ronsard (September 11, 1524 – December, 1585), was a French poet and prince of poets (as his own generation in France called him). ... Pierre de Ronsard, commonly referred to as Ronsard (September 11, 1524 – December, 1585), was a French poet and prince of poets (as his own generation in France called him). ... Jacques Peletier du Mans (1517 Le Mans – 1582 Paris) was a humanist, poet and mathematician of the French Renaissance. ... Louise Labé. Engraving by Pierre Woeiriot, 1555 Louise Charlin Perrin Labé, (c. ... Pontus de Tyard (c. ... Jean Antoine de Baïf (1532 - 1589) was a French poet and member of the Pléiade. ... Remy (or Rémi) Belleau (1528 Nogent-le-Rotrou - 1577 Paris), was a poet of the French Renaissance. ... Joachim du Bellay (c. ... Joachim du Bellay (c. ... Joachim du Bellay (c. ... Remy (or Rémi) Belleau (1528 Nogent-le-Rotrou - 1577 Paris), was a poet of the French Renaissance. ... Étienne de La Boétie (Sarlat, November 1st, 1530 - Germignan, August 18, 1563) was a French judge and writer, friend of Montaigne, author of the Discourse of Voluntary Servitude (Discours de la servitude volontaire). ... Pierre de Ronsard, commonly referred to as Ronsard (September 11, 1524 – December, 1585), was a French poet and prince of poets (as his own generation in France called him). ... Philippe Desportes (1546 - October 5, 1606), French poet, was born at Chartres. ... Etienne Jodelle, seigneur de Limodin (1532-1573), French dramatist and poet, was born in Paris of a noble family. ... Agrippa dAubigné Théodore-Agrippa dAubigné (February 8, 1552 – April 29, 1630) was a French poet, soldier, propagandist and chronicler. ... Remy (or Rémi) Belleau (1528 Nogent-le-Rotrou - 1577 Paris), was a poet of the French Renaissance. ... Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas (1544–1590) was a French poet. ... Étienne de La Boétie (Sarlat, November 1st, 1530 - Germignan, August 18, 1563) was a French judge and writer, friend of Montaigne, author of the Discourse of Voluntary Servitude (Discours de la servitude volontaire). ... Jacques Peletier du Mans (1517 Le Mans – 1582 Paris) was a humanist, poet and mathematician of the French Renaissance. ... Jean Antoine de Baïf (1532 - 1589) was a French poet and member of the Pléiade. ...

Long prose fiction

In the first half of the century, the novel in France was still dominated by the chivalric novels of the Middle Ages (in their prose versions) such as: Les Quatre Fils Aymon (or Renaud de Montauban), Fierabras, Ogier le Danois, Perceforest and Galien le Réthoré. From 1540 on however, the genre was dominated by foreign productions, most notably the Hispano-portuguese multi-volume adventure novels Amadis de Gaule, Palmerin d'Olive, Primaléon de Grèce and others like them. The first of these, Amadis of Gaul -- in its celebrated French translation/adaptation by Nicolas de Herberay des Essarts -- became the de facto code of conduct of the French court from François I through Henri IV and was emulated in jousts and in manners. Of similar tone and content (albeit in verse), the Italian epic poems Roland amoureux (Orlando Innamorato) by Matteo Maria Boiardo and Roland furieux (Orlando furioso) by Ludovico Ariosto (and, at the end of the century, Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered) were also enormous successes (French translations of these works were often in prose). Finally, the Italian Luigi Pulci's Morgant le géant, a comic version of the chivalric novel, was an important model for Rabelais's giants. Renaud de Montauban, also known as Rinaldo di Montalbano, was a fictional hero who was introduced to literature in a twelfth century Old French chanson de geste. ... H.P. Pedersen-Dans statue of Holger Danske at Kronborg castle, Denmark Ogier the Dane (Holger Danske) is a fictional Danish hero who first appears in the Old French chanson de geste. ... The prose romance of Perceforest with lyrical interludes of poetry, in six books, appears to have been composed in French in the Low Countries between 1330 and 1344, forming a late addition to the cycle of narratives with loose connections both to the Arthurian cycle and to the feats of... Amadis of Gaul is a work of fiction on the subject of Portugal and it was probably written in the early 14th Century. ... Nicolas de Herberay des Essarts (d. ... Orlando Innamorato is an epic poem written by the Italian Renaissance author Matteo Maria Boiardo. ... Matteo Maria Boiardo (c. ... Ruggiero Rescuing Angelica by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres Orlando Furioso is an epic poem written by Ludovico Ariosto in 1516. ... Ludovico Ariosto (September 8, 1474 – July 6, 1533) was an Italian poet, author of the epic poem Orlando furioso (1516), Orlando Enraged. He was born at Reggio, in Emilia. ... Torquato Tasso (March 11, 1544 - April 25, 1595) was an Italian poet of the 16th century, best known for his poem La Gerusalemme liberata (Jerusalem Delivered; 1575), in which he describes the imaginary combats between Christians and Muslims at the end of the First Crusade, during the siege of Jerusalem. ... Jerusalem Delivered (La Gerusalemme liberata) (1580) is a baroque epic poem by Torquato Tasso which tells the (largely fictionalized) story of the First Crusade in which Christians knights, lead by Godfrey of Bouillon, battle Muslims in order to raise the siege of Jerusalem. ... Luigi Pulci (15 August 1432 - 1484) was an Italian poet most famous for his Morgante, an epic story of a giant who is converted to Christianity and follows Orlando, all written in a mock-heroic tone. ...


The most notable French novels of the first half of the century are François Rabelais’s masterpieces Pantagruel, Gargantua and their sequels. Rabelais’s works blend both humanism (Erasmus, Thomas More) and medieval farce (giants, heroic battles, scatological humor) in a manner that is grotesquely extravagant (the language and humor were often viewed as coarse by later centuries), but along with the buffoonery there is a keen satire of religious hypocrisy, political injustice and human doubt. François Rabelais (ca. ... Gargantua and Pantagruel is a connected series of five books written in the 16th century by François Rabelais. ... Gargantua and Pantagruel is a connected series of five books written in the 16th century by François Rabelais. ... Desiderius Erasmus in 1523 Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus (also Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam) (October 27, probably 1466 – July 12, 1536) was a Dutch humanist and theologian. ... Portrait of Sir Thomas More, by Hans Holbein the Younger (1527). ...


Alongside the chivalric, French literary tastes of the period were drawn to the amorous and pathetic, especially as depicted in the novels of Spaniards Diego de San Pedro and Juan de Flores, themselves inspired by Boccaccio's Lady Fiammeta and its psychologically insightful portrayal of a woman spurned. This sentimental vein would find admirable expression in parts of Hélisenne de Crenne’s Les Angoisses douloureuses qui procèdent d’amours which blends sentimental and chivalric elements, humanist scholarship, orality and eloquence. Giovanni Boccaccio (June 16, 1313 - December 21, 1375) was a Florentine author and poet, the greatest of Petrarchs disciples, an important Renaissance humanist in his own right and author of a number of notable works including On Famous Women, the Decameron and his poems in the vernacular. ... Hélisenne de Crenne was the pseudonym of Marguerite Briet (c. ...


The foreign adventure novel would start to face competition from domestic French production in the second half of the century in the long works of authors Béroalde de Verville and Nicolas de Montreux. These authors (largely unread today) -- like the authors of the later volumes of the Amadis cycle -- abandoned many of the traditional chivalric modes, replacing them with techniques and incidents borrowed from two new sources of inspiration: the ancient Greek novel (Heliodorus, Longus and Achilles Tatius) and the mixed-form (prose and verse) pastoral novel from Italy and Spain (Jacopo Sannazaro and Jorge de Montemayor). François Béroalde de Verville (Paris, April 27, 1556 - October 19-26, 1626) was a French Renaissance novelist, poet and intellectual. ... Nicolas de Montreux (Maine, c. ... Heliodorus of Emesa, from Emesa, Syria, was a Greek writer generally dated in the 3rd century of the Common Era, and is known for the ancient Greek romance or novel called the Aethiopica (the Ethiopian Story) or sometimes Theagenes and Chariclea. According to his own statement, his fathers name... Longus was a Greek novelist and romancer, and author of Daphnis and Chloe. ... Achilles Tatius (in Greek Aχιλλευς Τατιος) was a Roman era Greek writer whose fame is attached to his only surviving work, the erotic romance The Adventures of Leucippe and Cleitophon. ... Titians The Pastoral Concert Pastoral refers to the lifestyle of shepherds. ... Jacopo Sannazaro (1458 - April 27, 1530), Italian poet of the Renaissance, was born in 1458 at Naples of a noble family, said to have been of Spanish origin, which had its seat at San Nazaro near Pavia. ... Jorge de Montemayor (or Montemor) (1520? - February 26, 1561), Spanish novelist and poet, of Portuguese descent, was born at Montemor o Velho (near Coimbra), whence he derived his name, the Spanish form of which is Montemayor. ...


The novelty and inventiveness of the last years of the century are best seen in the anonymous La Mariane du Filomene (1596) which mixes the frame-tale, amorous sentiment, dreams, and pastoral elements to tell the story of a man wandering through the Parisian countryside trying to forget the woman who betrayed him.



Notable works of long prose fiction, including translations (preceded by an --) published in France in the 16th century:

Jean Lemaire de Belges (ca 1473 – ca 1525) was a Walloon poet and historian who lived primarily in France. ... François Rabelais (ca. ... Gargantua and Pantagruel is a connected series of five books written in the 16th century by François Rabelais. ... Giovanni Boccaccio (June 16, 1313 - December 21, 1375) was a Florentine author and poet, the greatest of Petrarchs disciples, an important Renaissance humanist in his own right and author of a number of notable works including On Famous Women, the Decameron and his poems in the vernacular. ... François Rabelais (ca. ... Gargantua and Pantagruel is a connected series of five books written in the 16th century by François Rabelais. ... Maurice Scève (c. ... Baldassare Castiglione, count of Novellata (December 6, 1478 – February 2, 1529), was a diplomat and one of the most important Renaissance authors. ... Hélisenne de Crenne was the pseudonym of Marguerite Briet (c. ... Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo (or Garci Ordoñez de Montalvo) was a Spanish author (d. ... Amadis of Gaul is a work of fiction on the subject of Portugal and it was probably written in the early 14th Century. ... Nicolas de Herberay des Essarts (d. ... Jacopo Sannazaro (1458 - April 27, 1530), Italian poet of the Renaissance, was born in 1458 at Naples of a noble family, said to have been of Spanish origin, which had its seat at San Nazaro near Pavia. ... Ludovico Ariosto (September 8, 1474 _ July 6, 1533) was a Ferrarese poet, author of the epic poem Orlando furioso (1516), Orlando Enraged. He was born at Reggio, in Hungary in 1518, and wished Aniosto to accompany him. ... Ruggiero Rescuing Angelica by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres Orlando Furioso is an epic poem written by Ludovico Ariosto in 1516. ... François Rabelais (ca. ... Francesco Colonna (1433 (?) - 1527), was an Italian Dominican priest and monk who was credited by an acrostic in the text with the authorship of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. ... The Four Seasons (c. ... Heliodorus of Emesa, from Emesa, Syria, was a Greek writer generally dated in the 3rd century of the Common Era, and is known for the ancient Greek romance or novel called the Aethiopica (the Ethiopian Story) or sometimes Theagenes and Chariclea. According to his own statement, his fathers name... Jacques Amyot (October 30, 1513 - February 6, 1593), French writer, was born of poor parents, at Melun. ... François Rabelais (ca. ... Longus was a Greek novelist and romancer, and author of Daphnis and Chloe. ... Jacques Amyot (October 30, 1513 - February 6, 1593), French writer, was born of poor parents, at Melun. ... François Rabelais (ca. ... Achilles Tatius (in Greek Aχιλλευς Τατιος) was a Roman era Greek writer whose fame is attached to his only surviving work, the erotic romance The Adventures of Leucippe and Cleitophon. ... François de Belleforest (born 1530, died 1583) was a French author and translator. ... François de Belleforest (born 1530, died 1583) was a French author and translator. ... Jorge de Montemayor (or Montemor) (1520? - February 26, 1561), Spanish novelist and poet, of Portuguese descent, was born at Montemor o Velho (near Coimbra), whence he derived his name, the Spanish form of which is Montemayor. ... Nicolas de Montreux (Maine, c. ... Torquato Tasso (March 11, 1544 - April 25, 1595) was an Italian poet of the 16th century, best known for his poem La Gerusalemme liberata (Jerusalem Delivered; 1575), in which he describes the imaginary combats between Christians and Muslims at the end of the First Crusade, during the siege of Jerusalem. ... Jerusalem Delivered (La Gerusalemme liberata) (1580) is a baroque epic poem by Torquato Tasso which tells the (largely fictionalized) story of the First Crusade in which Christians knights, lead by Godfrey of Bouillon, battle Muslims in order to raise the siege of Jerusalem. ... François Béroalde de Verville (Paris, April 27, 1556 - October 19-26, 1626) was a French Renaissance novelist, poet and intellectual. ... Nicolas de Montreux (Maine, c. ... Nicolas de Montreux (Maine, c. ... Nicolas de Montreux (Maine, c. ... François Béroalde de Verville (Paris, April 27, 1556 - October 19-26, 1626) was a French Renaissance novelist, poet and intellectual. ...

The Short Story

The French Renaissance is dominated by the short story (under various names: "conte", a tale; "nouvelle", a short story like the Italian novella; "devis" and "propos", a spoken discussion; "histoire", a story). For the period, part of the attraction of the dialogued short story and the frame tale (with its fictional speakers discussing each other's stories) lies in their "performability" by someone reading outloud to a non-literate public and in their grab-bag and (frequently) digressive structure: these tales are capable of taking on all kinds of material, both sophisticated and vulgar. This article is in need of attention. ... A novella is a short, narrative, prose fiction work. ... A frame story (also frame tale, frame narrative, etc) is a narrative technique whereby a main story is composed, at least in part, for the purpose of organizing a set of shorter stories, each of which is a story within a story. ...


The Decameron, the short story collection by the Italian author Boccaccio - with its frame tale of nobles fleeing the plague and telling each other stories - had an enormous impact on French writers. The sister of Henri IV of France, Marguerite of Navarre - who was the center of a progressive literary circle - undertook her own version ("the Heptameron") which - although incomplete - is one of the masterpieces of the century. Other important writers of short stories include Noël du Fail and Bonaventure des Périers. As the century progressed, the use of oral discourse, multiple voices and table talk lead to a dialogued form which often seems revolutionary and chaotic to modern ears. The Decameron is a collection of novellas that was finished by Giovanni Boccaccio in 1353. ... Giovanni Boccaccio (June 16, 1313 - December 21, 1375) was a Florentine author and poet, the greatest of Petrarchs disciples, an important Renaissance humanist in his own right and author of a number of notable works including On Famous Women, the Decameron and his poems in the vernacular. ... By Frans Pourbus the younger. ... Marguerite of Navarre (April 11, 1492 - December 21, 1549), also known as Marguerite of Angouleme and Margaret of Navarre, was the queen consort of King Henry II of Navarre. ... The Heptameron is a collection of 72 stories written in French by Marguerite of Navarre and patterened after the Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio. ... Bonaventure des Périers (c. ...


The French reading public was also fascinated by the dark tragic novellas (“les histories tragiques”) of Bandello which were avidly adapted and emulated into the beginning of the seventeenth century (Jacques Yver, Vérité Habanc, Bénigne Poissenot, François de Rosset, Jean-Pierre Camus). Matteo Bandello (1480—1562) was an Italian novelist. ...


Short story collections in France in the Renaissance:

  • Anon. Cent nouvelles nouvelles (1462)
  • Philippe de Vigneulles Nouvelles (c.1515) - most are lost
  • Anon. Le Paragon des nouvelles honnestes et délectables (1531)
  • Nicolas de Troyes Le grand paragon des nouvelles nouvelles (c1533-37)
  • Bonaventure des Périers Cymbalum mundi (1537)
  • Giovanni Boccaccio Le Décaméron - Antoine Le Maçon, translator (1545)
  • Noël du Fail Propos rustiques de maistre Léon Ladulfi (1547)
  • Noël du Fail Les Baliverneries ou contes nouveaux d’Eutrapel (1548)
  • La Motte-Roullant Les fascetieux devitz des cent nouvelles nouvelles, tres recreatives et fort exemplaires... (1549) - (109 tales, mostly versions of Cent nouvelles nouvelles)
  • Bonaventure des Périers Les Nouvelles récréations et Joyeux devis (90 tales) (1558)
  • Pierre Boaistuau, ed. Histoires des Amans fontunez (1558) - truncated version of l’Heptaméron (67 tales) without dialogues between the stories
  • Marguerite de Navarre L’Heptaméron Claude Gruget, ed. (1559)
  • Pierre Boaistuau Histoires tragiques extraictes des oeuvres italiennes de Bandel.... (1559) - translation of Bandello.
  • François de Belleforest Continuation des histoires tragiques, contenant douze histoires tirées de Bandel.... (1559) - translation of Bandello.
  • Pierre Viret Le Monde à l'empire (date?) satirical pamphlet
  • Pierre Viret Le Monde démoniacle (1561) satirical pamphlet
  • François de Belleforest and Pierre Boaistuau Histoires tragiques - 7 vols. Belleforest’s continuation of the translation of Bandello, published with Boaistuau’s (1566-1583)
  • Jacques Tahureau Les dialogues, Non moins profitables que facetieux (1565)
  • Henri Estienne Apologie pour Hérodote (1566) (includes 180 tales)
  • Estienne Tabourot des Accords Les Bigarrures (1572)
  • Jean Bergier Discours modernes et facecieux (1572) - (13 tales)
  • Jacques Yver Le Printemps d’Yver, contenant plusieurs histories discourues en cinq journées (1572)
  • Duroc Sort-Manne (pseudo. for Romannet Du Cros) Nouveaux recits ou comptes moralisez (1573)
  • Jeanne Flore Comptes amoureux (1574) (7 tales)
  • Antoine Tyron Recueil de plusieurs plaisantes nouvelles, apaphthegmes et recreations diverses (1578)
  • Bénigne Poissenot L’été (1583)
  • Gabrielle Chappuys Cent excellentes nouvelles (1583) - translation of the Hecatommithi by Italian Giovanni Battista Giraldi (also known as Cintio)
  • Gabrielle Chappuys Les facétieuses journées (1584) - translation of Italian tales
  • Antoine du Verdier Le compseutique ou Traits facétieux (1584) - mostly lost
  • Guillaume Bouchet Les sérées (1584, 97, 98)
  • Estienne Tabourot des Accords Apophtegmes du Sieur Gaulard (1585)
  • Noël Du Fail Les contes et discours d'Eutrapel (1585)
  • De Cholières Les matinées (1585)
  • Vérité Habanc Nouvelles histoires tant tragiques que comiques (1585).
  • Bénigne Poissenot Nouvelles histoires tragiques (1586).
  • De Cholières Les après-dînées (1587)
  • Estienne Tabourot des Accords Les Escraignes dijonnaises (1588)
  • Jean Leroy, et.al. La Satire ménippée (1594)

Bonaventure des Périers (c. ... Giovanni Boccaccio Giovanni Boccaccio (June 16, 1313 – December 21, 1375) was an Italian author and poet, a friend and correspondent of Petrarch, an important Renaissance humanist in his own right and author of a number of notable works including On Famous Women, the Decameron and his poems in the vernacular. ... Bonaventure des Périers (c. ... Marguerite of Navarre (April 11, 1492 - December 21, 1549), also known as Marguerite of Angouleme and Margaret of Navarre, was the queen consort of King Henry II of Navarre. ... Matteo Bandello (1480—1562) was an Italian novelist. ... François de Belleforest (born 1530, died 1583) was a French author and translator. ... Matteo Bandello (1480—1562) was an Italian novelist. ... Pierre Viret (Orbe 1511 - Orthez 1571) was a Swiss reformed theologian. ... Pierre Viret (Orbe 1511 - Orthez 1571) was a Swiss reformed theologian. ... François de Belleforest (born 1530, died 1583) was a French author and translator. ... Matteo Bandello (1480—1562) was an Italian novelist. ... Henry Estienne, also known as Stephens or Stephanus, is the name of two 16th-century printers of Paris. ... Giovanni Battista Giraldi (November, 1504 - December 30, 1573), surnamed Cynthitus, Cinthio or Cintio, was an Italian novelist and poet. ...

Theater

16th century French theater followed the same patterns of evolution as the other literary genres of the period.


For the first decades of the century, public theater remained largely tied to its long medieval heritage of mystery plays, morality plays, farces, and soties, although the miracle play was no longer in vogue. Public performances were tightly controlled by a guild system. The guild “les Confrères de la Passion” had exclusive rights to theatrical productions of mystery plays in Paris; in 1548, fear of violence or blasphemy resulting from the growing religious rift in France forced the Paris Parliament to prohibit performances of the mysteries in the capital, although they continued to be performed in other places. Another guild, the “Enfants Sans-Souci” were in charge of farces and soties, as too the “Clercs de la Basoche” who also performed morality plays. Like the "Confrères de la Passion", "la Basoche" came under political scrutiny (plays had to be be authorized by a review board; masks or characters depicting living persons were not permitted), and they were finally suppressed in 1582. By the end of the century, only the "Confrères de la Passion" remained with exclusive control over public theatrical productions in Paris, and they rented out their theater at the Hôtel de Bourgogne to theatrical troops for a high price. In 1599, they abandoned this privilege. Mystery plays or miracle plays are one of the earliest formally developed plays in medieval Europe. ... Morality plays (15th-16th c. ... // Definition A farce is a comedy written for the stage, or a film, which aims to entertain the audience by means of unlikely and extravagant - yet often possible - situations, disguise and mistaken identity, verbal humour of varying degrees of sophistication, which may include puns and sexual innuendo, and a fast... Mystery plays or miracle plays are one of the earliest formally developed plays in medieval Europe. ... Parlements in ancien régime France — contrary to what their name would suggest to the modern reader — were not democratic or political institutions, but law courts . ... The Basoche was the guild of legal clerks of the Paris court system under the pre-revolutionary French monarchy. ...


It is of note that, alongside the numerous writers of these traditional works (such as the farce writers Pierre Gringore, Nicolas de La Chesnaye and André de la Vigne), Marguerite of Navarre also wrote a number of plays close to the traditional mystery and morality play. Pierre Gringore (1475? - 1538) was a popular French poet and playwright. ... Marguerite of Navarre (April 11, 1492 - December 21, 1549), also known as Marguerite of Angouleme and Margaret of Navarre, was the queen consort of King Henry II of Navarre. ...


As early as 1503 however, original language versions of Sophocles, Seneca, Euripides, Aristophanes, Terence and Plautus were all available in Europe and the next forty years would see humanists and poets both translating these classics and adapting them. In the 1540s, the French university setting (and especially – from 1553 on – the Jesuit colleges) became host to a Neo-Latin theater (in Latin) written by professors such as George Buchanan and Marc Antoine Muret which would leave a profound mark on the members of La Pléiade. From 1550 on, one finds humanist theater written in French. A Roman bust of Sophocles. ... Seneca has several significant meanings: Seneca the Elder Seneca the Younger Seneca tribe Seneca crater Seneca (plant) Seneca College, Toronto, Ontario Places in the United States of America: Seneca, Pennsylvania Seneca, South Carolina Seneca, Wisconsin Seneca County, New York Seneca, New York Seneca Lake Seneca Falls (village), New York Senecaville... A Statue of Euripides Euripides (c. ... Bust of Aristophanes Aristophanes (c. ... Publius Terentius Afer, better known as Terence, was a comic playwright of the Roman Republic. ... Titus Maccius Plautus (born at Sarsina, Umbria in 254 B.C.) was a comic playwright in the time of the Roman Republic. ... George Buchanan, MA , BA (February, 1506 - September 28, 1582) was a Scottish historian and humanist scholar. ... Muretus is the Latinized name of Marc Antoine Muret (April 12, 1526 - June 4, 1585), a French humanist, who was born at Muret near Limoges. ... The Pléiade was a group of 16th-century French poets whose principal members were Pierre de Ronsard, Joachim du Bellay and Jean-Antoine de Baïf. ...


The influence of Seneca was particularly strong in humanist tragedy. His plays – which were essentially chamber plays meant to be read for their lyrical passages and rhetorical oratory – brought to many humanist tragedies a concentration on rhetoric and language over dramatic action. Seneca has several significant meanings: Seneca the Elder Seneca the Younger Seneca tribe Seneca crater Seneca (plant) Seneca College, Toronto, Ontario Places in the United States of America: Seneca, Pennsylvania Seneca, South Carolina Seneca, Wisconsin Seneca County, New York Seneca, New York Seneca Lake Seneca Falls (village), New York Senecaville...


Humanist tragedy took two distinct directions:

  • Biblical tragedy : plots taken from the bible - although close in inspiration to the medieval mystery plays, the humanist biblical tragedy reconceived the biblical characters along classical lines, suppressing both comic elements and the presence of God on the stage. The plots often had clear parallels to contemporary political and religious matters and one finds both protestant and catholic playwrights.
  • Ancient tragedy : plots taken from mythology or history – they often had clear parallels to contemporary political and religious matters

During the height of the civil wars (1570-1580), a third category of militant theater appeared:

  • Contemporary tragedy : plots taken from recent events

Along with their work as translators and adaptors of plays, the humanists also investigated classical theories of dramatic structure, plot, and characterization. Horace was translated in the 1540s, but had been available throughout the Middle Ages. A complete version of Aristotle's Poetics appeared later (first in 1570 in an Italian version), but his ideas had circulated (in an extremely truncated form) as early as the 13th century in Hermann the German's Latin translation of Averroes' Arabic gloss, and other translations of the Poetics had appeared in the first half of the 16th century; also of importance were the commentaries on Aristotle's poetics by Giulio Cesare Scaliger which appeared in the 1560s. The 4th century grammarians Diomedes and Aelius Donatus were also a source of classical theory. The 16th century Italians played a central role in the publishing and interpretation of classical dramatic theory, and their works had a major effect on French theater. Lodovico Castelvetro's Aristote-based Art of Poetry (1570) was one of the first enunciations of the three unities; this work would inform Jean de la Taille's Art de la tragedie (1572). Italian theater (like the tragedy of Gian Giorgio Trissino) and debates on decorum (like those provoked by Sperone Speroni's play Canace and Giovanni Battista Giraldi's play Orbecche) would also influence the French tradition. Horace Quintus Horatius Flaccus, (December 8, 65 BC - November 27, 8 BC), known in the English-speaking world as Horace, was the leading lyric poet in Latin, the son of a freedman, but himself born free. ... Aristotle, marble copy of bronze by Lysippos. ... Averroes Averroes (Ibn Rushd) (1126 – December 10, 1198) was an Andalusian-Arab philosopher and physician, a master of philosophy and Islamic law, mathematics, and medicine. ... The noble family Scaliger (Scaligeri) were lords of Verona. ... Aelius Donatus (fl. ... Lodovico Castelvetro (c. ... The three unities or classical unities are rules for drama derived from Aristotles Poetics. ... Jean de La Taille (c. ... Gian Giorgio Trissino (Venezia, 1478 - Rome, 1550) was an Italian Renaissance humanist, poet, dramatist, diplomat and grammarian. ... Sperone Speroni degli Alvarotti (1500-1588) was an Italian Renaissance humanist, scholar, and dramatist. ... Giovanni Battista Giraldi (November, 1504 - December 30, 1573), surnamed Cynthitus, Cinthio or Cintio, was an Italian novelist and poet. ...


In the same spirit of imitation -- and adaptation -- of classical sources that had informed the poetic compositions of La Pléiade, French humanist writers recommended that tragedy should be in five acts and have three main characters of noble rank; the play should begin in the middle of the action (in medias res), use noble language and not show scenes of horror on the stage. Some writers (like Lazare de Baïf and Thomas Sébillet) attempted to link the medieval tradition of morality plays and farces to classical theater, but Joachim du Bellay rejected this claim and elevated classical tragedy and comedy to a higher dignity. Of greater difficulty for the theorists was the incorporation of Aristotle's notion of "catharsis" or the purgation of emotions with Renaissance theater, which remained profoundly attached to both pleasing the audience and to the rhetorical aim of showing moral examples (exemplum). In Medias Res can mean a few things. ... Lazare de Baïf (1496 - 1547) was a French diplomat and humanist. ... Joachim du Bellay (c. ... Catharsis is a sudden emotional breakdown or climax that constitutes overwhelming feelings of great pity, sorrow, laughter, or any extreme change in emotion that results in the renewal, restoration and revitalization for living. ... An Exemplum (latin for example, pl. ...


Etienne Jodelle's Cléopâtre captive (1553) – which tells the impassioned fears and doubts of Cleopatra contemplating suicide – has the distinction of being the first original French play to follow Horace's classical precepts on structure (the play is in five acts and respects more or less the unities of time, place and action) and is extremely close to the ancient model: the prologue is introduced by a shade, there is a classical chorus which comments on the action and talks directly to the characters, and the tragic ending is described by a messenger. Etienne Jodelle, seigneur de Limodin (1532-1573), French dramatist and poet, was born in Paris of a noble family. ... Horace Quintus Horatius Flaccus, (December 8, 65 BC - November 27, 8 BC), known in the English-speaking world as Horace, was the leading lyric poet in Latin, the son of a freedman, but himself born free. ...


Melin de Saint-Gelais's translation of Gian Giorgio Trissino's La Sophonisbe -- the first modern regular tragedy based on ancient models which tells the story of the noble Sophonisba's suicide (rather than be taken as captive by Rome) -- was an enormous success at the court when performed in 1556. Melin de Saint-Gelais (November 3, 1487 - 1558) was a French poet. ... Gian Giorgio Trissino (Venezia, 1478 - Rome, 1550) was an Italian Renaissance humanist, poet, dramatist, diplomat and grammarian. ... For the Renaissance painter Sofonisba Anguissola (ca. ...


Select list of authors and works of humanist tragedy:

  • Théodore de Bèze
    • Abraham sacrifiant (1550)
  • Etienne Jodelle
    • Cléopâtre captive (1553)
    • Didon se sacrifiant (date unknown)
  • Melin de Saint-Gelais
  • Jacques Grévin
  • Jean de la Taille
    • Saül, le furieux (1563-1572)
  • Robert Garnier
    • Porcie (published 1568, acted in 1573),
    • Cornélie (acted in 1573 and published in 1574)
    • Hippolyte (acted in 1573 and published in 1574)
    • Marc-Antoine (1578)
    • La Troade (1579)
    • Antigone (1580)
    • Les Juives (1583)
  • Nicolas de Montreux
    • Tragédie du jeune Cyrus (1581)
    • Isabelle (1594)
    • Cléopâtre (1594)
    • Sophonisbe (1601)

(See the playwrights Antoine de Montchrestien, Alexandre Hardy and Jean de Schelandre for tragedy around 1600-1610.) This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Etienne Jodelle, seigneur de Limodin (1532-1573), French dramatist and poet, was born in Paris of a noble family. ... Melin de Saint-Gelais (November 3, 1487 - 1558) was a French poet. ... Gian Giorgio Trissino (Venezia, 1478 - Rome, 1550) was an Italian Renaissance humanist, poet, dramatist, diplomat and grammarian. ... Jacques Grévin (c. ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in the region around Rome called Latium. ... Muretus is the Latinized name of Marc Antoine Muret (April 12, 1526 - June 4, 1585), a French humanist, who was born at Muret near Limoges. ... Jean de La Taille (c. ... Robert Garnier (c. ... Nicolas de Montreux (Maine, c. ... Antoine de Montchrestien (Falaise in Normandy c. ... Alexandre Hardy (1569?–1631) was a French dramatist, one of the most prolific of all time. ... Jean de Schelandre (c. ...


Alongside tragedy, European humanists also adapted the ancient comedic tradition and as early as the 15th century, Renaissance Italy had developed a form of humanist Latin comedy. Although the ancients had been less theoretical about the comedic form, the humanists used the precepts of Aelius Donatus (4th century A.D.), Horace, Aristotle and the works of Terence to elaborate a set of rules: comedy should seek to correct vice by showing the truth; there should be a happy ending; comedy uses a lower style of language than tragedy; comedy does not paint the great events of states and leaders, but the private lives of people, and its principle subject is love. Aelius Donatus (fl. ... Horace Quintus Horatius Flaccus, (December 8, 65 BC - November 27, 8 BC), known in the English-speaking world as Horace, was the leading lyric poet in Latin, the son of a freedman, but himself born free. ... Aristotle, marble copy of bronze by Lysippos. ... Publius Terentius Afer, better known as Terence, was a comic playwright of the Roman Republic. ...


Although some French authors kept close to the ancient models (Pierre de Ronsard translated a part of Aristophanes's "Plutus" at college), on the whole the French comedic tradition shows a great deal of borrowing from all sources: medieval farce (which continued to be immensely popular throughout the century), the short story, Italian humanist comedies and "La Celestina" (by Fernando de Rojas). Pierre de Ronsard, commonly referred to as Ronsard (September 11, 1524 – December, 1585), was a French poet and prince of poets (as his own generation in France called him). ... Bust of Aristophanes Aristophanes (c. ... Fernando de Rojas (c. ...


Select list of authors and works of Renaissance comedy:

  • Etienne Jodelle
    • L'Eugène (1552) – a comedy in five acts
  • Jacques Grévin
    • Les Ébahis (1560)
  • Jean Antoine de Baïf
    • L'Eunuque (1565), a version of Terence's Eunuchus
    • Le Brave (1567) – a version of Plautus's Miles gloriosus
  • Jean de la Taille
    • Les Corrivaus (published in 1573) – an imitation of Boccaccio and other Italians
  • Pierre de Larivey – son of an Italian, Larivey was a important adapter of the Italian comedy.
    • Le Laquais (1579)
    • La Vefve (1579)
    • Les Esprits (1579)
    • Le Morfondu (1579)
    • Les Jaloux (1579)
    • Les Escolliers (1579)
  • Odet de Turnèbe
    • Les Contents (1581)
  • Nicolas de Montreux
    • La Joyeuse (1581)
    • Joseph le Chaste (?)

In the last decades of the century, four other theatrical modes from Italy – which did not follow the rigid rules of classical theater – flooded the French stage: Etienne Jodelle, seigneur de Limodin (1532-1573), French dramatist and poet, was born in Paris of a noble family. ... Jacques Grévin (c. ... Jean Antoine de Baïf (1532 - 1589) was a French poet and member of the Pléiade. ... Publius Terentius Afer, better known as Terence, was a comic playwright of the Roman Republic. ... Titus Maccius Plautus (born at Sarsina, Umbria in 254 B.C.) was a comic playwright in the time of the Roman Republic. ... Jean de La Taille (c. ... Giovanni Boccaccio (June 16, 1313 - December 21, 1375) was a Florentine author and poet, the greatest of Petrarchs disciples, an important Renaissance humanist in his own right and author of a number of notable works including On Famous Women, the Decameron and his poems in the vernacular. ... Pierre de Larivey (c. ... Nicolas de Montreux (Maine, c. ...

  • the Commedia dell'arte – an improvisational theater of fixed types (Harlequin, Colombo) created in Padua in 1545; Italian troops were invited in France from 1576 on.
  • the Tragicomedy – a theatrical version of the adventurous novel, with lovers, knights, disguises and magic. The most famous of these is Robert Garnier's Bradamante (1580), adapted from Ariosto's Orlando furioso.
  • the Pastoral – modeled on Giambattista Guarini's "Pastor fido" ("Faithful Shepard"), Tasso's "Aminta" and Antonio Ongaro "Alceo" (themselves inspired by Jacopo Sannazaro and Jorge de Montemayor). The first French pastorals were short plays performed before a tragedy, but were eventually expanded into five acts. Nicolas de Montreux wrote three pastorals: Athlette (1585), Diane (1592) Arimène ou le berger désespéré (1597).
  • the Court Ballet – an allegorical and fantastic mixture of dance and theater. The most famous of these is the "Ballet comique de la reine" (1581).

By the end of the century, the most influential French playwright -- by the range of his styles and by his mastery of the new forms -- would be Robert Garnier. Karel Dujardins set his closely-observed scene of a travelling troupes makeshift stage against idealized ruins in the Roman Campagna: dated 1657 (Louvre Museum) Commedia dellarte (Italian, meaning comedy of professional artists but has also been interpreted as comedy of humors) was a form of improvisational theater which... Location within Italy Tronco Maestro Riviera: a pedestrian walk along a section of the inland waterway or naviglio interno of Padua The city of Padua (Lat. ... Tragicomedy (or dark comedy or black comedy) refers to fictional works that blend aspects of the genres of tragedy and comedy. ... Robert Garnier (c. ... Ludovico Ariosto (September 8, 1474 _ July 6, 1533) was a Ferrarese poet, author of the epic poem Orlando furioso (1516), Orlando Enraged. He was born at Reggio, in Hungary in 1518, and wished Aniosto to accompany him. ... Ruggiero Rescuing Angelica by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres Orlando Furioso is an epic poem written by Ludovico Ariosto in 1516. ... Titians The Pastoral Concert Pastoral refers to the lifestyle of shepherds. ... Torquato Tasso (March 11, 1544 - April 25, 1595) was an Italian poet of the 16th century, best known for his poem La Gerusalemme liberata (Jerusalem Delivered; 1575), in which he describes the imaginary combats between Christians and Muslims at the end of the First Crusade, during the siege of Jerusalem. ... Jacopo Sannazaro (1458 - April 27, 1530), Italian poet of the Renaissance, was born in 1458 at Naples of a noble family, said to have been of Spanish origin, which had its seat at San Nazaro near Pavia. ... Jorge de Montemayor (or Montemor) (1520? - February 26, 1561), Spanish novelist and poet, of Portuguese descent, was born at Montemor o Velho (near Coimbra), whence he derived his name, the Spanish form of which is Montemayor. ... Nicolas de Montreux (Maine, c. ... Robert Garnier (c. ...


All of these eclectic traditions would continue to evolve in the "baroque" theater of the early 17th century, before French "classicism" would finally impose itself.


Other literary forms

The French Renaissance was rich in a whole body of moral, literary, philological and philosophical writing. Michel de Montaigne was the first essayist of modern times (The "Essays") and a remarkable writer on the human condition. Étienne Pasquier's "Recherches de la France" were another monumental compendium of historical, political and cultural observations. Michel de Montaigne Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (February 28, 1533 – September 13, 1592) was an influential French Renaissance writer, generally considered to be the inventor of the personal essay. ... Essays is the title of a book written by Michel de Montaigne that was first published in 1580. ... Étienne Pasquier (June 7, 1529 - September 1, 1615), French lawyer and man of letters, was born at Paris, on the 7th of June 1529 by his own account, according to others a year earlier. ...


Pierre de Bourdeille, seigneur de Brantôme wrote biographical sketches of the men and women of the court. Pierre de Bourdeille, seigneur (and abbé) de Brantôme (c. ...


Jean Bodin wrote a number of important works on political science. Jean Bodin (1530-1596) was a French jurist, member of the Parliament of Paris and professor of Law in Toulouse. ...


Henri Estienne and his son Robert Estienne were among the most important printers in France in the 16th century, and Robert Estienne's edition of the Bible was the first to use chapter and verse divisions. Henry Estienne, also known as Stephens or Stephanus, is the name of two 16th-century printers of Paris. ... Robert I Estienne (Paris 1503 – Geneva September 7, 1559), also known as Robert Stephens (Latin: Stephanus), was a 16th century printer in Paris. ...


Reference works

  • Michel Simonin, ed. Dictionnaire des lettres françaises - Le XVIe siècle (Paris: Fayard, 2001)
  • Albert-Marie Schmidt Poètes du XVIe siècle Bibliothèque de la Pléiade (Paris: Gallimard, 1953)

  Results from FactBites:
 
French Literature - Renaissance Literature (251 words)
In Italy the Renaissance had already begun, but in France it was only at the beginning of the 16th century that its influence began taking hold.
French writers of the period began to replace theological themes typical of medieval times with themes focusing on humanism, in which life and learning is centred more on man than on God.
The French Renaissance reached its peak in the mid-16th century, a time during which prominent poets and writers included La Pléiade, Joachim Du Bellay and Pierre de Ronsard.
NationMaster - Encyclopedia: French Renaissance (5072 words)
French Renaissance is a recent term used to describe a cultural and artistic movement in France from the late 15th century to the early 17th century.
The French Renaissance traditionally extends from (roughly) the French invasion of Italy in 1494 during the reign of Charles VIII until the death of Henry IV in 1610.
French Renaissance literature is, for the purpose of this article, literature written in French (Middle French) from the French invasion of Italy in 1494 to 1600, or roughly the period from the reign of Charles VIII of France to the ascension of Henri IV of France to the throne.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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