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The English Renaissance and William Shakespeare How The Great Bard Was Born.

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1 The English Renaissance and William Shakespeare How The Great Bard Was Born

2 The Renaissance Period Renaissance literally means “rebirth of the human spirit” Rebirth of classical literature and art, of science and technology A Renaissance occurs when life is good (people are not fighting for survival)

3 English Renaissance Occurred between 1400-1600 A.D. Began with Henry VIII and ended with King James I Highest point occurred during Queen Elizabeth I’s reign (1558- 1603)

4 Changes from Middle Ages to Renaissance Religion: Protestant Reformation in Germany led to changes in England when Henry VIII declared himself head of Church of England — a Protestant faith. This change from Catholic to Protestant caused much turmoil for many years. Economic: Profits shifted from land- based to business investments, such as trading companies and acting companies.

5 From Middle Ages to Renaissance… Social mobility: Still difficult, but more possible than in Middle Ages. Shakespeare is a great example of this. Technology: Navigation led to improved maps and better ships, which led to greater exploration, which led to English piracy against the Spanish.

6 And the greatest change in literature… “He was not of an age, but for all time.” Ben Johnson on William Shakespeare

7 The most famous writer in history Just as influenced by the culture he was born into as he influences modern culture In learning about his life and reading his works, we learn about ourselves and about human nature. It is no mistake that every high school student in this country studies Shakespeare. William Shakespeare

8 THE TUDORS Some history: The English Renaissance

9 Henry VIII From the Tudor line Had SIX wives: Catherine of Aragon (divorced), Anne Boleyn (beheaded), Jane Seymour(died), Anne of Cleves (divorced), Kathryn Howard (beheaded), Katherine Parr (survived) Divorced the Catholic Church in order to marry his mistress (Anne Boleyn) Wanted a male heir - beheaded women who could not produce a male heir Fathered two daughters (Mary and Elizabeth) and one son (Edward)

10 Prince Edward The sole male heir to Henry’s throne; mother was Jane Seymour who died giving birth to him Became king at age 9, died at 16 Trend toward Protestantism continued Left behind no heir, so crown went to a woman for the first time

11 Bloody Mary After Edward’s short reign and early death, Mary took the English throne. Devoutly Catholic and looking to vindicate her mother (Henry’s first wife, Katherine of Aragon), Mary vowed to wipe out Protestantism. Ordered the mass execution of Protestants to restore the Catholic faith Married Phillip of Spain Died childless and of cancer

12 Queen Elizabeth I “Bastard” Queen, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn Powerful, wise, and very politically astute Devoutly Protestant Became queen at age 25 and ruled for 45 years, which is why England’s Renaissance was able to reach its peak. This was a long period of stability and relative peace. Royal Navy became most powerful in the world after defeating Spanish Armada in 1588

13 Queen Elizabeth I Most important political advisor: Sir Francis Walsingham — he was her eyes and ears Sustained many plots against her life, many of which involved her cousin, Mary Stewart (Queen of Scotland) “Virgin Queen” - never married, used her feminine charms to gain and maintain power The art of flirtation became a lucrative enterprise during her reign Encouraged poetry and theater Loved fashion

14 King James I Was Queen Elizabeth’s godson and the son of Mary Stewart, whom she had executed earlier Patron of theater — Shakespeare’s King’s Men were his favorite acting troupe. Solidified the Protestant faith with the creation of the King James Bible.

15 What does this have to do with Shakespeare????

16 Shakespeare and history We know he was influenced by the time in which he lived. He avoided certain issues, like religion, benefited from changing economics and inventions like the printing press, and was fascinated by royalty and supported by it as well.

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