Historical Context● Period of transition from medieval to modern world in Western Europe.● Started at various times for certain countries. (English "rebirth" began a century before Italians "rebirth")● Began with Early Tudor Age (c.1500-1557) and ended with Commonwealth Interregnum (1649-1660)● The best way to cover the Renaissance is by "age."
Early Tudor Age (1500-1557)● Ideas of Ren. replacing those of the Middle Ages.● The Reformation of English church and revival of learning known as humanism changed English life.● Expirimentation and French and Italian influences.● Wyatt and Surrey introduced the Italian sonnet, terza rima, ottava rima.● Surrey: first who used Blank Verse.● Famous authors: Sir Thomas Elyot, More (Utopia).● Medival drama still dominant. Emerging works: mystery plays, moralities, interludes, school plays.● "Ralph Roister Doister"--first regular English comedy● Tottels Miscellany (1557)--most important liteary work: "new poetry" collection
Elizabethan Age (1558-1603)● During reign of Elizabeth I. Nationalistic expression, commercial growth, and religious controversy. Development of English drama, outburst of lyric poetry, new interest in criticism.● Famous authors: Sidney, Spenser, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Bacon, Jonson and Donne (metaphysical poet)● "Golden Age of English Literature"
Jacobean Age (1603-1625)● During reign of James I. Breach b/w Puritan and Cavalier widened, growth in realism in art and cynicsm in thought.● Greatest period for English drama. Shakespeare wrote his greatest tragedies and published his "Sonnets". Jonson:classical tragedy, realistic comedy, and masques.● Famous authors: Shakes, Jonson, Beumont, Fletcher, Webster, Chapman, Middleton and Massigner. Drayton ("Poems"), Donne (metaphysical poetry), Bacon, Burton (Anatomy of Melancholy), Dekker (realistic novels)● Character essays● King James translation of Bible
Caroline Age (1625-1642)● During reign of Charles I of England, with his spirit. It is both Cavalier and Puritan. It is a carryover of the Elizabethan and Jacobean ages.● Metaphysical poets, cavalier lyricists.● Drama was decadent, romantacism was in decline, classicism advancing, scientific spirit growing.● Puritian migration to America was heavy
Commonwealth Interregnum(1649 -1660)● Period b/w execution of Charles I in 1649 and the restoration of the monarchy under Charles II in 1660, during which England was ruled by Parliament under control of the Puritan leader Oliver Cromwell, whose death in 1658 marked the beginnning of the end of the Commonwealth.● Famous authors/works: Milton with his political pamphlets, Hobbes Levethian (1651), Taylors Holy Dying and Holy Living (1650, 1651), Waltons The Compleat Angler (1653), Thomas Browne, Thomas Fuller. Dryden and his poetry. Marvell.● Drama continued. Davenants The Siege of Rhodes (1656)
Description of Period● A time of rebirth. A period of humanistic thoughts. Scientific. Hellenistic. Intense individualism.