As the Renaissance slowly spread across Western Europe, each nation made its own distinctive contribution to the era. era.
England's most famous Renaissance writer, William Shakesphere, dealt with classical themes in such plays as Hamlet, MacBeth, and King Lear. English artists and philosophers took up the Renaissance challenge in many differentworks of art. The Renaissance spirit was perhaps best illustrated by Francis Bacon's werds: "I have taken all knowledge to be my province."
In Portugal, a daring explorer faced unknown waters to find a route to Asia by traveling west. Although he failed to reach his goal, Christopher Columbus's Renaissance sporit brought him instead to the shores of the American continent and the beginning of a new nation