V5 literature Old and Middle English Period

Old English Period
Middle English Period
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EngelsMiddelbare schoolvwoLeerjaar 5

This lesson contains 23 slides, with interactive quizzes, text slides and 2 videos.

Items in this lesson

Old English Period
Middle English Period

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Literature in V5
In this year you will be introduced to the history of English literature. 

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The 16th century
The Renaissance 

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Middle Ages

God- centered
Art influenced by religion

Memento mori ( remember you must die)


Human centered 
Art influenced by Classic  Greek and Roman ideals
Carpe diem (seize the day) 

Printing press 1450

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School of philosophy / World-vision
Optimistic, human-oriented and forward-looking view of life

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Humanists believed that it was possible to create an ideal society on earth. 

Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man

Curiosity about the nature of the world (Copernicus)
Exploration (Columbus - 1492)
Cultural revival -> Art (Da Vinci and Michelangelo)
-> Literature (Shakespeare, Spenser, Milton)

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Scientific experimentation
Copernicus proved that the earth revolved around the sun. Galileo Galilei discovered the telescope and much more

discovered America in 1492

Da Vinci and Michelangelo - drew upon the achievements of classical antiquity. Put your name to your work. 

England mainly in literature
English Literature
Religious theatre was replaced by classical theatre, using Italian names and settings

William Shakespeare

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Religious theatre mostly served the purpose of teaching the word of Christ.
Mystery plays were stories taken from the Bible. The play usually ended outside the church so that the people would go to church and hear a sermon after watching the play.
The Miracle play was about the life or actions of a saint, usually about the actions that made that person a saint. One popular Miracle play was about Saint George and the dragon.
Morality plays were designed to teach people a lesson in how to live their life according to the rules of the church.

Classical theatre - using Italian names and settings for their works drew from Italian renaissance writers not so much from the classics themselves (Romeo and Juliet - Verona) 

Milton - The first version, published in 1667, consists of ten books with over ten thousand lines of verse. The poem concerns the biblical story of the Fall of Man: the temptation of Adam and Eve by the fallen angel Satan and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden.

An epic poem is a lengthy narrative poem, ordinarily involving a time beyond living memory in which occurred the extraordinary doings of the extraordinary men and women who, in dealings with the gods or other superhuman forces, gave shape to the mortal universe for their descendants, the poet and their audience, to understand themselves as a people or nation.

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Henry VIII 
Married 6 times 
3 children
Was convinced he needed a male heir to secure prosperity for the kingdom. 
Even split from the church of England because of this. 
Married Catherine of Aragon (dead brother's - Arthur wife but marriage was never consummated so Pope annulled the marriage and therefore Henry could marry her). 
She only gave him a girl so he wanted to annul the marriage on the grounds that Catherine and Arthur had consummated their marriage. Pope refused. Henry angry. Split from the church and appointed himself head of the church of England. Wanted to remain catholic put protestant influences seeped through and the Church of England became a protestant church.

Henry died in 1547 and was succeeded by his son (9 years old) Edward VI
Henry VIII ( 1509-1547)
Catherine of Aragon    (annulled)                  >  Mary (bloody Mary)                                  
Anne Boleyn                  (beheaded)                 > Elizabeth I                                           
Jane Seymour              (died)                             > Edward VI                                
Anne of Cleves            (annulled > stayed friends)
Catherine Howard     (beheaded)
Catherine Parr             (marriage ended with Henry's death) 

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After Edward died of tubercolosis in 1553 and he consented to not having his sisters Mary (catholic) or Elizabeth (not protestant enough) inherit the throne but Lady Jane Grey (a great granddaughter of Henry VII) - orthodox protestant
She 'ruled' for 9 days until Mary pressed her claim to the throne and had Jane Grey locked into the tower. She was executed 6 months later. 
Bloody Mary

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(Bloody) Mary I
Tried to turn reformation around
Burned many Protestants at the stake 
Died after 5 years on the throne

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Burned portestants for Heresy (around 300 people)
She wasn't the only one though, Henry VIII also did it and Elizabeth I as well. She's most known for it because she prosecuted and killed the 'wrong' religious people --> protestants. 
Elizabeth I
  • Imprisoned by Mary I
  • Armada - Speech Tilbury
  • Evidence of God favouring Elizabeth and with that Protestant rule in England
  • 45 year reign 
  • Never married - The Virgin Queen

Side note: she wasn't perfect (no religious tolerance, strict censorship, court culture)

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The victory on the Armada was seen as proof that God favoured Elizabeth and therefore Protestantism in England. 
Defeat of the Armada boosted self-confidence and patriotism

Elizabeth reigned for 44 years.
The Virgin Queen - never married - she was married to England. Never married because she had to 'listen' to her husband if she were. She maybe saw how her father had treated his wives and never wished to be one. Although there were many rumours. She never married or had any illegitimate children. 
Stability lead to a cultural flourishing in the theatres but also numerous paintings and poems were created. Some important names are:  Nicholas Hilliard (painter), William Byrd (musician, Francis Bacon (philosopher), Marlowe, Spenser, Shakespeare. 

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Catherine of Aragon
Wars of the Roses

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Which motto is best fitting for the Dark Ages
carpe diem
ora et labora
memento mori
in vino veritas

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In which literary period do we find alliterative poetry most?
Old English period
Roman period
Middle English period

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How many wifes did Henry VIII have?

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Why was Mary, the eldest daughte of Henry also called Bloody Mary?

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