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Итого: 24 часa

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  Тема 1. Colonial Writing. American Renaissance.  
  Тема 2. Enlightenment.  
  Тема 3. Romanticism. Transcendentalism.  
  Тема 4. Realism. Naturalism.  
  Тема 5. Literature of the Lost Generation. Muckrakers. The novels of social protest.  
6-7 Тема 6. Literature 1950 on…. (The Black Humor, The Beat Movement, Women Speak Out, The Theatre of the Absurd)  
  Тема 8. Detective Fiction.  
  Тема 9. Children’s Literature.  


7 семестр


The Anglo-Saxons (450-1100)

Caedmon – the first English poet, lived during the 600’s, his work – “Hymn” – a 9-line poem that praises God.

“Beowulf”- the only surviving full-length epic in Old English. Scholars believed the poem dates from the A.D. 700’s. The author is unknown. The work has no rhyme but instead uses alliteration. The poem describes the adventures of a mighty warrior.

The Medieval period (1100-1500)

Geoffrey Chaucer. “The Canterbury tales” (late 1300’s) – an unfinished collection of comic and moral stories written in heroic couplets. Chaucer introduced iambic pentameter (this pattern consists of 10 syllables alternately unaccented and accented in each line).



The Rise of the Renaissance The Height of the Renaissance The Decline of the Renaissance

Under the early Tudor monarchs Under Elizabeth I Under the Stuart monarchs

1500-1558 1558-1603 1603-1648


Wyatt William Shakespeare John Donne

Surrey Christopher Marlowe Francis Bacon

Thomas More Ben Jonson John Milton


poetry sonnet pamphlets

song writing drama essays

blank verse

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 of these were unearthed in libraries and masteries, Italy fell under the spell of the intellectual movement we have come to call the Renais-
sance - the rebirth of scholarship based on classical learning and philosophy. Spreading westward across Europe, the phenomenon of the Renaissance touched England lightly and fleetingly during the time of Chaucer. As far as England was concerned, however, this early contact was negligible, largely because external wars and internal strife ravaged the country for almost a century and a half, from 1337 to 1485.

As the Renaissance developed in Italy and other European countries, it began to take on added dimensions. Perhaps stimulated by the discovery that the men and women of ancient Greece and Rome were intelligent, cultured, and creative, the Renaissance gradually became also a rebirth of human potential for development. This realization led eventually to many discoveries - geographical, religious, and scientific, as well as artistic and philosophical. Both the Age of Discovery and Protestant Reformation had their origins in the Renaissance spirit. To the same spirit may be attributed the Copernicus' assertion that the earth was not the center of the universe. Upsetting traditional religious teachings, this discovery indirectly fostered the Renaissance belief that life in this world was not merely a preparation for the next world, as thought by Medieval Christianity; but that, on the contrary, an active life in this world had value in itself.

The writers of the Renaissance turned against feudalism and roused in men a longing to know more about the true nature of things in the world. They were called humanists. Man was placed in the centre of life. He was no longer an evil being. He had a right to live, enjoy himself and be happy on earth. The humanists were greatly interested in sciences, especially in natural science, based on experiment and investigation. Engels said that the Renaissance was “the greatest progressive revolution that mankind had so far experienced, a time which called for giants and produced giants”.

First humanists:


Leonardo da Vinci







Thomas More (1478-1535), “Utopia” (1516)

William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

The Renaissance in England

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.

In addition, the invention of the printing press, together with improved methods of manufacturing paper, made possible the rapid spread of knowledge. In 1476, during the Wars of Roses, William Caxton had set up England's first printing press at Westminster, a part of London. By 1640, that press and others had printed more than 26 000 different works and editions. With the advent of the printing press and the increased availability of books, literacy increased. It is estimated that by 1530 more than half of the population of England was literate.

Near the end of the fifteenth century, Renaissance learning made its tardy entry into England, carried home by scholars who had traveled in Italy. Earliest among these was the Oxford Group, which introduced the new learning of the Renaissance to Oxford in 1490's and 1500's. A decade later, the great Dutch humanist, Desiderius Erasmus, was teaching Greek at Cambridge.

The first major impact of the Renaissance on English literature is observable in the poetry of Wyatt and Surrey, who introduced and Anglicized the sonnet, a verse form that has proved to be both popular and durable. Surrey is credited also with inventing English blank verse. Other verse forms, borrowed from the Italian and the French, had a lesser impact. Elaborate Renaissance conventions of love poetry were also transplanted, finding their outlet chiefly in sonnets and sonnet sequences.

Though the non-native influence was strong insofar as poetry was concerned, the native drama continued to develop and gain popularity. Miracle and morality plays remained a favourite form of entertainment, while a new dramatic form, the «interlude» developed. One of the important ancestors of Elizabethan drama, the interlude was a short play designed to be presented between the courses of a banquet.

While the Renaissance was gathering strength in England, two events occurred that were inimical to the influence of the Catholic Church. The first was Martin Luther's posting of his Ninety-five Theses on a church door in Wittenberg, Germany, in 1517, an act which heralded the Reformation. The second event was brought about by the desire of Henry VIII for a male heir and his wish to divorce Catherine of Aragon, who had borne only one child, Mary. When the Pope refused to end the marriage, Henry, with an eye also to seizing the vast and wealthy holdings of the Church, over-
threw papal jurisdiction, married Anne Boleyn, and was declared, with Parliament's help, head of the English Church. Thus England became a Protestant nation.

During the reign of his successor, the child king Eduard VI, the movement toward Protestantism continued. However, Queen Mary, was a devout Catholic. Her attempts to restore Catholicism to the country resulted in internal turmoil and much bloodshed.

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