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    Renaissance background

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    Sir Thomas More
    friends w/ Erasmus. published a book, “Utopia” about perfect society on imaginary island. no poverty or greed, everything shared, everyone equal. people governed by reason. eventually put to death for his ideas.
    Sir Walter Raleigh
    writer put to death for his ideas. attempted to establish colony in Virginia. also a protege poet for Elizabeth. encouraged Edmund Spenser to write the epic “The Faerie Queen” in honor of elizabeth.
    Henry Tudor
    Henry VII starting in 1485. negotiated favorable commercial treaties, built up nation’s merchant fleet, and financed expeditions that established English claims in the Americas
    son of Henry VII
    Catherine of Aragon
    Spanish princess who married Arthur in order to create political alliance with Spain, the “New World” rival. when Arthur died, she married younger Henry
    Martin Luther
    wrote out 95 theses against the Roman Catholic Church in hopes that the Church would reform itself. these were condemned by the pope. others, however, simply split off into Protestant churches
    Church of England
    created by Henry VII after he was denied permission from the pope for an annulment from wife Catherine b/c wanted a male heir. he eventually divorced her and married his court attendant, Anne Boleyn
    Edward VI
    Henry VII’s only son who died at 15.
    formed during Edward VI’s reign. believed the church needed further reform and thus sought to purify it of all roman practices.
    Bloody Mary
    reigned after Edward VI. brought back Roman Catholicism and persecuted Protestants, thus creating the name Bloody Mary
    Elizabeth I
    unwanted daughter of Henry VII and Anne Boleyn. during her reign, (Elizabethan Era), England was prosperous and prestigious.
    •used absolute authority but was also sensitive to public opinion.
    •kept England out of costly wars,
    •ended Spanish alliance, and
    •encouraged overseas adventures,
    •i.e. SIR FRANCIS DRAKE’S circumnavigation of the globe and SIR WALTER RALEIGH’S attempt to establish colony in Virginia
    •reestablished church of england, using it as a buffer btwn catholics and puritans
    Mary Stuart
    queen of scotland considered by catholics to be the rightful heir to the english throne. eventually beheaded in 1587, causing catholic spain’s philip II to challenge english navy. english won.
    James I of England
    also known as James VI of scotland. became james I after elizabeth’s death.
    •supported church of england, which angered roman catholics and protestants.
    •opposed puritan-dominated house of commons
    •disdained parliament
    •favored catholic-style “high church” rituals in anglican church
    gunpowder plot
    a plot plotting to kill james I set up by Guy Fawkes, a Catholic.
    Charles I
    James I’s son, who shared same views as James. his reign worsened clashes w/ puritans.
    •dismissed parliament and did not resummon for 11 yrs
    •caused the emigration of thousands of puritans
    •attempted to introduce anglican practices in scotland’s presbyterian churches, leading to rebellion. this caused him to resummon parliament, as he needed funds to suppress rebels
    •response to rebellion in scotland led to civil war in england
    who were the participants in the english civil war?
    royalists (catholics, anglicans, nobility) vs. parliament (puritans, small landowners, middle class)
    oliver cromwell
    leader of the puritan army that defeated the royalists
    this was established by parliament with cromwell as head immediately after the civil war.

    puritan dominated gov’t, however, saw little autocratic change. england’s theaters closed, recreation suspended, etc.

    Charles II
    son of Charles I. invited to return from exile to rule after cromwell’s son failed. his reign introduced the Restoration.
    Renaissance (“rebirth”, “revival)
    a period marked by a surge of creative energy and the emergence of a worldview more modern than medieval. began in italy.
    •in england, political instability hindered the flow of renaissance ideas, but they began to emergence when Henry VII took the throne and reached their peak during Elizabeth I’s reign
    how did people’s worldview change during the renaissance?
    before: focus on religion and afterlife. real world preparation for spiritual world to come.

    after: increasing interest about life on earth. new emphasis on individual and development of human potential

    what were some inventions/things that flourished of the renaissance period?
    •compass, advances in astronomy allowed ships to venture into uncharted seas
    •Gutenberg’s printing press meant books didn’t have to be copied by hand. books=widely available
    •theater and literature
    •James I commmissioned new translation of the Bible
    what marked the end of the renaissance period?
    restoration of monarchy (Charles II) in 1660
    in what ways were poems important during the renaissance?
    •elite artistic and social circle surrounding the queen as well as the queen herself (elizabeth) enjoyed hearing poems
    •the most eloquent poets were patronized and rewarded by Elizabeth herself
    •proteges included Sir Philip Sidney and Sir Walter Raleigh.
    what were pastoral poems and who wrote them?
    •poems that portray shepherds and rustic life in an idealized manner. did NOT write in common voice of shepherd. used courtly language instead of colloquialisms. form was artificial in terms of meters and rhyme schemes
    •written primarily by Sir Walter Raleigh and his contemporary, Chrisotopher Marlowe
    how did views of nature change during the renaissance?
    was viewed as intricate, complex, and beautiful. natural world was subject to IMPROVEMENT, not imitation by creative minds. greater “artificiality”=more admiration
    14 line verse, often published in sequences. most popular love lyric.
    who introduced the sonnet?
    Sir Thomas Wyatt and Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey. modified to better suit the english language
    what were some examples of sonnets?
    •Edmund Spenser’s “Amoretti” addressed to future wife.
    •Shakespeare’s sonnets do not form a clear sequence but have been addressed to mysterious dark lady that some think may be AMELIA LANIER
    •english sonnet eventually became known as shakespearean sonnet
    from where did elizabethan drama emerge?
    medieval plays, 16th century interludes, Latin and Greek classics
    what were mystery, morality, and miracle plays, and what were their purposes?
    simple plays performed in churches, inns, and marketplaces
    •meant to spread religious knowledge
    •gave actors and writers opportunity to develop craft within biblical story outlines already familiar to audiences
    small scenes that ridiculed manners and customs of commoners, had little to do with Bible; eventually led elizabethan dramatists to write plays w/ secular themes
    Latin and Greek dramas
    modeled characteristics of comedy and tragedy for Elizabethan playwrights. revived during renaissance
    what did renaissance dramatists incorporate into their works?
    •devices from earlier works
    •inserted own elements consistent w/ thinking of the age
    •complexities of human life on earth rather than religious themes of earlier times
    where were plays generally staged?
    at court, in homes of wealth nobles, inn yards where spectators could sit on ground in front of stage or in balconies overlooking it
    Globe Theater
    located on an inn yard in London. one of england’s first theaters. most successful playhouse b/c of shakespeare
    •contributed 37 plays to theater’s repertory including TRAGEDIES (othello), COMEDIES (a midsummer night’s dream) and HISTORIES about kings of england
    •notable for clever worldplay, memorable characters, complex plots. understood by uneducated people
    •his plays represent the height of english dramatic tradition
    •wrote some of his greatest tragedies (e.g. macbeth) during reign of James I, Elizabeth’s successor
    what made shakespeare so successful?
    knew limitations of theater building and the acting company for whom he wrote his plays
    what made theater during the renaissance difficult?
    •actors had to be able to sing, dance, wrestle, fence, clown, weep
    •plays had to be written so that any character who died on stage could be hauled off
    Christopher Marlowe
    ••first playwright to exploit potential of english language as dramatic medium
    •tragedies show psychological probing hallmark of the finest elizabethan/17th century drama
    Ben Jonson
    •wrote plays providing satiric, cynical commentary on lives of ordinary londoners.
    •his masques attracted aristocratic audiences
    what ended the golden age of drama?
    when puritan’s overthrew james’s son charles, allowing them to finally close all playhouses
    how did literature change during the renaissance?
    •reflected humanism
    •new ideas about worth and importance of individual, spiritual value of beauty in nature and art, power of human reason to decide what was good and right
    •humanities studied human subjects like history, philosophy, literature
    what religious group made up humanists?
    •dutch monk who led a group of christian humanists to study ancient greek and hebrew in order to read bible and other sacred writings in the original.
    •criticized european society as a result of reading about these high ideals
    humanists were concerned with _________ learning
    what were the goals of humanists?
    •educate sons of nobility to speak and write in latin, language of diplomacy and higher learning
    •unsure as to write works in latin or english, so many translations took place. e.g. Earl of Surrey’s translation of “Aeneid” and George Chapman’s translation of “Iliad” and “Odyssey”
    what was the difference between early and late humanists?
    early humanists (thomas more, a catholic, for e.g.) attacked luther and the protestants, but late humanists (roger ascham for eg) were protestants who attacked secular humanism. later influenced christian writers like john milton
    King James Bible
    •molded english prose style like no other work.
    •one of the few (if only) masterpiece of literature created by committee.
    •the principal Protestant Bible in english for more than 300 yrs.
    •commissioned by James I to be a new “authorized” version of Bible based on original hebrew and greek along w/ early translations of latin
    John Wycliffe
    wrote the first english version of the Bible, attacked by British archbishop b/c many against translation of Bible. believed it lead to heresy and diminished church authority
    William Tyndale
    an English translator who was condemned as heretic and burned at the stake
    John Milton
    •(puritan) one of the earliest writers to be influenced by king james bible.
    •wrote epic blank verse poem, “Paradise Lost” based on biblical story of first humans. notable for his portrayal of satan. meant to evoke reverence for his religious themes
    •rich and complex style of writing combined w/ religious themes
    John Bunyan
    •puritan writer who was uneducated tinker and preacher, spent many years in jail for religious beliefs
    •wrote “The Pilgrim’s Progress”, one of his greatest works, in prison. was an allegory in which a person, Christian, undertakes dangerous journey from this world to the next. very simply written
    •models writing style on english Bible. used concrete language and details familiar to most readers

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