The Renaissance Faire: Assessing Renaissance Literature for Modern Times
We will be considering two topics during our final week. Please post on both.
Topic 1: Paradise Lost
Reflect on the ways in which Paradise Lost represents the culmination of everything else we have read this semester—not in the sense of being “the best,” but in the sense of summing up in form as well as in content. What themes or ideas do you see in Paradise Lost that remind you of other materials we have read? Give specific examples from both Paradise Lost and those other materials.
Topic 2: Renaissance Literature
For our final question of the semester, let’s do our best to sum up the literary period, though it contains a highly disparate group of writers that includes the greatest in the English language–and even a couple of monarchs! Consider the following concepts, and choose a piece of literature that fits each one. Explain your answer by using examples from the literary text.
The Individual: Renaissance literature often shows the individual’s struggles for self-awareness. The individual reflects upon his or her own situation in the universe and asks, “Who am I?” In your opinion, which work that we’ve read this semester best exemplifies this idea? Give examples from the work to support your view.
Society: This search or journey for personal identity almost always includes a conflict or alienation from the established order or conventional society. We see the tension and drama of this literature: not only is the main character in search of her/his own identity but this must be done amidst a revolt, separation, or conflict with the existing social order. There is almost always an attempt to discover a new way of thinking, feeling or seeing as the main character attempts to replace old with new values. In your opinion, which work that we’ve read this semester best exemplifies this idea? Give examples from the work to support your view.
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