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The Age of Elizabethan.

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The Renaissance age of 160 years is subdivided into four shorter ages after the name of the political rulars: Among them Elizabethan age is most famous.
The age is named after the name of Queen Elizabeth I who reigned over England from 1558 to 1603. This is called the Golden Age of English literature.

The Important facts Which influenced the Literature of This Period.

1. With the accession of Queen Elizabeth I, dynastic problems and political troubles came to an end. Religious and social stability brought about national prosperity.
2. The religious Reformation inspired religious tolerance and secularism.
3. Elizabeth I introduce Anglicanism to settle religious problems. It has a long history. We will discuss about it later.
4. Geographical and astronomical discoveries of the previous decades brought unlimited fortune during this period.
5. Renaissance that had started earlier was was now very strongly felt in England. Erasmus reached England, and with John Colet, tanght humanism and other ideals of Renaissance.
6. The social life of England was marked with a strong national spirit, humanism, liberal religious views, scientific curiosity, social content , intellectual progress and unlimited enthusiasm.

Major Writers of the Period and Their Major Works:

Thomas More (1478-1535)
Utopia (or Kingdom of Nowhere). The book was originally written in Latin in 1516
Norton (1532-84)and Sackville (1536-1608)
Gorboduc (1562), the first English tragedy.
Edmund Spenser (1552-99)
*He is  called ‘ the Poet of poets' because many later English poets followed his art of poetry.
The Faerie Queene (1590)
The  Shepherd ‘s Calendar (1579)
Nicolas Udall
Ralph Roister Roister (1553), the first English Comedy.
Sir Philip Sidney (1554-1606)
An Apology for Poetry (1595), a critical treatise.
Arcadia (1590), a book that bears the embryo of English novel.
John Lyly (1554-1606)
*He is called a university wit.
Compaspe (1584)
Sapho and phao (1584)
Midas (1589)
Thomas Kyd (1557-1595)
The Spanish Tragedy (1585)
Robert Greene (1558-92)
Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay (1589)
James-VI (1591)
George Peele (1558-98)
David and Bethsabe (1599)
Arrangement of Paris (1584)
 Francis Bacon ( 1561-1626)
Essays (1597)
Christopher Marlowe (1564-93)
Tamburlaine the Great part I &II (1587-88)
The Jew of Malta (1589)
Edward II (1591)
Doctor Faustus (1592)
William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
Dramas of Shakespeare
Ben Jonson (1573-1637)
Every Man out of His Humour (1600)
Every Man in His Humour (1601)

Main Literary Features of the Age:

1. Elizabethan literature reflects a great variety of creative genius.
2. It demonstrates experimention and innovation  in dramatic and poetic forms and techniques.
3. It is deeply influenced by the Renaissance spirit , especially by the Renaissance literature of Italy , France, and Spain.
4. In style it exhibits romantic exuberance.
5. Its writers are all men from all classes of the society.
6. It is an age of exquisite poetry , unparalleled drama and splendid prose.
7. It marks a shift from man's Fate to his free will.
8. It develops English language to a level of stable standard.
9. Its spirit ranges from the Platonic idealism or the delightful romance to the level of gross realism.
10. The literature of this age shows a quest for “ the remote, the wonderful and the beautiful”.
11. It reflects original Romanticism that revived during the beginning of Romantic Age in 1798.
12. It initiates literary criticism.

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