English Renaissance 1485-1660
OverviewMiddle Ages: focus on religion and after lifeRenaissance: focus on human life on earthIncreased interest in art, literature, nature, and human impulsesEmphasis on the individual and the development of human potential
Tudor Monarchy1485-Henry VII takes throne1509-Henry VIII takes throneRenaissance PrinceOriginally stayed loyal to Rome, but eventually began the Protestant Reformation in England because he wanted a divorce from Catherine of Aragon1534-declared himself Head of the Church of England, an Anglican church
Tudor MonarchyHenry VIII continuedPopular support for this religious moveThose who did not support often paid with their livesHenry VIII had SIX WIVES!Catherine of Aragon-1509 to 1533-divorced-one daughter, MaryAnne Boleyn-1533 to 1536-executed for adultery, incest, and plotting to kill the king-daughter, ElizabethJane Seymour-1536 to 1537-died, only wife to be buried with the king-son, Edward VI
Tudor MonarchyHenry VIII wives continuedAnne of Cleves-January 1540 to July 1540-divorcedKathryn Howard-1540 to 1542-executed, promiscuity and adulteryKatherine Parr-1543-1547-widowed
Tudor Monarchy1547-Edward VINine years old when he took the throneEngland becomes more truly ProtestantPublication of the Book of Common Prayer1553-Mary IReintroduces CatholicismMarries cousin Philip II of SpainPersecution of Protestants; Bloody Mary
Tudor Monarchy1558-Elizabeth IDaughter of henry and AnneConsidered one of the best monarchs in English historyPomp and ceremonyFrugalMiddle of the road religiouslyVirgin Queen???Dies in 1603-end of Tudor reign
Stuart Monarchy1603-James VI of Scotland, James I of EnglandKing James Bible1625-Charles IDivine rights of kingsDismissed parliament1649-beheaded
Stuart MonarchyCivil War-Puritans/Royalists1649-Oliver Cromwell head of CommonwealthLater Lord Protector for Life1658-Cromwell dies, son inherits title1660-Charles II returns from exile to restore monarchy
What does all this mean for literature?Genres: lyric sonnet, poetic drama, masqueLyric sonnet: Specialized poems (14 lines) adhering to strict rhyme schemes and syllable rules. Very structured.Poetic drama: combination of play and poetry in which the character in the plays speak mostly in metrically structured verseMasque: fantastic court dramas with supernatural characters and outlandish costumes
English Renaissance AuthorsFirst in history to support themselves as writersPaid through three institutions: acting companies, universities, and the Kings/Queens court
Elizabethan BeliefsLife in Elizabethan England could be cruel and hard. The poor often went hungry, disease was widespread, medical remedies often felt more like tortures, and many women died in childbirth. But through their beliefs, people found ways of making sense of their existence.
Elizabethan Beliefs-ReligionPeople were, in general, much more religious than people today.Almost everyone believed in God and expected to go to heaven or hell after death.
At this time, England was a Protestant country it had broken away from the Catholic Church of Rome. This was part of the European movement called the Reformation, which began with attacks on corruption in the Catholic Church.
Elizabethan BeliefsChain of Being, cont.Accepting ones place in the chain was a duty that would be rewarded by God in heaven.Disrupting the chain was thought to lead to chaos, but of course many people still did challenge their position in society.
Elizabethan BeliefsThe Chain of BeingA concept inherited from the Middle AgesAn attempt to give order, or degree, to the vastness of creation.God created everything in a strict hierarchy, or chain, that stretched from God himself down to the lowest things in existence.Humans occupied a place in the chain below the angels but above animals, plants and stones. Some humans were higher in the chain than others.
Elizabethan BeliefsThe Chain of Being, cont.The monarch was the highestNobles and churchmen belowGentlemenCommonersAll women were considered to be inferior to men, with the obvious exception of Elizabeth I.
Elizabethan BeliefsMyths and MagicFairies, magic, witches, spells and prophecies all formed part of their view of life.Folklore and superstition were often as important to people as the official religious beliefs taught by the Church.
Little and LargeThe human body was thought to be a miniature representation of the universe as a whole a microcosm.Various parts of the body were linked to the planets and signs of the zodiac
Elizabethan BeliefsLittle and Large, cont.The body was thought to contain four humours or fluids black bile, phlegm, blood and choler.A persons temperament depended on the way the humours were mixed.Most people were thought to have one humour that was more dominant than the others.Illnesses and mental disorders were blamed on an imbalance of the humours.
William ShakespeareBirth celebrated as April 23, 1564Died April 23, 1616Married Anne Hathaway in 1582She was 8 years Bills seniorLapse from 1585-1592
Shakespeares CareerBy 1592- actor and playwright1594- charter member of Lord Chamberlain's Men1603- Changed to Kings MenRetired in 1612Wrote 37 plays154 Sonnets
Why is his work so popular?
Shakespeare wrote about human nature and how people behave.Although his words can be hard to understand, his ideas are as relevant now as they were four centuries ago.
Shakespeares WorksNo one knows exactly when each of his works was written; there are approximate dates.Some experts have even said that Shakespeares plays are really the work of other writers.This may be because some people cannot believe that Shakespeare, who came from an ordinary background, could have written such great works of literature.
Elizabethan StageThe Globe (Wooden O)- Jan. 20, 1599Caesar -Probably the first play to be performed at The GlobeSets would primarily be imagined by the audience (heaven, stage, hell)All actors male1613- Henry VIII, light fuse to cannon, theatre burned down
Shakespeares Use of LanguageMeter: rhythm of speech organized into patterns called feetBlank Verse: unrhymed iambic pentameterHeroic Couplet: 2 lines of iambic pentameter that rhyme
Iambic PentameterConsists of iambs (hence, the iambic part)Iamb=a set of 2 syllables (a foot), the first being unstressed (u) and the second being stressed (/)-opposite is trochaicFive iambs per line (the pentameter part)Therefore, there are 10 syllables in each lineUsually, the more important words or parts of words are stressed
Imitation of a serious action which provokes pity and fear in the reader/viewer (catharsis=purge of emotions)Shakespeares most famous and popular playsRomeo and Juliet; Macbeth; Hamlet; Othello; King Lear; Julius Caesar
Tragic HeroCharacter usually of high birth who is not totally good or totally bad. His downfall is brought about by harmatia (a character flaw) or error in judgment, causing the character to become more self aware or learn a lesson.Hubris-common character flaw of excessive pride
Doom and DestinyMany people believed in fate, or destiny, and in the power of the stars to foretell the future.Shakespeare uses the idea of fate or destiny to add excitement and anticipation to the tragediesUses a prophecy as a way of holding the audiences interest, because everyone wants to see if it will be fulfilled.
Set in ScotlandWritten for King James I (formerly of Scotland, now England)Queen of Denmark (Jamess sister) was visitingShakespeare researched The Chronicles - Banquo is an ancestor of King James I
King Duncan of ScotlandMurdered by cousin MacbethHonest and goodMalcolm & DonalbainSons of the KingMalcolm is the eldest sonMacbethDuncans most courageous generalAmbition to become king corrupts him causing him to murder Duncan
BanquoGeneral and Macbeths best friendSuspects Macbeth in Duncans murder An actual ancestor of King James ILady MacbethAs ambitious as her husbandA dark force behind his evil deedsMacduffScottish general, suspects Macbeth of murdering the kingMacbeth has his family murderedSwears vengeance
The Scottish PlayIt is believed to be bad luck to even squeak the word Macbeth in a theatreLegend has it you will lose all your friends involved in the production--horriblyMORE ON THAT LATER...
So what really happens?Good guy goes badGuy wants powerMarried to a pushy control freakShe wants powerKills people- LOTS of peopleGets powerGets paranoid (a.k.a. goes crazy)Ticks off a lot of peopleWant more power! Kill! Kill!Gets whats coming to him in the end
Lifes but a walking shadow; a poor player, That struts and frets his hour upon the stage, And is heard of no more: it is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.- Act V; s.5
Unlocking Themes in MacbethAmbition can subvert reason.When supernatural powers represent evil, they should be ignored.The natural order is disrupted by any upset in the proper order of human society.This Powerpoint is hosted on www.worldofteaching.comPlease visit for 100s more free powerpoints
Unlocking Themes in MacbethAppearances do not always reflect reality.Despite prophecies of the future, people are responsible for their own actions.Attempts to control the future by overturning the natural order of society are futile.