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The Renaissance 14 th – 17 th Century

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The Renaissance 14 th – 17 th Century. The Renaissance was a period of literature originating in Italy in the 14 th century. Renaissance is a French word that means “rebirth.” Historians consider the Renaissance to be the beginning of modern history.

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The Renaissance was a period of literature originating in Italy in the 14th century.

  • Renaissance is a French word that means “rebirth.”
  • Historians consider the Renaissance to be the beginning of modern history.
  • The Renaissance was much more than simply studying the work of ancient scholars. It influenced the painting, sculpture, and architecture for decades to come.


Accession of Henry VII


Accession of Henry VIII

What was happening in England.


Accession of Elizabeth I


Defeat of Spanish Armada


Death of Elizabeth I

how they spoke
How They Spoke
  • Fie - A curse, as in "Fie on thee, poxy harlot!"
  • Huzzah! - a cheer
  • S'wounds! - An exclamation, like wow. A shortened from "gods wounds".
  • Tosspot- Drunkard
major writers
Major Writers

Christopher Marlowe

Edmund Spenser

William Shakespeare


The faerie queene

Doctor Faustus

John Milton

  • Sir Philip Sidney
  •  Sir Thomas More

Paradise Lost

Astrophel and Stella


john donne 1572 1631
John Donne – 1572-1631
  • John Donne was born in London the son of a wealthy ironmonger and the maternal grandson of the playwright John Heywood.
  • Brought up a Catholic, he was educated at Oxford, he later converted to the Church of England.
  • He trained as a lawyer at Lincoln's Inn where he became notorious for his wit and high living
  • His poetry, which was published primarily: on love and religious themes and is characterised by its intensity, passion, intellectual argument, word-play, and cryptic complexity.
henry vaughan 1622 1695
Henry Vaughan- 1622-1695
  • Henry Vaughan was born at Newton-upon-Usk in Brecknockshire, Wales.
  • Both he and his brother attended Jesus College, Oxford but Henry left without taking a degree to study Law in London.
  • His studies were disrupted by the Civil War, however, and he returned to Wales to practise as a doctor.
  • He also produced a number of prose works on religious and medieval themes.
george herbert 1593 1633
George Herbert- 1593-1633
  • In 1630, in his late thirties he gave up his secular ambitions and took holy orders in the Church of England.
  • All of Herbert's English surviving poems are religious, and some have been used as hymns.
  • They are characterised by directness of expression and some conceits which can appear quaint.
  • Many of his poems have intricate rhyme schemes, and variations of lines within stanzas.

Not only did these three poets write about religion, but they were all metaphysical poets as well.

Metaphysical poems are/were usually new sciences and consisted of unusual comparisons and far-fetched similes and metaphors.

critical opinion
Critical Opinion

Samuel Johnson, who was also the first to group these poets together as ‘metaphysical poets’ claimed that "they were not successful in representing or moving the affections“ however their work was almost always intellectually stimulating.


The Flea


In the eyes of John Donne, the flea having taken blood from both him and his lover meant that he and his lover had effectively made love.