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英语专业八级人文知识辅导:英美文化大纲

更新时间:2015-01-14浏览:评论: 条

An Outline of British Literary History

Early and Medieval English Literature

1. Beowulf, epic in old Briton

2. Romance

3. Ballads

4. Geoffrey Chaucer, the founder of English poetry, “The Canterbury Tales”

The English Renaissance (16th—first half of 17th)

1. Characteristic of Renaissance:

1)a thirsting curiosity for the classical literature;

2)keen interest in the activities of humanity (humanism)

2. Thomas More, the greatest of the English humanists, “Utopia”

3. Poets in this period: (The sonnet, an exact form of poetry in 14 lines of iambic pentameter intricately rhymed, was introduced to England from Italy by Sir Thomas Wyatt and Henry Howard)

① Sir Philip Sidney (1554-86), love sonnets: “Astrophel and Stella”

② Walter Raleigh (1552-1618), “Discovery of Guiana”

③ Edmund Spenser (1552-99), “The Shepherd's Calendar” (a pastoral poem in 12 books); “The Faerie Queene” (his masterpiece dedicated to Queen Elizabeth). He is the first master to make Modern English the natural music of his poetic effusions.

④ John Lyly (1554-1606), a romance writer for the gentle reader, “Euphues”

4. Prose Writer: Francis Bacon (1561-1626), “Essays” (58 ones). It covers a wide variety of subjects, such as love, truth, friendship, parents and children, beauty, studies, riches, youth and age, garden, death, and many others. They have won popularity for their precision, clearness, brevity and force.

5. Drama (the highest glory of English Renaissance)

① university wits: Lyly, Peele, Marlowe, Greene, Lodge and Nash. They made rapid progress in dramatic technique because they had a close contact with the actors and audience.

② Christopher Marlowe (1564-93):

1)Tamburlaine;

2)The Jew of Malta;

3)Doctor Faustus

③ Ben Jonson (1572-1637):

1)Every man in His Humor;

2)Volpone, or the Fox”;

3)The Alchemist;

④ William Shakespeare

Four Tragedies:

1)Hamlet

2)Othello

3)King Lear

4)Macbeth

Celebrated comedies:

1)The Merchant of Venice

2)The Taming of the Shrew

3)A Midsummer Night's Dream

4)All's Well That Ends Well other celebrated ones:

1)Titus Andronicus

2)Romeo and Juliet

3)Henry V

4)Twelfth Night

5)Julius Caesar

6)Timon of Athens

7)The Tempest

8)Antony and Cleopatra

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