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Characteristics in Renaissances poems Sir Walter Ralegh: Raleghs poems often suggest a man playing out a role or a series

ies of roles as the formal knightly lover, as the courtly poet, or as the bold actor in a drama of passion, adventure, and mortality. Many of the fragmentary translations from classical writers included in The History of the World reinforce the idea of a latter-day stoic whose morale is supported by the hope of a Christian resurrection. Raleghs powerful lyric The Lie goes against a court which glows and shines like rotten wood, the body of his poetry is overtly supportive of the Queen-centred courtly culture which Elizabeths propagandists presented as an ideal. The Queen ruled a court which embodied the idea of unchanging perfection. Less paganly, the fact that Elizabeths birthday fell on the Christian feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary was regarded as a sign of her partaking both of the grace and of the honour accorded to the second Eve.

Edmund Spenser: His play The Faerie Queene is influenced by The image of Elizabeth of 1588. It may well have contributed to the Queen, the warrior virgin, Britomart. Spenser had modelled Britomart on a parallel figure in Ariostos Orlando Furioso and had adapted her name from that of a character in a poem by Virgil. Elizabeth is effectively present in each of the six massive books of The Faerie Queene. Spenser looked back on the past from an essentially Renaissance perspective, and with modern Italian models in mind, his allegory and his language suggest a more immediate response to native literary traditions. The Faerie Queene demands a response both to a literal meaning and to a series of allegorical constructions (historical, moral, mystical, socio-political). Much as his characters face moral choices and dilemmas, so Spensers readers need both to deconstruct his metaphors and to discriminate between a variety of possible meanings. Chaucer was also a major influence on Spensers style. Spensers own poetic language was an artificial language which served to draw attention to the very artifice of his poem. It recalled the romance through its terminology, armorial adjectives, and its stock comparisons, but it also served to alert readers to the anti-naturalistic tenor of the narratives. Spensers epic syncretically blends and antithetically opposes aspects of the old and the new, the Pagan and the Christian, the revived Roman and the residual Gothic, the pastoral and the courtly.

The influence of buildings in Spencers poem: Like the great Elizabethan country houses built for show by pushily ambitious English noble families in the closing decades of the sixteenth century, The Faerie Queene elaborates the setting of courtly ceremonial and lordly entertainment within the context of architectural regularity, ordered display, and shapely structural crossreference. It is likely that when Spenser foregrounded accounts of buildings, gardens, and pageants in his narrative he intended them to be seen as reflections of Renaissance pictorial and architectural display. His architecture and his horticulture are presented precisely and symbolically while his untamed forests, his thickets, plains, and pastures remain vague.

Samuel Daniel: What most characterizes his poems is an intense delight in the potential richness of English rhythms and the echoing of English speech in English verse. In his sonnets he repeats words and, on occasion, re-employs the last line of one poem as the first of another as a means of squeezing meaning, or alternative meanings, from them. Daniels eight books of The Civil Wars between the two Houses of Lancaster and York (published between 1595 and 1609) is both a stanzaic exploration of the pre-Tudor crisis in English affairs to which so many of his

contemporaries returned for instructive political lessons, and a study of historic character in the manner of the ancient Roman historians. Drayton: His play, Idea deals with a relationship between lovers which is characterized not by distant adoration but by disruptions, absences and protests. The thirty-first sonnet opens with a conversational shrug, while the thirty-third employs the imagery of a battle with Eros.

Fulke Greville: He was an Elizabethan poet, dramatist, and statesman who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1581 and 1621, when he was raised to the peerage. Greville is best known today as the biographer of Sir Philip Sidney, and for his sober poetry, which presents dark, thoughtful and distinctly Calvinist views on art, literature, beauty and other philosophical matters. Grevilles friend, Philip Sidney conditioned not simply the flattering biography he wrote of his upright friend but also the censorious remarks that the Life contains concerning the reign of Elizabeth and the comparative moral turpitude of the court of King James. Sidneys religious opinions helped to determine the themes and patterns of Greville's own verse. The poems shivers of horror at the prospect of eternal condemnation are to some extent conditioned by the intellectual control of the theological drama.

Davies (1569-1626): He is remembered for his inventive exploration of the signification of dance in Orchestra Ora Poeme of Dauncing (1596). The poem attempts to intertwine metaphysical, natural, mythological, moral, and ritualistic arguments as a means of justifying the art of the choreographer. The concern with celestial harmony and earthly concord wh ich runs through Daviess Orchestra ought properly to be seen in the context of the ceremonial, the formal entertainments, and the masques which had increasingly determined the prestige of the courts of Europe in the late Renaissance period.

Thomas Campion: Because of his five Books of Airs published between 1601 and 1617, Campions own mastery of melodic and metrical proportion becomes most evident. The majorities of his lyrics reveal a mastery of rhyme and varied stanza form. The deftness of many of Campions adaptations of conventional erotic sentiments, and his fondness for words such as bright, sun, beams, and glitter, sometimes serve to conceal the strain of melancholy that lurks in the shadows beyond the sunlit gardens and groves frequented by courtly lovers. Campions work testifies not simply to the broad sophistication of English secular music in the reigns of Elizabeth and James, but also to the coming of age of the modern English language as an appropriate vehicle for lyrical emotion.