The Renaissance began in Italy; it was a period where a rebirth of literary, artistic, andintellectual development occurred. It began in thefourteenth century. The Renaissance did not come to England until the final two decades of 15th century.
Key characteristics Humanism arose the religious devotion of the Middle Ages declined more emphasis was placed on discovering humanity’s place on earth. Universities introduced a new curriculum called “the humanities,” which included history, geography, poetry, and modern languages. More writers began working in the vernacular Scholars still used Greek and Latin, and students still learned those archaic languages
Some of the leading figures author of The Divine Dante Alighieri – poet and Comedy Francesco Petrarcha (Petrarch) – wrote sonnets; created the Petrarchian Sonnet. Leonardo da Vinci – painter, sculptor, architect, engineer, and scientist; known as the quintessential Renaissance Man
The Protestant Reformation began questioning the Due to Renaissance, many people authority of the Catholic Church. Many people had grievances with the Church as well. People were against the selling of indulgences (remission of punishment for the sins of dead relatives); payments often went into the pockets of corrupt Church officials. People also objected to other forms of payment to the Church, seen as taxation. Others felt that Church leaders played favorites by supporting Mediterranean powers against northern countries. Others questioned Church teaching and the Church hierarchy. This was influenced by the growth of Universities.
The Protestant Reformation 1536) Dutch man whose Desiderius Erasmus (1466 – translation of the New Testament raised serious questions about standard Church interpretations of the Bible. He focused attention on morality and religion. He remained a Roman Catholic even though he paved the way for a split in the Roman Catholic Church starting in 1517. Martin Luther (1483 – 1546) German monk who nailed a list of dissenting beliefs (95 Theses) to the door of a German Church. Luther’s protest was aimed at only reforming the Roman Catholic Church, but it ended by dividing the Church and introducing a new denomination called Protestants.
The Protestant Reformation The Protestant Reformation swept through Europe, fueled by politics. frequent wars between European nations whose rulers had opposing beliefs. Protestants and Catholics were both persecuted depending on where they happened to live and which religion the ruler supported. Protestants themselves eventually became divided over basic principles. In Germany, followers of Luther (Lutherans) persecuted the followers of John Calvin (Calvinists).
Tudor England (1485–1603) England during this time period experienced economic expansion and stability.London’s population was 180,000.
King Henry VII 1st Tudor monarch; King from 1485-1509Inherited an England that had been depleted and exhausted both economically and spiritually by years of civil war (War of the Roses).By the time of his death, he had rebuilt the nation’s treasury and established law and order in the land.He restored the prestige of the monarchy and set the stage for his successors
King Henry VIII 2nd Tudor monarch; King from 1509- 1547 Second-born son of Henry VII Married six times Died: 28 January 1547 Religion: Early :devout Catholic given the title Defender of the Faith by the Pope. Later changed to the Protestant religion, dissolved all the monasteries in Britain and established the Church of England Character Young man in his early life he was flamboyant, studious but fun loving. Later life he was cruel, arrogant and a hypocrite
The Six Wives of Henry VII
Catherine of Aragon (Spanish) Wife #1 originally married to Arthur, Henry’s older brother who died when he was fourteen years old. Catherine said the union was never consummated. The Pope had to give a special dispensation for the future king to marry her. Catherine gave birth to Mary Tudor. She was never able to give her husband a male heir that he desperately wanted.
Anne Boleyn Wife #2 who was pregnant with his child. Pope refused divorce and annulment. Henry went on to marry Anne, and then several months later had the Archbishop of Canterbury declare his marriage to Catherine annulled. The Pope excommunicated Henry VIII who then founded the Church of England (Anglican Church) and had himself declared the Supreme Head of the Church of England, otherwise known as The Act of Supremacy (1534). Anne gave birth to Elizabeth, but was never able to produce any surviving sons. Eventually Henry grew tired of her. Beheaded on charges of adultery
Jane Seymour Wife #3 Lady in waiting to Anne Boleyn Died in childbirth, while giving him his heir, Edward VI. Supposed love of Henry’s life Buried with her after his Death
Anne of Cleves Wife #4 political marriage very homely woman No children Divorced Lived in England until her death Called “The King’s Sister”
Catherine Howard Wife #5 Only about 19 when she married King He was 300lbsBeheaded on charges of adultery They were true
Catherine Parr Wife #6 Widowed twice before Henry No Kids more nursemaid than wife to the ailing Henry managed to outlive the king
Edward VI 3rd Tudor monarch; King from 1547- 1553 Became king at the age of nine Under Edward’s rule, English replaced Latin in the Church ritual. Thomas Cranmer (Archbishop of Canterbury) issued The Book of Common Prayer that is still used in the Anglican Churches today. Edward ruled by Privy Council; councilors governed until Edward reached his majority. Unfortunately, Edward died in 1553 (age 15) from measles & tuberculosis.
Lady Jane Grey Reluctant Queen for Nine Days When the Edward died, the Privy Council tried to put a reluctant Lady Jane Grey, great granddaughter of Henry VII and cousin to Edward, on the throne ahead of Edwards half-sister Mary. At her coronation, Jane stated, "The crown is not my right and pleaseth me not. The Lady Mary is the rightful heir.“ No real public support for the move and it fizzled after only nine days. The Duke, the unfortunate Jane Grey, and all her major supporters were executed at the Tower of London
Mary I 4th Tudor monarch; Queen from 1553-1558 The reign is marked by religious upheaval and dissension restored England to Catholicism restored the authority of the Pope She insisted on marrying her Spanish cousin, Phillip II, which made England appear to be a minor appendage of powerful Spain; people found her acts unpatriotic. Protestants were suppressed and nearly 300 were burned at the stake, an act which earned Mary the charming nickname "Bloody Mary" Died in 1558 and Elizabeth I assumed the throne
The Elizabethan Period
Elizabeth I 5th Tudor monarch; Queen from 1558-1603 Became queen at the age of 25; had a Renaissance education and read widely in Greek and Latin classics Became England’s ablest monarch since William the Conqueror. Known as the Virgin Queen She put an end to the religious turmoil of her half-sister Mary I’s era; reestablished the monarch’s supremacy in the Anglican Church and restored The Book of Common Prayer. She also instituted a policy of religious moderation.
Elizabeth I A patron of the Arts, she supported some of the best writers of the day The word “Elizabethan” signifies the height of the English Renaissance. a golden period in English History; the height of the English Renaissance saw the flowering of English literature, poetry, and theater. The French and the Spanish both sought to dominate England. Elizabeth played one side against the other and would dangle marriage offers to them as bait. This maneuvering allowed England a period of peace during which commercial and maritime interests prospered. Queen Elizabeth died in 1603, after a 45 year reign as Queen
Mary Stuart (Mary, Queen of Scots) Catholics did not recognize Henry VIII’s marriage to Elizabeth’s mother. They considered Mary Stuart to be the true Queen of England. She was held prisoner in the Tower of London for much of her life because she was the center of many Catholic plots to remove Elizabeth from the throne. Elizabeth would punish the plotters and allow her royal cousin to live.
Mary Stuart (Mary, Queen of Scots) Eventually a court convicted Mary Stuart of plotting to murder Elizabeth and Parliament insisted on executing Mary in 1587. Her death led Spain (Catholic country) to declare war on England. Other causes were that Spain rejected English claims to territory in the Americas, and English privateers attacked and plundered Spanish ships Spain’s King Phillip sent 130 ships known as The Spanish Armada to attack England. In 1588, an eight-day battle in the English Channel was fought. England defeated what had been the strongest navy from the strongest country at that time. The Spanish Armada’s defeat marks the decline of Spain and the emergence of England as a great sea power.
James I, King of Scotland Named as successor to Queen Elizabeth. He was the son of Mary Stuart. Strong supporter of the arts Under James, the "Golden Age" of Elizabethan literature and drama continued, with writers such as William Shakespeare, John Donne, Ben Jonson, and Sir Francis Bacon contributing to a flourishing literary culture. Sponsored the establishment of England’s first successful colony in the Americas: Jamestown, Virginia. Often treated Parliament with contempt as they became involved in a struggle over taxes Persecuted Puritans some of whom migrated to America and established the Plymouth colony in 1620.
Literature of this Period
King James Version of the Bible Bible first published in English translation of the Christian 1611. Made a profound effect on English literature. The works of famous authors such as John Milton, Herman Melville, John Dryden, and William Wordsworth are deeply inspired by it. Although it is often referred to as the King James Version, particularly in the United States, King James was not personally involved in the translation. King James’ authorization was legally necessary for the translation to begin, and he set out guidelines for the translation process, such as prohibiting footnotes and ensuring the position of the Church of England was recognized on various points. It is more commonly known as the "Authorized Version" in the United Kingdom.
Poetry / Verse Most commonly written in the form of a sonnet, which means “little song”. It is a 14-line poem with a VERY strict pattern of rhythm and rhyme. In plays, verse is used with characters that are of nobility and higher class.
Theater Performers sought patronage of nobles, who protected their reputation and provided funding and stability Those with noble endorsements were considered “legitimate”; those without royal support were considered to be “rouges” Women were not permitted to act; stage was considered unladylike and unsuitable for women. Instead, young boys played the parts. While it’s odd today, it’s all that actors then knew so it was considered normal and acceptable. Early Elizabethan theater drew large boisterous crowds seeking bawdy entertainment, especially in lower levels where admission was cheapest. In the early 1600s, themes changed; called court plays – geared to more intellectual audiences, nobility & royalty
The Elizabethan Stage Playhouses were round or octagonal; open at the top Partial roof, elaborately decorated like night sky, therefore called the Heavens Three levels of seating (galleries), reserved for those who could afford fees Those with little money stood in pit, the bare dirt floor in front of stage; these people were called groundlings Trap doors used, but little scenery and no stage lighting (plays during daylight hours) The hut atop the roof contained machinery to produce sound effects and various special effects; also flew a flag to inform public of impending performance
The Elizabethan Stage
Famous Elizabethan Playwrights
Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593) Credited with introduction of blank verse Acted and wrote under patronage of Lord Admiral Hailed as greatest English dramatist until Shakespeare; became fierce rivals Born same year as Shakespeare, but started theater career at an earlier age Died after stabbed in tavern brawl
Ben Jonson (1573-1637) Considered first real English comic Lacked higher education Born the son of clergy, educated at Westmister School by great classical scholars Stepfather deprived him of university education and required him to apprentice as bricklayer Eventually joined the army Considered most rebellious playwright; he wrote and spoke with little self-censoring Imprisoned several times
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) Almost undisputedly granted title of greatest playwright ever in history Wrote 37 plays (histories, tragedies and comedies) and 154 sonnets (poems) None of plays published until after death; many dispute purity of the plays – were they altered or even written by Shakespeare? Shakespeare’s dramatic works are divided into three main categories: history, tragedy, comedy.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) those 10 plays based on the Histories -- normally described as lives of English kings. Often regarded as Tudor propaganda because they show the dangers of civil war and celebrate the founders of the Tudor dynasty, but they also describe the political and social evolution that had led to the actual methods of Tudor rule, thus it is possible to consider history plays as a biased criticism of their own society. Tragedy – a type of drama that shows the downfall or destruction of a noble or outstanding person, traditionally one who possesses a tragic flaw. Tragic figures suffer a reversal of fortune, recognize the consequences of their actions, and face uncommon suffering with uncommon dignity.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) portrays a conflict between Comedy – a type of drama that a young hero and an older authority, regarded as a mere pretext for disguise, a comical device centered on uncertainties regarding the meaning of social identity. The basis of comedy would then be a plot mechanism conceived to engender misunderstandings either about a heros identity or about social being in general.