World Lit II - Class Notes for January 17, 2012

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  • 1. World Literature II Renaissance to the Present Dr. Michael Broder University of South Carolina January 17, 2012
  • 2. Daily Write
    • What is “modernity”?
    Please do your best to answer this question in one (nice, juicy) sentence.
  • 3. Periods of Anglo-European History
    • I am going to use the term “Anglo-European” to refer collectively to the countries of the present-day United Kingdom and Europe
    • Other terms commonly used
      • Europe
      • Western Europe
      • The West
    • No terminology is perfect
  • 4. Periods of Anglo-European History
    • Classical (before 500)
    • Medieval (500–1500)
    • Modern (after 1500)
  • 5. Periods of Anglo-European History
    • Classical antiquity (800 BCE–500 CE)
    • Middle Ages (500–1400)
    • Renaissance (1300–1600)
    • Reformation (1500–1700)
    • Enlightenment (1700–1800)
    • Industrial Revolution (1800–1900)
    • Modernity (1900–?)
    • Postmodernity (?)
  • 6. Periods of Anglo-European History
    • Classical antiquity: 800 BCE–500 CE
    • Pre-modernity: 500–1500
    • Early modernity: 1500–1800
    • Modernity: 1800–?
    • Late modernity: 1900–?
    • Postmodernity?
  • 7. What difference, if any, does it make which system we use to refer to the different periods?
  • 8. The Renaissance Some Social, Cultural, and Historical Background
  • 9. The Renaissance begins in Florence, Italy…
    • … with the work of three major writers
      • Dante Alighieri (1265–1321)
      • Francesco Petrarca (1304–1374)
        • Known in English as Petrarch
      • Giovanni Boccaccio (1313–1375)
  • 10. Rebirth of Classical Humanism
    • Knowledge of Latin continued in Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire
    • European scholars, however, focused on the study of Greek and Arabic works of science, philosophy and mathematics (in Latin translations)
    • 14th-century Italian scholars revived the study of Latin poetry, history, and oratory
  • 11. Rediscovery of Ancient Greek
    • While ancient Greek was studied in the Byzantine Empire, study of ancient Greek was very limited in Western Europe
    • In 1396, Coluccio Salutati, the chancellor of the University of Florence, hired Byzantine scholar Manuel Chrysoloras to teach Greek
    • Italian scholars became reacquainted with ancient Greek poetry, drama, history, oratory, and philosophy
  • 12. The Literary Renaissance Spreads Beyond Italy
    • In Spain, Miguel de Cervantes (1548–1616) wrote Don Quixote , considered the first Western novel
    • French writers include François Rabelais (c. 1494–1553), Pierre de Ronsard (1524–1585), Joachim du Bellay (c. 1522–1560), and Michel de Montaigne (1533–1592)
    • English writers include William Shakespeare (1564–1616), Christopher Marlowe (1564–1593), Edmund Spenser (c. 1552–1599), Sir Thomas More (1478–1535), Francis Bacon (1561–1626), Sir Philip Sidney (1554–1586), and John Milton (1608–1674)
  • 13. Christianity & Classical Humanism
    • The Renaissance emerged in the context of Christianity, not in opposition to it
    • Dante’s Divine Comedy , for example, seeks to reconcile Christian theology with classical humanism and philosophy
      • Dante casts the Roman poet Virgil as his guide through hell, purgatory, and paradise
      • His allegorical descriptions of virtue and vice employ figures from ancient Greek and Roman mythology and history as well as from the Bible and current politics
  • 14. The Church Was a Major Force in European…
    • Politics
    • Government
    • Criminal and civil law (canon and secular)
    • Education
    • Inheritance
    • Marriage
    • Health, hospitals
    • Assistance to the poor (social safety net)
  • 15. The Church Had a Playful Side
    • Corpus Christi, a festival that reenacted the history of the world from Genesis to the Apocalypse
    • Began in the 14th century
    • Hundreds of performers on floats like in a modern Mardi Gras celebration, called waggons
    • Each waggon was sponsored by a guild who wrote, designed, and acted in the plays (like modern Mardi Gras krewes )
  • 16. Carnival
    • Twelfth Night (January 5)
      • Lord of Misrule
      • World turned upside down
    • Mardi Gras
      • From Epiphany (Jan 6) to Ash Wednesday (46 days before Easter, early as 2/4, late as 3/10)
      • Masks, costumes, overturning social conventions, dancing, sports competitions, parades
    • Shrovetide or Shrove Tuesday
      • Masques and plays
      • Games and sport
      • Final celebrations before entering Lent
  • 17. Erosion of Church Authority
    • The Church struggled to offer meaningful support to its members during the Black Death (1348-1350)
    • The Church lost respect, influence, and authority
    • Some traditional social roles of the Church were taken over by secular groups
    • Peasant uprisings occurred in parts of Europe
      • Northern France, 1358 (Jacquerie Rebellion)
      • Florence, Italy, 1378 (Ciompi Rebellion)
      • England, 1381 (Peasant’s Revolt)
  • 18. The Western (Papal) Schism
    • Split within the Catholic Church from 1378 to 1417
    • The cardinals elected a new pope in 1378, but then had “buyer’s remorse” and elected another pope
    • Both men claimed the right to hold the office
    • Conflict was more political than theological in nature
    • Ended by the Council of Constance (1414–1418), who fired the successors of both popes and started fresh with Pope Martin V
    • The schism hurt the reputation of the papacy and diminished the respect and authority of the Church
  • 19. Renaissance & Reformation
    • Renaissance Catholic priests such such as Erasmus of Rotterdam (1466–1536) and Martin Luther (1483–1546) proposed reform to the Church, often based on classical humanist principles
    • The Ninety-Five Theses , published by Luther in 1517, condemned the corruption of the papacy and challenged the authority of the Pope, leading to the Protestant Reformation
    • Northern Europe, with the exception of Ireland and parts of Britain, turned Protestant, while Southern Europe remained Roman Catholic
  • 20. For the Following Two Weeks
    • 1/19 Rabelais, Pantagruel, pp. 1-85
    • 1/24 Rabelais, Pantagruel, pp. 85-164
    • 1/26 Rabelais, Gargantua, pp. 195-285
    • 1/31 Rabelais, Gargantua, pp. 285-379
  • 21. Daily Write
    • What point do you remember most clearly from today’s class or think was most important, and why?
  • 22. World Literature II Renaissance to the Present Dr. Michael Broder University of South Carolina January 17, 2012