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Identify two features of the European Renaissance.

Discovery of science
Bridge from the age of enlightenment to modernism
Return to antique values
Age of Reason
Rebirth of classical learning, arts and literature 


What were the salient characteristics of the Elizabethan age?

- Reign of Queen Elizabeth: Known as the age of relative peace and prosperity
- Establishment of the Church of England as subservient to the Crown
- English Humanism and religious Reformation, presented as a golden mean between the Catholic pomp and splendor and puritan protestantism
- Virtual end to internal political conflicts, and stabilization and centralization of political power
- Emergence of England as a significant Imperial power; beginning of early colonization, e.g., Walter Raleigh in North America


What are the distinguishing aspects of Shakespeare’s sonnets?

Arranged in thematic groups, with a distinct cast of characters: The young man, the ‘dark’ lady, the rival poet
Intense and reflective verse
Poetic personae: Less idealized than in the typical Renaissance sonnet
Almost all sonnets follow a basic rhyme scheme and structure: abab cdcd efef gg
Closing couplet: Creates contrast, provides unexpected conclusion, or ’twist’


Which are the main aspects of Sir Philip Sidney’s poetry?

- Forming a narrative about the impossibility of love, but also a reflection on the poet and the act of poetic creation
- Psychological and ethical consequences of physical love
- Aesthetic self-awareness: Poetry as Truth
- Sincerity against artifice and rhetoric
- Colloquialism and self-irony


What is meant by the Great Chain of Being?

- An understanding of the world as a hierarchical, interconnected order, a belief-system that dominated the medieval age
- A “Great Chain of Being” links everything from stones, plants, animals, humans, to angels, and God
- Recurring theme in Shakespeare‘s plays: Order versus disorder, or imbalance of the natural order
Harmony needs to be reestablished


What is the theory of humors? Explain in two sentences.

- Obervation of four different tempers in blood led to the formation of >>
four personality types:  Choleric, Sanguine, Melancholic, and Phlegmatic


Explain two main features of Shakespearean comedies.

1. Complex, intertwined plot-lines: main and subplots
2. Common themes: Appearance versus reality; mistaken or confused identities; use of masks and disguises 


Mention two main themes in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

1. personal ambition vs. established order
2. Politics versus morality


What were the significant features of the literature of the early seventeenth century?

- Literature marked by political situation
 Royalist and Puritan conflicts
- Censorship of literature  closing of theatres


Who were the Puritans? What were their basic principles?

Wanted to "purify" the Church of England from its "catholic" practices
Dissatisfied with the extend of the English Reformation
Rejection of Roman Catholicism
Became a major political force
Puritan in modern terms means "against pleasure"
Historically, its a term for extremist Protestants
The goal was the Reformation of the Church of England
Most Puritans were separatists


How did the English Civil War affect the history of English literature?

Many leading poets were royalists who suffered in the war years.; Yet two of the best writers of the period, John Milton and Andrew Marvell, sided with the republic.


What is meant by the concept of the “state of nature”? Discuss.

- denotes the hypothetical conditions of what the lives of people might have been like before societies came into existence.
 “State of nature,” i.e., society without or before political order: ”...so long a man is in the condition of mere nature, (which is a condition of war,) as private appetite is the measure of good and evill. ...There Is Alwayes Warre Of Every One Against Every One. ...no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain; and consequently no culture of the earth; ...no Arts; no Letters; and which is worst of all, continuall feare, and danger of violent death; And the life of man, solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short” (Leviathan, Ch. 13). 


What do you understand by the term “metaphysical poetry”? Discuss its main features. 

1600 to 1650
2 major themes: love/ sexuality, religion
Complex thoughts/ images
However: in metaphysical poetry, thoughts are connected to feelings
- Poetry phrased like an intellectual argument
- “Metaphysical conceit” = Logical argument held together by a central organising figure
- Characterised by unusual tropes and figures
- Images from both poetic (like art) and non-poetic realms (like anatomy)


What was the “epic poetry of faith”? Discuss in brief.

- Pioneering narratives in verse described as “epic poetry of faith”: Rejuvenation of the Classical epic to express Christian themes and narratives 
Combination of Classical learning (Horace, Virgil) and the Puritanism

- Belief in Puritanism; Christian faith as inspiration for life and letters
- paradise lost by John Milton


What was the Restoration? How did it impact the history of English literature? 

- Restoration of Charles the 2nd
- writings are innovative
- restoration poetry; the potential of human beings to understand and improve the world
-emphasis on classical literature
- Return of the theatre; restoration comedy
- beginning of prose fiction


What were the central features of Restoration comedy? Discuss.

- sexual morality; Explicit sexual themes and references
- Contemporary French comedy as the model
- Comedy of types, viz. Gallant Wits, stupid Fops; cult of the Cavalier
- Aristocratic settings
- Critique of religious hypocrisy; ridicule of Puritan morality


Who was Aphra Behn? How has English literary history 
treated her? Explain.

- The first well-known, professional woman author/ Restoration dramatist
- In her comedies, reflected the contemporary politics from a Royalist position and focused on the questions of sexual morality, and hypocrisy

✤ Her popular comedies seen as morally compromised, e.g., according to Victorian-era novelist and critic Julia Kavanagh, “...the disgrace of Aphra Behn is that, instead of raising man to woman’s moral standard, [she] sank woman to the level of man’s coarseness”.
✤ Attempts to restore her literary reputation began in the twentieth century, especially with Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One's Own (1929)


What is a heroic couplet?

A rhyming pair of verses in iambic pentameter
- each line has five iambs;
- metrical feet made of one unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable


Which is one of the central contradictions of the Age of Enlightenment? 

- not all things can be explained by reason alone


What is meant by the Neo-Classical era? What were its main facets?

-Reinvention and conscious imitation of classical genres and forms
- the rise of the early novel
Age of “taste”: Sense of discrimination in matters of art and literature linked to morality; good taste and moral values as guiding principles 

Age of prose: Language as the “transparent” medium of rational dialogue and argument


Why is the eighteenth century also known as the age of prose in Britain? 

- it gave rise to early novels
- the English novel developed in a major art form
- first English novel: Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe


What were the stated functions and main features of the journalistic essay?

- enliven morality with wit and temper wit with morality bring philosophy out of the closets and libraries, schools and colleges, to dwell in clubs and assemblies, at tea-tables and coffeehouses”.
- Journalistic essay: Fusion of philosophy and anecdote 


Name two elements of satire as it was practiced in the eighteenth century.

- Irony, reduction,
- deliberate confusion of genres, play on logic and illogic


What were the key features of the novel in the eighteenth century?

Themes of social morality, public vs private ethics
Conventions of mythology, history
Focus on recounting an individuals biography


Why do you think morality is a major thematic concern of the eighteenth century novel?

- emergence of the middle-class
- books on social behavior
- giving women guidance
- educate women about romance instead of just reading romance


What is the special contribution of the so called "fair triumvirate of wit" to the development of English literature?

The fair triumvirate of wit refers to the three 17th and 18th century authors Eliza Haywood, Delarivier Manley, and Aphra Behn.
- all of those women introduces the idea of a women being able to become an influential author


Which narrative strands are combined in Robinson Crusoe?

Daniel Defoe
- reportage, journalistic mode of narration
- autobiographical
- confessional


Why did Richardson choose a fictional form while writing a conduct book?

- to inspire young people to read more
- promote the cause of religion and virtue


How are the novels of Laurence Sterne different from those of his contemporaries?

- radically experimental form of narration; fragmentary
- hybrid_ description and reflection, insertion of sermons, essay and anecdotes


Name two major aspects of the Romantic movement in Europe.

- focuses on human liberty, freedom to express and create
- strong affinity to nature, and focus on the poetic depiction of nature