The English Renaissance

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The English Renaissance:

The English Renaissance The REBIRTH of Classical Knowledge

Life is GOOD!:

Life is GOOD! Discovery of New World and International Travel Invention of the printing press Rise of Democracy and Nationalism Revitalized interest in edu cation and the founding of Universities Patronage of the arts Human beings and nature as the results of natural law rather than occult powers Focus on afterlife switches to focus on the Here and Now.

Rediscovery of the classics:

Rediscovery of the classics Took classical Greek and Roman writing as an example Classic writings show mankind as glorious individuals capable of greatness the opposite of what church taught at the time


Sonnet A poem of fourteen lines. Renaissance sonnets often dealt with love from afar. A group of sonnets on the same subject are called a sonnet cycle or sequence. There are two popular types:


Sonnet Italian or Petrarchan: Divided into an Octave and a Sestet (8 and 6 lines) Rhyme scheme of abbaabba cdecde


Sonnet Shakespearean or English: Four divisions- three quatrains and a rhymed concluding couplet Typical rhyme scheme is abab cdcd efef gg Spenser sometimes combined the types with what is called a Spenserian Sonnet (very rare)

Sir Philip Sidney:

Sir Philip Sidney Son of a respected statesman, but carried himself with extreme modesty A courtier, soldier, scholar and poet Respected for his intelligence & good judgment at the royal court Most famous work was Astrophel and Stella , England’s first great sonnet sequence Was engaged to Penelope Devereux, but eventually it was broken off. She is the basis of Stella Also wrote Defence of Poesy, a defense of literature when it was attacked by the puritans Was killed in battle, died very nobly

Christopher Marlowe:

Christopher Marlowe Son of middle class shoemaker, went to Cambridge on a scholarship. possibly an atheist, highly unorthodox for the time Popularized BLANK VERSE possibly a spy for Queen Elizabeth’s Secret Service murdered in a bar fight. May have been political assassination. Famous works: The Tragical History of the life and Death of Doctor Faustus, the pastoral poem “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” Was a major influence on the work of Shakespeare.

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