Italy is in many ways viewed as the cradle of western civilisation. It comes as no surprise then that Italy has a vastly rich history of which literature has always been an important part throughout the ages. Here we’ve highlighted some of the most important contributors to literature in Italy according to different literary periods. Classical Italian literature
Ancient Rome was the military and cultural centre of the world for centuries. Literature was a well developed discipline in Italy during Roman times producing several classical works of literature that are still read today. It is amazing to think that such great works of literature were written in Italy as far back as 800BC. Some of the biggest names in Italian literature from this period include Horace, Virgil, Livy and Ovid. Perhaps the single most memorable piece of literature to come out of Italy from this time was Aenid written by Virgil. This piece of literature from Italy can be viewed as the forefather of many great heroic epics, and involves the protagonist of the story escaping from Troy and eventually becoming the leader of Rome. Literature in the Italian language
Although the above mentioned classical literature was all written in Italy by Italians, the Romans used to speak and write in Latin. The first noteworthy examples of literature from Italy written in the Italian language date back to the 13th and 14th centuries. Among the very best of names in Italian literature from this period is Dante Alighieri who wrote the divine comedy. This piece of literature is still widely read today and involves a trip through heaven and hell. Other significant names in literature in Italy from the same period include Francesco Petrarza and Giovanni Boccaccio. Renaissance literature in Italy
Although the renaissance is rightly credited as the re birth of culture in Europe, it is strange to note that relatively few advances took place in the field of literature in Italy at this time. The renaissance in Italy was more about art and architecture than literature. 19th Century literature in Italy
The 19th century saw the birth of a literary character that was to become a household name in all four corners of the world. Carlo Collodi was an Italian author who invented Pinocchio in Italy during the 19th century. More seriously, literature in Italy during this time began to take on a more social and political role offering critiques of Italian society. One such author from Italy whose literature dealt with such subjects was Alessandro Manzoni. The Life of William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
Within the class system of Elizabethan England, William Shakespeare did not seem destined for greatness. He was not born into a family of nobility or significant wealth. He did not continue his formal education at university, nor did he come under the mentorship of a senior artist, nor did he marry into wealth or prestige. His talent as an actor seems to have been modest, since he is not known for starring roles. His success as a playwright depended in part upon royal patronage. Yet in spite of these limitations, Shakespeare is now the most performed and read playwright in the world. Born to John Shakespeare, a glovemaker and tradesman, and Mary Arden, the daughter of an affluent farmer, William Shakespeare was baptized on April 26, 1564, in Stratford-upon-Avon. At that time, infants were baptized three days after their birth, thus scholars believe that Shakespeare was born on April 23, the same day on which he died at age 52. As the third of eight children, young William grew up in this small town 100 miles northwest of London, far from the cultural and courtly center of England. Shakespeare attended the local grammar school, King's New School, where the curriculum would have stressed a classical education of Greek mythology, Roman comedy, ancient history, rhetoric, grammar, Latin, and possibly Greek. Throughout his childhood, Shakespeare's father struggled...