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Студенческий документ № 091364 из МЭГУ


1. In the opening years of the fourteenth century, there began to develop in Italy an increasing interest in the manuscripts that had survived from ancient Greece and Rome. As more and more on these were unearthed in libraries and masteries, Italy fell under the spell of the intellectual movement we have come to call the Renaissance - the rebirth of scholarship based on classical learning and philosophy. The Renaissance period in England may be divided into three parts: the rise of the Renaissance under the early Tudor monarchs (1500-1558), the height of the Renaissance under Elizabeth I (1558-1603), and the decline of the Renaissance under the Stuart monarchs (1603-1649).In 1485, with the end of the Wars of the Roses of the crowning of Henry VII, domestic unrest ended. Henry immediately set about unifying the country, strengthening the crown, and replenishing the royal treasury.Under the reign of his son, Henry VIII (1509-1547), England was ripe for the intellectual ferment of the Renaissance. The population had begun to increase rapidly, feudalism was on its deathbed, and there was a steady movement of population to the larger towns and cities, especially London. The population of London, only 93 000 in 1563, had by 1605 more than doubled, to 224 000.


Edmund Spenser (1552?-1599), was a great Elizabethan poet. His epic poem, "The Faerie Queene", though never finished, is a masterpiece of English literature. Spenser completed only 6 of the 12 books (sections) he planned for this work."The Faerie Queene" is an allegory (extended metaphor) filled with personifications of abstract ideas like pride, hypocrisy, and faith


Sir Philip Sidney (1554-1586), was an author, courtier during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I of England. He became famous for his literary criticism, prose fiction, and poetry. Sidney's greatest work is "Astrophil and Stella", which consists of 108 sonnets and 11 songs. This sequence - written in the 1580's - is one of the great works produced during the Elizabethan fashion for sonnet cycles.


Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593), was the first great Elizabethan writer of tragedy. His most famous work, "The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus" (about 1588), is an imaginative view of a legendary scholars fall to damnation through lust for forbidden knowledge, power, and sensual pleasure, Never before in English literature had a writer so powerfully shown the souls conflict with the laws defining the place of human beings in a universal order.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616), was an English playwright and poet He is generally considered the greatest dramatist the world has ever known and the finest poet who has written in the English language. Shakespeare wrote at least 37 plays, which have traditionally been divided into comedies, histories, and tragedies.

The first period (1590-1594)

The plays of Shakespeare's first period have much in common, though they consist of comedies, histories, and a tragedy. The plots of these plays tend to follow their sources more mechanically than do the plots of Shakespeare's later works. The piols also tend to consist of a series of loosely related episodes, rather than a closely integrated dramatic structure. In addition, the plays generally emphasize events more than the portrayal of character.

In his first period, Shakespeare's use of language indicates that he was still struggling to develop his own flexible poetic style. For example, Shakespeare's descriptive poetry in this period is apt to be flowery, rather than directly related to the development of the characters or the story.

The Comedy of Errors, a comedy partly based on " Ampbitruo" and "Menaechmi", two comedies by the ancient Roman playwright Plautus. Probably first performed during the period from 1590 to 1594. First published in 1623.

The three parts of "Henry VI" present a panoramic view of English history in the 1400's. The action begins with the death of ging Henry V in 1422. It ends with the Battle of Tewkesbury in 1471. The plays vividly mirror the Wars of the Roses - the series of bloody conflicts between the houses of York and Lancaster for control of the English throne. Part I deals largely with wars between England and France. But all three plays dramatize the plots and counterplots that marked the struggle between the two royal houses.

Richard III, a history partly based on "The Union of the Two Noble and Illustrious Families of Lancaster and York* by the English historian Edward Hall and on the "Chronicles" by the English historian Raphael Holinshed, Probably first performed in 1593. First published in 1597.

The second period (1595-1600)

During his second period, Shakespeare brought historical drama and Elizabethan romantic comedy to near perfection. Particularly in his histories and comedies of this period, Shakespeare demonstrated his genius for weaving various dramatic actions into a unified plot, rather than writing a series of loosely connected episodes. . Throughout the second period, Shakespeare moved steadily toward the matchless gift for characterization that marks the great tragedies he produced in the early 1600's.

"A Midsummer Night's Dream", a comedy probably based on several sources, none of which was a chief source. Probably first performed in 1595. First published in 1600.

"Richard II", a history partly based on the "Chronicles" by the English historian Raphael Holinshed. Probably first performed in 1595. First published in 1597.

"Romeo and Juliet", a tragedy based on "Romeus and Juliet", a poem by the English author Arthur Brooke. Probably first performed in 1596. First published in 1597.

"Twelfth Night", comedy parity based on a story in "Farewell Military Profession", a collection of tales by the English Barnabe Riche. Probably first performed in 1600. First published 1623.

"The Merry Wives of Windsor", a comedy possibly based on an unknown source or sources. Probably first performed in 1600. First published in 1602.

The third period (1601-1608)

Shakespeare wrote his great tragedies during the third period of his artistic development. Except possibly for "Pericles", every play of this period shows Shakespeare's awareness of the tragic side of life. Even the period's two comedies - "All's Well That Ends Well" and "Measure for Measure"-are more disturbing than amusing. For this reason, they are often called "problem" comedies or "bitter" comedies. "Pericles" represents Shakespeare's first romance - a drama that is generally serious in tone but with a happy ending.

"Hamlet", a tragedy partly based on "Hamlet", a lost play by an unknown English author, and on a story in "Histoires Tragiques", a collection of odes by the French author Francois de Belleforest. Probably first performed in 1601. First published in 1603.

"Othello", a tragedy partly based on a story in "Hecatommithi", a collection of tales by the Italian author Cinthio. Probably first performed in 1604. First published in 1622.

"King Lear", a tragedy partly based on the "Chronicles" by the English historian Raphael Holinshed; "The True Chronicle History of King Leir", a play by an unknown English author, and "Arcadia", a romance in prose and verse by the English author Sir Philip Sidney. Probably first performed in 1605. First published in 1608.

The fourth period (1609-1613)

During his final period, Shakespeare wrote four plays - three comedies and a history. Most scholars label these three comedies and "Pericles" as his romances. Shakespeare probably wrote the history, "Henry VIII", with John Fletcher.

The three romances are beautifully constructed, and their poetry ranks among Shakespeare's finest writing. But unlike his masterpieces of the third period, the romances seem detached from reality.

"Cymbeline", a romance partly based on several sources, none of which was a chief source. Probably first performed in 1609. First published in 1623.

"The Tempest", a romance partly based on several sources, none of which was a chief source. Probably first performed in 1611. First published in 1623.

"Henry VIII", a history partly based on the "Chronicles" by the English historian Raphael Holinshed and on "The Book of Martyrs", a religious work by the English author John Foxe. Probably first performed in 1613. First published in 1623.

The narrative poems

"Venus and Adonis" (1593) is partly based on the "Metamorphoses", a collection of tales in verse by the ancient Roman poet Ovid. The poem tells how Venus, the goddess of love, tries to win the love of the handsome young mortal Adonis. He resists her and is finally killed by a wild boar while hunting.

"The Rape of Lucrece" (1594) is also partly based on the works of Ovid, as well as on writings by other authors. The poem tells of Lucrece, the virtuous wife of a Roman nobleman. She is sexually attacked by the lustful general Tarquin. After the rape, Lucrece demands that her husband and his friends swear to revenge her ruined honor. She then kills herself.

The sonnets In the late 1500's, it was fashionable for English gentlemen authors to write sequences of sonnets. Some sonnet sequences followed a narrative pattern that was autobiographical in varying degrees. For this reason, scholars have tried to learn about Shakespeare's life from his sonnets. But they have reached no general agreement on autobiographical information that the poems might contain.

4.6. John Milton

John Milton (1608-1674), was an English poet and political writer. He is the author of "Paradise Lost" (1667, revised 1674), considered by many to be the greatest epic poem in the English language. He also wrote "Paradise Regained" (1671) and "Samson Agonistes" (1671). Milton composed the first two of these works, and probably also the last, when he was totally blind.

Milton wrote "Paradise Lost" to "justify the ways of God to man". The 12-book poem retells the Biblical story of the Creation and the fall of Adam and Eve against the backdrop of Satan's rebellion against God and expulsion from haven. "Paradise Regained" is a four-book "brief epic" written, like "Paradise Lost" in blank verse. Based loosely on the Gospels, it narrates Christ's successful withstanding of Satan's temptationsMilton had a thorough knowledge of classical Greek and Latin authors and was greatly influenced by them

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