The Renaissance discoveries led to the search for individual expression and a new sense of freedom. These new estimates of thinking led to the arrival of humanism. Humanism emphasized upon the worldly aspects of life rather than the church ethos of afterlife, salvation and damnation ideas.
The Reformation movement, which was developed during the Renaissance period directly, challenged the church beliefs and its medieval mode of thinking. The figures like Martin Luther, Erasmus criticized the doctrines of church for its corruption and narrow thinking. Protestants disapproved the Pope as the supreme figure and favored man’s direct relation to God.
The disintegration of feudalism, change in the social pattern, increase in trade and urbanization led to the revolutionary change in the society. It led to some massive socio-political and religious changes.
The Renaissance writings began to reject the conventional mode of expression the ideal patterns of life preached by church and created new literary, culture and philosophical values. The foundation of Elizabethan Theatre is one of the remarkable achievements of this period. James Burbage’s foundation of ‘The Theatre’ contributed in development of Renaissance theatres. Thus, Burbage constructed the first Elizabethan amphitheatre in 1576 and afterwards theatres emerged as the major contributor in forming Renaissance history of literature.
The major Renaissance dramatists, such as Marlowe, Shakespeare, Francis Beaumont, John Fletcher, Middleton, and Thomas Kyd are the dominant figures in Renaissance writings. These writings perpetuate the notion of Renaissance man, the concept of knowledge, and the social nature of humanity creating a golden age of Renaissance drama. Thus, the Renaissance period tends to represent not only the historical movement but also comprises the beginning of new cultural, literary, artistic and philosophical values, which gave literature a new identity in terms of development.