the english renaissance 1485-1625. the tudors in 1485, henry tudor united the lancaster and the york...

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  • The English Renaissance1485-1625

  • The TudorsIn 1485, Henry Tudor united the Lancaster and the York families, and became Henry VII, King of England.

  • The TudorsFor the next one hundred and eighteen years (from 1485-1603), the Tudor family ruled over England.

    The ascension of the Tudors marked the beginning of an unparalleled time of prosperity and artistic creativity, known as the English Renaissance.

  • The Tudor MonarchsHenry VII (1485-1509)

  • The Tudor MonarchsHenry VII (1485-1509)Henry VIII (1509-1547)

  • The Tudor MonarchsHenry VII (1485-1509)Henry VIII (1509-1547)Edward VI (1547-1553)

  • The Tudor MonarchsHenry VII (1485-1509)Henry VIII (1509-1547)Edward VI (1547-1553)Mary I (1553-1558)

  • The Tudor MonarchsHenry VII (1485-1509)Henry VIII (1509-1547)Edward VI (1547-1553)Mary I (1553-1558)Elizabeth I (1558-1603)

  • Elizabeth IQueen Elizabeths reign, which saw the English defeat of the famed Spanish Armada in 1588, and the rise of England as the most dominant European power, is so legendary that the entire era is often referred to as the Elizabethan Era.

  • Elizabethan EraSome of the greatest writers in English literature emerged during the Elizabethan Era, including . . .

  • Sir Edmund Spenser1552-1599Known for great sonnets (fourteen line, iambic pentameter, lyric poems), and his master epic, The Faerie Queene.

  • Sir Phillip Sidney(1554-1586)Responsible for the first English sonnet sequence (a collection of sonnets that, when put together, tell a narrative story), Astrophel and Stella.

  • Christopher Marlowe(1564-1593)A brilliant young dramatist, killed before his time; during his short life, he wrote such plays as Doctor Faustus and Tamburlaine.

  • William Shakespeare(1564-1616)Considered perhaps the greatest writer in the history of the English language, Shakespeare wrote over 150 sonnets and nearly 40 plays, including Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear, Romeo and Juliet, and A Midsummer Nights Dream.

  • The Jacobean EraThe late Renaissance (1603-1625) is often referred to as the Jacobean Era, from Jacobus, the Latin for James.

  • The Jacobean EraIn 1603, Elizabeth Is cousin, James VI of Scotland, succeeded her to become James I of England.

  • The Jacobean EraJames I ruled England for twenty-two years, during which English colonization of North America accelerated (with the establishment of Jamestown in 1607, and the pilgrim colony at Plymouth Rock in 1620).

  • The King James I BibleA newfound sense of English nationalism led James I to commission an English translation of the Bible.Though the Bible had been translated from Latin to English in the past, James team of scholars reviewed the original sources, as well as translations, in an attempt to create a definitive edition.

  • The King James I BibleThe result: one of the most quoted and recognized works in English.

  • The Renaissance World ViewOne reoccurring theme in English Renaissance literature is the belief that the universe was ordered and perfect, a reflection of the purity of creation.

  • Perfect HarmonyDuring the Renaissance, most people believed that the universe was constructed of perfect spheres.

    The earth was a perfect sphere at the center of creation, as were the heavenly bodies, which orbited the earth in perfect circles.

  • Perfect HarmonySurrounding the universe was a great crystalline shell, the rotation of which moved all of the heavenly bodies.

  • Perfect HarmonyNotions of this harmonious existence were challenged, however, by astronomers like Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543), who argued that the earth orbited around the sun, and not the other way around.

  • The Great Chain of BeingThe English also subscribed to the theory of the Great Chain of Being, a philosophical view of the universe in which every living thing is ordered in a linear hierarchy.

  • The Great Chain of BeingThat is to say, that the King was higher on the chain than the Queen, who was higher than a nobleman, who was higher than a noblewoman, and so on.

    Therefore, a king was said to be like a god on earth, a father the king of a household, etc.

  • Philosophy in ArtNotice how, in this picture of Elizabeth I, her beauty, power, and divine right to rule are suggested by the use of perfect circles, representing her connection to the perfection of the universe (she would have been quite flattered!).

  • A Female MonarchHowever, many were convinced during the reigns of Mary I and Elizabeth I that allowing a woman to rule over the men of England was improper, because it violated the order of the great chain.

    Elizabeth I angered many of her critics by refusing to marry, knowing that to do so would mean abdicating her power, as the ruler of England, to a husband.

  • Themes in the LiteratureMuch of the literature of the Renaissance reflects the growing philosophical conflicts between social groups in England.

    Catholics vs. Protestent ReformersGeocentricism vs. HeliocentricismPuritans vs. ProgressivesSupporters of the Tudors vs. Dissenters

    These social conflicts would lead to all out civil war in England in the mid-1600s.

  • Themes in the LiteratureCommon themes in the literature include:

    Male vs. Female rule (Patriarchy vs. Matriarchy)

    The Divine Right to Rule (and those who would attack it)

    Traditional Values vs. Youthful Rebellion

    Preordained Fate vs. Free Will

    Romantic Love vs. Bonding Based on Social Contracts

  • The RenaissanceThe Renaissance (or re-birth) marked the beginning of modern English literature: from the relative darkness of the long Medieval period emerged the light of a distinct, unique English culture, which produced poetry and drama that is as important and influential today as when it was first written, four hundred years ago.


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