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333 Counter-Renaissance

Page history last edited by Eric Leonidas 2 years, 10 months ago


English 333: The Renaissance – IV  The Counter-Renaissance


Study Questions


1.  Contrast a view of “man” found in Revenger's Tragedy or The Prince with an idea of man from an earlier text. 


2.  What is the "tragedy" of the Revenger's Tragedy?  That is, what's in conflict, and how do the outcomes of the drama comment on the possibilities for resolution of the conflict you've identified?


3.  We have seen that the ideals and practices of Humanism hold limited opportunities for women (for more on this, see Joan Kelley’s article).  Use one of our texts to show that things are better or worse for women within the “world view” of the counter-renaissance. 


4.  Machiavelli believed that to attain and maintain power successful rulers had to counter fortuna with virtú (“prowess”).  Does The Revenger's Tragedy conform to Machiavelli's notion of virtú or its importance? 


5.  What role do you see for Providence or religious values generally in The Revenger's Tragedy?



Additional Reading


From the Norton Anthology: Walter Raleigh, “The Lie” (1026) or “Nature, that washed her hands in milk” (1029); John Donne, from “An Anatomy of the World” (1399-1410); Thomas Hobbes, from Leviathan (1855-67).



Hiram Haydn, The Counter-Renaissance (New York, 1950): “The Historical Position and the Significance of the Counter Renaissance” pp. 76-87; “Naturalism and Individualism” pp. 380-87; “World Views of the Counter Renaissance” pp. 461-68.  (ask me for a copy)


William Bouwsma, The Waning of the Renaissance (New Haven, 2000).






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