English Lit Context

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  • Created by: SW
  • Created on: 06-06-13 11:29

14th/15th Century

Middle English 1066-1485.

Renaissance Begins 1485-

  • Mystery/Morality Plays.
  • Tales
  • Epic prose
  • Chivalric Romance (king Arthur)
  • Influence of printing press 1474.
  • Religious devotion
  • Stock epithets 
  • illiterate population able to hear and see literature
  • oral tradition
  • church claimed women should be 'subservient to their husbands'
  • medieval/gothic

Key Writers:

  • Chaucer
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16th Century

Henry VII 1509-1547

Elizabeth I (Elizabethan) 1558-1603.

Renaissance 1485-1660

  • World view shifts from religion to afterlife.
  • development of human potential
  • unrequited,constant,timeless,courtly,subject to change love all represented.
  • printing press stabilises English
  • commoners welcomed at play productions.
  • Drama becomes important - London playhouses
  • masque and spectacle popular
  • courtly love in poetry
  • moarchs themselves were writers
  • tragedies,comedies, sonnets,classical verse, allegorical poetry.

Key Authors:

  • Edmund Spenser
  • Sir Phillip Sidney
  • Shakespeare
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17th Century

James I (Jacobean) 1603-25

Charles I (Caroline) 1625-49

Commonwealth 1649-60 (Civil War)

Charles II (Restoration) 1660-85

Renaissance 1485-1660

Neoclassical Period 1660-1798

  • Metaphysical Poetry
  • restoration drama
  • social comedy
  • Charles I executed in 1649
  • Puritans close theatres 1649-60
  • 1660- theatres reopened under Charles II
  • influence of court on drama/poetry/prose
  • factories start popping up/demise of traditional village life.
  • 50% males literate

Key Authors:

  • Shakespeare
  • John Donne
  • Robert Herrick
  • Ben Jonson
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18th Century

Neoclassical 1660-1798

Romantic 1798-

Regency (Anne, George I, George II) 1700-60

Augustan (Englightenment) George III 1760-1820

  • New Genre - Novel (Defoe)
  • Biting satire - mocking those in power
  • Picaresque, confessionals and satirical novels all well established by the end of the century.
  • Romantic novels created for female audience
  • Black-Precursor of the Romantic movement
  • Epistolary novels
  • Bawdy verse.

Key Authors:

  • Wordsworth
  • Fielding
  • Defoe
  • Congreve
  • Sheridan
  • Oliver Goldsmith
  • Alexander Pope
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19th Century

Romantic 1820-37

Victorian/Industrial Revolution (Victoria) 1837-1901

  • Passion and imagination
  • influence of gothic and middle ages
  • importance of rebellion
  • desire for personal freedom
  • society was the cause of evil, not people
  • children = hopeless victims of poverty and exploitation
  • themes of duty,nationalism and trade
  • family values
  • darwinism
  • serialisation
  • drama - comedy of manners
  • novel was mass produced
  • class and gender divide

Key Authors:

  • Jane Austen
  • Leo Tolstoy
  • Cristina Rossetti
  • Charles Dickens
  • Oscar Wilde
  • Thomas Hardy
  • Lord Byron
  • Elizabeth Barrett Browning
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20th/21st C

Modernism 1910-52

Post Modernism 1952- (Elizabeth II)

Edwardian (Edward VII) 1901-10

George V 1910-36

George VI 1936-52

  • War poetry
  • WW1=questioning of life in all aspects
  • preoccupation with social identity
  • freudian psychology
  • stream of consciousness
  • traditional linear mocked
  • free verse poetry
  • parallelism, binary opposition
  • deliberate irony
  • Kitchen sink dramas (realism)
  • drama of the absurd
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20th/21st C

Key Authors:

  • Yeats
  • Fitzgerald
  • Shaffer
  • Tenessee Williams
  • Elizabeth Jennings
  • McAuley
  • Fuller
  • Carol Anne Duffy
  • Ian McEwan
  • Vernon Scannell
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