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The English Renaissance. 1485-1625. The Coming of the Renaissance. The Renaissance was a flowering of literary, artistic and intellectual development that began in Italy in the fourteenth century.

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the coming of the renaissance
The Coming of the Renaissance
  • The Renaissance was a flowering of literary, artistic and intellectual development that began in Italy in the fourteenth century.
  • It was inspired by the arts and scholarship of ancient Greece and Rome, which were rediscovered during the Crusades
key characteristics of the renaissance
Key Characteristics of the Renaissance
  • Religious devotion of the Middle Ages gave way to interest in the human being’s place on this earth
  • Universities introduced a new curriculum, the humanities, including history, geography, poetry, and languages
  • Invention of printing made books more available
  • More writers began using the vernacular
figures of the renaissance
Figures of the Renaissance
  • Mostly Italians
  • Dante, author of The Divine Comedy
  • Petrarch, wrote lyric poetry in the form of sonnets
  • Leonardo Da Vinci, a painter, sculptor, architect, and scientist
  • Da Vinci typifies a Renaissance man—a person of broad education and interests whose curiosity knew no bounds.
the age of exploration
The Age of Exploration
  • Renaissance thirst for knowledge lead to a great burst of exploration.
  • Crusades opened routes to Asia soon monopolized by Italian merchants.
  • Explorers from other nations searched for all-sea routes aided by compass and advances in astronomy.
  • Culminated in Columbus’s discovery of the New World in 1492--colonization
england in the age of exploration
England in the Age of Exploration
  • 1497—Italian-born John Cabot reached Newfoundland (an island off the coast of Canada) and perhaps the mainland
  • Cabot laid the basis for future English claims in North America.
the protestant reformation questioning the catholic church
The Protestant Reformation: Questioning the Catholic Church
  • A growing sense of nationalism led many to question the authority of the church.
  • Complaints:
  • the sale of indulgences
  • payment to the church (like taxes)
  • church leaders favored Mediterranean powers over northerly countries
  • the educated questioned the Church teachings and hierarchy
erasmus
Erasmus
  • Dutch thinker whose edition of the New Testament raised questions about standard interpretations of the Bible.
  • Focused attention on issues of morality and religion
  • Morality and religion became the central concerns of the English Renaissance
martin luther
Martin Luther
  • Erasmus paved the way for the split in the Roman Catholic Church in 1517.
  • German monk Martin Luther nailed a list of dissenting beliefs (“ninety-five theses) to the door of a German church.
  • The intent was to reform the Catholic Church, but actually divided the church and introducing Protestantism.
results of the protestant reformation
Results of the Protestant Reformation
  • Swept through Europe
  • Frequent wars between rulers with different beliefs
  • Persecution of Catholics and Protestants
  • Division of Protestants—Lutherans and Calvinists (Puritans and Presbyterian sects)
tudor england
Tudor England
  • Tudor dynasty ruled from 1485-1603.
  • Time of stability and economic expansion
  • London a metropolis of 180,000 people
  • Many saw the changes as a threat to the old familiar ways
  • Feared new outbreaks of civil strife (War of the Roses)
henry vii
Henry VII
  • First Tudor monarch
  • Inherited an England depleted by civil war
  • Before his death in 1509, he rebuilt the treasury and established law and order.
  • Henry VII restored the prestige of the monarchy and set the stage for his successors.
henry viii
Henry VIII
  • Catholic (even wrote a book against Luther)
  • Relationship with the Pope did not last
  • Marriage to Catherine of Aragon produced no male heir
  • Henry tried to obtain an annulment to marry Anne Boleyn
  • The Pope refused, but Henry married anyway
henry s break with the church
Henry’s Break with the Church
  • Henry’s defiance led to an open break with the Roman Catholic Church.
  • The Act of Supremacy (1534) gave Henry full control of the Church in England and severed all ties with Rome.
  • Henry became the head of the Anglican Church (the new Church of England).
  • He seized Church property and dissolved the monasteries.
the aftermath
The Aftermath
  • Henry used ruthless measures to suppress opposition.
  • He even had his former friend and advisor, Thomas More, executed, because More refused to renounce his faith.
  • Henry married six times.
  • His first two marriages (Catherine and Anne) produced two daughters, Mary and Elizabeth.
  • His third wife, Jane Seymour, bore him a son, Edward, who was still a frail child when Henry died in 1547.
edward vi
Edward VI
  • Became King at 9; died a 15 (1553)
  • Parliamentary acts during his reign changed England’s religious practices and sent England on its way to becoming a Protestant nation.
  • English replaced Latin in church.
  • The Anglican prayer book, Book of Common Prayer, became required in public worship.
bloody mary
Bloody Mary
  • Mary I, Edward’s half sister; a Catholic
  • Mary restored Catholic practices and papal authority to the Church of England.
  • Mary married her Spanish cousin, Phillip II, making England a part of the powerful Spanish state. (During this period of nationalism, many found her acts unpatriotic)
  • Mary also persecuted Protestants: she ordered the execution of some 200 Protestants during her reign, strengthening anti-Catholic sentiment in England
elizabeth i
Elizabeth I
  • After Mary’s five year reign, her half-sister, Elizabeth came to the throne.
  • Elizabeth was the last of the Tudors, dying unmarried and childless.
  • Elizabeth received a Renaissance education, became a patron of the arts, and Elizabethan came to describe the English Renaissance at its height.
elizabeth and the church
Elizabeth and the Church
  • Ended religious turmoil
  • Reestablished the monarch’s supremacy in the Church of England
  • Restored the Book of Common Prayer
  • Instituted a policy of religious moderation
foreign affairs
Foreign Affairs
  • France and Spain, England’s two greatest rivals, often worked with Catholic factions in England.
  • Both nations fought to dominate England.
  • Elizabeth and her counselors played one side against the other, using offers of marriage as bait.
  • This cleverness allowed England a period of peace and allowed commercial and maritime interests to prosper.
mary queen of scots
Mary, Queen of Scots
  • Elizabeth’s Catholic cousin, Mary Stuart; queen of Scotland by birth and next in line to the British throne (granddaughter of Henry VII)
  • Catholics did not recognize Henry VIII’s marriage to Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth’s mother, and considered Mary Stuart the queen.
  • Mary was a prisoner of England for 19 years and the center of numerous plots on Elizabeth’s life.
  • Eventually Mary was convicted of plotting to murder Elizabeth and went to the block in 1587, a Catholic martyr.
  • “In my end is my beginning”—Mary’s death led Catholic Spain to declare war on England.
england vs spain
England vs. Spain
  • Spain rejected English claims in America and resented the fact that English privateers had been attacking and plundering Spanish ships.
  • Privateers like John Hawkins and Francis Drake operated “on their own,” but were really under the authority of Queen Elizabeth.
the spanish armada
The Spanish Armada
  • After Mary’s execution, King Phillip II prepared a Spanish armada of 130 warships to attack England.
  • In 1588, English sailors defeated the Armada in the English Channel.
  • This event marked the decline of Spain and the rise of England as a great sea power
from tudors to stuarts
From Tudors to Stuarts
  • Elizabeth’s death marked the end of the Tudor dynasty.
  • To avoid civil strife, Elizabeth named King James VI of Scotland her successor (son of Mary Stuart).
  • James was a Protestant.
  • The reign of James I (1603-1625) is now known as the Jacobean Era
king james i
King James I
  • Strong supporter of the arts
  • Furthered England’s position as a world power
  • Sponsored the establishment of the first English colony in America—Jamestown
  • Believed in “divine right” monarchy and had contempt for Parliament (power struggle)
  • Persecuted Puritans (House of Commons)—James’s persecution prompted a group of Puritans to establish Plymouth colony in 1621
the english renaissance35
The English Renaissance
  • Architects designed beautiful mansions
  • Composers wrote new hymns for Anglican service and popularized the English madrigal
  • Renaissance painters and sculptors moved to England (Hans Holbein the Younger was court painter to Henry VIII)
  • Opened public schools (like private secondary schools today)
  • Improvements at Oxford and Cambridge
elizabethan poetry
Elizabethan Poetry
  • Perfected the sonnet and experimented with other poetic forms
  • Philip Sidney wrote the first Elizabethan sonnet cycle (a series of sonnets that fit together as a story)—Astrophel and Stella
  • Edmund Spenser wrote a long epic, The Faerie Queen, in complex nine-line units now called Spenserian stanzas
  • Christopher Marlowe popularized pastoral verse (idealizes the rural life)
the poetry of william shakespeare
The Poetry of William Shakespeare
  • Shakespeare changed the pattern and rhyme scheme of the Petrarchan sonnet, creating the English, or Shakespearean, sonnet
elizabethan drama
Elizabethan Drama
  • Reintroduced tragedies—plays in which disaster befalls a hero or heroine
  • Reintroduced comedies—plays in which a humorous situation leads to a happy resolution.
  • Began using blank verse
  • Christopher Marlowe was the first major Elizabethan dramatist.
  • Marlowe may have rivaled Shakespeare as England’s greatest playwright had he lived past thirty.
he was not of an age but for all time
“He was not of an age but for all time.”
  • Shakespeare began his involvement with the theater as an actor.
  • By 1592, he was a popular playwright whose works had been performed at Elizabeth’s court.
  • After the Globe Theater was built in 1599, many of his plays were performed there.
  • Shakespeare wrote thirty-seven plays: nine tragedies, several comedies, ten histories, and a number of play classified as tragic comedies.
elizabethan and jacobean prose
Elizabethan and Jacobean Prose
  • Philip Sidney’s Defense of Poesie is one of the earliest works of English literary criticism.
  • Thomas Nashe’s Unfortunate Traveler, a fictional adventure, was a forerunner of the novel.
  • Walter Raleigh wrote his History of the World during his confinement in the Tower of London (was beheaded for allegedly plotting against James I)
  • The leading prose writer of the time was Francis Bacon.
the king james bible
The King James Bible
  • The most monumental prose achievement of the English Renaissance
  • Commissioned by King James on the advice of Protestant clergymen
  • Took fifty-four scholars three years to complete
  • Is now among the most widely quoted an influential works in the English language