I made a quick unit preview for the Renaissance. Just kidding. That's not me. Or is it?
Pay attention to the video and note key points.
In addition to his ruggedly good looks, Mr. Osborne highlights many of the characteristics we will be discussing.
Also, just to clear the air, I don't look that much like Mr. Osborne... or this guy (who is probably equally upset about the dissing on Canada in the previous video):
Okay, maybe a little.
Now, let's get down to business.
Renaissance is a French word that literally means rebirth.
It marked a shift from the Medieval worldview focused on religion and the afterlife to one emphasizing life on Earth.
People began to rediscover Europe's pre-Christian past, utilizing the arts and philosophies of ancient Greece and Rome.
"The ideal 'Renaissance Man' was a many-faceted individual who cultivated his innate talents to the fullest" (textbook 276).
So who were some Renaissance Men from the Italian and English Renaissances?
Monarchs: A New Dynasty
-Henry Tudor killed Richard III to take the throne as Henry VII. -He was shrewd and successful, building up England's claims in "the New World" -He arranged for his eldest son, Arthur, to marry Catherine of Aragon, daughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. -Arthur died unexpectedly, and the Pope issued a special dispensation allowing Henry to marry Catherine of Aragon. This young man became Henry VIII.
Henry VIII (r. 1509-1547)
Arguably the most famous King Henry in England, Henry VIII was something of a Renaissance Man, a skilled poet, athlete, and musician. However, he is most famous for having his wives murdered. Well, 2/6, anyway.
Who were his wives and what happened to them?
Well, there you have it. King Henry VIII jumped on board to the Protestant Reformation sweeping Europe. He broke ties with the Roman Catholic Church and formed the Church of England (Anglican) to get a divorce.
So many wives with differing religions, of course, led to tensions among the siblings and, hence, monarchs.
After beheading Anne Boleyn for alleged adultery (but really her failure to produce a male heir), Henry VIII finally had a son with his third wife, Jane Seymour: Edward.
Edward took the throne when Henry VIII died in 1547, at the age of 9, and reigned until his own death 6 years later.
-Henry VIII's daughter with Catherine took the throne after Edward's death. -She attempted to reintroduce Catholicism to England and persecuted protestants, earning her the nickname Bloody Mary.
Queen Elizabeth I
-England became prosperous and prestigious under Elizabeth's reign. -She was able to mediate religious tensions. -Elizabeth used the prospect of marriage to get what she wanted. -She quelled detractors about her ability to lead militarily when England defeated the Spanish Armada. -Elizabeth reluctantly executed her cousin Mary Stuart, Roman Catholic queen of Scotland, in 1587. Here is a song about Mary, Queen of Scots:
-Since she never married, she passed the crown to her cousin James, king of Scotland, who took the throne as James I
House of Stuart
-James I (r. 1603-1625) commissioned King James Bible -Protestants expected him to be more Protestant; Catholics expected him to be more Catholic
-Charles I became king in 1625; he dismissed Parliament in 1629 -In 1637, Charles tried to introduce Anglican prayers in Scotland's Presbyterian churches, an unpopular move. -He was then forced to reconvene Parliament; many of his powers were stripped, and England went to civil war. -The Puritans defeated the Royalists in 1645, and Charles I was executed. -General Oliver Cromwell took charge. -Life under the Puritans wasn't any better, and England restored the monarchy in 1660, inviting Charles II to return from exile.
Recap (and why the Renaissance might not have really happened): Crash Course
To truly understand the religious tensions gripping Europe at the time (all within the same religion, of course), we must comprehend the motivators that led the PROTESTants to, well, protest. Also, I wonder if Martin Luther asked his barber for the "angel cut" or if his "halo" is au naturel...
Shake(speare) it Off
He was kind of a big deal... but who was he?
Well, the truth is we don't really know too much about him, which has given rise to a number of conspiracy theories claiming that everyone from Christopher Marlowe to Edward Devere, Earl of Oxford, to Queen Elizabeth I actually wrote the plays. Here is what we do know (although a few of the claims are rather unsubstantiated):
Shakespeare: a recap
-born in 1564 in the town of Stratford on the river Avon -We have no birthdate, but he was baptized on April 26, typically occurring 3 days after birth. -His father was a glove maker. -He is assumed to have attended the local grammar school -At 18, he married Anne Hathaway, who was 26 and pregnant with their daughter, Suzanna, born in 1583. -The couple had twins, Hamnet and Judith, in 1585 (Hamnet died of the bubonic plague at 11, a few years prior to the first performance of Hamlet). -The next we hear about Shakespeare, he is a playwright and actor in London in 1592, derided for being an "upstart crow." -Shakespeare became a member of the theatre troupe The Lord Chamberlain's Men, eventually becoming a favorite of Queen Elizabeth. -The Globe Theatre was built in 1599, and many of Shakespeare's plays were performed there. -When Queen Elizabeth died and James I took the throne, The Lord Chamberlain's Men became The King's Men. -Shakespeare retired, returned to Stratford, and bought a nice house. -Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616 (possibly his birthday), leaving his wife only his "second-best bed and the furniture" in his will.
Now that we have established what little is known about Shakespeare, let's talk about what really matters: the plays, the poems, and the language.
What's that? You think Shakespeare is too hard to understand? Well, that may be true. Let's let our friends at Mythbusters, with a little help from Professor Tobias (and various YouTube videos), investigate this. We might as well get it out of the way.
There you have it: Dr. Seuss and Shakespeare both wrote in iambic. Would you say that Dr. Seuss is too hard to understand? Well, he does have a lot of ridiculous words, I guess.
But WHY study Shakespeare? Isn't he just a dead white guy who died some 400 years ago? What could he possibly have to offer us in the 21st century? Yes, I guess he is, but I would argue he still has a lot to offer us. Furthermore, he has had such a profound influence on the English language that I would wager you seldom go a day without quoting shakespeare. To help illustrate this point, take a look at this video from TEDed:
So you see, Shakespeare truly is everywhere. In fact, it's too bad he can't collect royalties because, given the number of Hollywood blockbusters based on his plays, he would be very wealthy (understatement of the year!).