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Elizabethan era

American Literature

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Elizabethan era

  3. 3. The Elizabethan era is the period in English history marked by the reign of Monarch Queen Elizabeth I (1558–1603).  Historians often depict it as the golden age in English history.  The symbol of Britannia was first used in 1572, and thereafter, to mark the Elizabethan age as a renaissance that inspired national pride through classical ideals, international expansion, and naval triumph over the Spanish — at the time, a rival kingdom much hated by the people of the land.
  4. 4. Historian John Guy (1988)- argues that England was economically healthier, more expansive, and more optimistic under the Tudors" than at any time in a thousand years. This "golden age" represented the top of the English Renaissance and saw the flowering of poetry, music and literature.  The era is most famous for theatre, William Shakespeare and many others composed plays that broke free of England's past style of theatre.
  5. 5. It was an age of exploration and expansion abroad, while back at home, the Protestant Reformation became more acceptable to the people, most certainly after the Spanish Armada was repulsed. It was also the end of the period when England was a separate realm before its royal union with Scotland.
  6. 6. Elizabethan Age  may be viewed especially highly when considered in light of the failings of the periods preceding Elizabeth's reign and those which followed.  it was a brief period of internal peace between the English Reformation and the religious battles between Protestants and Catholics and then the political battles between parliament and the monarchy that engulfed the remainder of the seventeenth century.
  7. 7. The Protestant/Catholic divide was settled, for a time, by the Elizabethan Religious Settlement, and parliament was not yet strong enough to challenge royal absolutism. England was also well-off compared to the other nations of Europe. The Italian Renaissance had come to an end under the weight of Spanish domination of the peninsula. France was embroiled in its own religious battles due to significant Spanish intervention, that would only be settled in 1598 with the Edict of Nantes.
  8. 8. In part because of this, but also because the English had been expelled from their last outposts on the continent by Spain's tercios, the centuries- long conflict between France and England was largely suspended for most of Elizabeth's reign. The one great rival was Spain, with which England clashed both in Europe and the Americas in skirmishes that exploded into the Anglo-Spanish War of 1585–1604.
  9. 9. An attempt by Philip II of Spain to invade England with the Spanish Armada in 1588 was famously defeated, but the tide of war turned against England with an unsuccessful expedition to Portugal and the Azores, the Drake-Norris Expedition of 1589. Thereafter, Spain provided some support for Irish Catholics in a debilitating rebellion against English rule, and Spanish naval and land forces inflicted a series of reversals against English offensives. This drained both the English Exchequer and economy that had been so carefully restored under Elizabeth's prudent guidance.
  10. 10. English commercial and territorial expansion would be limited until the signing of the Treaty of London the year following Elizabeth's death. England during this period had a centralised, well- organised, and effective government, largely a result of the reforms of Henry VII and Henry VIII, as well as Elizabeth's harsh punishments for any dissenters. Economically, the country began to benefit greatly from the new era of trans-Atlantic trade, persistent theft of Spanish treasure, and the African slave trade.
  12. 12. The reign of Queen Elizabeth lasted from 1558 until her death in 1603, during which time the arts in England thrived. Fine arts received support and encouragement from the Queen that was unparalleled by any other English monarch; and as a result, the authors and works of this time period came to be known as Elizabethan. She was an avid reader and often held theatre performances in her court, particularly from her own company of actors, known as The Queen's Players. Literature, in particular, flourished under the reign of Elizabeth, with many influential authors developing their personal styles during this time.
  13. 13. Some of the key writers of this era include • Christopher Marlowe, • Sir Philip Sidney, • Edmund Spenser, • William Shakespeare. Poetry — and sonnets particularly — became a popular form of writing, with Shakespeare and Spenser's extraordinary works at the forefront of the genre. Both authors heavily influenced the way sonnets would be written in the years to come. The style of writing sonnets in three quatrains and a couplet later became known as "Shakespearian" in recognition of the Bard's frequent use of this method.
  14. 14. Spenser's writing also sparked the adoption of a literary term: the "Spenserian stanza," which describes a nine-line stanza based on Spenser's work, most notably the epic The Faerie Queene. As a young man and writer, Spenser looked up to another excellent poet, Sir Philip Sidney, whose diverse career in politics, diplomatic positions, writing, and the military made him a "Renaissance man" of the time. Sidney'sAstrophil and Stella is a prime example of Elizabethan poetry due to its wit and imaginative creativity. One of the most excellent pieces of Elizabethan literary criticism is An Apology for Poetry, Sidney's eloquent response to a minor writer's attack on poetry.
  15. 15. Marlowe o widely-popular Shakespeare, was one of the most well- known playwrights of the Elizabethan era. A contemporary of Shakespeare's to the year (both writers were born in 1564), Marlowe is credited with writing one of the first English plays in blank verse, Tamburlaine. Marlowe's The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus, a tale of fatal bargains with the devil published around 1592, is his greatest work.
  16. 16. Ben Jonson o was relatively unknown among the greater circle of English playwrights until he published Every Man in His Humour in 1598. A few years after its publication, Jonson was imprisoned for his satirical description of King James I's arrival in England. After he was released, he publishedVolpone in 1606, the work for which he is best known.
  17. 17. Although Marlowe and Jonson were reputable writers, Shakespeare —with his successful combination wit, blank verse, and classical writing — is generally considered to be the most successful of all Elizabethan writers.
  18. 18. MAJOR WRITERS OF THE ELIZABETHAN PERIOD Important writers and their works of the Elizabethan period of English literature. Thomas Sackville 1536- 1608 Poet The Myrroure for Magistrates Gorboduc (Collaborated with with Thomas Norton) Thomas Norton 1532- 1584 Poet Gorboduc (Collaborated with Thomas Sackville) George Gascoigne 1525- 1577 Poet Steel Glass Supposes Jocasta Edmund Spenser 1552- 1599 Poet The Faerie Queene The Shepherdess Calendar Amoretti Epithalamion Prothalamion Mother Hubberd’s Tale The Ruins of the Rime The Tears of the Muses Astrophel
  19. 19. Thomas Wyatt 1503- 1542 Poet }Introduced Sonnet into English Literature Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey 1516- 1547 Poet Sir Philip Sydney 1554- 1586 Poet ArcadiaAstrophel and StellaAn Apoogie for Poetrie Samuel Daniel 1562- 1619 Poet The Battle of Agincourt England’s Heroic Epistles The Baron’s Wars Polyolbion
  20. 20. William Shakespeare 1564- 1616 DramatistPoet Ben Jonson 1573- 1637 Dramatist Every Man in His Humour Every Man Out of His Humour Volpone or the Fox Cynthia’s Revels The Alchemist Bartholomew Fayre Epicaene or the Silent Women Sajanus His Fall Catline His Conspiracy The Poetaster Teh Devil as an Ass
  22. 22. an English playwright, poet, and actor William Shakespeare (1564-1616) is generally acknowledged to be the greatest of English writers and one of the most extraordinary creators in human history. The most crucial fact about William Shakespeare's career is that he was a popular dramatist. Born 6 years after Queen Elizabeth I had ascended the throne, contemporary with the high period of the English Renaissance, Shakespeare had the good luck to find in the theater of London a medium just coming into its own and an audience, drawn from a wide range of social classes, eager to reward talents of the sort he possessed.
  23. 23.  His entire life was committed to the public theatre, and he seems to have written nondramatic poetry only when enforced closings of the theatre made writing plays impractical. It is equally remarkable that his days in the theatre were almost exactly contemporary with the theatre's other outstanding achievements—the work, for example, of Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson, and John Webster.
  24. 24. Shakespeare was born on or just before April 23, 1564, in the small but then important Warwickshire town of Stratford. His mother, born Mary Arden, was the daughter of a landowner from a neighboring village. His father, John, son of a farmer, was a glove maker and trader in farm produce; he had achieved a position of some eminence in the prosperous market town by the time of his son's birth, holding a number of responsible positions in Stratford's government and serving as mayor in 1569. By 1576, however, John Shakespeare had begun to encounter the financial difficulties which were to plague him until his death in 1601.
  25. 25.  Though no personal documents survive from Shakespeare's school years, his literary work shows the mark of the excellent if gruelling education offered at the Stratford grammar school (some reminiscences of Stratford school days may have lent amusing touches to scenes in The Merry Wives of Windsor. Like other Elizabethan schoolboys, Shakespeare studied Latin grammar during the early years, then progressed to the study of logic, rhetoric, composition, oration, versification, and the monuments of Roman literature.
  26. 26.  The work was conducted in Latin and relied heavily on rote memorization and the master's rod. A plausible tradition holds that William had to discontinue his education when about 13 in order to help his father. At 18 he married Ann Hathaway, a Stratford girl. They had three children (Susanna, 1583-1649; Hamnet, 1585-1596; and his twin, Judith, 1585-1662) and who was to survive him by 7 years. Shakespeare remained actively involved in Stratford affairs throughout his life, even when living in London, and retired there at the end of his career.