The Elizabethan Age
Students consider Renaissance writers’ interest in ancient Greek and Latin literature and myth; their preoccupation with human concerns and life on earth; their aesthetic principles of harmony, balance, and divine proportion; and exceptions to all of these. This leads to a discussion of how literary forms themselves reflect religious, philosophical, and aesthetic principles. As students compare the works of the Renaissance with those of the Middle Ages, they recognize the overlap and continuity of these periods. in addition, they consider how the outstanding works of the era transcend their time and continue to inspire readers and writers. The English Renaissance of the seventeenth century includes works by William Shakespeare. In their essays, students may analyze the ideas, principles, and form of a literary work; discuss how a work bears attributes of both the Middle Ages and the Renaissance; discuss convergences of Renaissance literature and arts; or pursue a related topic of interest. Students write essays in which they analyze a work closely, compare two works, or trace an idea or theme throughout the works they have read.