The Renaissance (1485

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Background Information
 Shift in values and perceptions
 Began in Italy, 14th century
 Literally means “rebirth” or “revival”
 Surge of creative energy, emergence of a modern world
view, rather than medieval
 Spread to England 16th century
 Secularism emerged
 Focus on art, literature, nature, individual
 “Renaissance Man”
 Translations and technical advances
 Expansion of scholarly, psychological and geographical
boundaries
 Henry VII – intelligent, authoritative at home, smart
strategy abroad, first of England’s claims to North
America
 Henry VIII – Renaissance prince, loyal subjects
 Reformation
 England Catholic to “Church of England” (political)
 Edward IV & “Bloody” Mary
 Daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn
 Ruled for almost 50 years
 Most prestigious time in England
 Stuart dynasty (weak)
 Struggle for power between the monarchy and the
House of Commons (Parliament)
 Ideological “Civil War” between Puritans and
aristocrats
 London is the center of creativity
 Major mood shift from Medieval time period
 Quiet, carefree, idyllic, passionate, light-hearted
 New genre emerged from three sources
 Medieval miracle, mystery, morality plays
 Entertainment by minstrels, jugglers, etc.
 Latin and Greek dramas studied in universities
 Reflected dissatisfaction of extravagance/romance of
Elizabethan age
 Cavalier & Metaphysical poetry
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