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Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance THE RENAISSANCE 1485-1660 Part II.

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Presentation on theme: "Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance THE RENAISSANCE 1485-1660 Part II."— Presentation transcript:

1 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance THE RENAISSANCE Part II

2 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Succession of the Throne Elizabeth I –Henry VIII’s daughter by his second wife, Anne Boleyn –Queen from –Only twenty-five when she came to the throne –strong national unity and triumphant cultural achievement

3 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Queen Elizabeth I Had a sharp intellect and an excellent Renaissance education Encouraged literary and artistic developments Clever diplomat and a shrew, at times even ruthless, politician Promoted peace and prosperity by steering a moderate religious course between Protestant extremism and the yielding to Catholicism

4 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Queen Elizabeth I Became an expert in foreign affairs –used her unmarried status to benefit England England’s victory in 1588 over the Spanish Armada (the strongest naval force of the age) marked the culmination of Elizabeth’s authority in a country that had become, in less than a century, one of the most powerful in the world

5 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Elizabethan Literary Achievement Sir Philip Sidney – –Living embodiment of the ideal Renaissance gentleman –Known for his political ideas, military prowess, personal charm and literary ability

6 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Elizabethan Literary Achievement Edmund Spenser – –Saw himself as a scholar-poet –The Faerie Queene dedicated to Queen Elizabeth celebrates and assesses the values and achievements of her reign

7 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Elizabethan Literary Achievement Drama –Greatest and most distinctive achievement of Elizabethan literature –Elizabethan drama grew from a fusion of native English and classical traditions –The triumph of Elizabethan drama is a result of the triumph of dramatically spoken English –Elizabethan stagecraft was rudimentary and sketchy

8 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Elizabethan Literary Achievement Public Theaters first public theater erected in Shoreditch, an area just outside the London city limits, in 1576 Others were soon built in Southwark across the river Thames –The Globe Home theater of Shakespeare’s company

9 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance The Globe

10 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance The Globe

11 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance The Globe

12 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance The Globe

13 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance The Globe

14 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance The Globe

15 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance The Globe

16 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance The Globe

17 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Public Theaters All walks of life made up the audiences –Nobility given a special seat right on stage –Sophisticated (i.e. law students) would have bought a seat under the roofs in the gallery –Less well-off would fill the “pit” Would eat, drink, hiss, catcall, and applaud

18 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Elizabethan Taste and Attitudes The most striking feature of Elizabethan artistic taste is a delight in elaborate pattern and complicated ornament –fantastically decorated gowns –intricate designs of Elizabethan buildings and gardens –in musical forms such as the madrigal –poetic forms like the sonnet or the sestina

19 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Elizabethan Taste and Attitudes: Gowns

20 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Elizabethan Taste and Attitudes: Gowns

21 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Elizabethan Taste and Attitudes: Gowns

22 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Elizabethan Taste and Attitudes: Gowns

23 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Elizabethan Taste and Attitudes: Gowns

24 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Elizabethan Taste and Attitudes: Architecture

25 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Elizabethan Taste and Attitudes: Architecture

26 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Elizabethan Taste and Attitudes: Architecture

27 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Elizabethan Taste and Attitudes: Gardens

28 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Elizabethan Taste and Attitudes: Gardens

29 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Elizabethan Taste and Attitudes: Gardens

30 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Elizabethan Taste and Attitudes: Gardens

31 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Elizabethan World Picture Elizabethans viewed the world as a vast, unified, hierarchical order, or “Great Chain of Being,” created by God Every existing being or thing was ranked within a category in the chain –Categories were ranked by the attributes of their members, from the lowest group (all matter and no spirit) to the highest group (all spirit and no matter). Inanimate things Plant and animal kingdoms Human beings (above animals because the possession of souls and free will)

32 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Elizabethan World Picture As each group had its place in the chain, so each member had its place within the group –Animals Lion highest Oyster lowest –Metals Gold highest Lead lowest –Plants Rose highest

33 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Elizabethan World Picture This perfect order allowed for the doctrine of correspondences –Gold analogous to the oak (greatest of trees) or to the sun (first among stars) –The lion could represent a king or queen (head of a nation) –A rose could represent God As a result, Elizabethan writers had a wealth of symbolic relationships, references, and allusions

34 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance The Jacobean Era James I – –Cousin of Elizabeth –Already King of Scotland –Son of Elizabeth’s former archenemy, Mary, Queen of Scots

35 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance The Jacobean Era The reign of James I initiated a time of deep religious and political unrest in England –James I was an intelligent but morose man who possessed none of Elizabeth’s instincts for practical politics –During James I reign, the first group of English Puritans came to America because they did not feel free to practice their dissenting beliefs in England –The House of Commons asserted its growing power against the Crown and also gained the support of the people by refusing to vote taxes

36 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance The Jacobean Era Deep philosophical and intellectual changes were beginning to undermine faith in the older Elizabethan world view –Copernicus ( ) and Galileo ( ) argued that the sun, not the earth, was at the center of the universe and that there might even be a plurality or infinity of worlds These and other scientific investigations called into question the very basis of the divinely ordered, hierarchical universe

37 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance The Jacobean Era Copernicus – Galileo –

38 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Disruption and Change Charles I –Son of James I –Took over the throne in 1625 –Lasted until 1649

39 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Disruption and Change England was well on its way to civil war –Causes were both political and religious –The Puritan movement had developed into a powerful enemy of the Anglican establishment –Charles I tried to crack down on organized religious protest –He was met with violent opposition

40 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Disruption and Change Civil War (continued) –In Parliament, the lawyers and landlords who controlled the House of Commons withheld more and more funds from the executive functions of government –Charles responded by trying to rule without the support of Parliament

41 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Disruption and Change Civil War (continued) –His strategy did not work Parliament had grown too strong Parliament determined to call the king and his supporters to account –Executed Charles’ two biggest supporters –Charles left London and established his army at Nottingham –By August of 1642, England was in the throes of open civil war

42 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Disruption and Change The king’s supporters (rich, carefree, long-haired, reckless, young; called “Cavaliers”) were no match for the Parliamentary forces (grimly determined Puritans who wore their hair cropped off; called “Roundheads”)

43 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Disruption and Change Oliver Cromwell – –Commander of the Parliamentary forces –Molded his men into a fearless and disciplined New Model Army –known as “Ironsides” –fought fiercely because it saw itself as the agent of God’s vengeance and punishment

44 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Disruption and Change By 1649, the royalist forces had been defeated and King Charles was a prisoner –Charles was tried as an enemy of the English people –On January 30, 1649, he was beheaded

45 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Disruption and Change Eventually, Cromwell took the power of the government into his own hand and established what he called the Protectorate ( ) –Basically a military dictatorship –Cromwell died in 1658

46 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Disruption and Change Charles II –By 1660, the English people had had enough of harsh Puritan rule –Brought back Charles II Charles I’s eldest son Exiled in Paris Ruled from

47 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Disruption and Change Charles II’s return called the “Restoration” of the monarchy –New Parliament was elected –England returned to the form of government it had known before the war

48 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Disruption and Change Effects of the Civil War and Cromwell’s Protectorate –Parliament had a new sense of its importance in directing the affairs of the country –The old authoritarian and hierarchical pattern of Elizabethan and Jacobean England was reconstituted along looser, more tolerant lines

49 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Disruption and Change Effects of the Civil War and Cromwell’s Protectorate (continued) –England had more than ever before become a country of multiplicity and diversity regarding politics and religion –The Anglican Church and the monarchy had been restored to prominence but no longer dominated English life as they had done before the Civil War

50 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Literature in a Century of Change Drama –The early decades of the seventeenth century saw a continuation of the boundless creativity of the Elizabethan stage –In much Jacobean drama, a darker and more disturbing image of life appears themes of violence, madness, and corruption come to the fore

51 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Literature in a Century of Change The Theaters –Closed in 1642 at the beginning of the Civil War –Cromwell, with his Puritan belief in the sinfulness of such public entertainment, kept them closed during the Protectorate –With the return of Charles II in 1660, drama flourished again, but in new modes strongly influenced by the French theater

52 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Famous Playwrights Ben Jonson –The greatest Jacobean after Shakespeare –Famous Plays Volpone The Alchemist

53 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Poetry The poetry of the seventeenth century can be described as the expression of two main styles or approaches –Metaphysical Poets –Classical and Conservative Style

54 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Poetry Metaphysical Poets –Used extended, highly intellectualized images often drawn from scholastic philosophy or metaphysics –Also referred to as the School of Donne, after John Donne, the most significant metaphysical poet –The metaphysical poem is more argumentative in tone –Its meter is usually varied, irregular, even deliberately rough and harsh –It often depends on conceits Extended metaphors

55 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Poetry John Donne – –Most significant metaphysical poet

56 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Poetry Classical and Conservative Style –This poetry subjected experience to the discipline and restraint of reason, of classical form, of meticulous craftsmanship –Ben Jonson was the chief practitioner of this style His immediate followers are referred to as the School of Jonson or, referring more specifically to the group of young poets who took up Jonson’s neoclassical standards, as the “Sons of Ben” or the “Tribe of Ben”

57 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Poetry These writers were called the Cavalier Poets –Robert Herrick ( ) –John Suckling ( ) –Richard Lovelace ( ) Suckling and Lovelace’s poems display an effortless, aristocratic nonchalance The entire Jonsonian tradition, including its Cavalier segment, provided the main basis for post-Restoration poetry in the age of John Dryden and Alexander Pope.

58 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Poetry Robert Herrick –

59 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Poetry John Suckling –

60 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Poetry Richard Lovelace –

61 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance Prose In the seventeenth century, English prose really came into its own –Sir Francis Bacon ( ) –John Donne and Lancelot Andrewes ( ) As an age of intense religious controversy, the seventeenth century produced a number of great preachers Their prose reflects the fact that their sermons were meant to be dazzling public performances, intellectually impressive and emotionally gripping

62 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance The Bible The translation of the Bible organized and sponsored by James I and known as the Authorized or King James Version (1611) Until the end of the nineteenth century, most fine prose in English was to some degree indebted to it

63 Geschke/British Literature Introduction to The Renaissance John Milton Wrote some of the finest sonnets, the finest pastoral elegy (Lycidas), and the most successful epic poem (Paradise Lost) in all of English literature Milton traditionally marks the end of the English Renaissance


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