The Renaissance began in Italy in the fifteenth century.
Columbus was the first European to discover America.
Queen Elizabeth was the symbol of the Golden Age.
Some of his Roman Plays: Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra.
Shakespeare has thirty seven plays, Hamlet as the best known of all.
Shakespeare plays were written to be performed not to be published.
Many of the best known are tragedies, but each is different from the others.
His great tragedies were written in the years between 1598-1607 sometimes called his ‘black’ period.
His son Hamnet, who died at the age of ten may have influenced Shakespeare’s ‘black’ period, when many of his plays concern fathers and children.
Some of Shakespeare’s famous tragedies are:
Romeo and Juliet → the most famous tragedy of love in all literature and less complex and philosophical then most of Shakespeare’s earliest tragedies.
Hamlet, Othello, King Lear and Macbeth→ tragedies of revenge, jealousy, family and ambition.
The subjects of the comedies are just serious as the subjects of the tragedies. They discuss subjects like:
-The identity in The Comedy of Errors, Twelfth Night and As You Like It.
-The role of women in The Taming of the Shrew (shrew = wild women).
-Love and jealousy in Much Ado About Nothing.
Shakespeare’s final plays are difficult to define_ some of them are considered serious comedies or problem plays.
The Tempest is the most perfect of these final play.
Marlowe is one of the names that are closely connected with Shakespeare.
Marlowe was already the most famous and successful playwright of his generation at the age twenty –nine.
The language of Marlowe is more classically based than Shakespeare’s.
One of his famous plays is Doctor Faustus.
Marlow’s theme was always power.
The most popular play of the time is Spanish Tragedy by Thomas Kyd in 1512. .
The ‘tragedies of blood’ are called like this because they usually ended by the death of the main characters. For example Gorboduc by Thomas Sackville and Thomas Norton and another example is Hamlet by William Shakespeare.
Jacobean tragedy include the plays of John Webster:
The White Devil
The Duchess of Malfi
In 1642 the English drama ended in criticism, censorship and decline.
The most popular poetic form is the sonnet and Elizabethan scheme (ababcdefefgg)
The first major poet of the Renaissance was Sir Philip Sidney. His famous works are Astrophel and Stella
Edmund Spenser ( The Prince of Poets):- The Faerie Queen Prothalamion.
George Herbert the Collar _ Easter Wings
John Donne: the Holy Sonnets
Renaissance prose is important in many ways:
It helped to form the modern English language, and it gives the earliest examples of many forms of writing which later became very popular.
Many forms of prose writing reached a wide audience through the new invention of printing.
Examples of prose writing include:
Travel writing = people wanted to read about voyages of explorers to new worlds like America and the East.
Illustrate books = these books contain pictures with small explanations under each picture.
4 November 2006