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The English Renaissance: Celebrating Humanity

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1 The English Renaissance: Celebrating Humanity

2 Life in Elizabethan and Jacobean England
London expanded greatly as a city People moved in from rural areas and from other European countries Busy and crowded; lots of commerce, craftsmen Strict class system Not a clean or safe city—“The Thames was a beautiful sewer” (224) and disease and criminals ran rampant Grew into substantial port and admired European city Southwark: suburb known for its “vice” – theaters, gaming, prostitution, etc.


4 Renaissance = rebirth Rebirth of:
interest in learning, especially that of ancient Greece and Rome civilization in general arts and sciences Reaction to “Dark Ages” of medieval Europe

5 Historically speaking…
UK represent! Exploration by sea: John Cabot, 1497 Religious rifts: New sense of nationalism prompted many to question ethics in and teachings of Church Questioning of Papal authority and Scripture Erasmus (Dutch) – version of New Testament Thomas More – Utopia Protestant Reformation sparked by Martin Luther’s 95 theses

6 The Monarchy: strengthening themselves and the nation Henry VII:
Catholic Restorer of national economy and prestige of monarchy Henry VIII: Catholic, at first… Supports Pope against religious dissenters (“Defender of the Faith”) But… Church’s refusal to annul his marriage leads him to break from Catholic faith Dissolves Church ownership of property, monasteries Has Thomas More executed for refusing to renounce Catholic faith Marries 6 times Fathers Elizabeth and Mary; has a son, Edward, with his 3rd wife, Jane Seymour

7 And I could use a drink. Make it a…hmm…
More bangin’ Tudor action… Edward, Henry VIII’s son, rules from the ages of 9-15 (whatever; that’s like a 7th grader ruling your country) Parliament drastically changes religious practices English replaces Latin Book of Common Prayer required in public worship England is on its way to becoming a Protestant nation until… We’re back, baby! Mary I takes throne Restores Roman practices to Church of England Restores authority of Pope over English Church Known as “Bloody Mary” for ordering execution of about 300 Protestants And I could use a drink. Make it a…hmm… Mary rules for 5 years, and then…

8 (literally and figuratively)
Cate Blanchett Elizabeth I takes the throne! Classically educated; patron of the arts Reinstated monarch’s rule over Church of England, ending religious turmoil Established climate of religious compromise Known as one of the best rulers in English history Spoiler alert! Dies in 1603 Hey, I wonder if that’s where they got the name for the Elizabethan period… Elizabeth… arrgh… The Mary Stuart problem: Catholics considered Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland, rightful heir to throne of England (marriage annulment issues) Imprisoned by cousin, Elizabeth, for 18 years Hatched numerous Catholic plots against her Elizabeth let her live, punished Catholics Parliament insisted on beheading Mary in 1587 I rule! (literally and figuratively)

9 Life after Elizabeth…the Stuarts
James I (well, James VI of Scotland, but James I of England) Son of Mary Stuart Named by Elizabeth as her successor Protestant “Jacobean” era (from Latin for James) Expanded England’s position as world power (colony in VA) Believed in “divine right” of monarchs Power struggles with Parliament Persecuted Puritans (who migrated to Plymouth Colony) Hey, I wonder if that’s where they got the name for Jamestown… Smell you later, Jimmy! I may have divine right, but this outfit is just wrong…

10 Renaissance Poetry Lyric over narrative poetry Sonnets! Yeah!
Finally, the good stuff… Renaissance Poetry Lyric over narrative poetry Psst! Lyric poem: a short poem with one speaker (not necessarily the poet) who expresses thought and feeling. Sonnets! Yeah! Sonnet cycle: A series of sonnets, usually fit loosely together to form a story Heavy hitters: Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser, Shakespeare Two major rhyme schemes: Petrarchan/Italian and Shakespearean Shakespearean rhyme scheme: abab, cdcd, efef, gg Psst! Sonnet: 14 lines, iambic pentameter, various rhyme schemes. Word! Many sonnets consist of 8 lines setting up one idea, 4 lines responding to that idea, and a concluding couplet at the end. Rock and roll!

11 Hey, I wonder if that’s where they got the name for Raleigh, NC…
Pastoral poetry Idealized rustic simplicity of rural life Heavy hitters: Christopher Marlowe and Sir Walter Raleigh I’m a poet, soldier, explorer, historian and member of the Royal Court. Phew! It’s tiring being a true Renaissance man! Hey, I wonder if that’s where they got the name for Raleigh, NC…

12 And I might have gotten credit for stuff you wrote! Too bad, suckah!
Renaissance Drama Turned away from religious focus and toward classical Greek and Roman tragedies and dramas Christopher Marlowe: First major dramatist (1580s) Shakespeare ( ) Started as actor Famous playwright by 1592 37 Plays: most can be categorized as tragedy, comedy, or history Deep understanding of what it means to be human helps maintain popularity People say that if I’d lived past 30 I might have eclipsed Shakespeare as England’s greatest playwright! Dang! And I might have gotten credit for stuff you wrote! Too bad, suckah!

13 Renaissance Prose Not as popular as poetry Heavy hitters:
Which is the more satisfying bacon: pioneering English author or tasty breakfast meat? Not as popular as poetry Heavy hitters: Sidney, Raleigh and Thomas Nashe Sir Francis Bacon: essays, science, philosophy King James Bible Translated Latin Bible into English Huge achievement—probably most important in English Renaissance 54 scholars worked 7 years! Influential, used to this day

14 Important Dates 1485: Thomas More publishes Utopia
1534: Church of England established 1535: Thomas More executed 1549: The Book of Common Prayer issued 1558: Elizabeth I becomes Queen 1563: 20,000 Londoners die in Plague 1564: Shakespeare is born!

15 Important Dates (Cont.)
1594: Shakespeare writes Romeo and Juliet 1599: The Globe Theater opens 1603: Queen Elizabeth I dies; James I becomes King of England. 1606: Guy Fawkes executed for Gunpowder Plot 1607: Royal Colony of Jamestown established 1611: King James Bible published 1620: Pilgrims land on Plymouth Rock 1625: King James I dies.

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