The RenaissanceIntroduction to the Literary Period Feature Menu Key Concept: The Beginnings of Tudor Rule Key Concept: The Protestant Reformation Key Concept: England’s Greatest Monarch
Key Concept: The Beginnings of Tudor Rule History of the Times • Henry Tudor defeats the Yorkist king Richard III and establishes the Tudor dynasty, which rules for 118 years. • Henry marries Elizabeth of York to secure his position, and acts to ensure peace with foreign powers.
Key Concept: The Beginnings of Tudor Rule History of the Times By the time of Henry VII’s death in 1509, England is prosperous and fairly united, the throne protected. Henry accomplished this by • expanding commerce • supporting the English merchant class • reducing the power of the nobles • awarding offices to loyal men from the middle class
Key Concept: The Beginnings of Tudor Rule Literature of the Times • The fifteenth century was a key period for literacy in England. • The printing press is introduced in England. • Humanism becomes a major influence on English literature.
Key Concept: The Protestant Reformation History of the Times • Henry VIII, most famous for his six wives, reigns from 1509 to 1547. • Like his father, Henry VIII knows a male heir is essential to securing the throne. • With no son after 24 years of marriage, Henry appeals to pope to annul the marriage. • Pope Clement’s denial prompts Henry to reform the Catholic Church in England. • Henry VIII creates Church of England and Royal Navy, increasing England’s power.
Key Concept: The Protestant Reformation Literature of the Times • The Renaissance that started in Italy in the 14th century begins to flourish in England. • English writers set about translating Greek and Roman classics into English. • Henry VIII supports development of English literature, authorizes translation of Bible into English.
Key Concept: England’s Greatest Monarch History of the Times • Elizabeth I inherits kingdom after deaths of her brother Edward and sister Mary. • England under “Bloody” Mary was torn by religious feuds after she restored power to Catholics and executed Protestants. • Elizabeth’s first task was to restore law and order and reestablish Church of England. • The “Virgin Queen” foiled several murder plots by her cousin Mary, Queen of Scots. • Queen Elizabeth’s defeat of the Spanish Armada was one of her finest hours.
Key Concept: England’s Greatest Monarch Literature of the Times • Armada’s defeat is a catalyst for Renaissance writers, who celebrate Elizabeth I as a symbol of peace, prosperity, and security. • Poetry, drama, religious allegory, and philosophical works flourish in this golden age. • Elizabeth’s court becomes a center of literary culture for gifted writers. • The plays of William Shakespeare and his contemporaries are created for the general public, rather than aristocratic theater patrons.