Pastoral setting in Renaissance literature

A question from Yahoo! Answers:

What is the appeal of the pastoral setting in renaissance literature…?

What other setting could be more appealing to a Renaissance person? There were only two settings to choose from, pastoral and urban. Renaissance cities were full of filth and disease, so city dwellers (including writers) looked to the countryside as an aesthetically attractive (although impracticable for most) alternative to city life.

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