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Renaissance Period slide show

The Renaissance
Mrs. Pace – English 12CP
The term renaissance is a French word meaning
“rebirth.” It refers particularly to a renewed interest
in classical learning – the writings of ancient Greece
and Rome. The Renaissance Period is considered to
be a cultural movement.
The Renaissance era in Europe
and in England was marked by a
change in the way people thought
about themselves and the world.
No longer content with the fixed
religious beliefs of the Middle
Ages, people became more
interested in expanding their own
The War of the Roses were a series of dynastic civil wars
between supporters of the rival houses of Lancaster and
York, for the throne of England. They are generally accepted
to have been fought in several spasmodic episodes between
1455 and 1485 (although there was related fighting both
before and after this period). The war ended with the victory
for the Earl of Richmond, Henry Tudor, who founded the
House of Tudor, which subsequently ruled England and
Wales for 117 years.
Henry Tudor, King Henry VII
The Tudor Rose
Technically the Renaissance
era in England begins when
a Tudor nobleman (Henry
Tudor) is crowned King
Henry VII. However, the
Renaissance occurred
gradually and this cultural
movement occurred across
Europe, not just in England.
King Henry VII is the father of King
Henry VIII, famous for beheading
his many wives and breaking with
the Catholic Church to create the
Church of England.
Does this man look
full of himself or
Photos of King
Henry VIII
The Renaissance, a time of renewal of the human spirit, a
renewal of curiosity and creativity, started in Italy. Over
several centuries Italy had acquired considerable wealth
($), which it had accumulated from banking and trade with
the East. Many famous inventors, painters, and writers
flourished during this time period. People like:
Michelangelo, Christopher Columbus, Galileo, and Da Vinci.
The Louvre – Museum in Paris
During the Renaissance educated
people began to embrace an
intellectual movement known as
humanism. Humanists looked not
only to the Bible but also to the
Latin and Greek classics for wisdom
and knowledge. Humanists
combined classical ideology with
traditional Christian thought in
order to teach people how to live
and rule. Humanism is a movement
that came from what we today
would call humanities, which is the
study of
philosophy, history, languages and
Michelangelo's David is a
masterpiece of Renaissance
An invention that transformed
this historical time period is the
printing press. Early books were
written by hand and preserved
by monks and Byzantine and
Islamic scholars. However, the
invention of the printing press in
the early 15th century (early
1400’s) dramatically changed the
way people received information.
No longer were the elite or nobles
the only ones to have access to
books, newspapers, journals, etc.
With the power to have more
books comes more reading, thus
more enlightenment.
Johannes Gutenburg is credited with inventing
the first printing press in Germany around 1400.
By 1476 William Caxton had his own printing
press up and running in Westminster, England.
Almost everyone in Europe and Britain
during the Renaissance was Roman
Catholic, so the church was very rich and
powerful, even in political affairs.
Many of the popes were
lavish patrons of artists,
architects, and scholars.
Pope Julius II commissioned
the artist Michelangelo to
paint gigantic scenes from
the Bible on the ceiling of the
Sistine Chapel.
The new mind frame of the Renaissance was to attain
virtue, not success or money or fame. This new ideal
is founded on the belief that virtue is the best possible
human possession and the only source of true
While the Renaissance was going on
throughout Europe, there occurred in
some countries another important series
of events called the Reformation.
In England these two movements were
closely related, and their forces were felt
by all English writers.
A reformer rejected the authority of the
pope and the Italian churchmen.
Conflicts with the papacy had been
brewing for centuries.
A break was inevitable. Strong feelings of
patriotism and national identity made the
English people resent the financial
burdens imposed on them by the Vatican.
The generations-old conflict between the
pope and the king of England came to a
climax when Henry VIII wanted to get rid
of his wife of 24 years. Divorce was not
allowed, especially for kings , so Henry
needed a loop-hole. He asked Pope
Clement VII to declare that he, Henry, was
not properly married to his Spanish
wife, Catherine of Aragon, because she
had been previously wedded (for all of
five months) to his older
brother, Arthur, now dead. (It was against
Church law to marry a dead sibling’s
spouse; the biblical basis for the law is in
Pope Clement VII
King VS. Pope – All for an Heir
Henry VIII had two motives for
wanting to get rid of Catherine. First,
although she had borne him a princess,
she was too old to give him a male heir,
something he believed he MUST have.
(Catherine had lost five babies.)
Another younger woman had won
Henry’s dangerous affections – Anne
Boleyn. PROBLEM!! Henry wants to
marry Anne, but he’s already married
and divorce is illegal.
The pope refuses to annul Henry’s
marriage – so Henry breaks with the
church and declares himself head of
the English Church.
Much is made of Henry’s voracious sexual
appetite. And…much of it is TRUE!!
Sir Thomas More , a friend of Henry’s and the author of
Utopia and now lord chancellor of England (lord
chancellor = head of the affairs of the church) refuses to
accept Henry as head of the Church. As Henry’s friend he is
torn, but in the end he sided with God. For More’s
stubbornness, Henry ordered that his lord chancellor (and
friend) be beheaded. Thus, starts a trend!
Sir Thomas More
Henry VIII is remembered for his messy home life. However, he was
a very important figure to England. He created the Royal
Navy, which put a stop to foreign invasions. Many actually
recognize him as a “Renaissance Man.” He wrote poetry, played
many musical instruments, and was a formidable athlete and
Here’s a rhyme to help you
remember the fate of Henry’s six
Anne Boleyn –
the 2nd wife
Catherine of Aragon –
the 1st wife
With Henry’s first wife (Catherine of
Aragon) packed away under house arrest
and Sir Thomas More beheaded, Henry
continues his philandering ways.
However the people of England are not
happy with Henry’s new church, The
Church of England. The people felt like it
was too similar to the Catholic Church.
These unhappy people later became known
as Puritans, Baptists, Presbyterians,
Dissenters, and Nonconformists – in other
words, Protestantism has begun.
Protestants base their beliefs in the fact
that religion is solely a matter between the
individual and God. The word protestant
is understood to mean anyone who belongs
to a church or a sect other than the
Catholic Church.
Through years of affairs and fornication, Henry VIII
produces several offspring. Little did he know, or
care, that his daughter by Anne Boleyn (Elizabeth)
would become the greatest ruler England ever had.
Before Elizabeth takes the throne, several of Henry’s
other children had their moment in the sun, some
good and some bad.
1st to the throne:
According to the laws of succession, a
son had to be crowned first, and so at age
nine the son of Henry and Jane Seymour
became Edward VI. He reigned from
1547-1553. An intelligent but sickly boy,
he ruled in name only while his relatives
wielded the actual power. He died of
Before his death he attempted to prevent
the country being returned to
Catholicism. Edward named his cousin
Lady Jane Grey as his heir and excluded
his half sisters, Mary and Elizabeth.
However, this was disputed following
Edward's death and Jane was only queen
for nine days before Edward's half-sister,
Mary, was proclaimed Queen.
Bloody Mary
Mary, Edward’s half-sister of
Spanish decent, was a devout
Catholic. She was determined to
avenge the wrongs done to her
mother by her father, Henry VIII.
She restored the pope’s power in
England and ruthlessly hunted
down Protestants. She made a
strategic error, however, when she
burned about 300 of her subjects
at the stake. Mary’s executions
earned her the name Bloody Mary.
She died of a fever and because
she died childless, she was
succeeded by her sister Elizabeth.
2nd to the throne:
The Virgin Queen
Elizabeth I reigned from 1558-1603. She is
considered to be one of the most successful
and brilliant monarchs in history.
She inherited a kingdom torn by fierce
religious feuds, so her first task was to restore
law and order. She reestablished the Church
of England and again rejected the pope’s
authority. The pope excommunicated her.
3rd to the throne:
Elizabeth was not married at the time of her
succession to the throne. She quickly
realized that her strength lay in her
independence. Throughout her reign she
continued to play one suitor against another,
keeping them all interested and hopeful.
The victory of England’s Royal Navy over the
Spanish Armada in 1588 is considered to be a
great turning point in history and Elizabeth’s
finest moment.
After the defeat of the Armada, Elizabeth became
a beloved symbol of peace, security, and
prosperity to her subjects, and she provided
inspiration to scores of English authors.
Literary works that did not directly represent her
were dedicated to her because authors knew she
was a connoisseur of literature.
A Dull Man Succeeds a Witty Woman
Elizabeth died childless and was
succeeded by her second
cousin, James VI of Scotland.
James was the son of Elizabeth’s
cousin Mary, whom Elizabeth had
beheaded years before. As James I
of England, he lacked Elizabeth’s
ability to resolve critical issues.
James was a squanderer where
Elizabeth had been thrifty.
He, however, tried hard. He was a
continued patron of Shakespeare
and the arts; he himself wrote
several learned books.
4th to the throne:
There are many great writers from the Renaissance period. Some
of which we will read together. Here are few:
Christopher Marlowe
Sir Walter Raleigh
Robert Herrick
Andrew Marvell
William Shakespeare
John Donne
Ben Jonson
Francis Bacon
John Milton
John Bunyan
Edmund Spenser
Sir John Suckling
Richard Lovelace
Poetry of the Renaissance/Elizabethan Age
Major themes – love and beauty
Physical beauty – outward
sign of the spirit striving
for perfection (humanist
Poet writes to a lady who is
inflexible. Man seeks her love,
but hopelessly. Her moods create
the weather. Lady is usually not
real (a stereotype).
“Fair” = a sign of beauty
Carpe Diem and Pastoral Poetry
Carpe Diem is a Latin phrase
which means “seize the day.”
Poets in the Renaissance were
pushing for enlightenment
and the concept of fleeting
time/life being short meant
more authors were
generating poems with these
themes: Live for today. Eat,
drink, and be merry, for
tomorrow we die.
Pastoral Poetry focuses
on the idealized
countryside and the
simple life. With cities
on the rise, there was a
desire to get back to the
simplistic things in life.
Pastoral poetry
idealizes a simple life.
Three Sonnet Types
Characteristics of ALL sonnets:
meter = iambic pentameter
rhyme = definite, but varies from sonnet to sonnet
14 lines long
Variations in sonnets:
structure (octave – sestet VS. quatrains and a couplet)
The three types:
Petrarchan (Italian), Shakespearean (English), and the
See handout for specifics on the three types of sonnets.
Lots to read.
Lots to do.
Let’s get started!