Mid-Term Assignment


Dear all,

To see your understanding of the topics discussed during the first half of the term, choose five out of the following ten items. Write two paragraphs for each chosen item. In the first paragraph summarize the work. In the second, show how the work is related to the sociological, historical, political, and/or religious backgrounds of the period in which it was written (you can focus on one or more background).  Write each paragraph in about 100 words and post it on the reply section below. Put all references you use on the bottom of your writing. Use The Owl and the Nightingale as a model for writing each work. Deadline for posting: Friday, May 4, 2012, 12:00 pm.

  1. Beowulf
  2. Cynewulf’s The Dream of the Rood
  3. Mendelville’s Travel
  4. Geoffrey Chaucer‘s The Caterbury Tales
  5. Edm und Spenser’s Faery Queen
  6. Christopher Marlowe‘s Dr. Faustus
  7. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
  8. Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar
  9. Thoma s More‘s Utopia
  10. Thomas NasheThe Unfortunate Traveler

Good Luck!

Geoffrey Chaucer

44 Comments

  1. I’m sorry I am late to post my assignment….
    Rudolf Octavianus
    Summary of Beowulf
    The main protagonist, Beowulf, a hero of the Geats, comes to the aid of Hrothgar, the king of the Danes, whose great hall, Heorot, is plagued by the monster Grendel. Beowulf kills Grendel with his bare hands and Grendel’s mother with a sword, which giants once used, that Beowulf found in Grendel’s mother’s lair.
    Later in his life, Beowulf is himself king of the Geats, and finds his realm terrorized by a dragon whose treasure had been stolen from his hoard in a burial mound. He attacks the dragon with the help of his thegns or servants, but they do not succeed. Beowulf decides to follow the dragon into its lair, at Earnanæs, but only his young Swedish relative Wiglaf dares join him. Beowulf finally slays the dragon, but is mortally wounded. He is buried in a tumulus or burial mound, by the sea.
    Beowulf is considered an epic poem in that the main character is a hero who travels great distances to prove his strength at impossible odds against supernatural demons and beasts. The poem also begins in Medias res (“into the middle of affairs”) or simply, “in the middle”, which is a characteristic of the epics of antiquity. Although the poem begins with Beowulf’s arrival, Grendel’s attacks have been an ongoing event. An elaborate history of characters and their lineages are spoken of, as well as their interactions with each other, debts owed and repaid, and deeds of valor.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beowulf
    Romeo and Juliet
    The play begins with a large fight between the Capulets and the Montagues, two prestigious families in Verona, Italy. These families have been fighting for quite some time, and the Prince declares that their next public brawl will be punished by death. When the fight is over, Romeo’s cousin Benvolio tries to cheer him of his melancholy. Romeo reveals that he is in love with a woman named Rosaline, but she has chosen to live a life of chastity. Romeo and Benvolio are accidentally invited to their enemy’s party; Benvolio convinces Romeo to go.
    At the party, Romeo locks eyes with a young woman named Juliet. They instantly fall in love, but they do not realize that their families are mortal enemies. When they realize each other’s identities, they are devastated, but they cannot help the way that they feel. Romeo sneaks into Juliet’s yard after the party and proclaims his love for her. She returns his sentiments and the two decide to marry. The next day, Romeo and Juliet are married by Friar Lawrence; an event witnessed by Juliet’s Nurse and Romeo’s loyal servant, Balthasar. They plan to meet in Juliet’s chambers that night.
    Romeo visits his best friend Mercutio and his cousin Benvolio but his good mood is curtailed. Juliet’s cousin, Tybalt, starts a verbal quarrel with Romeo, which soon turns into a duel with Mercutio. Romeo tries to stop the fight but it is too late: Tybalt kills Mercutio. Romeo, enraged, retaliates by killing Tybalt. Once Romeo realizes the consequences of his actions, he hides at Friar Lawrence’s cell.
    Friar Lawrence informs Romeo that he has been banished from Verona and will be killed if he stays. The Friar suggests Romeo spend the night with Juliet, then leave for Mantua in the morning. He tells Romeo that he will attempt to settle the Capulet and Montague dispute so Romeo can later return to a united family. Romeo takes his advice, spending one night with Juliet before fleeing Verona.
    Juliet’s mother, completely unaware of her daughter’s secret marriage to Romeo, informs Juliet that she will marry a man named Paris in a few days. Juliet, outraged, refuses to comply. Her parents tell her that she must marry Paris and the Nurse agrees with them. Juliet asks Friar Lawrence for advice, insisting she would rather die than marry Paris. Fr. Lawrence gives Juliet a potion which will make her appear dead and tells her to take it the night before the wedding. He promises to send word to Romeo – intending the two lovers be reunited in the Capulet vault.
    Juliet drinks the potion and everybody assumes that she is dead — including Balthasar, who immediately tells Romeo. Friar Lawrence’s letter fails to reach Romeo, so he assumes that his wife is dead. He rushes to Juliet’s tomb and, in deep grief, drinks a vial of poison. Moments later, Juliet wakes to find Romeo dead and kills herself due to grief. Once the families discover what happened, they finally end their bitter feud. Thus the youngsters’ deaths bring the families together. Romeo and Juliet is a true tragedy in the literary sense because the families gather sufficient self-knowledge to correct their behavior but not until it is too late to save the situation.
    http://www.wikisummaries.org/Romeo_and_Juliet
    Faerie Queen
    Edmund Spenser was born around 1552 in London, England. We know very little about his family, but he received a quality education and graduated with a Masters from Cambridge in 1576. He began writing poetry for publication at this time and was employed as a secretary, first to the Bishop of Kent and then to nobles in Queen Elizabeth’s court. His first major work, The Shepheardes Calender, was published in 1579 and met with critical success; within a year he was at work on his greatest and longest work, The Faerie Queene. This poem occupied him for most of his life, though he published other poems in the interim. The first three books of The Faerie Queen were published in 1590 and then republished with Books IV through VI in 1596. By this time, Spenser was already in his second marriage, which took place in Ireland, where he often traveled. Still at work on his voluminous poem, Spenser died on January 13, 1599, at Westminster.
    Spenser only completed half of The Faerie Queene he planned. In a letter to Sir John Walter Raleigh, he explained the purpose and structure of the poem. It is an allegory, a story whose characters and events nearly all have a specific symbolic meaning. The poem’s setting is a mythical “Faerie land,” ruled by the Faerie Queene. Spenser sets forth in the letter that this “Queene” represents his own monarch, Queen Elizabeth.
    Spenser intended to write 12 books of the Faerie Queene, all in the classical epic style; Spenser notes that his structure follows those of Homer and Virgil. Each Book concerns the story of a knight, representing a particular Christian virtue, as he or she would convey at the court of the Faerie Queene. Because only half of the poem was ever finished, the unifying scene at the Queene’s court never occurs; instead, we are left with six books telling an incomplete story. Of these, the first and the third books are most often read and critically acclaimed.
    Though it takes place in a mythical land, The Faerie Queen was intended to relate to Spenser’s England, most importantly in the area of religion. Spenser lived in post-Reformation England, which had recently replaced Roman Catholicism with Protestantism (specifically, Anglicanism) as the national religion. There were still many Catholics living in England, and, thus, religious protest was a part of Spenser’s life. A devout Protestant and a devotee of the Protestant Queen Elizabeth, Spenser was particularly offended by the anti-Elizabethan propaganda that some Catholics circulated. Like most Protestants near the time of the Reformation, Spenser saw a Catholic Church full of corruption, and he determined that it was not only the wrong religion but the anti-religion. This sentiment is an important backdrop for the battles of The Faerie Queene, which often represent the “battles” between London and Rome.
    http://www.sparknotes.com/poetry/fqueen/context.html
    Unfortunate Traveler
    English poet, playwright, and pamphleteer, born at Lowestoft in 1567. His father belonged to an old Herefordshire family, and is vaguely described as a “minister.” Nashe spent nearly seven years, 1582-89, at St. John’s College, Cambridge, taking his B.A. degree in 1585-86. On leaving the university he tried like Robert Greene and Christopher Marlowe, to make his living in London by literature. It is probable that his first effort was The Anatomie of Absurditie (1589) which was perhaps written at Cambridge, although he refers to it as a forthcoming publication in his preface to Greene’s Menaphon (1589). In this preface, addressed to the gentlemen students of both universities, he makes boisterous ridicule of the bombast of Thomas Kyd and the English lexameters of Richard Stanihurst, but does not forget the praise of many good books. Nashe was really a journalist born out of due time; he boasts of writing “as fast as his hand could trot”; he had a brilliant and picturesque style which, he was careful to explain, was entirely original; and in addition to his keen sense of the ridiculous he had an abundance of miscellaneous learning. As there was no market for his gifts he fared no better than the other university wits who were trying to live by letters.
    Nash he found an opening for his ready wit and keen sarcasm in the Martin Marprelate controversy. His share in this war of pamphlets cannot now be accurately determined, but he has, with more or less probability, been credited with the following: A Countercuffe given to Martin Junior (1589), Martins Months Minde (1589), The Returne of the renowned Cavaliero Pasquill and his Meeting with Marforius (1589), The First Part of Pasquils Apologie (1590), and An Almond for a Parrat (1590). He edited an unauthorized edition of Sir Philip Sidney’s poems with an enthusiastic preface in 1591, and A Wonderfull Astrologicall Prognostication, in ridicule of the almanac-makers, by “Adam Fouleweather”, which appeared in the same year, has been attributed to him. Pierce Penilesse, His Supplication to the Divell, published in 1592, shows us his power as a humorous critic of national manners, and tells incidentally how hard he found it to live by the pen. It seems to Pierce a monstrous thing that brainless drudges wax fat while “the seven liberal sciences and a good leg will scarce get a scholar bread and cheese.” In this pamphlet, too, Nashe began his attacks upon the Harveys by assailing Richard, who had written contemptuously of his preface to Greene’s Menaphon. Greene died in September 1592, and Richard’s brother, Gabriel Harvey, at once attacked his memory in his Foure Letters, at the same time adversely criticizing Pierce Penilesse. Nashe replied, both for Greene and for himself, in Strange Newes of the intercepting certaine Letters, better known, from the running title, as Foure Letters Confuted (1592), in which all the Harveys are violently attacked. The autumn of 1592 Nashe seems to have spent at or near Croydon, where he wrote his satirical masque of Summers Last Will and Testament at a safe distance from London and the plague. He afterwards lived for some months in the Isle of Wight under the patronage of Sir George Carey, the governor. In 1593 he wrote Christs Teares over Jerusalem, in the first edition of which he made friendly overtures to Gabriel Harvey. These were, however, in a second edition, published in the following year, replaced by a new attack, and two years later appeared the most violent of his tracts against Harvey, Have with you to Saffron-walden, or, Gabriell Harveys Hunt is up (1596). In 1599 the controversy was suppressed by the Archbishop of Canterbury. After Marlowe’s death Nashe prepared his friend’s unfinished tragedy of Dido (1596) for the stage. In the next year he was in trouble for a play, now lost, called The Isle of Dogs, for only part of which, however, he seems to have been responsible. The “seditious and slanderous matter” contained in this play induced the authorities to close for a time the theater at which it had been performed, and the dramatist was put in the Fleet prison.
    Besides his pamphlets and his play-writing, Nashe turned his energies to novel-writing. He may be regarded as the pioneer in the English novel of adventure. He published in 1594 The Unfortunate Traveller, Or the Life of Jack Wilton, the history of an ingenious page who was present at the siege of Térouenne, and afterwards travelled in Italy with the earl of Surrey. It tells the story of the earl and Fair Geraldine, dsscribes a tournament held by Surrey at Florence, and relates the adventures of Wilton and his mistress Diamante at Rome after the earl’s return to England. The detailed, realistic manner in which Nashe relates his improbable fiction resembles that of Daniel Defoe. His last work is entitled Lenten Stuffe (1599) and is nominally “in praise of the red herring”, but really a description of Yarmouth, to which place he had retired after his imprisonment, written in the best style of a special correspondent. Nashe’s death is referred to in Thomas Dekker’s Knights Conjuring (1607), a kind of sequel to Pierce Penilesse. He is there represented as joining his boon companions in the Elysian fields “still haunted with the sharp and satirical spirit that followed him here upon earth.” Had his patrons understood their duty, he would not, he said, have shortened his days by keeping company with pickled herrings. It may therefore be reasonably supposed that he died from eating bad and insufficient food. The date of his death is fixed by an elegy on him printed in Fitzgeffrey’s Affaniae (1601).
    The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer Summary
    In April, with the beginning of spring, people of varying social classes come from all over England to gather at the Tabard Inn in preparation for a pilgrimage to Canterbury to receive the blessings of St. Thomas à Becket, the English martyr. Chaucer himself is one of the pilgrims. That evening, the Host of the Tabard Inn suggests that each member of the group tell tales on the way to and from Canterbury in order to make the time pass more pleasantly. The person who tells the best story will be awarded an elegant dinner at the end of the trip. The Host decides to accompany the party on its pilgrimage and appoints himself as the judge of the best tale.
    Shortly after their departure the day, the pilgrims draw straws. The Knight, who draws the shortest straw, agrees to tell the first story — a noble story about knights and honor and love. When the Knight finishes his story, the Host calls upon the Monk. The drunken Miller, however, insists that it is his turn, and he proceeds to tell a story about a stupid carpenter. At the end of his story, everyone roars with laughter — except the Reeve, who had once been a carpenter. To get back at the Miller, the Reeve tells a lowbrow story about a cheating miller. At the end of The Reeve’s Tale, the Cook, Roger, promises to tell a true story, but he doesn’t complete his tale.
    By now, the first day is rapidly passing, and the Host hurries the pilgrims to get on with their tales. Using the best legalese that he knows, he calls upon the Man of Law for the next tale. The Man of Law proceeds to tell the tale of Constancy. The Host is very pleased with the tale and asks the Parson to relate another one just as good. The Parson declines, however, and rebukes the Host for swearing and ridiculing him (the Parson). The Shipman breaks in and tells a lively story to make up for so much moralizing.
    The Wife of Bath is the next to tell a story, and she begins by claiming that happy marriages occur only when a wife has sovereignty over her husband. When the Wife of Bath finishes her story, the Friar offers his own tale about a summoner. The Host, however, always the peacekeeper, admonishes the Friar to let the Summoner alone. The Summoner interrupts and says the Friar can do as he likes and will be repaid with a tale about a friar. Nevertheless, the Friar’s tale about a summoner makes the Summoner so angry that he tells an obscene story about the fate of all friars and then continues with an obscene tale about one friar in particular.
    After the Friar and Summoner finish their insulting stories about each other, the Host turns to the Clerk and asks for a lively tale. The Clerk tells a story about Griselda and her patience — a story that depicts the exact opposite of The Wife of Bath’s Tale. The Merchant comments that he has no wife as patient and sweet as Griselda and tells of tale of a young wife who cheats on her old husband. After the Merchant’s tale, the Host requests another tale about love and turns to the Squire, who begins a tale of supernatural events. He does not finish, however, because the Franklin interrupts him to compliment the Squire on his eloquence and gentility. The Host, interested only get in getting the next story told, commands the Franklin to begin his tale, which he does. The Franklin tells of a happy marriage.
    Then the Physician offers his tale of the tragic woe of a father and daughter — a story that upsets the Host so much that he requests a merry tale from the Pardoner. The Pardoner tells a tale in which he proves that, even though he is not a moral man, he can tell a moral tale. At the end of the tale, the Pardoner invites the pilgrims to buy relics and pardons from him and suggests that the Host should begin because he is the most sinful. This comment infuriates the Host; the Knight intercedes between the Host and the Pardoner and restores peace.
    The pilgrims then hear a story by the Prioress about a young martyr. After the seriousness of this tale, the Host turns to Chaucer and asks him for something to liven up the group. Chaucer begins a story about Sir Topas but is soon interrupted by the Host, who exclaims that he is tired of the jingling rhymes and wants Chaucer to tell a little something in prose. Chaucer complies with the boring story of Melibee.
    After the tale of Melibee, the Host turns to the merry Monk and demands a story that he confidently expects to be a jovial and happy tale. Instead, the Monk relates a series of tales in which tragedy befalls everyone. The Knight joins in with the Host in proclaiming that the Monk’s tales are too much to bear and requests a merry tale. But the Monk refuses and the Host turns to the Nun’s Priest and calls for a tale. Thus the Nun’s Priest relates the tale of the barnyard rooster, Chaunticleer, his lady, and a fox. The Second Nun then offers a tale that befits her station — a retelling of the events in the life of St. Cecilia.
    Suddenly, two men approach the pilgrims. One is a canon; the other his yeoman (servant). The Host welcomes them and asks whether either a tale to tell has. The Canon’s Yeoman answers that his master has many strange tales filled with mirth and laughter, yet when he begins to tell of their life and actions, the Canon slips away embarrassed and frightened.
    As the party nears Canterbury, the Host demands a story from the Manciple, who tells of a white crow that can sing and talk. Finally, the Host turns to the last of the group, the Parson, and bids him to tell his tale. The Parson agrees and proceeds with a sermon. The Tales end with Chaucer’s retraction.
    http://www.cliffsnotes.com/study_guide/literature/canterbury-tales/summary.

  2. Tommy Sangapan S.
    0812150035
    Class B

    1. Cynewulf’s “The Dream of the Rood”

    The Dream of the Rood is one of the Christian poems that written by Cynewulf. It tells about someone who dreams about a tree on which Jesus’ cross was made from it. Firstly, he told that in his dream, he saw wondrous, beautiful rood-trees which lifted into the air, accessorized with gems and covered by gold. The dreamer was lying a long time there, until he heard the tree spoke. Then, the tree told its story. It was started when the tree was cut down from the edge of the forest and men made the tree to become a cross. The cross then was placed on a hill. After that, he saw men brought Jesus on to the cross. The cross refused to bow down when the tree saw the earth tremble. Jesus and the cross became one as the enemies pierced them with dark nails. A short time later, Jesus finally died and all of the creation wept. Subsequently, the men cut down the cross to the earth and buried it together with Jesus’ corpse. The cross then arose to the heaven and commanded to the dreamer that he had to tell this vision to human mankind. After got the vision, the dreamer prayed for the cross and hoped that he could find the tree and honor it well. He hoped that the time when the cross of Jesus which he saw on his dream will fetch him and will bring him to where great bliss is or maybe simply called heaven.

    The poem has been the subject of literary and historical study for generations and has been interpreted in a variety of ways. Profound and moving of itself, the story also provides a valuable window into early Christian England. The dream vision uses strong, virile images of Christ in order to reach members of the Anglo-Saxon warrior culture, who valued strength above humility. This may have been a deliberate strategy to convert pagans to Christianity. It also reflects how the image of Jesus was adapted to suit different cultures.

    Retrieved from:
    http://www.enotes.com/dream-rood-salem/dream-rood
    http://historymedren.about.com/od/generalliterature1/p/dream_rood.htm

    2. Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales”

    Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales” introduces the speaker of the poem as a man named Chaucer, who is traveling from London with a group of strangers to visit Canterbury, a borough to the southeast of London. This group of people is thrown together when they travel together on a trip to the shrine of Saint Thomas à Becket, who was murdered in Canterbury in 1170. They assemble at the Tibard Inn in Southwark to prepare for their trip. It describes each of the pilgrims, including ones who were meant to be discussed in sections of the book that were never written before Chaucer died. After the introductions, the Host, who owns the inn that they gather at and who is leading the group, suggests that they should each tell two stories while walking, one on the way to Canterbury and one on the way back, to pass the time more quickly. He offers the person telling the best story a free supper at the tavern when they return.

    During Chaucer’s lifetime, the Black Plague swept across Europe, causing hundreds of thousands of people to die in a gruesome way and changing the way those common citizens looked at mortality. The plague originated in the north of India during the 1330s and spread quickly, affecting much of Asia by the mid-1340s. Its spread to Europe was no accident. Mongol-Tartar armies, in an attempt to discourage Italian trade caravans from crossing their territory on their way to and from China, catapulted bodies of infected victims over the walls of their fortresses at the Italians, who subsequently brought the disease back to their country.

    Retrieved from:
    http://www.enotes.com/canterbury-tales
    http://www.bookrags.com/studyguide-canterburytales/hist.html

    3. William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”

    Probably written in 1599, Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” was the Roman history plays. Like Antony and Cleopatra and Coriolanus, Julius Caesar is a dramatization of actual events, Shakespeare drawing upon the ancient Roman historian Plutarch’s Lives of Caesar, Brutus, and Mark Antony as the primary source of the play’s plot and characters. The play is tightly structured. It establishes the dramatic problem of alarm at Julius Caesar’s ambition to become “king” (or dictator) in the very first scene and introduces signs that Caesar must “beware the Ides of March” from the outset. Before its midpoint, Caesar is assassinated, and shortly after Mark Antony’s famous funeral oration (Friends, Romans, and countrymen), the setting shifts permanently from Rome to the battlefields on which Brutus and Cassius meet their inevitable defeat. Julius Caesar is also a tragedy; but despite its title, the tragic character of the play is Brutus, the noble Roman whose decision to take part in the conspiracy for the sake of freedom plunges him into a personal conflict and his country into civil war.

    In 1599, when Julius Caesar was first performed, Queen Elizabeth I, the Tudor Queen, was in the final years of her 45-year reign (1558–1603). It was a period of history called the “Age of Discovery,” a time of scientific growth, a rebirth of the arts, and exploration of the recently discovered continents of North and South America. Historical plays were popular during Shakespeare’s lifetime and people were eager to learn about worlds other than their own. A play like Julius Caesar taught them about Roman history, and at the same time, provided them with a mirror of their own society—a peacetime monarchy after a hundred years of warfare and before the Civil War that began in 1642.

    Retrieved from:
    http://www.enotes.com/julius-caesar
    http://kraftworldlit.wikispaces.com/Julius+Caesar+Notes

    4. William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”
    Romeo and Juliet is one of the early plays of Shakespeare. It was probably written in 1594 or 1595. In the story, only five days go by from the opening street fight to the death of Romeo and Juliet. On Sunday morning, the brawl in the town square occurs; that same night Romeo meets Juliet at the Capulet feast, and they declare their love for one another. On Monday afternoon, Friar Lawrence marries the couple; later in the day, Romeo kills Tybalt. On Tuesday, Romeo flees from Verona to Mantua, the Capulets announce Juliet’s engagement to Paris, and she drinks the magic potion that makes her appear to be dead. On Wednesday, Juliet’s body is discovered and taken to the Capulet tomb. On Thursday, Romeo hears of Juliet’s death, hastens back to Verona, and commits suicide in her tomb. When Juliet awakens later in the day and finds him dead, she stabs herself. The play ends on Friday morning.

    Historical background of the story is the Elizabethan stage. Drama was the prime means of public entertainment during Shakespeare’s time. Traveling actors went around the country and were hired by those who wanted their services. In larger cities, such as London, permanent acting groups were formed and attached to a single theater, such as the “Globe”, the “Curtain”, or the “Fortune”. Shakespeare’s company owned the “Globe”, which was an open-air theater. Since there were no artificial lights, plays were staged in the afternoon. The stage jutted out into the audience, and the “groundlings” stood nearby to watch the action. Other spectators paid higher prices to sit in the galleries and watch the play.

    Retrieved from:
    http://www.pinkmonkey.com/booknotes/monkeynotes/romeo4.asp

    5. Richard Wilbur’s “Beowulf”

    The epic Richard Wilbur’s “Beowulf” was written between the mid-seventh and the late tenth centuries A.D. It tells the story of a Scandinavian hero, Beowulf, who comes to save a kingdom from a monster named Grendel who attacks the castle each night. The hero fights and kills the monster; soon Grendel’s mother appears, and Beowulf must defeat her as well. The Danes give Beowulf many gifts in thanks, and he returns home, where he is king of the Geats for fifty years. He eventually dies in a battle against a dragon.

    One way to study Wilbur’s “Beowulf” is by comparing the poet’s time with that of the epic hero’s period. Wilbur published “Beowulf” in 1950, just a few years after the end of World War II. During the war, he served as an Army cryptographer and soldier. His infantry division fought in Europe, and Wilbur was in active combat in bloody campaigns for three years. It is interesting to note that he has written few poems directly about the war, although he has said that the experience of battle caused him to become serious about writing poetry.

    Retrieved from:
    http://www.enotes.com/beowulf-wilbur
    http://www.bookrags.com/studyguide-beowulf2/hist.html

  3. Mandeville’s Travels
    Sir John Mandeville”, is the name claimed by the compiler of The Travels of Sir John Mandeville, a book account of his supposed travels, written in Anglo-Norman French, and first circulated between 1357 and 1371. The Travels of Sir John Mandeville had been a household word in eleven languages and for five centuries before it was ascertained that Sir John never lived, that his travels never took place, and that his personal experiences, long the test of others’ veracity, were compiled out of every possible authority, going back to Pliny, if not further. Mandeville’s Travels enjoyed wide popular appeal from the late fourteenth century through the mid-1500s. It was respected among scholars, who at one time considered Mandeville the “Father of English prose”; explorers, including Christopher Columbus; and cartographers, who consulted it as a reliable source on the Far East. During the nineteenth century, a number of scholars attacked Mandeville’s Travels as a hoax, charged the author with plagiarism, and found evidence to suggest that the author was not an English knight but a Continental writing under an assumed name. During the twentieth century, however, Mandeville’s Travels has enjoyed a revival. Commentators have noted that “plagiarism,” as it applies to Mandeville’s Travels, was not an uncommon practice in the Middle Ages. Other commentators have argued that Mandeville’s Travels should be approached as a work of imaginative literature and argue its importance to the development of the novel. Josephine Waters Bennett, for instance, has written that the Travels “is incomparably richer than the materials out of which it was made because the imagination of a writer of genius has shone upon those materials and brought them to life. Mandeville is neither a plagiarist nor a ‘forger,’ but the creator of a romance of travel.” Others have argued that Mandeville was approaching his subject as a scholar, a compiler of an encyclopedia of knowledge, and that his mode of presentation was intended to be interesting rather than deceptive.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Mandeville
    http://www.enotes.com/sir-john-mandeville-mid-fourteenth-century-criticism/sir-john-mandeville-mid-fourteenth-century

    The Dream of the Rood
    Cynewulf’s
    The Dream of the Rood tells about the narrator`s dream on his vision speaking to the Cross that Jesus was crucified. The poem consists of three parts. The first, the narrator sees the Cross and considers it as the glorious tree and one which covered with gems. The second, the Cross is symbol of Jesus` death. He imagines the Cross first beginning when the tree is cut and instead brought not for the criminal but for Jesus crucified. It describes that the Lord and the Cross are one, stand together as the victors to save the man. The third, the narrator shares his reflections of his vision when it has finished, but it the man is left with his thought. He praises to God for his vision and hopes for eternal life and great wishing to once again be near to the glorious Cross.
    This poem describes the base value of Christianity that considers Jesus and Cross are one, support one another to be the victors by Crucifying. How the writer imagines that God define the tree as the important part in relation with Jesus` Crucified. This poem at that time gets many critics which state that the poem display the Christianity and paganism which paganism is believed considering of pre-Christianity. The critic comes as the writer considers the Cross as the tree which has great meaning in Crucified of Jesus.
    http://www.enotes.com/dream-rood-61424-criticism/dream-rood
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dream_of_the_Rood

    The Canterbury Tales
    Geoffrey Chaucer‘s
    The Canterbury Tales is a collection of stories written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer at the end of the 14th century. The tales (mostly written in verse although some are in prose) are told as part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together on a journey from Southwark to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. The prize for this contest is a free meal at the Tabard Inn at Southwark on their return. It is also tell the story of a group of thirty people who travel as pilgrims to Canterbury (England). The pilgrims, who come from all layers of society, tell stories to each other to kill time while they travel to Canterbury. The pilgrims come from different kind society. They tell the story to kill the time and each person should tell two stories when they go and two stories when they go back. As the story just to kill the time, the theme of the stories is different each other according to their experiences and or what they know and like to tell. Therefore, Canterbury tales does not have the ending of the story.
    In the Canterbury Tales, there were backgrounds related to Middle Ages, feminism and Christianity. Chaucer was extremely interested in the role of women in society, and how they reacted to it. In the Wife of Bath’s Tale, for instance, Chaucer foregrounds the issue of female “maistrie”, and in the series of Tales often called “the Marriage group” by critics, Chaucer actively explores the potential dynamics of a male-female marriage. In the Middle Ages, feminism had obviously not been invented; but one see very clearly in the mouth of the Wife of Bath that ideas of female equality were by no means unusual. The Tales as a whole take place on a religious pilgrimage to Canterbury, and Chaucer’s “Retraction” makes a popular apology for the way the Tales have a tendency towards sin. Are they blasphemous? Furthermore, is Chaucer’s retraction of them genuine? Critics have argued both cases. But what is certain is that the Tales contain a huge amount of religious material, both in the expressly religious tales (the Prioress, the Parson, the Clerk) and in the supposedly non-religious ones (the Summoner, the Miller, the Friar).
    http://www.enotes.com/canterbury-tales
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoffrey_Chaucer

    Shakespeare’s
    Julius Caesar
    Shakespeare’s was written in 1599, Julius Caesar was the earliest of Shakespeare’s three Roman history plays. The play begins in Rome in 44 B.C. on the Feast of Lupercal, in honor of the god Pan. Marcus Brutus is Caesar’s friend and a Roman praetor. Brutus allows himself to joining a group of conspiring senators because of a growing suspicion that Caesar intends to turn republican Rome into a monarchy under his own rule. Caesar’s assassination is one of the most famous scenes of the play the conspirators create a superficial motive for the assassination by means of a petition brought by Metellus Cimber. After Caesar’s death, Brutus delivers an oration defending his actions, and for the moment, the crowd is on his side. The play ends with a tribute to Brutus by Antony, who proclaims that Brutus has remained “the noblest Roman of them all” because he was the only conspirator who acted for the good of Rome.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julius_Caesar_(play)
    http://www.gradesaver.com/julius-caesar/study-guide
    Utopia
    Thomas More‘s
    Thomas More was a Humanist. This essay discusses the socialism and lack of individualism in the book Utopia and compares them to the seven deadly sins. Humanism is the potential perfectibility of the human being through social civil laws. A society in which individualism flourishes and social problems are eliminated creates a state of perfection. At the root of society’s problems lay the seven deadly sins, which are pride, greed, gluttony, wrath, envy, cloven, and lust. St. Thomas Moore wrote Utopia as a means of identifying the social problems of the times in which he lived. The social problems identified in Utopia by St. Thomas Moore stem from the seven deadly sins. Through careful analogy, more prescribes a perfect society in which the civil laws are structured upon toleration, moderation and respect. Individualism flourishes and society is perfected.
    http://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/utopia

  4. Nilam Mantika (NIM: 0812150029)

    1. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
    Romeo and Juliet is one of William Shakespeare’s famous works of all time. Romeo and Juliet was initially a tragic romance in ancient times. Romeo and Juliet’s story is based on the story in Italy. Romeo and Juliet first staged in 1597. Shakespeare uses dramatic structure. Romeo and Juliet have performed many times in the form of drama, film, musicals and opera. In the 20th century, Romeo and Juliet have been adapted into various versions of films such as Romeo and Juliet in 1936. Narrated in the city of Verona, Italy there are two families of mutually hostile superpower for a long time, the Montague and Capulet families. Romeo from the Montague family fell in love with Rosaline from the Capulet family. In the middle of the mutual admiration of each other, they should swallow their disappointment upon learning that was born from a family of mutual hostility. However, this pair of teenagers do not want to give up faced with a family feud, with the help of Romeo’s friend, the Pastor Lawrence, they were married secretly. Love is opposed to her despair. In addition to the body of Juliet, he swallowed poison and died instantly bought. But some time later, she was wake up with an empty hope. She actually saw the lifeless body of her husband. Feeling no longer have a reason to live, she slowly took the knife to kill herself.
    In social life, these stories are often found in real life. When parents do not agree with the couple, the individual is increasingly felt in love with her partner. Romeo and Juliet story of a young bride who fell in love, but is hampered by both their families against each other. Through this work, William Shakespeare successfully presents the nuances of the classic romance of love and tragedy. Romantic, but tragic, that’s the general picture of the legendary love story of Romeo and Juliet.

    http://anakmadiun.wordpress.com/2011/02/14/romeo-dan-juliet-kisah-cinta-sepanjang-masa/

    2. Edmund Spenser’s Faery Queen
    Faery queen is a poem English by Edmund Spenser. The first half was published in 1590, and a second installment was published in 1596. This tells about several knights, each representing a particular virtue, on their quests for the Faerie Queene, Gloriana. Redcrosse is the knight of Holiness, and must defeat both theological error and the dragon of deception to free the parents of Una (“truth”). Guyon is the knight of Temperance, who must destroy the fleshly temptations of Acrasia’s Bower of Bliss. Britomart, a woman in disguise as a male knight, represents Chastity; she must find her beloved and win his heart. Artegall, the knight of Justice, must rescue the lady Eirene from an unjust bondage. Cambell and Triamond, the knights of Friendship, must aid one another in defense of various ladies’ honor. Finally, Calidore, the knight of Courtesy, must stop the Blatant Beast from spreading its slanderous venom throughout the realm.
    In post Lutheran Protestant reformation, there was vehement protest between the still many Roman Catholics and Protestants occupying England. As an extremely devout Protestant, Spenser was especially annoyed by slanderous material against the Queen; moreover, Spenser saw the Roman Catholic Church full of idolatry and corruption. Thus, while his Protestant sensibilities and sentiments towards the Roman Catholic Church color the entire work, they are principally displayed in the “battles” of The Faerie Queene, which often symbolize “battles” between Rome and London.

    http://www.gradesaver.com/the-faerie-queene/study-guide/short-summary/
    http://www.online-literature.com/edmund-spenser/faerie-queene/

    3. Thomas More‘s Utopia
    Utopia is a book by Thomas More in 1516. It depicts a fictional island in the Atlantic Ocean. This term has been used to describe both intentional communities that are trying to create an ideal society, and fictional societies portrayed in literature which. Geographically nature, Utopians have made use of their natural resources. The Utopians are people morally developed even though they were not Christians. The Utopians believe that pride is the root of great evil. Thus, the Utopians have eliminated wealth, nobility, private property, and currency. All persons working with the same hour, and although the authorities are excluded from public employment, they worked to set a good example for others.
    Utopia describes a condition in which the leaders of various religions accept knowledge as part of human life and agrees to remove all the superstitious beliefs based. Man with God is defined as the science or the supernatural. Religion and God are used as a factor motivating people to believe in themselves and improve themselves out of difficult situations. In Utopia Thomas More, there is a religious tolerance rule; the penalty for violating it is slavery or exile. The only man is vile atheists because they do not believe in reward for good behavior.

    http://www.gradesaver.com/utopia/study-guide/short-summary/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utopia

    4. Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar
    Julius Caesar is a tragedy by William Shakespeare plays in 1599. Julius Caesar is a political leader who is very successful and ambitious in Rome. Caesar was warned that he must “beware the Ides of March”. The prophecy came true and Caesar was murdered. Marcus Brutus was a Roman senator who helps plan and carry out the murder of Caesar. Friend Caesar, Mark Antony gave the funeral oration at Caesar and encourage the assassins of Rome. Brutus took part in the conspiracy for the sake of freedom and plunged the country into civil war.
    Julius Caesar is based on the historical events surrounding the conspiracy against the leaders of ancient Rome. Shakespeare portrays Caesar’s assassination on the Ides of March (March 15) by a group of conspirators feared the WHO Ambitious leader would turn the Roman Republic into a tyrannical monarchy. Like the history plays, Julius Caesar Gives voice to some late-16th-century English political concerns. When Shakespeare wrote Caesar, it was pretty obvious that the 66-year-old Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603) was not going to produce an Heir to the throne, and her subjects were stressed out about what would happen upon the monarch’s death. Until now, Julius Caesar is often taught in schools as an introduction to Shakespeare. Julius Caesar is also considered to be the least sexy of Shakespeare’s dramatic works, which, for some, makes it a “safe” option in classrooms full of teenagers.

    http://www.william-shakespeare.info/shakespeare-play-julius-caesar.htm
    http://www.shmoop.com/julius-caesar/

    5. Christopher Marlowe‘s Dr. Faustus
    Dr. Faustus was first published in 1604, eleven years after the death of Christopher Marlowe. In 1616, twenty-three years after the death of Christopher Marlow, different versions of Dr. Faustus was published. Dr. Faustus by Christopher Marlowe’s work is a story about a scholar and magician. It tells about a Renaissance man who had to pay the medieval price for being one.” In the middle ages, the highest wisdom was knowledge of the divine achieved through God’s grace, bestowed in revelation. However, in the Renaissance, one finds abundant deprecation of the contemplative life rooted in faith and abundant praise of the active life, the study of political and social man.

    Dr. Faustus is not responsible people who are highly educated in terms of the material world but has no connection to spirituality and faith. Faustus search for spirituality and faith not through religion but through the devil. He asks Satan to gain power and knowledge in the black arts. Faustus do not believe in God anyway even when the good angel and his scholars tells him that redemption is possible if he decides to change his mind and turn to God, but his pride never lets him.

    http://www.shvoong.com/books/1695258-concept-despair-dr-faustus/
    http://voices.yahoo.com/book-summary-doctor-faustus-christopher-marlowe-5039280.html?cat=38

  5. 1. Faeries Queen
    The Faerie Queen was written by Edmund Spenser (1590-1596), an allegorical romance designed to glorify Queen Elizabeth I of England, is celebrated as one of the greatest and most important works of English verse. The Faerie Queen tells the stories of several knights, each representing a particular virtue, on their quests for the Faerie Queene, Gloriana. Redcrosse is the knight of Holiness, and must defeat both theological error and the dragon of deception to free the parents of Una (“truth”). Guyon is the knight of Temperance, who must destroy the fleshly temptations of Acrasia’s Bower of Bliss. Britomart, a woman in disguise as a male knight, represents Chastity; she must find her beloved and win his heart. Artegall, the knight of Justice, must rescue the lady Eirene from an unjust bondage. Cambell and Triamond, the knights of Friendship, must aid one another in defense of various ladies’ honor. Finally, Calidore, the knight of Courtesy, must stop the Blatant Beast from spreading its slanderous venom throughout the realm. Each quest is an allegory, and the knight given the quest represents a person’s internal growth in that particular virtue. Such growth happens through various trials, some of which the knights fail, showing how personal development is a struggle requiring the aid of other forces and virtues to make it complete. Although Spenser was living during the time where Middle English was being used He felt the Old English form was more conducive to connecting King Arthur to Elizabeth I and the Tudor Dynasty.

    http://www.enotes.com/faerie-queene

    2. Mandeville’s Travels
    The Travels of Sir John Mandeville was written in about 1357 and a 30-year account of Sir John Mandeville odyssey across Europe, North Africa, the Far East, and Arab. The Travels became the primary source for geographic information over the next two centuries. Two prominent historical figures are unreliable guides Mandeville was Leonardo da Vinci and Christopher Columbus. He claimed to be the English knights of St Albans. However, there is no proof of citizenship or if he really lived. The Travels provide a broad overview of the world during the fourteenth century and how the world viewed Mandeville, with instructions and geographical marks to travel overland or by sea. Mandeville tells of his meeting with others. He also goes into detail about the culture and customs and their religious views or lack thereof. Throughout the journey, Mandeville focuses on moral and religious.

    http://www.oppapers.com

    3. Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar
    The Tragedy of Julius Caesar has written by William Shakespeare in 1599. It portrays the 44 BC conspiracy against the Roman dictator Julius Caesar. Although the title of the play is Julius Caesar, Caesar is not the most visible character in its action; he appears in only three scenes, and is killed at the beginning of the third act. Julius Caesar is a highly successful but ambitious political leader of Rome and his goal is to become an unassailable dictator. Marcus Brutus speaks more than four times as many lines, and the central psychological drama is his struggle between the conflicting demands of honour, patriotism, and friendship. After defeating Pompey children in battle Cassius and Brutus die knowing they will probably both, they smiled at each other and holding hands. However, Brutus won the stage of the battle, but victory is not conclusive. The next day, Brutus fought again. He lost and committed suicide. The story ends with a tribute to Brutus by Antony. Caius Marius was a leading man in Rome who had saved the Roman Republic a few years before by defeating two German tribes, Teutones (102) and the Cimbri (101). The relationship between Marius and Julius family is near: Marius married the sister of the Emperor’s father. So, Caesar had a strong family. Modern historians tend to believe that it means that Marius tried to achieve political objectives through the People’s Assembly. Opposing groups, the optimates, playing the political game in the senate.

    http://www.william-shakespeare-quotes.info/julius-caesar-quotes/index.htm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julius_Caesar_(play)

    4. The Caterbury Tales
    The Canterbury tales was written by Geoffrey Chaucer. This is the story of a group of thirty people who travel as pilgrims to Canterbury (England). The Middle English period (1066-1500). The pilgrims, who come from all walks of life, telling each other to kill time while they travel to Canterbury under the leadership of Harry Bailly, the host of Tabard, the pilgrims were introduced by a brief sketch of life in the General Prologue. Beginning with the introduction of each of the pilgrims making their way to Canterbury to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral. Chaucer brings together people from the ranks of many people: Knight, head of the monastery, Monk, the Merchant, The Man of Law, The Franklin, Clerk, The Miller, The Reeve, this pardoner; The Wife of Bath and many others.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Canterbury_Tales

    5. Romeo and Juliet
    Shakespeare has written entirely on the love story of Romeo and Juliet. Believed written between 1591 and 1595, this drama was first published in a quarto version in 1597. In William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, a long feud between the Montague and Capulet families disrupts the city of Verona and causes tragic results for Romeo and Juliet. Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet are young teenagers who fall deeply in love but their families are bitter enemies. They married in secret because of the feud between their families. They make every effort to hide their relationship but the love story ends in tragedy when Romeo and Juliet die. Romeo and Juliet is a picture of love and its pitiable fate in a world whose atmosphere is too sharp for this, the tenderest blossom of human life. They were created for each experience love at first sight, every consideration disappears before the irresistable impulse to live for one another; under circumstances hostile in the highest degree to their union, they unite themselves by a secret marriage, relying simply on the protection of an invisible power. Religion similarly demands priorities that Romeo and Juliet cannot abide by because of the intensity of their love.

    http://www.sparknotes.com/shakespeare/romeojuliet/themes.html

  6. Name: Christine Valentina Sitorus
    Student Reg Number: 0812150033 (Group A)

    1. Beowulf

    Beowulf is a poem that came from Scandinavia, but is not known when the poem was composed. The poem is related to Christianity. The poem was modified from several poets from age to age. The results of these copies are known to Anglo-Saxon England. Some experts argued that the poem was made in the late 10th century. Beowulf is a classic story that contains a good over evil. The poem was opened in Denmark, where there is Grendel is terrorizing the kingdom at that time. The prince Beowulf Geatish help them with a group of soldiers. Beowulf and Grendel held a gun battle in the end the monster’s arm ripped off. There are a lot of joy among the Danes at that time. Grendel’s loathsome mother takes her revenge, and makes a brutal attack upon the king’s hall. Beowulf seeks out the hag in her underwater lair, and slays her after an almighty struggle. Once more there is much rejoicing, and Beowulf is rewarded with many gifts. The poem is more famous after 50 years later. Now the king of Geats, its own territory is faced with a raging dragon that has been keeping the hoard. Beowulf enters the dragon mound and kill the enemy before he himself was mortally wounded. Beowulf is buried by the king’s funeral, and became a lamentation of the dead hero.

    Beowulf is a story related to the Sociological on the life of the state. Beowulf is a good leader for Denmark and its power can be spread. Because of his power spread, she eventually became famous. He did not enjoy his position but he have the king sebgai guilt over his betrayal of Hrothgar.

    Retrieved from:
    http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/onlineex/englit/beowulf/
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0442933/synopsis

    2. Cynewulf’s The Dream of the Rood

    The Dream of the Rood is one of the central documents in the ancient English Literature. Vision and mission of poetry is not known exactly when made but the scholars agree that the most probable date of composition was during the 8th century. This rhyming poetry is consist of sadness. The themes of The Dream of the Rood is a representation of the crucifixion as a battle. It is about the crucifixion of Christ, which ended with the victory. In some churches would know this story because the story is very well known in Christian circles. Crucifixion is a process in which a person was tortured so painful that he eventually experience death. However, there is the resurrection of Christ as experienced by the end of the victory. The struggle of the crucifixion until he got a victory.

    This story is associated with a religious story that can be seen as a symbol of the crucifixion of Christ for Christians in England. This story is very interesting for the church to be able to feel the Christ who died and rose eventually. His resurrection is a victory for us. This certainly adds to our insight as Christians.

    Retrieved from:
    http://history.hanover.edu/hhr/98/hhr98_2.html
    http://www.dreamofrood.co.uk/introduction.htm

    3. Edmund Spenser’s Faery Queen

    Faery Queen is an allegory in the form of poetry written by Edmund Spenser. In the Faery Queen there are several figures in which each character is told to have a special meaning. The fisrt half was published in 1950. A second installment was published in 1596. This poem tells about the sanctity and holiness associated with prosperity in the life of the Christian religion. In the first and third books, the author of two knights named describe Redcrosse and Britomart. Redcrosse is the knight of Holiness, which is like the Apostle Peter, in his ministry to the Lord, he faced many difficulties and problems but it all can make itself as a religious person. In his demonstration, he was united degan Una, which means truth. These include the sanctity of truth that can be achieved through the truth of the Christian life. In different ways, Britomart learns about the love of a Christian: moderation. Redcrossse illustrates shows a result of an unholy life that comes from yourself. The theme of the book to the first and third books are good Christian that can be changed by increasing the good and reduce bad thing. Spenser argued that human character is actually good.

    The poem Celebrates, memorializes, and critiques the Tudor Dynasty (of the which Elizabeth was a part), much in the tradition of Virgil’s Aeneid’s celebration of Augustus Caesar’s Rome. Like the Aeneid, the which states That Augustus descended from the noble sons of Troy, The Faerie Queene Suggests That the Tudor lineage can be connected to King Arthur. In relation to politics, at that time was the hostility between religion and politics. Poetry criticism raised above the level of the propagandists. This poem tells how the crime happened in the Catholic church in which there is corruption. This is contrary to the moral good in man. This poem consists of an allusive allegorical poems in which the character is portrayed Queen Elizabeth I who was instrumental in England. Elizabeth is a frequent example, the Gloriana. The political allegory is often heard in the Elizabeth complex. While the moral allegory is a very consistent and associated with the most clear and accessible.

    Retrieved from:
    http://www.sparknotes.com/poetry/fqueen/summary.html
    http://www.bookrags.com/studyguide-faeriequeene/themes.html
    http://www.bookrags.com/studyguide-faeriequeene/hist.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Faerie_Queene

    4. Christopher Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus

    Doctor Faustus is written by Christopher Marlowe.Doctor Faustus was first published in 1604, eleven years after Marlowe’s death and at least twelve years after the first performance of the play. Doctor Faustus is a character who has the role of children of parents who are on the lower classes. In the field of education, he holds a doctor who has the ability. He argues that the logic is something that people use to argue. According to him, divinity is useless because he thinks that all men must have sinned and thus spake to have sins’ punishable by death complicates the logic of Divinity. He dismisses it as “What doctrine call you this? Que sera, sera” (What will be, shall be). Then, he asked Wagner to call Valdes and Cornelius. They both are very famous magicians. Valdes said that if Faustus wants to have magic, so he should not learn other things. Eventually, Faustus can summon demons, that is Lucifer. After he learned the vicious circle and say the incantation, he saw the devil that appear suddenly. The devil is Mephistophilis. Mephistophilis are followers of Lucifer, and he was always serving Lucifer. Mephistophilis tells about the history of Lucifer and other devils. He also said that has no circumference. It is more of a state of mind than a physical location. The theme of this story is a sin. Of this story can be found that Faustus has the wrong mindset. He is a greedy person. He begins by making a pact with the devil when he fell and trust magic.

    In the perspective historical, the main thought in this story is someone who has knowledge that it can make him think about magic and other mysteries. Marlowe attract significant attention to the feelings experienced by both himself and other thinkers of his day. Marlowe’s Faustus character describes as being a slave to Satan. Faustus can think about good and evil will do something. However, in the end he chose to meet the needs of crime is mortal. In conjunction with the religious, who had fallen into the sin still has a forgiveness that is converted. Faustus knows exactly where things are good and evil, but he was unable to control himself so he went into a bad thing to seek pleasure duniawi.meskipun he knew the consequences that have received if he followed the crime, but he is still choosing evil.

    Retrieved from:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_Faustus_(play)
    http://www.enotes.com/faustus
    http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/doctorfaustus/canalysis.html

    5. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

    Romeo and Julliet is written by William Shakespeare. It is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare. It is the most popular stories. Events in this story started when Romeo met Juliet. Once they meet each other, the feeling of love between them. They fell in love at first sight. They expressed their feelings of love on the balcony. They decide to get married and plan it out. They were married. The rising action continues through the marriage, and the separation. The theme is about love. This play is known for love as many phrases from this play have become famous for the expressions of love. This story describes two people who love each other who never surrendered to the state. They do any way that love can be together. Mercutio Benvolio says that Tybalt has sent a letter to Romeo Montague and bring to a duel. When Romeo appears, Mercutio makes a lot of crude jokes, and Romeo, too. There is a nurse who said that the wedding would take place that afternoon at Friar Lawrence. Romeo and Juliet meet at Friar Lawrence and they are going to get married. However, her mother wants Juliet to marry Paris. Finally, she decided to drink the poison because he refuses to marry Paris. However, Romeo saw the incident and he drank the poison as well. Juliet suddenly woke up and he sees that Romeo is dead. As a result, he was killing himself.

    These stories have the relationship with sociological because these events related to the family who just wants Juliet to marry with Paris. This can be an example for the community about the tragic events of the wedding.

    Retrieved from:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romeo_and_Juliet
    http://classiclit.about.com/od/romeoandjuliet/a/aa_romeojulietq.htm
    http://summarycentral.tripod.com/romeoandjuliet.htm
    http://www.gradesaver.com/romeo-and-juliet/study-guide/short-summary/

  7. 1.Beowulf
    is considered to be the longest and greatest poem extant in Old English, set in Scandinavia, commonly cited as one of the most important works of Anglo- Saxon literature. In the poem, Beowulf, a hero of the Geats in Scandinavia, comes to the help of Hroogar, the king of the Danes, whose mead hall (Heorot) has been under attack by a being known as Grendel. Unfortunately, Grendel has an overprotective mother who decides to avenge her son. While all the warriors are sleeping off the party, she attacks Heorot Hall. Beowulf, his Geatish warriors, and some of Hrothgar’s Danish warriors track her there. Beowulf dives into the lake and finds the cave, where he takes on Grendel’s mother in another one-on-one battle. When Beowulf returns to the surface, carrying the sword hilt and Grendel’s severed head, the Danish warriors have given him up for dead, but his own Geatish followers are still waiting patiently. When everyone sees that Beowulf has survived this second challenge, there’s even more partying and gift-giving. Soon Beowulf reigns as king for fifty years, protecting the Geats from all the other tribes around them, especially the Swedes. But one day, Beowulf finally meets his match: a dragon, woken by a thief stealing a goblet, begins attacking the Geats, burning villages and slaughtering people. Everyone scared only one man, Wiglaf, remains at Beowulf’s side. With Wiglaf’s help and encouragement, Beowulf is able to defeat the dragon, but he is mortally wounded in the process. After his death, his attendants bury him in a tumulus in Geatland.
    The greatest point about Beowulf, however, is his dependence on God. Such a character, with mythic strength, you think would rise above a need for or a belief in God, but Beowulf is a Christian character, and his piety does not appear to be manipulation at all. It is, instead, a simple faith. Beowulf did not consider himself all-powerful, but “placed complete trust in his strength of limb and the Lord’s favor” (lines 669-670), humbly acknowledging that there were some things even a man as powerful as he was could not control.
    http://voices.yahoo.com/beowulf-hero-today-180366.html?cat=9

    2.The Caterbury Tales
    The Canterbury Tales, a collection of the stories which written by Goeffrey Chaucher in the Middle English Period (1066-1500). It is the story of a group of thirty people who travel as pilgrims to Canterbury (England). The pilgrims, who come from all layers of society, tell stories to each other to kill time while they travel to Canterbury. The Canterbury Tales begins with the introduction of each of pilgrims making their journey to Canterbury to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. The prize for this contest is a free meal at the Tabard Inn at Southwark on their return.
    The Tales reflect diverse views of the Church in Chaucer’s England. After the Black Death, many Europeans began to question the authority of the established Church. Some turned to lollardy, while others chose less extreme paths, starting new monastic orders or smaller movements exposing church corruption in the behavior of the clergy, false church relics or abuse of indulgences. Several characters in the Tales are religious figures, and the very setting of the pilgrimage to Canterbury is religious (although the prologue comments ironically on its merely seasonal attractions), making religion a significant theme of the work. The Tales constantly reflect the conflict between classes. For example, the division of the three estates; the characters are all divided into three distinct classes, the classes being “those who pray” (the clergy), “those who fight” (the nobility), and “those who work” (the commoners and peasantry.
    Retrieved from:
    http://www.librarius.com/cantales.htmDr. Faustus
    Doctor Faustus was first published in 1604, eleven years after Christopher Marlowe’s death, and twelve years after the play’s first performance. In 1616, twenty-three years after Christopher Marlow’s death, a different version of “Doctor Faustus” was published.
    The Chorus tells us what type of play Doctor Faustus is. It is not about war and courtly love, but about Faustus, who was born of lower class parents. This can be seen as a departure from the medieval tradition; Faustus holds a lower status than kings and saints, but his story is still worth telling. It gives an introduction to his wisdom and abilities, most notably in academia, in which he excels so tremendously that he is awarded a doctorate. He appreciates Logic as being a tool for arguing; Medicine as being unvalued unless it allowed raising the dead and immortality; Law as being upstanding and above him;Divinity as useless because he feels that all humans commit sin, and thus to have sins punishable by death complicates the logic of Divinity. Though Faustus is momentarily dissuaded, he is apparently won over by the possibilities Magic offers to him. Valdes declares that if Faustus devotes himself to Magic, he must vow not to study anything else and points out that great things are indeed possible with someone of Faustus’s standing. After creating a magic circle and speaking an incantation in which he revokes his baptism, Faustus sees a devil named Mephistophilis appear before him. Faustus is unable to tolerate the hideous looks of the devil and commands it to change its appearance. Faustus, in seeing the obedience of the devil (for changing form), takes pride in his skill. He tries to bind the devil to his service but is unable to because Mephistophilis already serves Lucifer, the prince of devils. Mephistophilis also reveals that it was not Faustus’s power that summoned him but rather that if anyone abjures the scriptures it results in the Devil coming to claim their soul.
    The play “Doctor Faustus” tells “the story of a Renaissance man who had to pay the medieval price for being one.” The highest wisdom was knowledge of the divine achieved through God’s grace, bestowed in revelation. However, in the Renaissance, one finds abundant deprecation of the contemplative life rooted in faith and abundant praise of the active life, the study of political and social man. The play “Doctor Faustus” has Faustus the magician, not a worshiper of God, but rather an operator who manages to impose his will on the material world. Faustus was an applied scientist, rejoicing in power rather than in contemplation, making Faustus a symbol of the Renaissance. The Renaissance is depicted as the age of enlightenment, freeing the mind from dogma by means of reason and experiments.
    http://voices.yahoo.com/book-summary-doctor-faustus-christopher-marlowe-5039280.html

    3. romeo and juliet
    Romeo and juliet is the only tragedy which Shakespeare has written entirely on a love-story. It was first published in quarto in 1597, and republished in a new edition only two years later. The second copy was used to create yet a third quarto in 1609, from which both the 1623 Quarto and First Folio are derived. The first quarto is generally considered a bad quarto, or an illicit copy created from the recollections of several actors. The second quarto seems to be taken from Shakespeare’s rough draft, and thus has some inconsistent speech and preserved lines which Shakespeare apparently meant to cross out.
    This poem is the famous story of the “star-crossed” young lovers Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet. The themes running through the play address the issues of the consequences of immature blind passion, hatred and prejudice. Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet are young teenagers who fall deeply in love but their families are bitter enemies. Regardless of the feud between their families they marry in secret. They make every effort to conceal their actions but the story ends in tragedy when Romeo and Juliet die.
    . Between tragedy and comedy the transition is often but slightly marked. Thus Romeo and Juliet differs but little from most of Shakespeare’s comedies in its ingredients and treatment–it is simply the direction of the whole that gives it the stamp of tragedy. Romeo and Juliet is a picture of love and its pitiable fate in a world whose atmosphere is too sharp for this, the tenderest blossom of human life. Two beings created for each other feel mutual love at the first glance; every consideration disappears before the irresistable impulse to live for one another; under circumstances hostile in the highest degree to their union, they unite themselves by a secret marriage, relying simply on the protection of an invisible power. Untoward incidents following in rapid succession, their heroic constancy is within a few days put to the proof, till, forcibly separated from each other, by a voluntary death they are united in the grave to meet again in another world.
    http://www.gradesaver.com/romeo-and-juliet/study-guide/about/

    4.Faeries Queen
    Spenser’s epic poem The Faerie Queene (1590-96), an allegorical romance designed to glorify Queen Elizabeth I of England, is celebrated as one of the greatest and most important works of English verse. Spenser’s aim in writing The Faerie Queene was to create a great national literature for England, equal to the classic epic poems of Homer and Virgil.
    The Faerie Queene tells the stories of several knights, each representing a particular virtue, on their quests for the Faerie Queene, Gloriana. Redcrosse is the knight of Holiness, and must defeat both theological error and the dragon of deception to free the parents of Una (“truth”). Guyon is the knight of Temperance, who must destroy the fleshly temptations of Acrasia’s Bower of Bliss. Britomart, a woman in disguise as a male knight, represents Chastity; she must find her beloved and win his heart. Artegall, the knight of Justice, must rescue the lady Eirene from an unjust bondage. Cambell and Triamond, the knights of Friendship, must aid one another in defense of various ladies’ honor. Finally, Calidore, the knight of Courtesy, must stop the Blatant Beast from spreading its slanderous venom throughout the realm. Each quest is an allegory, and the knight given the quest represents a person’s internal growth in that particular virtue. Such growth happens through various trials, some of which the knights fail, showing how personal development is a struggle requiring the aid of other forces and virtues to make it complete. Many more characters appear in The Faerie Queens but these are the most important protagonists and antagonists in the epic poem’s story. Since Spenser never completed the poem before his death, we never see a resolution to the conflicts between the protagonists and antagonists in this Arthurian legend. Even the Faerie Queen herself never has her unifying court scene at the end. The public and the court understood the political and religious statements Spenser was making through his allegorical epic poem, and especially, Queen Elizabeth I, for whom the entire poem was written to support.
    http://www.gradesaver.com/faerish-queen/study-guide/about/

    5. Utopia
    Utopia is written by Thomas More (1516) describing a fictional island in the Atlantic Ocean . More travels to Antwerp as an ambassador for England and King Henry VIII. While not engaged in his official duties, More spends time conversing about intellectual matters with his friend, Peter Giles. One day, Giles introduces More to this new man, Raphael Hythloday, who turns out to be a philosopher and world traveler. Hythloday has been on many voyages one of the interesting one is that he even landing in Utopia island. He describes the societies through which he travels with such insight that Giles and More become convinced that Hythloday would make a terrific counselor to a king and he cover all his story to show how pointless it is to counsel a king when the king can always expect his other counselors to agree with his own beliefs or policies. Then Hythloday describes the geography and history of Utopia. He explains how the founder of Utopia. Next, Hythloday moves to a discussion of Utopian society, portraying a nation based on rational thought, with communal property, great productivity, no rapacious love of gold, no real class distinctions, no poverty, little crime or immoral behavior, religious tolerance, and little inclination to war. It is a society that Hythloday believes is superior to any in Europe. In the end More admits he would like to see some aspects of Utopian society put into practice in England, though he does not believe any such thing will happen.
    Thomas More wrote Utopia is looking forward to a world of individual freedom and equality governed by Reason, at a time when such a vision was almost inconceivable. Hythloday believes Utopia to be the greatest social order in the world. As he says, “Everywhere else people talk about the public good but pay attention to their own private interests. In Utopia, where there is no private property, everyone is seriously concerned with pursuing the public welfare.” In Utopia, no man worries about food or impoverishment for themselves or any of their descendants.
    http://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/utopia/summary.html

  8. 1. Thoma s More‘s Utopia
    Sir Thomas More wrote Utopia in 1516. The work was written in Latin and it was published in Louvain (present-day Belgium). Utopia is a work of satire, indirectly criticizing Europe’s political corruption and religious hypocrisy. More was a Catholic Humanist. Utopia is a work of fiction and political philosophy by Thomas More published in 1516. Thomas More is a public servant living in London with his family. He writes a letter to a friend in Antwerp (Belgium) named Peter Giles. Giles is a printer and editor, as well as a clerk for the city. In More’s letter, we read that More is sending Utopia to Giles for editing and publication. Utopia chronicles a conversation that More and Giles enjoyed with a man named Raphael Hythloday. Thomas More and Peter Giles are real persons. In Utopia, they are fictionalized. Their mutual acquaintance, Raphael Hythloday, is entirely invented and fictional. The Utopians are a morally developed people though they are not Christians. Hythloday mentions that the Utopians were eager to hear more about Christianity and that many Utopians had already converted. Most Utopians are monotheists and their religion is similar to Christianity. Some of the Utopians’ beliefs run counter to the moral traditions of the Christian church. The Utopians believe that pride is the root of great evils.
    http://www.gradesaver.com/utopia/study-guide/about/

    2. Cynewulf’s The Dream of the Rood.
    The Dream of the Rood is one of the earliest Christian poems in the corpus of Old English literature and an example of the genre of dream poetry. The Dream of the Rood, an Anglo-Saxon poem written in the early Middle Ages, Christ’s death and burial is described in a manner which is startlingly different from the original biblical accounts. This story tells about descendant of the great king Shield Sheafson, enjoys a prosperous and successful reign. He builds a great mead-hall, called Heorot, but the jubilant noise from Heorot angers Grendel, a horrible demon who lives in the swamplands of Hrothgar’s kingdom. Grendel terrorizes the Danes every night, killing them and defeating their efforts to fight back. The Danes are again overjoyed, and Beowulf’s fame spreads across the kingdom. During the feast, an envious Dane named Unferth taunts Beowulf and accuses him of being unworthy of his reputation. Beowulf responds with a boastful description of some of his past accomplishments. His confidence cheers the Danish warriors, and the feast lasts merrily into the night. At last, however, Grendel arrives. Beowulf fights him unarmed, proving himself stronger than the demon, who is terrified. Beowulf departs after a sorrowful goodbye to Hrothgar, who has treated him like a son. In time, Hygelac is killed in a war against the Shylfings, and, after Hygelac’s son dies, Beowulf ascends to the throne of the Geats. He rules wisely for fifty years, bringing prosperity to Geatland. When Beowulf is an old man, however, a thief disturbs a barrow, or mound, where a great dragon lies guarding a horde of treasure
    http://history.hanover.edu/hhr/98/hhr98_2.html
    http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/beowulf/summary.html

    3. Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar
    Probably written in 1599, Julius Caesar was the earliest of Shakespeare’s three Roman history plays. The play begins in Rome in 44 B.C. on the Feast of Lupercal, in honor of the god Pan. Marcus Brutus is Caesar’s friend and a Roman praetor. Brutus allows himself to joining a group of conspiring senators because of a growing suspicion that Caesar intends to turn republican Rome into a monarchy under his own rule. Caesar’s assassination is one of the most famous scenes of the play the conspirators create a superficial motive for the assassination by means of a petition brought by Metellus Cimber. After Caesar’s death, Brutus delivers an oration defending his actions, and for the moment, the crowd is on his side. The play ends with a tribute to Brutus by Antony, who proclaims that Brutus has remained “the noblest Roman of them all” because he was the only conspirator who acted for the good of Rome.
    http://www.enotes.com/julius-caesar

    4. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
    Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written early in the career of playwright William Shakespeare about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately unite their feuding families. It is among Shakespeare’s most popular archetypal stories of young, teenage lovers. Romeo and Juliet is a picture of love and its pitiable fate in world whose atmosphere is too sharp for this, the tenderest blossom of human life. Two beings created for each other feel mutual love at the first glance, every consideration disappears before the irresistible impulse to live for one another, under circumstances hostile in the highest degree to their union, they unite themselves by a secret marriage, relying simply on the protection of an invisible power. The love of Romeo was unrequited love. It was a sentiment rather than passion a love that solaced itself in antithetical conceits upon its own misery, and would draw consolation from melancholy associations. In the final story they have paid the penalty of the fierce hatreds that were engendered around them, and of their own precipitancy, but their misfortunes and their loves have healed the enmities of which they were the victims.
    http://www.theatrehistory.com/british/romeoandjuliet001.html

    5. Edm und Spenser’s Faery Queen
    The Faerie Queene is an incomplete English epic poem by Edmund Spenser. The first half was published in 1590. In The Faerie Queene, Spenser creates an allegory: The characters of his far-off, fanciful “Faerie Land” are meant to have a symbolic meaning in the real world. Redcrosse, the knight of Holiness, is much like the Apostle Peter: In his eagerness to serve his Lord, he gets himself into unforeseen trouble that he is not yet virtuous enough to handle. His quest is to be united with Una, who signifies Truth–Holiness cannot be attained without knowledge of Christian truth. In his immature state, he mistakes falsehood for truth by following the deceitful witch Duessa. He pays for this mistake with suffering, but in the end, this suffering makes way for his recovery in the House of Holiness, aided by Faith, Hope, and Charity. With newfound strength and the grace of God, he is able to conquer the dragon that represents all the evil in the world. She already has the strength to resist lust, but she is not ready to accept love, the love she feels when she sees a vision of her future husband in a magic mirror. Spenser has a high regard for the natural qualities of creatures; he shows that the satyrs, the lion, and many human characters have an inborn inclination toward the good. And yet, he consistently shows their failure when faced with the worst evils. These evils can only be defeated by the Christian good. High on Spenser’s list of evils is the Catholic Church, and this enmity lends a political overtone to the poem, since the religious conflicts of the time were inextricably tied to politics. He is able to take images from superficial romances, courtly love stories, and tragic epics alike, and give them real importance in the context of the poem. No image is let fall from Spenser’s pen that does not have grave significance, and this gives The Faerie Queene the richness that has kept it high among the ranks of the greatest poetry in the English language.
    http://www.sparknotes.com/poetry/fqueen/summary.html

  9. Cynewulf’s The Dream of the Road Summary
    1.The Dream of the Rood
    The Dream of the Roodis the earliest dream-vision poem in the English language and one of the central documents of Old English Literature. Although no definite date can be assigned to the poem, many scholars agree that the most probable date of composition was during the 8th century. The influence of the poem in Pre-Conquest England is attested to by the fact that a passage from it appears carved on the Ruthwell Cross, a stone monument probably dating from the early 9th century, but the poem may also have influenced many later works in both Old and Middle English. Today, the poem exists in its most complete form in the Vercelli Book, a manuscript of Old English prose and poetry unanimously assigned to the second half of the tenth century. The Dream of the Rood is one of the earliest Christian poems in the corpus of Old English literature and an example of the genre of dream poetry. Like most Old English poetry, it is written in alliterative verse. The Dream of the Rood has three parts: the Dreamer’s account of his vision of the Cross, the Rood’s monologue describing the Crucifixion, and the Dreamer’s resolution to seek the salvation of the Cross. The poem opens with the vision of the Dreamer who sees the Rood raised up and adorned with jewels and gold. After the Dreamer notices a stain of blood on the Cross’ side, the Rood begins to recount its experience as an instrument in the Crucifixion of Christ. The Cross recalls how it was initially cut down in the forest and chosen as the “tree” on which Christ was to be crucified. In a portrayal of the Passion, the Rood parallels Christ, as both are pierced with nails, mocked, tortured, killed and buried. In the same likeness to Christ, the Rood is resurrected soon thereafter and eventually adorned with gold and silver. Announcing its ultimate triumph through its suffering and obedience to God’s will, the Cross declares that it is honoured above all other trees, and commands the Dreamer to tell others what he has seen and heard as an instrument in explaining the salvation message. In the end, the Dreamer is renewed with hope and vows to seek again the glorious Rood.

    The relation to the religious background is
    Despite the possibility of pagan elements, the very nature of The Dream of the Rood is based upon Christian belief. The entire poem deals with the passion, death and resurrection of Christ as a triumph over sin and evil, which is the strongest mark of Christian faith. The dreamer, in his converted state, remarks, “May the Lord be my friend/ he who here on Earth once suffered/ on the hanging tree for human sin/ he ransomed us and gave us life/ a heavenly home.” Here the dreamer realizes that Christ’s death was not only victory in battle, but also the way in which human salvation was secured.

    http://www.dreamofrood.co.uk/introduction.htm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dream_of_the_Rood

    2.Beowulf
    Concerning the history of Beowulf a whole library has been written, and scholars still differ too radically for us to express a positive judgment. This much, however, is clear,–that there existed, at the time the poem was composed, various northern legends of Beowa, a half-divine hero, and the monster Grendel. The latter has been interpreted in various ways,–sometimes as a bear, and again as the malaria of the marsh lands. For those interested in symbols the simplest interpretation of these myths is to regard Beowulf’s successive fights with the three dragons as the overcoming, first, of the overwhelming danger of the sea, which was beaten back by the dykes; second, the conquering of the sea itself, when men learned to sail upon it; and third, the conflict with the hostile forces of nature, which are overcome at last by man’s indomitable will and perseverance.
    The Relation of historical background
    The poem deals with legends, was composed for entertainment, and does not separate between fictional elements and real historic events, such as the raid by King Hygelac into Frisia. Scholars generally agree that many of the personalities of Beowulf also appear in Scandinavian sources (specific works designated in the following section).[15] This does not only concern people (e.g., Healfdene, Hroðgar, Halga, Hroðulf, Eadgils and Ohthere), but also clans (e.g., Scyldings, Scylfings and Wulfings) and some of the events (e.g., the Battle on the Ice of Lake Vänern). The dating of the events in the poem has been confirmed by archaeological excavations of the barrows indicated by Snorri Sturluson and by Swedish tradition as the graves of Ohthere (dated to c. 530) and his son Eadgils (dated to c. 575) in Uppland, Sweden. The majority view appears to be that people such as King Hroðgar and the Scyldings in Beowulf are based on real people in 6th-century Scandinavia. Beowulf has consequently been used as a source of information about Scandinavian personalities such as Eadgils and Hygelac, and about continental Germanic personalities such as Offa, king of the continental Angles.
    http://www.gutenberg.org/files/10609/10609-h/10609-h.htm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beowulf

    3. Mandeville Travel.
    The Travels of Sir John Mandeville (1356 or 1366) has been coined as the first travel narrative. Mandeville, claimed to be a knight, traveled for many years around Eur-Asia, Africa, and surrounding areas. The text seems to be heavily charged with Western Christianity, doused with information about the holy land and events of the bible. While abroad, he worked for the sultan and knew the great khan. The text is full of descriptions of exotic and unheard-of creatures, many are descriptions of mutated or deformed humans. Some accounts of his travels and encounters could be reputable, while others are slightly outrageous or otherwise undocumented by anyone else. Copies of the book were supposedly owned by Da Vinci, Colombus, and Chaucer, among others. There exist over 300 extant manuscripts, and this is considered the first time we really are leaving Europe and the bounds of Western Christianity.
    The Relation of Religion Background
    Even though he has conversations with people of different religions, it is doubtful that he was genuinely interested in their religious beliefs. Despite his talks, he always comes to the conclusion that Christianity is far superior.In “relating” the conversations he had with people of other religions, Mandeville always has them concede that Christianity is a much better religion and that Christians are better, more capable people.
    During the Renaissance humanists had to defend their interest in merely reading non-Christian texts. How could John Mandeville during the Middle Ages have expressed interest in other religions without being called a heretic.

    4.The Romeo and Juliet Summary
    Romeo and Juliet belongs to a tradition of tragic romances stretching back to antiquity. Its plot is based on an Italian tale, translated into verse as The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet by Arthur Brooke in 1562 and retold in prose in Palace of Pleasure by William Painter in 1582. Shakespeare borrowed heavily from both but, to expand the plot, developed supporting characters, particularly Mercutio and Paris. Believed written between 1591 and 1595, the play was first published in a quarto version in 1597. This text was of poor quality, and later editions corrected it, bringing it more in line with Shakespeare’s original.
    Shakespeare’s use of dramatic structure, especially effects such as switching between comedy and tragedy to heighten tension, his expansion of minor characters, and his use of sub-plots to embellish the story, has been praised as an early sign of his dramatic skill. The play ascribes different poetic forms to different characters, sometimes changing the form as the character develops. Romeo, for example, grows more adept at the sonnet over the course of the play.
    The political view of Romeo and Juliet
    Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is obviously a tragedy of impetuous young love. But it is also a play about politics, especially politics as conditioned by Christian morality and religion. The play’s action is determined by the conflict between secular and priestly authority, and by the complex interaction among mercy, love, and punishment as practiced by Escalus, Prince of Verona, and Friar Laurence, the Franciscan. In the course of this action, the Veronese regime is transformed, and the common good determined, in ways more compatible with the friar’s interests than with those of the Prince. Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare’s pictures of the unique problems that determined modern, as opposed to ancient, political life. Shakespeare’s depictions of evil rulers who are justly overthrown marked him as a progressive or even a radical who challenged the doctrine of the divine right of kings. While Shakespeare’s politics are not precisely stated, in his portraits of mob rule (as in Julius Caesar and in Coriolanus) the Bard expresses a basic political conservatism: the common man, the rabble, in Shakespeare’s works does not have the capacity to rule himself. Shakespeare was not an advocate of democratic government, social leveling or state-sponsored welfare.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romeo_and_Juliet
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1468-2508.t01-2-00004/abstract
    http://www.enotes.com/william-shakespeare/what-shakespeares-political-orientation

    5.Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury tale
    The Canterbury Tales is a collection of stories written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer at the end of the 14th century. The tales (mostly written in verse although some are in prose) are told as part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together on a journey from Southwark to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. The prize for this contest is a free meal at the Tabard Inn at Southwark on their return. It is also tell the story of a group of thirty people who travel as pilgrims to Canterbury (England). The pilgrims, who come from all layers of society, tell stories to each other to kill time while they travel to Canterbury.
    If we trust the General Prologue, Chaucer intended that each pilgrim should tell two tales on the way to Canterbury and two tales on the way back. He never finished his enormous project and even the completed tales were not finally revised. Scholars are uncertain about the order of the tales. As the printing press had yet to be invented when Chaucer wrote his works, The Canterbury Tales has been passed down in several handwritten manuscripts.
    The historical background of The Canterbury Tales
    The Canterbury Tales was written during a turbulent time in English history. The Catholic Church was in the midst of the Western Schism and, though it was still the only Christian authority in Europe, was the subject of heavy controversy. Lollardy, an early English religious movement led by John Wycliffe, is mentioned in the Tales, as is a specific incident involving pardoners (who gathered money in exchange for absolution from sin) who nefariously claimed to be collecting for St. Mary Rouncesval hospital in England. The Canterbury Tales is among the first English literary works to mention paper, a relatively new invention which allowed dissemination of the written word never before seen in England. Political clashes, such as the 1381 Peasants’ Revolt and clashes ending in the deposing of King Richard II, further reveal the complex turmoil surrounding Chaucer in the time of the Tales’ writing. Many of his close friends were executed and he himself was forced to move to Kent in order to get away from events in London.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Canterbury_Tales
    http://www.librarius.com/cantales.htm

  10. Name : Welliana Febrianti Iba
    NIM : 012150004 / BS-B

    The Dream of the Rood
    Cynewulf

    The Dream of the Rood tells about the narrator`s dream on his vision speaking to the Cross that Jesus was crucified. The poem consists of three parts. The first, the narrator sees the Cross and considers it as the glorious tree and one which covered with gems. The second, the Cross is symbol of Jesus` death. He imagines the Cross first beginning when the tree is cut and instead brought not for the criminal but for Jesus crucified. It describes that the Lord and the Cross are one, stand together as the victors to save the man. The third, the narrator shares his reflections of his vision when it has finished, but it the man is left with his thought. He praises to God for his vision and hopes for eternal life and great wishing to once again be near to the glorious Cross.

    This poem describes the base value of Christianity that considers Jesus and Cross are one, support one another to be the victors by Crucifying. How the writer imagines that God define the tree as the important part in relation with Jesus` Crucified. This poem at that time gets many critics which state that the poem display the Christianity and paganism which paganism is believed considering of pre-Christianity. The critic comes as the writer considers the Cross as the tree which has great meaning in Crucified of Jesus. How the Tree (Cross) should stand strongly.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dream_of_the_Rood
    http://www.enotes.com › Literature –

    Utopia
    Sir Thomas More

    Utopia by Sir Thomas More expresses about inspiration of a beautiful and great happiness. Utopia is a place which focuses on politic and social organization where the life seems to be fair, peace, happy, and prosperous. It starts when Thomas More has a conversation with Raphael, a Hebrew for “God has healed” about the world and civilization which in real does not properly bring the society to the fairly life, so the Utopia comes to describe the life which there is no private ownership but public ownership.

    Inspiration of land “Utopia” comes as the answer of which better place to live, when the condition as a result of Renaissance interest in relation of the State and individual influences England and makes it England was suffering through war, lawlessness, the wholesale and foolish application of the death penalty, the misery of the peasants, the absorption of the land by the rich, and the other distressing corruptions in Church and State. Utopia exists as the dream land which nation can stay without any problems causing by Renaissance.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_More
    http://www.cliffsnotes.com/…/utopia-and-utopian-lit...
    classiclit.about.com/…/bl-rfletcher-history-5-u…

    Beowulf

    Beowulf is a heroic epic poem about a hero of a Geats named Beowulf. Bravely and strongly he does his adventures and fights against the worst strengths. The story initially starts when he arrives to the Kings of Danes but he is attacked by the monster Grendel. Successly he kill the monster with his hands without using any tools and guns and also the Grendel`s mother using sword. Beowulf then becomes the king of Geats, but it is terrorised by the dragon which has four heads. Beowulf can defeat the dragon although he is hurt. He was died and buried in a burial mound by the sea.

    Beowulf is the first important work of literature in English which written using Old English. It is written as the element of religious tension quite common in Christian Anglo-Saxon writing with the set is concerned on Scandinavian culture before the migration. It explains about the heroic code, how the strong kings keep and protect their people from other tribes. Heorot in Beowulf is described as the places where the warriors would gather in the presence of their lord to drink, boast, tell stories, and receive gifts. The place actually is located near the religious place, such as Church. However, at that time that place was risking as it was the dangerous time which paranoid sense of foreboding and doom that runs throughout Beowulf evidences the constant fear of invasion that plagued Scandinavian society.

    http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/beowulf/context.html
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beowulf

    Faery Queene
    Edmund Spencer

    Faery Queene is poem that tells about the journey of the Red Cross knight and Una to fight the dragon and rescue Una`s parents from that dragon. When they take the shelter in the forest, they should find monster named Error and fight toward him. The Red Cross leaves Una in the forest and continue his journey without considering that he is accompanying by the devil, Duessa, which escape from the prison. The Duessa then leads him to the castle and find Lucifera, the misters of Pride and ask him to do the six wizards which will lead to the sin. Una who is rescued by Fauns and Satyrs finally should be happy as she meets the Red Cross. They then rescue Una`s parents. Also this poem tells about the glorious and victory of Elizabeth I.

    The Red Cross is the Christianity or Saint Peter. He enthusiastically becomes the servant of God. His partner Una is the Truth and Holiness which should be together with the Christianity value or base. However, there is the time when the Christianity stays and ignores the Truth and let be led by the devil or darkness to come to the sin. Fortunately, that the Truth can be saved and state as the Christianity`s by the good Christian, that is considered as the Protestantism, while the darkness or devil is the Catholic Church. It happens when the religious aspects is mixed with the politic, which is described in that poem as Elizabeth I.

    http://www.enotes.com › Literature

    The Canterbury Tales
    Geoffrey Chaucer

    Canterbury tales is a collection of stories which is told by the thirty one people including Chaucer, who travel as pilgrims from the Tabard Inn in Southwark to St. Thomas a Becket`s shrine at Canterbury Cathedral (England). The pilgrims come from different kind society. They tell the story to kill the time and each person should tell two stories when they go and two stories when they go back. As the story just to kill the time, the theme of the stories is different each other according to their experiences and or what they know and like to tell. Therefore, Canterbury tales does not have the ending of the story.

    Canterbury tales contains the themes such as feminism and anti-feminism, Christianity, Words and language, tellers as dramatic voices, fables, fiction and fabliaux, quitting, vengeance and paying debts, sex and adultery, justice and judgement, and seriousness and silliness.

    http://www.librarius.com/cantales.htm
    http://www.bl.uk › … › English literature
    http://www.gradesaver.com/the-canterbury-tales/

  11. 1. Christopher Marlowe‘s Dr. Faustus
    Faustus, for instance is the hero of this tragedy, which contains a classic chorus, but unlike the classic tragic character. The proud Doctor Faustus himself appears as a luminal figure, straddling the ground between residual and emergent modes of behavior and thought, presenting to Marlowe’s audience an aspect at times inspiring, but at others frightening, or worse, despicable. Faustus sells his soul for knowledge and power, but gets very little of either. Faustus, as for many at the time, knowledge was found in books, and in the play’s first scene Faustus chafes against the limitations this has imposed. He has mastered–and now wishes to discard–the works of Aristotle, Galen, Justinian, and finally, Jerome’s Bible. He wishes instead to have magic books, books that seem to contain forbidden knowledge, recalling at once the story of Eden, but also keeping to the notion that all knowledge which humanity was capable of, was that which God allowed to be revealed. To do the work of a scientist, to investigate the natural world, was to attempt to read the book of nature. So for Faustus it seems knowledge still comes from books, but they are unauthorized texts, secret papers full of information somehow pirated by the devil:
    The Tragically History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus, commonly referred to simply as Doctor Faustus, is a play by Christopher Marlowe, based on the Faust story, in which a man sells for power and knowledge. Doctor Faustus was first published in 1604, eleven years after Marlowe’s death and at least twelve years after the first performance of the play in Renaissance Period. Doctor Faustus, a well (respected German) scholar, grows dissatisfied with the limits of traditional forms of knowledge (logic, medicine, law, and religion).

    Retrieved from
    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~matc/MathCulture/4-14.html
    http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/doctorfaustus/summary.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_Faustus_(play)

    2. The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, approx. 47 BC (an Early Tragedy)
    it is the story about a conspiracy to murder Caesar. On beginning, Marcellus and Flavius criticize the commoners for celebrating Caesar’s recent military defeat of Pompey. During the victory March, a soothsayer warns Caesar to beware the competition that held in March 15. However, Caesar ignores the warning and race is going on. When competition is held, Marc Antony touches Calphurnia, a Caesar wife, in hope of curing her infertility and the other side the Cassius tries to convince Brutus that Caesar will be powerful and popular. Caesar confers with Antony that he fears Cassius. Casca explain to Cassius and Brutus that caused of Caesar’s thrice refusal of a crown offered to him by Antony. At the third offering,
    Caesar collapse and foamed at the mouth from epilepsy. Caesar executed by Flavius and Marcellus for pulling scarves off of Caesar’s statues. Casca meet Cicero and tell him everything that he sees. Cassius, Trebonius, Maetallus Cimber will help to kill Caesar. Everything had been prepared to kill the Caesar. They planned it in March 15. At the Senat. They killed Caesar.
    The political background of this story appears. It has seen when there are some people that snatch away a power of King. Because of that they make a plan to kill the king, Caesar. Shakespeare also entertains humanic proportions for all characters, in this endeavour to not merely label characters bad guys-good guys but rather fully human and fragile to manipulation and flattery. He also uses contrasts between characters and relationships such as Cassius and Brutus, Octavius and Antony. Portia, Brutus, Calpurnia, and Ceasar also paint a picture of severe differences, strengths, and weaknesses. Cassius is always having to submit to Brutus’s demands and leadership shortfalls, and Ceasar’s complete self-absorption when dealing with Calpurnia.

    Retrieved from
    http://www.online-literature.com/shakespeare/julius_caesar/

    3. Thomas More‘s Utopia
    More tells how, when he was in the Low Countries on government business, he was introduced by his friend Peter Giles to Raphael Hythloday, a veteran traveler. The long day’s conversation among the three men constitutes the substance of the book. When More and Giles discover how widely Hythloday has traveled and realize the depth of his understanding of the governments of many nations, they propose that his knowledge is too valuable to waste and that he ought to enter the service of some monarch as councilor in order to employ his knowledge in the service of mankind. Hythloday discourses at length on the reasons for his reluctance to undertake such employment. First, he does not believe that, as things stand, his advice would be accepted. The majority of those presently sitting in royal councils invariably practices a system of flattery toward their superiors and of personal aggrandizement and would surely override his idealistic and philosophical proposals. In support of these convictions, he relates experiences during an earlier visit to England and cites two instances of policy-making in recent international power struggles.
    The story is written in 1518 in Renaissance Period by Ambrosius Holbrain and conducted as a debate among the three men on the obligations of a man of experience and integrity to play an active role in the service of country and mankind. In pursuit of the argument, Hythloday proceeds to a critical analysis of the patterns of law, government, economics, and mores among European nations and, most particularly, in England.

    Retrieved from

    regonstate.edu/instruct/phl302/texts/more/utopia-contents.html

    4. Geoffrey Chaucer‘s The Caterbury Tales
    In April, with the beginning of spring, people of varying social classes come from all over England to gather at the Tabard Inn in preparation for a pilgrimage to Canterbury to receive the blessings of St. Thomas à Becket, the English martyr. Chaucer himself is one of the pilgrims. The host of the Tabard suggests that the members of this group tell tales and make the time pass more pleasant. The person who tells the best story will be awarded. The Host decides to accompany the party on its pilgrimage and appoints himself as the judge of the best tale. After that, they prepare the story that they want to tell. The pilgrims tell a story one by one, they tell any story. Finally, two men approach the pilgrims. One is a canon; the other his yeoman (servant). The Host welcomes them and asks whether either a tale to tell has. The Canon’s Yeoman answers that his master has many strange tales filled with mirth and laughter, yet when he begins to tell of their life and actions, the Canon slips away embarrassed and frightened. As the party nears Canterbury, the Host demands a story from the Manciple, who tells of a white crow that can sing and talk. Finally, the Host turns to the last of the group, the Parson, and bids him to tell his tale. The Parson agrees and proceeds with a sermon. The Tales end with Chaucer’s retraction.
    The Canterbury Tales is a collection of stories written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer at the end of the 14th century. The themes of the tales vary, and include topics such as courtly love, treachery, and avarice. The genres also vary, and include romance, Breton lai, sermon, beast fable, and fabliau. The characters, introduced in the General Prologue of the book, tell tales of great cultural relevance.

    Retrieved from
    http://www.cliffsnotes.com/study_guide/literature/canterbury-tales/summary.html
    http://librivox.org/the-canterbury-tales-by-geoffrey-chaucer/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Canterbury_Tales

    5. Edmund Spenser‘s Faery Queen
    Red Cross Knight and Una journeying to destroy a dragon and rescue Una’s parents. When a storm occurs, the knight and lady, accompanied by her dwarf, take shelter in a dark forest. Here they come across the monster, Error, who hates the light of truth, and her thousands of offspring. Error attacks the knight, who does not listen to Una’s warnings. The Red Cross Knight must kill the monster to escape, cutting off her head. As the three continue their journey, they come across Archimago, an evil enchanter, who casts spells on the group as they sleep. The Red Cross Knight is given erotic dreams of Una, who is abandoned in the forest by the knight and dwarf, who believe the dreams. The Red Cross Knight continues on his journey where he foolishly releases the evil enchantress, Duessa, from her prison. Next, Prince Arthur appears and assures Una that he will rescue the Red Cross Knight from Orgoglio. After a fierce battle, Arthur kills the giant and disarms Duessa, who has used her magic to try to kill Arthur. The Red Cross Knight, now freed, and Una continue on their journey to free her parents. They come to the cave of Despair, which tries to convince the Red Cross Knight to kill himself. Una reminds the knight of his duties and of the rewards of justice and mercy, and the two continue on their journey.
    Though it takes place in a mythical land, The Faerie Queen was intended to relate to Spenser’s England, most importantly in the area of religion. Spenser lived in post-Reformation England, which had recently replaced Roman Catholicism with Protestantism (specifically, Anglicanism) as the national religion. There were still many Catholics living in England, and, thus, religious protest was a part of Spenser’s life. A devout Protestant and a devotee of the Protestant Queen Elizabeth, Spenser was particularly offended by the anti-Elizabethan propaganda that some Catholics circulated. Like most Protestants near the time of the Reformation, Spenser saw a Catholic Church full of corruption, and he determined that it was not only the wrong religion but the anti-religion.

    Retrieved from
    http://www.sparknotes.com/poetry/fqueen/context.html
    http://www.enotes.com/faerie-queene

  12. 1. Romeo and Juliet
    Romeo and Juliet is the one of dramatic love story which famous in young lovers. It tells about the power of love from the couple lovers (Romeo and Juliet). Romeo and Juliet belongs to a tradition of tragic romances stretching back to antiquity. Its plot is based on an Italian tale, translated into verse as The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet byArthur Brooke in 1562 and retold in prose in Palace of Pleasure by William Painter in 1582. This story was began by feud between two families has caused much has caused much disruption in the city of Verona, Italy. The Capulets and the Montagues cannot seem to get along, and there have been many deaths among the two families because of it. Prince Escalus of Verona warns the two families that if the feud does not stop, the punishment will be death. The stage opens with servants of the Capulet and Montague families. They get into a minor argument. Romeo, a Montague, enters the stage. He has recently been denied the love of Rosaline. He is miserable over this. His friend and cousin, Benvolio, enters and decides that they will go to the Capulet feast, in disguises, so he can prove to Romeo that other pretty women exist. They all exit. At the feast, Romeo meets Juliet, the daughter of Capulet. Instantly, they fall in love. After the feast, Romeo sneaks into the Capulet orchard and visits Juliet. Here, they proclaim their love for each other. They decide to marry the next afternoon but their family didn’t agree their relationship. Juliet’s mother suggested that Juliet should be married with Paris but Juliet didn’t love him. Suddenly, Juliet drank a poison that made a trick for her family which it can make sure her family if she passed away, she didn’t marry to Paris. Suddenly, Romeo saw her that has passed away; he drank a poison because he really loved her then after Juliet got up and saw the situation that Romeo has passed away, she was sad and she killed herself.
    Based on this story, the people think that the story of Romeo and Juliet has a power society because it tells about the power of love between Romeo and Juliet and the conflict between their families have improved the effect of the society value in this story.
    Retrieved from:
    http://www.wikisummaries.org/Romeo_and_Juliet
    http://www.bookrags.com/notes/rj/SUM.html
    2. The Dream of the Rood
    The source as well as the authorship of The Dream of the Rood remain unknown. Authorship of the poem has been credited by many critics to Cynewulf (c. 770-840), author of the epic poem Elene, and by others to Caedmon (fl. 658-680). The earliest evidence of the text of The Dream of the Rood is found on the Ruthwell Cross, a large freestanding stone cross, which is inscribed with passages from The Dream of the Roodrendered in the Northumbrian dialect. Scholars have been unable to concur upon a date for the cross, proposing any time from the fifth to the twelfth century, although many have agreed that the eighth century—the Golden Age of Northumbria—is the most probable date. The most complete text of The Dream of the Rood is found in the Vercelli Book, a manuscript of Old English prose and poetry unanimously assigned to the second half of the tenth century. Some commentators believe that The Dream of the Rood is possibly a later version of a lost poem by Caedmon; this theory is supported by one scholar’s speculation that the Ruthwell Cross was inscribed on the upper panel with the phrase “Caedmon made me.” However, this assertion has been called into question by others who have been unable to find any convincing traces of Caedmon’s name on the cross.
    The poem has been the subject of literary and historical study for generations and has been interpreted in a variety of ways. Profound and moving of itself, The Dream of the Rood also provides a valuable window into early Christian England. The dream vision uses strong, virile images of Christ in order to reach members of the Anglo-Saxon warrior culture, who valued strength above humility. This may have been a deliberate strategy to convert pagans to Christianity. It also reflects how the image of Jesus was adapted to suit different cultures.
    Retrieved from:
    http://historymedren.about.com/od/generalliterature1/p/dream_rood.htm
    http://www.enotes.com/dream-rood-61424-criticism/dream-rood
    3. Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar
    The Tragedy of Julius Caesar has enough known for the people. This story has written by by William Shakespeare in 1599. Although the title of the play is Julius Caesar, Caesar is not the most visible character in its action; he appears in only three scenes, and is killed at the beginning of the third act. Marcus Brutus speaks more than four times as many lines, and the central psychological drama is his struggle between the conflicting demands of honour, patriotism, and friendship. Julius Caesar is a highly successful but ambitious political leader of Rome and his goal is to become an unassailable dictator. Caesar is warned that he must “beware the Ides of March” . The prophecy comes true and Caesar is assassinated. Marcus Brutus is a well respected Roman senator who helps plan and carry out Caesar’s assassination which he believes will rid Rome of a tyrant. Caesar’s friend Mark Antony provides the famous funeral oration (“Friends, Romans, and countrymen…”) Brutus and Cassius meet their inevitable defeat. Brutus, the noble Roman, whose decision to take part in the conspiracy for the sake of freedom, plunges his country into civil war.
    Julius Caesar is a dramatization of actual events. He was assassinated in 44 B.C. It is believed that his mother endured agonising surgery in order to extract him at birth. This belief gave rise to the term “Caesarean birth”. Not only that, Julius Caesar Quote One! The Julius Caesar play contains famous quotes about life, death, love and hate by William Shakespeare. Although set in different times many of the most famous quotes about life and love by William Shakespeare are still relevant today and cover many different subjects and feelings, some of which are illustrated in our quote collection from Julius Caesar. Famous quotes about Life, Love, Hate, Music, Education, War Trauma, Deception, Betrayal, Death and Revenge. Many people continue to use a quote or words of William Shakespeare in famous quotes about life.
    Retrieved from:
    http://www.william-shakespeare-quotes.info/julius-caesar-quotes/index.htm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julius_Caesar_(play)
    4. The Caterbury Tales
    The Canterbury tales was written by Geoffrey Chaucer that a collection in a frame story between 1387 and 1400. It is the story of a group of thirty people who travel as pilgrims to Canterbury (England). The pilgrims, who come from all layers of society, tell stories to each other to kill time while they travel to Canterbury. If we trust the General Prologue, Chaucer intended that each pilgrim should tell two tales on the way to Canterbury and two tales on the way back. He never finished his enormous project and even the completed tales were not finally revised. Scholars are uncertain about the order of the tales. As the printing press had yet to be invented when Chaucer wrote his works, The Canterbury Tales has been passed down in several handwritten manuscripts. The Host of the Tabard Inn sets the rules for the tales. Each of the pilgrims will tell two stories on the way to Canterbury, and two stories on the return trip. The Host will decide whose tale is best for meaningfulness and for fun. They decide to draw lots to see who will tell the first tale, and the Knight receives the honor.
    The Canterbury Tales was written during a turbulent time in English history. The Catholic Church was in the midst of the Western Schism and, though it was still the only Christian authority in Europe, was the subject of heavy controversy. Lollardy, an early English religious movement led by John Wycliffe, is mentioned in the Tales, as is a specific incident involving pardoners (who gathered money in exchange for absolution from sin) who nefariously claimed to be collecting for St. Mary Rouncesval hospital in England. The Canterbury Tales is among the first English literary works to mention paper, a relatively new invention which allowed dissemination of the written word never before seen in England. Political clashes, such as the 1381 Peasants’ Revolt and clashes ending in the deposing of KingRichard II, further reveal the complex turmoil surrounding Chaucer in the time of theTales’ writing. Many of his close friends were executed and he himself was forced to move to Kent in order to get away from events in London.
    Retrieved from:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Canterbury_Tales
    http://www.gradesaver.com/the-canterbury-tales/study-guide/short-summary/
    5. Edm und Spenser’s Faery Queen
    The Faerie Queene is a romantic epic, the first sustained poetic work since Geoffrey Chaucer. In this work, Spenser uses the archaic language of Chaucer as a way to pay homage to the medieval poet. Spenser saw himself as a medievalist, but cognizant of his audience, he uses the modern pronunciation of the Renaissance. Spenser uses biblical allegory to tell his story, but the poem is much more than just a religious poem. Its purpose was to educate, to turn a young man into a gentleman. There are two levels of allegory present. One level examines the moral, philosophical, and religious and is represented by the Red Cross Knight, who represents all Christians. The second level is the particular, which focuses on the political, social, and religious, in which the Faerie Queene represents Elizabeth I. Spenser was not born to a wealthy household, as were so many of the other great Renaissance poets, such as Philip Sidney. This fact is important, since his work is colored by this lack of wealth. Spenser needed a patron to provide for his support while he worked, and patrons expect that the artists they support will write flattering words. This was certainly the case with Spenser’s work, The Faerie Queene, which is meant to celebrate Elizabeth I and, oftentimes, flatter her. In this work, Spenser presents his ideas of what constitutes an ideal England. He also thought that he could use his text as a way to recall the chivalry of a past era, and thus, inspire such actions again. Spenser influenced many of the poets who followed, including John Milton, Percy Shelley, John Keats, Lord Byron, and Lord Tennyson.
    Critical sincerity has required us to dwell thus long on the defects of the poem; but once recognized we should dismiss them altogether from mind and turn attention to the far more important beauties. The great qualities of ‘The Faerie Queene’ are suggested by the title, ‘The Poets’ Poet,’ which Charles Lamb, with happy inspiration, applied to Spenser. No poem in the world is nobler than ‘The Faerie Queene’ in atmosphere and entire effect. Spenser himself is always the perfect gentleman of his own imagination, and in his company we are secure from the intrusion of anything morally base or mean. But in him, also, moral beauty is in full harmony with the beauty of art and the senses.
    Retrieved from:
    http://www.enotes.com/faerie-queene
    http://classiclit.about.com/library/bl-etexts/rfletcher/bl-rfletcher-history-5-spenser.htm

  13. 1. Christopher Marlowe‘s Dr. Faustus

    This story is a tragedy of Life and Death of Doctor Faustus, often referred to simply as Doctor Faustus, is the name by Christopher Marlowe, based on the Faust story, in which the man sold his soul to the devil for power and knowledge. Doctors Faustus was written in 1592, although the exact date of composition is uncertain, because it was not published until a decade later. Doctors Faustus was first published in 1604, eleven years after Marlowe’s death and at least twelve years after the first performance of the play. Doctor Faustus, a German scholar gifted in Wittenburg, rails against the limits of human knowledge. He had learned all he could learn the traditional forms of knowledge of logic, medicine, law, and religion, or so he thinks, from the conventional academic disciplines. All this has made him dissatisfied and decided that he wanted to learn to practice magic so now he turns to magic. An angle of Good and Evil Angel arrive, representing a choice Faustus’ between the Christian conscience and the road to perdition. Who first advised him to abandon it and pursue magic, and the latter teasing him. ie His friends Valdes and Cornelius, who teaches the black art, and he began a new career as a magician by summoning the demon Mephistopheles. They improve their terms of the agreement, with Mephostophilis represent Lucifer. Faustus would sell his soul, in exchange for twenty-four years of power, with Mephostophilis as a servant for every desire.

    Mephastophilis is the devil that Faustus calls with magical abilities. Mephastophilis goal to Faustus is ambiguous: on the one hand the aim is to capture the soul of Faustus and took him to hell, on the other hand, he is actively trying to prevent Faustus from making a deal with Lucifer to warn him about the horrors of hell.
    On the last evening before the expiration of twenty-four years, Faustus overcome fear and remorse. He asked for mercy, but too late. At midnight, a number of demons appeared and took his soul to hell. is ultimately a tragic figure as Faustus, with its moving end of the story, with regret about what they do and the devil has been lost in eternal separation from God and the repeated reflection on the pain that comes with the penalty of His sin.

    References:
    Retrieved, May 4, 2012 from
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/Christopher-Marlowe-s-Dr-Faustus-A-Critical-Analysis-by-Qaisar-Iqbal-Janjua.
    http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/doctorfaustus/summary.html

    2. Cynewulf’s The Dream of the Rood

    Cynewulf lived around c. 770-840, they can discover from his poetry. Two of Cynewulf’s signed poems were discovered in the Vercelli Book, which includes Cynewulf’s holy cross poem “Elene” as well as Dream of the Rood that the two must have been authored by the same individual. The Dream of the Rood is one of the earliest Christian poems in the corpus of Old English literature and an example of the genre of dream poetry. Like most Old English poetry, it is written in alliterative verse. and in poem “Elene” and his other poems Cynewulf usually speaks of himself, which makes it quite possible that the dreamer in Dream of the Rood is none other than Cynewulf himself;

    The poem is set up with the narrator having a dream. In this dream or vision he is speaking to the Cross on which Jesus was crucified. The poem itself is divided up into three separate sections: In section one, the narrator has a vision of the Cross. Initially when the dreamer sees the Cross, he notes how it is covered with gems. He is aware of how wretched he is compared to how glorious the tree is. However, he comes to see that amidst the beautiful stones it is stained with blood. In section two, the Cross shares its account of Jesus’ death. The Crucifixion story is told from the perspective of the Cross. It begins with the enemy coming to cut the tree down and carrying it away. The tree learns that it is to be the bearer of a criminal, but instead the Christ comes to be crucified. The Lord and the Cross become one, and they stand together as victors, refusing to fall, taking on insurmountable pain for the sake of mankind. It is not just Christ, but the Cross as well that is pierced with nails.”The cross itself is portrayed as his lord’s retainer whose most outstanding characteristic is that of unwavering loyalty”. In section three, the author gives his reflections about this vision. The vision ends, and the man is left with his thoughts. He gives praise to God for what he has seen and is filled with hope for eternal life and his desire to once again be near the glorious Cross.
    in a religious context in the poem Cross set up to be the way to salvation. and to fulfill God’s will cross should become an important instrument in the death of Christ. It also puts new light on the actions of Jesus during the crucifixion. The cross of Jesus and they both stand firm with what they need to do. “Then I saw God man comes with great courage when he would mount on me” with Jesus as a powerful conqueror. He was made to appear “heroic Lord, a man who died to save his people”. Jesus did not just accept that he will be crucified and he was “embracing” the cross and took all our sins.

    References:
    Retrieved, May 4, 2012 from
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dream_of_the_Rood
    http://www.dreamofrood.co.uk/introduction.htm

    3. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

    Romeo and Julia is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, written at the beginning of his career. This tragedy tells of a young bride who fell in love, but is hampered by both their families against each other. Romeo and Julia is one of Shakespeare’s most famous works, and also one of his most frequently performed. Romeo and Julia’s story is based on the story in Italy, which turned into rhyme in The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet in 1582. Shakespeare borrowed ideas from both, but more developed supporting characters, particularly Mercutio and Paris, to expand the storyline. Written between the years 1591 to 1595, Romeo and Julia first staged in 1597. The story begins with the onset of hostilities between the Montague and Capulet families. Furthermore, the Count of Paris to talk to Lord Capulet about marrying his daughter’s plans, but Capulet is wary because of the age of 13 years Julia. Capulet asks Paris to wait two or three years’ time and invited him present at the Capulet ball. Lady Capulet and the Nurse try to force Julia to accept the proposal Paris. In a while, the Montague family, Romeo’s cousin Benvolio talking to son of Lord Montague, the melancholy Romeo. Benvolio then find out that the cause is due to Romeo’s infatuation with Rosaline, Lord Capulet one nephew. Benvolio and Mercutio are forced by Romeo attend the Capulet ball in hopes of meeting Rosaline. However, Romeo instead fell in love with Julia after seeing her.

    In a while, Romeo to sneak into the Capulet page and Julia overheard saying on his balcony to declare her love for Romeo. Capulet and angry and did not approve of their relationship. Lord Capulet and vice versa finally agreed to marry Julia in Paris and threatens to not recognize it as a child if she refuses to marry Paris. Julia asked for the wedding was postponed, but her mother refused. and then Julia went to Friar Laurence for help, and he offered her a drug that would make it like a people who died (the body’s cold, there was no pulse, pallor) for 42 hours. Friar promises to send a message to Romeo about the plan, so he can meet with Julia when she was awake. On the night before the wedding, she took the drug, and then laid in the family cemetery after her family discovered she “died”. However, the messenger did not reach to Romeo, and he got the information from his servant Balthasar that Julia died. Heartbroken, Romeo bought poison from the Apothecary, and then went to Julia. Paris he met Julia’s wake. Romeo thought as a vandal, Paris attacked him, and then Romeo killed Paris. Still thinks that Julia had died, he drank the poison. She then woke up and saw Romeo dead, so she was killed herself with a knife. Through social life context shows us that the sacrifice of Romeo and Juliet toward their love are very big and sacrificial . They decide to die together instead of living without one of them or living with another man or woman. Romeo And Juliet is a true tragedy in the literary sense because the families gather sufficient self-knowledge to correct their behavior but not until it is too late to save the situation.

    References:
    Retrieved, May 4, 2012 from
    http://id.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romeo_dan_Julia
    http://www.online-literature.com/shakespeare/romeo_and_juliet/

    4. Edmund Spenser’s Faery Queen

    Around 1580 Edmund Spenser began writing poetry Unseen Queen, and he published in 1590 and the next three in 1596. Queen of one of the country’s longest poem in the English language a total length of twenty-four books. This poem is a moral allegory, written in praise of Elizabeth I, intend, through every book, It deals with the extended epic adventure knights, dragons, lady in distress, but also an extended allegory about moral life and make a life of virtue. to emphasize the twenty-four different virtues. The first twelve will follow a different knight who was one of twelve different We speculate that the last twelve will be centered on King Arthur epitomizing twelve “public virtue.” “Personal virtue.” Spenser gave to Aristotle as a source of real virtue. six of virtue is: Holiness, Temperament, Chastity, Friendship, Justice, and Courtesy. Incomplete seventh book appears to represent virtue of consistency.

    Beyond the virtues the themes explored include politics and, perhaps most importantly, religion. In post Lutheran Protestant reformation, there was vehement protest between the still many Roman Catholics and Protestants occupying England. As an extremely devout Protestant, Spenser was especially annoyed by slanderous material against the Queen; moreover, Spenser saw the Roman Catholic Church full of idolatry and corruption. Thus, while his Protestant sensibilities and sentiments towards the Roman Catholic Church color the entire work, they are principally displayed in the “battles” of The Faerie Queen, which often symbolize “battles” between Rome and London.
    The poem exhibits Spenser’s solid grasp of literature, emulating many themes and ideas presented in other epics. The Faerie Queen celebrates Queen Elizabeth I and the Tudor dynasty, much like Virgil’s Aeneid, where the Aeneid tells that Caesar descended from the sons of Troy, The Faerie Queen proposes that Queen Elizabeth and the Tudor dynasty are descendants of King Arthur.

    References:
    Retrieved, May 4, 2012 from
    http://www.online-literature.com/edmund-spenser/faerie-queene/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Faerie_Queene

    5. Thoma s More‘s Utopia

    Thomas More was a Humanist. This essay discusses the socialism and lack of individualism in the book Utopia and compares them to the seven deadly sins. Humanism is the potential perfectibility of the human being through social civil laws. A society in which individualism flourishes and social problems are eliminated creates a state of perfection. At the root of society’s problems lay the seven deadly sins, which are pride, greed, gluttony, wrath, envy, sloven, and lust. These sins, which committed by the individual, affect society as a whole.

    St. Thomas Moore wrote Utopia as a means of identifying the social problems of the times in which he lived. The social problems identified in Utopia by St. Thomas Moore stem from the seven deadly sins. Through careful analogy, More prescribes a perfect society in which the civil laws are structured upon toleration, moderation and respect. Individualism flourishes and society is perfected. Therefore, conscious eradication of the seven deadly sins is accomplished. Humanism prevails. and the term “utopia” has been used to describe apparently perfect societies that have attained an ideal social and political structure that protects the people from the worst ills of humankind. Like many such works before his and after his, More’s book featured many aspects of communalism. Historically, many communities that were founded as experiments in utopia tried to honor socialist values such as egalitarianism and the common good, both of which are reflected in the beginning chapters of The Giver.

    References:
    Retrieved, May 4, 2012 from
    http://www.gradesaver.com/utopia/study-guide/section1/
    http://www.gradesaver.com/the-giver/study-guide/section11/

  14. Utopia
    Thomas More was a Humanist. This essay discusses the socialism and lack of individualism in the book Utopia and compares them to the seven deadly sins. Humanism is the potential perfectibility of the human being through social civil laws. A society in which individualism flourishes and social problems are eliminated creates a state of perfection. At the root of society’s problems lay the seven deadly sins, which are pride, greed, gluttony, wrath, envy, sloven, and lust. These sins, which committed by the individual, affect society as a whole. St. Thomas Moore wrote Utopia as a means of identifying the social problems of the times in which he lived. The social problems identified in Utopia by St. Thomas Moore stem from the seven deadly sins. Through careful analogy, More prescribes a perfect society in which the civil laws are structured upon toleration, moderation and respect. Individualism flourishes and society is perfected. Therefore, conscious eradication of the seven deadly sins.
    (http://www.ashevillelist.com/history/utopia.htm)
    Romeo and Juliet
    Capulet and his wife are angry that Juliet does not wish to marry Paris, not knowing of her secret contract with Romeo. Friar Lawrence helps Juliet by providing a sleeping draught that will make everyone think she’s dead. Romeo will then come to her tomb and take her away. When the wedding party arrives to greet Juliet next day they think she is dead. The Friar sends a colleague to warn Romeo to come to the Capulet’s family monument to rescue his sleeping wife but the message doesn’t get through and Romeo, hearing instead that Juliet is dead, buys poison in Mantua.He returns to Verona and goes to the tomb where he surprises and kills the mourning Paris. Romeo takes the poison and dies just as Juliet awakes from her drugged sleep. She learns what has happened from Friar Lawrence but she refuses to leave the tomb and stabs herself as the Friar returns with the Prince, the Capulets and Romeo’s father. The deaths of their children lead the families to make peace, promising to erect a monument in their memory.
    From the standpoint of plot, Romeo and Juliet at first did not intend to commit suicide. Actual initial goal is to create a fake death so they could run away and then continue their married life. It is true that the age of Romeo and Juliet are very young, but at the time of Shakespeare’s life, their age has been considered worthy to be married. However, Shakespeare seems to still think that a 12-year-old is a teenager. Romeo and juliet just looking at everything from the perspective of their own and would not be wise and patient. Death was viewed by both as the end of everything. Both sure that they will not be able to live if one of them dead. Thus, technically romeo and juliet actually didn ‘t die because in the plot of a story, but they chose death because they ‘re still young, stupid, and was in love. Another reason for the deaths of romeo and juliet based on what is expected to happen in the drama elizabethan . In general the drama is divided into two categories : comedy and tragedy. Merry- tipped with temporary marriage tragedies end with a death. Write a story tragedy that does not end with scenes of death would not be regarded as a story of tragedy. Thus, romeo and juliet unavoidably have to die because when that shakespeare wrote a tragedy. If he wrote at the time, a drama comedy and supposed to be the end of the story is romeo and juliet married and their families to be reconciled. The debate is still going on until now was whether are worth to teach the story plays romeo and juliet in children and teenager was high school . Often played at the beginning of shakespeare plays and read by teenager , but as with the emergence of the modern point of view towards suicide romeo and juliet , some authorities consider again teaching this play for teenager. A lot of teachers find another to show the genius of shakespeare but not risk bad if followed by teenager.
    http://www.indosiar.com/sinopsis/romeo-dan-juliet_66079.html
    http://www.nosweatshakespeare.com/play-summary/romeo-juliet/
    Julius Caesar
    Julius Caesar’s body away to the world of politics since the age of Moses. The various important positions he held, his political career ever so brilliant, in 58 BC when he was stepped on 42 years he was appointed Governor of the province of Cisalpine Gaul conquered three (Northern Italy); Illyricum (the coastal region of Yugoslavia); and Narbanese Gaul (now France Beach). He has a force of 20,000 soldiers with the force used to conquer a region of france and Belgium , Switzerland , Germany , and the Netherlands. With the brilliance and virtuosity military expansion, he was able to beat people and extending Roman rule Gallik until the Valley of the river Rhine (Germany). Caesar’s conquest of Gaul by the Romans expanded in the North Sea, and in 55 BC he did invansi first to the United Kingdom. Caesar’s conquest of Gaul made the show as a hero to Rome. And in the eyes of his political opponents even outrageously popular and outrageously powerful. Given the strong position of Caesar then his command during the later in the end. He was ordered by the Roman Senate returned to Rome and become ordinary citizens. This command recognized Caesar as an effort of the Senate and his political opponents weaken posisinnya. Finally resistance against Caesar decided to convene the Senate soon followed the civil war which lasted for 4 years. This war is won then Caesar.
    http://www.wirosari.com/wirosari/berita-428-julius-caesar-karya-william-shakespeare.html
    The Canterbury Tales
    The Canterbury Tales written by Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century during the reign of Ingris mid. a group of pilgrims from Canterbury to London to do a recognition to the tomb of a holy man that Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral (a type of Catholic Christian Church). Some group elaborated in detail into various class , from getting the lower classes until upper-class , one of them is character religious , like a monk and pardoner , sailing along sailor , a milled , carpenter ; knights , and still many others . As the group pilgrims stand on a night , the pilgrims proposes that among them tell his story each. The pilgrims that agree each tell his story into four part stories, two on the way to Canterbury, and two on the way back from Canterbury. One who have the most good it will get a repast of a tavern tabard and will be paid by pilgrims other . The person who first telling this story is the knight, each story , when they tell stories indirectly the s-stories reflect their social position and there are some of the stories told to memperolokkan from other groups of the pilgrims . In the end the host said there were no winner was elected to tell their stories , until the end of the story has been told all drawn a conclusion to an apology.
    Social issues are presented in this paper is an analysis on the characters of that reflects their social status is a good or a poor to the most rich. After reviewing the turns out to be watched and the way society will assess the status of a social at that time or perhaps also at the present time can be seen from a mode of dressing , speaking , types of skins and haircut. The proof with a rough coat and clothes they have, The Knight character indicates that the military is a social stiff and rough. Then a Wife that tells and shows glamour turns out it is just a mask for the sheer cover intellectual weakness only, because with a very convincing appearance really, people assumed that thinking-his opinion can be heard and believed. Although in fact it was all fake.
    http://deni4s.blogspot.com/2009/12/analysis-status-sosial-pada-karakter.html
    The Dream of the Rood
    The Dream of the Rood describes Christ as both a brave warrior and warlord. The cross (rood) says of Christ, “I trembled when the warrior embraced me,” (l. 42) and even calls Christ “heaven’s War-Lord,” (l.64) who is served by his “warrior-men” (l. 61). The Christ of the eighth century Dream of the Rood was most certainly a powerful warrior-lord and the savior of mankind, but not much else. Christ is a fairly simple character in the Dream of the Rood. In the Dream of the Rood, the reader is introduced to the Christian afterlife, for those who worship the warrior-Christ who died on the rood, “…where there is great bliss, delight in heaven, to where the Lord’s nation is seated at a banquet, to where the bliss is everlasting,” (Rood l. 139-42). This heaven is like a great feast that never ends, as facilitated by Christ for his faithful. The heaven of the Dream of the Rood is a place that is intended to convince the reader of the rewards of following Christ
    The focus of the Dream of the Rood is on Christ and the cross. Other small details are explained, but the tale is mostly a shining and dramatic introduction to Christianity, so it does not weigh the reader down with side stories – it is an introduction to the faith of Christianity. “The time has now come that far and wide I will be worshipped by men across the earth,” speaks the cross, (l. 80-3) admonishing the dreamer who heard the cross’s story to go and share it with the rest of the world (l. 95-6). The Dream of the Rood tells the reader that Christianity has arrived (“The time has now come…” l. 80) and is the only way to partake in that eternal feast-hall after death.
    http://annaleshistoriae.blogspot.com/2012/01/dream-of-rood-vs-christ-ii-anglo-saxon.html

  15. 1. Beowulf
    Beowulf is England’s oldest poem. It was written in Anglo Saxon, a very old English language, 1000-1300 years ago. Beowulf is a prince of the Geats of southern Sweden who comes to Denmark to help King Hrothgar rid his fabulous hall, Heorot, of a terrible monster known as Grendel. The hero mortally wounds the creature, who flees the hall to die in its lair. The next night, Grendel’s mother comes to Heorot to avenge her offspring and kills one of Hrothgar’s men. Beowulf tracks her down and kills her, then returns to Heorot where he receives great honors and gifts before returning home. After ruling the Geats for half a century in peace, Beowulf must face a dragon who threatens his land. Unlike his earlier battles, this confrontation is terrible and deadly. He is deserted by all his retainers except his kinsman Wiglaf, and though he defeats the dragon he is mortally wounded. His funeral and a lament end the poem.

    Beowulf contains many pagan and folkloric elements, but there are undeniable Christian themes as well. This dichotomy has led some to interpret the epic as the work of more than one author. Others have seen it as symbolic of the transition from paganism to Christianity in early medieval Britain. The extreme delicacy of the manuscript, the two separate hands that inscribed the text and the complete lack of clues to the identity of the author make a realistic determination difficult at best.

    References:
    http://historymedren.about.com/od/beowulf/p/beowulf.htm
    http://www.beowulfepic.com/
    http://www.essortment.com/beowulf-notes-summary-37868.html
    https://parlindunganpardede.wordpress.com/2012/01/28/2-old-english-period-text/

    2. Cynewulf’s The Dream of the Rood
    The Dream of the Rood begins with the narration of the speaker of a dream he had. In his dream he sees a tree covered with gold and surrounded by angles. While he is gazing at the tree it starts to bleed heavily from its right side. It, then, addresses the dreamer. The tree is the cross of the crucifixion, and it portrays the details of the story. Jesus is described as a mighty warrior and a hero. The cross itself has been dug out after the crucifixion and now it dwells with Jesus and has the power to heal those who pray to him. The cross requests the dreamer to tell other people of this vision. One who knows the story of the crucifixion will gain an after-life. After the dream the speaker dedicates his life to contemplation and spiritual devotion so after his death he could enter the heaven kingdom of Jesus.

    “The Dream of the Rood” is a prime example of Christian influence upon Anglo-Saxon heroism. It is a religious short story that recounts the crucifixion of Christ communicated from Christ’s rood to an unnamed visionary. The crucifixion of Christ is depicted as the ultimate act of heroism. However, it is via Anglo-Saxon tradition that Christian ideology manages to influence the definition and imagery of Anglo-Saxon heroism. In “The Dream of the Rood” Christ is an Anglo-Saxon hero. An Anglo-Saxon hero is valiant, strong or mighty and not frightened when in the face of death. An Anglo-Saxon hero can also be a savior to his people. In “The Dream of the Rood” Christ is valiant, strong and not frightened when confronted by death. Christ is also a savior. These topics represent Christianity’s influence on Anglo-Saxon heroism. Through symbolism, Christian principles influence Anglo-Saxon heroism and therefore ecclesiastics were able to manipulate Anglo-Saxons into believing that to be gallant is to be Christian.

    References:
    http://www.shvoong.com/books/1674433-dream-rood/#ixzz1tnFmOgYs
    http://www.dreamofrood.co.uk/introduction.htm
    http://www.123helpme.com/dream-of-the-rood-an-outstanding-archetype-of-christian-influence-on-anglo-saxon-heroism-preview.asp?id=172380

    3. Christopher Marlowe‘s Dr. Faustus
    Doctor Faustus is a story based on an earlier German legend about an incredibly gifted scholar, Doctor Faustus, whose thirst for knowledge is endless. After learning everything there is to know from books (Faustus becomes a master scientist, orator, tactician, politician, and theologian, and is still unsatisfied) he makes a pact with the devil to be granted infinite knowledge, at the cost of his soul.

    The Renaissance period is characterized by a grand desire for acquisition of knowledge and a passion for emerging individuality. “Scholars and educators . . . began to emphasize the capacities of the human mind and the achievements of human culture, in contrast to the medieval emphasis on God and contempt for the things in this world” (Slights 129). However, the whirlwind of change brought on by the budding ideas of Humanist thinkers was met with a cautious warning by one the greatest writers of the era. Christopher Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus acts as mask, containing and disguising the dramatist’s criticisms of Renaissance thinking.

    References:
    http://voices.yahoo.com/book-summary-doctor-faustus-christopher-marlowe-5039280.html?cat=38
    http://www.gradesaver.com/dr-faustus/study-guide/about/
    http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/doctorfaustus/summary.html
    http://www.123helpme.com/preview.asp?id=4840

    4. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
    The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet is not in the death of two young lovers, but the failure of society to overcome the social barriers that would have prevented the loss of so many innocent lives. Lord Capulet followed his social role of the father, and felt it was his duty as the man of the house to protect his family and their reputation. His wife, Lady Capulet, took it as her role to sit back and obey her husband, even if in the end it would mean the death of her only daughter. Friar Lawrence’s role as a peacemaker lead him to see Romeo and Juliet’s relationship and marriage as an opportunity to stop the family feuding than as two people.

    In the Middle Ages, Love was considered to be a powerful god and force of nature with power over all humanity. In this final suicide scene, there is a contradiction in the message–in Christianity, suiciders are condemned to hell, whereas people who die to be with their loves under the “Religion of Love” are joined with their loves in paradise. Romeo and Juliet’s love seems to be expressing the “Religion of Love” view rather than the Christian view. Another point is that although their love is passionate, it is only consummated in marriage, which prevents them from losing the audience’s sympathy.

    References:
    http://www.shadowhousepits.com.au/r&j%20suicide.htm
    http://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=16050
    http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Romeo_and_Juliet

    5. Geoffrey Chaucer‘s The Caterbury Tales
    The Canterbury Tales consists of the stories related by the 29 pilgrims on their way to Saint Thomas Becket’s shrine in Canterbury. Harry Bailey, the Host, had proposed a scheme in the General Prologue whereby each pilgrim was to narrate two tales on the way to Canterbury and two more while returning. In the course of the journey the Canon and his Yeoman join the pilgrims. However The Canterbury Tales are incomplete. There should have been a hundred and twenty tales in all according to the original plan but Chaucer only completed twenty-three tales. Out of these, the Cook’s and the Squire’s tales are unfinished. Two tales are imperfectly attributed to the teller: the Sea captain’s tale begins as though a woman were telling it and was actually earlier meant for the Wife of Bath, while the Second Nun refers to herself as an “unworthy son of Eve”. The Knight tells the first tale.

    In the Middle Ages it was not uncommon for people of different social classes to join together as pilgrims as they would not elsewhere in life. So we hear firstly the narrator’s description of most of the group in a satirical and often extremely amusing manner, in the General Prologue. Secondly we hear pilgrims tell stories to each other in an appropriate style for their characters after they have offered their own unique prologues. The language is very different to our own in the sense that it has more French roots that English has now lost so it is advisable to think of the lines as being spoken with a French accent at the end of words and an Anglo-Saxon grit in their middles.

    References:
    http://thebestnotes.com/booknotes/Canterbury_Tales/Canterbury_Tales03.html
    http://www.cliffsnotes.com/study_guide/literature/canterbury-tales/summary.html
    http://www.bibliomania.com/0/2/14/24/frameset.html

  16. Neeta Yuliana
    0812150027
    class A

    1. Beowulf

    Beowulf is England’s oldest poem. It was written in Anglo Saxon, a very old English language, 1000-1300 years ago. Beowulf is a prince of the Geats of southern Sweden who comes to Denmark to help King Hrothgar rid his fabulous hall, Heorot, of a terrible monster known as Grendel. The hero mortally wounds the creature, who flees the hall to die in its lair. The next night, Grendel’s mother comes to Heorot to avenge her offspring and kills one of Hrothgar’s men. Beowulf tracks her down and kills her, then returns to Heorot where he receives great honors and gifts before returning home. After ruling the Geats for half a century in peace, Beowulf must face a dragon who threatens his land. Unlike his earlier battles, this confrontation is terrible and deadly. He is deserted by all his retainers except his kinsman Wiglaf, and though he defeats the dragon he is mortally wounded. His funeral and a lament end the poem.

    Beowulf contains many pagan and folkloric elements, but there are undeniable Christian themes as well. This dichotomy has led some to interpret the epic as the work of more than one author. Others have seen it as symbolic of the transition from paganism to Christianity in early medieval Britain. The extreme delicacy of the manuscript, the two separate hands that inscribed the text and the complete lack of clues to the identity of the author make a realistic determination difficult at best.

    References:
    http://historymedren.about.com/od/beowulf/p/beowulf.htm
    http://www.beowulfepic.com/
    http://www.essortment.com/beowulf-notes-summary-37868.html
    https://parlindunganpardede.wordpress.com/2012/01/28/2-old-english-period-text/

    2. Cynewulf’s The Dream of the Rood

    The Dream of the Rood begins with the narration of the speaker of a dream he had. In his dream he sees a tree covered with gold and surrounded by angles. While he is gazing at the tree it starts to bleed heavily from its right side. It, then, addresses the dreamer. The tree is the cross of the crucifixion, and it portrays the details of the story. Jesus is described as a mighty warrior and a hero. The cross itself has been dug out after the crucifixion and now it dwells with Jesus and has the power to heal those who pray to him. The cross requests the dreamer to tell other people of this vision. One who knows the story of the crucifixion will gain an after-life. After the dream the speaker dedicates his life to contemplation and spiritual devotion so after his death he could enter the heaven kingdom of Jesus.

    “The Dream of the Rood” is a prime example of Christian influence upon Anglo-Saxon heroism. It is a religious short story that recounts the crucifixion of Christ communicated from Christ’s rood to an unnamed visionary. The crucifixion of Christ is depicted as the ultimate act of heroism. However, it is via Anglo-Saxon tradition that Christian ideology manages to influence the definition and imagery of Anglo-Saxon heroism. In “The Dream of the Rood” Christ is an Anglo-Saxon hero. An Anglo-Saxon hero is valiant, strong or mighty and not frightened when in the face of death. An Anglo-Saxon hero can also be a savior to his people. In “The Dream of the Rood” Christ is valiant, strong and not frightened when confronted by death. Christ is also a savior. These topics represent Christianity’s influence on Anglo-Saxon heroism. Through symbolism, Christian principles influence Anglo-Saxon heroism and therefore ecclesiastics were able to manipulate Anglo-Saxons into believing that to be gallant is to be Christian.

    References:
    http://www.shvoong.com/books/1674433-dream-rood/#ixzz1tnFmOgYs
    http://www.dreamofrood.co.uk/introduction.htm
    http://www.123helpme.com/dream-of-the-rood-an-outstanding-archetype-of-christian-influence-on-anglo-saxon-heroism-preview.asp?id=172380

    3. Christopher Marlowe‘s Dr. Faustus

    Doctor Faustus is a story based on an earlier German legend about an incredibly gifted scholar, Doctor Faustus, whose thirst for knowledge is endless. After learning everything there is to know from books (Faustus becomes a master scientist, orator, tactician, politician, and theologian, and is still unsatisfied) he makes a pact with the devil to be granted infinite knowledge, at the cost of his soul.

    The Renaissance period is characterized by a grand desire for acquisition of knowledge and a passion for emerging individuality. “Scholars and educators . . . began to emphasize the capacities of the human mind and the achievements of human culture, in contrast to the medieval emphasis on God and contempt for the things in this world” (Slights 129). However, the whirlwind of change brought on by the budding ideas of Humanist thinkers was met with a cautious warning by one the greatest writers of the era. Christopher Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus acts as mask, containing and disguising the dramatist’s criticisms of Renaissance thinking.

    References:
    http://voices.yahoo.com/book-summary-doctor-faustus-christopher-marlowe-5039280.html?cat=38
    http://www.gradesaver.com/dr-faustus/study-guide/about/
    http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/doctorfaustus/summary.html
    http://www.123helpme.com/preview.asp?id=4840

    4. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

    The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet is not in the death of two young lovers, but the failure of society to overcome the social barriers that would have prevented the loss of so many innocent lives. Lord Capulet followed his social role of the father, and felt it was his duty as the man of the house to protect his family and their reputation. His wife, Lady Capulet, took it as her role to sit back and obey her husband, even if in the end it would mean the death of her only daughter. Friar Lawrence’s role as a peacemaker lead him to see Romeo and Juliet’s relationship and marriage as an opportunity to stop the family feuding than as two people.

    In the Middle Ages, Love was considered to be a powerful god and force of nature with power over all humanity. In this final suicide scene, there is a contradiction in the message–in Christianity, suiciders are condemned to hell, whereas people who die to be with their loves under the “Religion of Love” are joined with their loves in paradise. Romeo and Juliet’s love seems to be expressing the “Religion of Love” view rather than the Christian view. Another point is that although their love is passionate, it is only consummated in marriage, which prevents them from losing the audience’s sympathy.

    References:
    http://www.shadowhousepits.com.au/r&j%20suicide.htm
    http://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=16050
    http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Romeo_and_Juliet

    5. Geoffrey Chaucer‘s The Caterbury Tales

    The Canterbury Tales consists of the stories related by the 29 pilgrims on their way to Saint Thomas Becket’s shrine in Canterbury. Harry Bailey, the Host, had proposed a scheme in the General Prologue whereby each pilgrim was to narrate two tales on the way to Canterbury and two more while returning. In the course of the journey the Canon and his Yeoman join the pilgrims. However The Canterbury Tales are incomplete. There should have been a hundred and twenty tales in all according to the original plan but Chaucer only completed twenty-three tales. Out of these, the Cook’s and the Squire’s tales are unfinished. Two tales are imperfectly attributed to the teller: the Sea captain’s tale begins as though a woman were telling it and was actually earlier meant for the Wife of Bath, while the Second Nun refers to herself as an “unworthy son of Eve”. The Knight tells the first tale.

    In the Middle Ages it was not uncommon for people of different social classes to join together as pilgrims as they would not elsewhere in life. So we hear firstly the narrator’s description of most of the group in a satirical and often extremely amusing manner, in the General Prologue. Secondly we hear pilgrims tell stories to each other in an appropriate style for their characters after they have offered their own unique prologues. The language is very different to our own in the sense that it has more French roots that English has now lost so it is advisable to think of the lines as being spoken with a French accent at the end of words and an Anglo-Saxon grit in their middles.

    References:
    http://thebestnotes.com/booknotes/Canterbury_Tales/Canterbury_Tales03.html
    http://www.cliffsnotes.com/study_guide/literature/canterbury-tales/summary.html
    http://www.bibliomania.com/0/2/14/24/frameset.html

  17. Neeta Yuliana
    0812150027
    class A

    1. Beowulf

    Beowulf is England’s oldest poem. It was written in Anglo Saxon, a very old English language, 1000-1300 years ago. Beowulf is a prince of the Geats of southern Sweden who comes to Denmark to help King Hrothgar rid his fabulous hall, Heorot, of a terrible monster known as Grendel. The hero mortally wounds the creature, who flees the hall to die in its lair. The next night, Grendel’s mother comes to Heorot to avenge her offspring and kills one of Hrothgar’s men. Beowulf tracks her down and kills her, then returns to Heorot where he receives great honors and gifts before returning home. After ruling the Geats for half a century in peace, Beowulf must face a dragon who threatens his land. Unlike his earlier battles, this confrontation is terrible and deadly. He is deserted by all his retainers except his kinsman Wiglaf, and though he defeats the dragon he is mortally wounded. His funeral and a lament end the poem.

    Beowulf contains many pagan and folkloric elements, but there are undeniable Christian themes as well. This dichotomy has led some to interpret the epic as the work of more than one author. Others have seen it as symbolic of the transition from paganism to Christianity in early medieval Britain. The extreme delicacy of the manuscript, the two separate hands that inscribed the text and the complete lack of clues to the identity of the author make a realistic determination difficult at best.

    References:
    http://historymedren.about.com/od/beowulf/p/beowulf.htm
    http://www.beowulfepic.com/
    http://www.essortment.com/beowulf-notes-summary-37868.html
    https://parlindunganpardede.wordpress.com/2012/01/28/2-old-english-period-text/

    2. Cynewulf’s The Dream of the Rood

    The Dream of the Rood begins with the narration of the speaker of a dream he had. In his dream he sees a tree covered with gold and surrounded by angles. While he is gazing at the tree it starts to bleed heavily from its right side. It, then, addresses the dreamer. The tree is the cross of the crucifixion, and it portrays the details of the story. Jesus is described as a mighty warrior and a hero. The cross itself has been dug out after the crucifixion and now it dwells with Jesus and has the power to heal those who pray to him. The cross requests the dreamer to tell other people of this vision. One who knows the story of the crucifixion will gain an after-life. After the dream the speaker dedicates his life to contemplation and spiritual devotion so after his death he could enter the heaven kingdom of Jesus.

    “The Dream of the Rood” is a prime example of Christian influence upon Anglo-Saxon heroism. It is a religious short story that recounts the crucifixion of Christ communicated from Christ’s rood to an unnamed visionary. The crucifixion of Christ is depicted as the ultimate act of heroism. However, it is via Anglo-Saxon tradition that Christian ideology manages to influence the definition and imagery of Anglo-Saxon heroism. In “The Dream of the Rood” Christ is an Anglo-Saxon hero. An Anglo-Saxon hero is valiant, strong or mighty and not frightened when in the face of death. An Anglo-Saxon hero can also be a savior to his people. In “The Dream of the Rood” Christ is valiant, strong and not frightened when confronted by death. Christ is also a savior. These topics represent Christianity’s influence on Anglo-Saxon heroism. Through symbolism, Christian principles influence Anglo-Saxon heroism and therefore ecclesiastics were able to manipulate Anglo-Saxons into believing that to be gallant is to be Christian.

    References:
    http://www.shvoong.com/books/1674433-dream-rood/#ixzz1tnFmOgYs
    http://www.dreamofrood.co.uk/introduction.htm
    http://www.123helpme.com/dream-of-the-rood-an-outstanding-archetype-of-christian-influence-on-anglo-saxon-heroism-preview.asp?id=172380

    3. Christopher Marlowe‘s Dr. Faustus

    Doctor Faustus is a story based on an earlier German legend about an incredibly gifted scholar, Doctor Faustus, whose thirst for knowledge is endless. After learning everything there is to know from books (Faustus becomes a master scientist, orator, tactician, politician, and theologian, and is still unsatisfied) he makes a pact with the devil to be granted infinite knowledge, at the cost of his soul.

    The Renaissance period is characterized by a grand desire for acquisition of knowledge and a passion for emerging individuality. “Scholars and educators . . . began to emphasize the capacities of the human mind and the achievements of human culture, in contrast to the medieval emphasis on God and contempt for the things in this world” (Slights 129). However, the whirlwind of change brought on by the budding ideas of Humanist thinkers was met with a cautious warning by one the greatest writers of the era. Christopher Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus acts as mask, containing and disguising the dramatist’s criticisms of Renaissance thinking.

    References:
    http://voices.yahoo.com/book-summary-doctor-faustus-christopher-marlowe-5039280.html?cat=38
    http://www.gradesaver.com/dr-faustus/study-guide/about/
    http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/doctorfaustus/summary.html
    http://www.123helpme.com/preview.asp?id=4840

    4. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

    The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet is not in the death of two young lovers, but the failure of society to overcome the social barriers that would have prevented the loss of so many innocent lives. Lord Capulet followed his social role of the father, and felt it was his duty as the man of the house to protect his family and their reputation. His wife, Lady Capulet, took it as her role to sit back and obey her husband, even if in the end it would mean the death of her only daughter. Friar Lawrence’s role as a peacemaker lead him to see Romeo and Juliet’s relationship and marriage as an opportunity to stop the family feuding than as two people.

    In the Middle Ages, Love was considered to be a powerful god and force of nature with power over all humanity. In this final suicide scene, there is a contradiction in the message–in Christianity, suiciders are condemned to hell, whereas people who die to be with their loves under the “Religion of Love” are joined with their loves in paradise. Romeo and Juliet’s love seems to be expressing the “Religion of Love” view rather than the Christian view. Another point is that although their love is passionate, it is only consummated in marriage, which prevents them from losing the audience’s sympathy.

    References:
    http://www.shadowhousepits.com.au/r&j%20suicide.htm
    http://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=16050
    http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Romeo_and_Juliet

    5. Geoffrey Chaucer‘s The Caterbury Tales

    The Canterbury Tales consists of the stories related by the 29 pilgrims on their way to Saint Thomas Becket’s shrine in Canterbury. Harry Bailey, the Host, had proposed a scheme in the General Prologue whereby each pilgrim was to narrate two tales on the way to Canterbury and two more while returning. In the course of the journey the Canon and his Yeoman join the pilgrims. However The Canterbury Tales are incomplete. There should have been a hundred and twenty tales in all according to the original plan but Chaucer only completed twenty-three tales. Out of these, the Cook’s and the Squire’s tales are unfinished. Two tales are imperfectly attributed to the teller: the Sea captain’s tale begins as though a woman were telling it and was actually earlier meant for the Wife of Bath, while the Second Nun refers to herself as an “unworthy son of Eve”. The Knight tells the first tale.

    In the Middle Ages it was not uncommon for people of different social classes to join together as pilgrims as they would not elsewhere in life. So we hear firstly the narrator’s description of most of the group in a satirical and often extremely amusing manner, in the General Prologue. Secondly we hear pilgrims tell stories to each other in an appropriate style for their characters after they have offered their own unique prologues. The language is very different to our own in the sense that it has more French roots that English has now lost so it is advisable to think of the lines as being spoken with a French accent at the end of words and an Anglo-Saxon grit in their middles.

    References:
    http://thebestnotes.com/booknotes/Canterbury_Tales/Canterbury_Tales03.html
    http://www.cliffsnotes.com/study_guide/literature/canterbury-tales/summary.html
    http://www.bibliomania.com/0/2/14/24/frameset.html

  18. 1. Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Caterbury Tales
    The Canterbury Tales is a collection of stories which written by Geoffrey Chaucer in the Middle English period (1066-1500). The tales (mostly written in verse although some are in prose) are told as part of a story telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together on a journey from Southward to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral.
    In Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales a group of about 30 pilgrims gather at the Tabard Inn in Southwark, across the Thames from London. They agree upon a storytelling contest as they travel to the shrine ofThomas à Becket in Canterbury under the leadership of Harry Bailly, host of the Tabard, The pilgrims are introduced by vivid brief sketches in the General Prologue. Chaucer brings together people from many ranks of society: The Knight, The Prioress, The Monk, The Merchant, The Man of Law, The Franklin, The Clerk, The Miller, The Reeve, The Pardoner; The Wife of Bath and many others.

    Retrieved from:
    http://www.librarius.com/cantales.htm
    http://user.phil-fak.uni-duesseldorf.de/~holteir/companion/Navigation/Authors/Chaucer/WorksChaucer/CT/ct.html

    2. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
    Juliet and Romeo is a great tragedies story in the year between 1598 and 1607. The play is set in Verona, Italy, where a feud has broken out between the families of the Montegues and the Capulets. The servants of both houses open the play with a brawling scene that eventually draws in the noblemen of the families and the city officials, including Prince Escalus. The play begins with a large fight between the Capulets and the Montagues, two prestigious families in Verona, Italy. When the fight is over, Romeo’s cousin Benvolio tries to cheer him of his melancholy. Romeo reveals that he is in love with a woman named Rosaline, but she has chosen to live a life of chastity. Romeo and Benvolio are accidentally invited to their enemy’s party; Benvolio convinces Romeo to go. At the party, Romeo locks eyes with a young woman named Juliet. They do not realize that their families are mortal enemies. When they realize each other’s identities, they are devastated, but they cannot help the way that they feel. Romeo sneaks into Juliet’s yard after the party and proclaims his love for her. The next day, Romeo and Juliet are married by Friar Lawrence; an event witnessed by Juliet’s Nurse and Romeo’s loyal servant, Balthasar. They plan to meet in Juliet’s chambers that night.
    Romeo visits his best friend Mercutio and his cousin Benvolio but his good mood is curtailed. Juliet’s cousin, Tybalt, starts a verbal quarrel with Romeo, which soon turns into a duel with Mercutio. Romeo tries to stop the fight but it is too late: Tybalt kills Mercutio. Juliet’s mother, completely unaware of her daughter’s secret marriage to Romeo, informs Juliet that she will marry a man named Paris in a few days. Juliet asks Friar Lawrence for advice, insisting she would rather die than marry Paris. Fr. Lawrence gives Juliet a potion which will make her appear dead and tells her to take it the night before the wedding.
    Juliet drinks the potion and everybody assumes that she is dead including Balthasar, who immediately tells Romeo. Friar Lawrence’s letter fails to reach Romeo, so he assumes that his wife is dead. He rushes to Juliet’s tomb and, in deep grief, drinks a vial of poison. Moments later, Juliet wakes to find Romeo dead and kills herself due to grief. Once the families discover what happened, they finally end their bitter feud. Thus the youngsters’ deaths bring the families together. Romeo and Juliet is a true tragedy in the literary sense because the families gather sufficient self-knowledge to correct their behaviour but not until it is too late to save the situation.

    Retrieved from:
    http://www.wikisummaries.org/Romeo_and_Juliet

    3. Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar
    The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, also known simply as Julius Caesar, is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1599. It portrays the 44 BC conspiracy against the Roman dictator Julius Caesar, his assassination and the defeat of the conspirators at the Battle of Philippi. It is one of several Roman plays that Shakespeare wrote, based on true events from Roman history, which also include Coriolanus and Antony and Cleopatra.
    Although the title of the play is Julius Caesar, Caesar is not the most visible character in its action; he appears in only three scenes, and is killed at the beginning of the third act. Marcus Brutus speaks more than four times as many lines, and the central psychological drama is his struggle between the conflicting demands of honour, patriotism, and friendship. The action begins in February 44 BC. Julius Caesar has just reentered Rome in triumph after a victory in Spain over the sons of his old enemy, Pompey the Great. A spontaneous celebration has interrupted and been broken up by Flavius and Marullus, two political enemies of Caesar. It soon becomes apparent from their words that powerful and secret forces are working against Caesar. The action begins in February 44 BC. Julius Caesar has just reentered Rome in triumph after a victory in Spain over the sons of his old enemy, Pompey the Great. A spontaneous celebration has interrupted and been broken up by Flavius and Marullus, two political enemies of Caesar. It soon becomes apparent from their words that powerful and secret forces are working against Caesar. After Caesar’s departure, only two men remain behind Marcus Brutus, a close personal friend of Caesar, and Cassius, a long time political foe of Caesar’s, Brutus opposes Caesar on principle, despite his friendship with him. After the meeting is ended, Brutus’ wife, Portia, suspecting something and fearing for her husband’s safety, questions him. Touched by her love and devotion, Brutus promises to reveal his secret to her later.

    Retrieved from:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julius_Caesar_(play)
    http://www.gradesaver.com/julius-caesar/study-guide/short-summary/

    4. Beowulf
    The story of Beowulf opens by recounting the career of Scyld Scefing. Scyld Shefing was the first great king of the Danes, known for his ability to conquer enemies. Scyld becomes the great-grandfather of Hrothgar, the king of the Danes during the events of Beowulf. Once the hall is finished, Hrothgar holds a large feast. The revelry attracts the attentions of the monster Grendel, who decides to attack during the night. In the morning, Hrothgar and his thanes discover the bloodshed and mourn the lost warriors. This begins Grendel’s assault upon the Danes. After Scyld’s death the Danes prosper under his descendants. One of those descendants, Hrothgar, builds the Danes a great hall called Heorot. Heorot is soon invaded by Grendel, a half-human monster who is hated by God. The Danes are helpless against these attacks until the hero Beowulf arrives to aid them. He battles Grendel in hand to hand combat in Heorot and kills the monster by tearing off its arm. Grendel’s mother then comes to avenge her son. Beowulf and Hrothgar follow her to her lair in a disgusting lake, where Beowulf fights Grendel’s mother in her hall at the bottom of the lake. Beowulf almost loses, but with the aid of God is eventually victorious. He is lavishly rewarded and returns to his own land where he tells his adventures to his uncle, King Hygelac. The poem then jumps fifty years into the future when Beowulf is in old age and king of the Geats. He then fights his last battle agains a dragon that is guardian of a cursed treasure. He tries to fight the dragon alone, but can only defeat it with the aid of a younger relative, Wiglaf. The dragon is killed, but mortally wounds Beowulf in the battle, and the old king passes away while gazing on the cursed treasure. The death of Beowulf marks the decline of the Geats, who are now surrounded by enemies made in previous campaigns. Consequently, the poem ends in mourning for both Beowulf and his nation.

    Retrieved from:
    http://www.gradesaver.com/beowulf/study-guide/short-summary/
    http://www.beowulfepic.com/

    5. Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene
    Spenser’s The Faerie Queene is a poem seemingly based upon a fiction world, with a very real political background. Characters such as the Faerie Queene herself as representative of figures in history that are very recognizable – like Queen Elizabeth. King Arthur is also seen throughout the story, and the other characters are based upon the virtues we all known from biblical stories and everyday life. Una represents purity, truth, and wholesomeness, and the Redcrosse Knight, who is the main character, represents pride.
    Analytically speaking, pride is the common theme throughout each of the knight’s trials. He is able to defeat Error, but is plagued by the error of his ways afterwards. It is the pride that blinds him from being able to see his weaknesses – he is weak to lust, jealousy, and most of all, he is weak to temptation. He is tempted by Archimago, and by Duessa. His visions of grandeur and success get in the way of the reality, and it is only through his visits to he House of Pride and the House of Holiness that he is able to become the humble hero he needed to become.
    The turning point in the poem is during his time at the House of Holiness – when he is with despair, he nearly gives up on his quest, and on himself. It is Una who has to coax him out of his misery, which is important to note because it is Una who must save him many times throughout the story. Because Redcrosse had to face his inner self, he is able to transform, which is partly what grants him success in the end. The other saving grace is the gift of God’s power. His gifts during the dragon fight are representative of Christian ideas. Spenser is trying to get readers to realize the incredible difference between Protestantism and Catholicism – and you can guess which one prevails. Historically, Edmund Spenser was extremely active in politics, and the allegory behind The Faerie Queene is what gives it the depth it is famous for.

    Retrieved from:
    http://voices.yahoo.com/edmund-spensers-faerie-queene-2964010.html

  19. 1. Beowulf
    Beowulf is the longest and greatest surviving Anglo-Saxon poem. The setting of the epic is the sixth century in what is now known as Denmark and southwestern Sweden. The poem opens with a brief genealogy of the Scylding (Dane) royal dynasty, named after a mythic hero, Scyld Scefing, who reached the tribe’s shores as a castaway babe on a ship loaded with treasure. Beowulf, a young warrior in Geatland (southwestern Sweden), comes to the Scyldings’ aid, bringing with him 14 of his finest men. Hrothgar once sheltered Beowulf’s father during a deadly feud and the mighty Geat hopes to return the favor while enhancing his own reputation and gaining treasure for his king, Hygelac. A fiery dragon has become enraged because a lone fugitive has inadvertently discovered the dragon’s treasure-trove and stolen a valuable cup. The dragon terrorizes the countryside at night, burning several homes, including Beowulf’s. Beowulf leaves his kingdom to Wiglaf and requests that his body be cremated in funeral pyre and buried high on a seaside cliff where passing sailors might see the barrow. The dragon’s treasure-hoard is buried with him. It is said that they lie there still.
    The battle can be seen as a Christian allegory. Beowulf swims to hell (the underground of the moors). It is dark place. He does battle with the devil (Grendel’s mother). Although he nearly loses, God grants him a sign that will help him win (the vision of the sword). Beowulf kills the devil, and light from heaven fills hell as a blessing. Beowulf then returns from the darkness of hell to reach the light of heaven. In this allegory, Beowulf represents Jesus’ descent to hell and return to life the Resurrection. Later the poet will compare Beowulf to Christ again.
    http://www.gradesaver.com/beowulf/
    http://www.cliffsnotes.com/study_guide/literature/beowulf/summary-analysis/lines-1193.html

    2. The Canterbury Tales
    The Canterbury Tales is at once one of the most popular and most frustrating works of literature ever written. Since its composition in late 1300s, critics have continued to mine new riches from its complex ground, and started new arguments about the text and its interpretation. Chaucer’s richly detailed text, so Dryden said, was “God’s plenty”, and the variety of the Tales is partly perhaps the reason for its success. It is both one long narrative (of the pilgrims and their pilgrimage) and an encyclopedia of shorter narratives; it is both one large drama, and a compilation of most literary forms known to medieval literature. No single literary genre dominates the Tales. The tales include romantic adventures, fabliaux, saint’s biographies, animal fables, religious allegories and even a sermon, and range in tone from pious, moralistic tales to lewd and vulgar sexual farces. More often than not, moreover, the specific tone of the tale is extremely difficult to firmly pin down.
    In the Canterbury Tales, there were backgrounds related to Middle Ages, feminism and Christianity. Chaucer was extremely interested in the role of women in society, and how they reacted to it. In the Wife of Bath’s Tale, for instance, Chaucer foregrounds the issue of female “maistrie”, and in the series of Tales often called “the Marriage group” by critics, Chaucer actively explores the potential dynamics of a male-female marriage. In the Middle Ages, feminism had obviously not been invented; but one see very clearly in the mouth of the Wife of Bath that ideas of female equality were by no means unusual. The Tales as a whole take place on a religious pilgrimage to Canterbury, and Chaucer’s “Retraction” makes a popular apology for the way the Tales have a tendency towards sin. Are they blasphemous? Furthermore, is Chaucer’s retraction of them genuine? Critics have argued both cases. But what is certain is that the Tales contain a huge amount of religious material, both in the expressly religious tales (the Prioress, the Parson, the Clerk) and in the supposedly non-religious ones (the Summoner, the Miller, the Friar).
    http://www.gradesaver.com/the-canterbury-tales/study-guide/

    3. Dr. Faustus
    Faustus becomes dissatisfied with his studies of medicine, law, logic, and theology; therefore, he decides to turn the dangerous practice of necromancy, or magic. He has his servant Wagner summon Valdes and Cornelius, two German experts in magic. When he is alone in his study, Faustus begins experimenting with magical incantations, and suddenly Mephistophilis appears, in the form of an ugly devil. Faustus sends him away, telling him to reappear in the form of a friar. Later, in his study, when Faustus begins to despair, a Good Angel and a Bad Angel appear to him; each encourages Faustus to follow his advice: Mephistophilis appears and Faust agrees to sign a contract in blood with the devil even though several omens appear which warn him not to make this bond. After performing other magical tricks such as bringing forth fresh grapes in the dead of winter, Faustus returns to his study, where at the request of his fellow scholars, he conjures up the apparition of Helen of Troy. An old man appears and tries to get Faustus to hope for salvation and yet Faustus cannot. He knows it is now too late to turn away from the evil and ask for forgiveness. When the scholars leave, the clock strikes eleven and Faustus realizes that he must give up his soul within an hour. As the clock marks each passing segment of time, Faustus sinks deeper and deeper into despair. When the clock strikes twelve, devils appear amid thunder and lightning and carry Faustus off to his eternal damnation.
    According to traditional Christian cosmology, the universe is viewed as a hierarchy which descends from God, through the angels, then humans, the animals, and finally to inanimate nature. Everything has been in its proper place by God and each should be content to remain there. Ambition to go beyond one’s natural place in the hierarchy is considered a sin of pride. Consequently, Faustus’ desire to rise above his position as a man by resorting to supernatural powers places his soul in dire jeopardy. The appearance of the Good Angel and the Evil Angel is a holdover from the earlier morality plays. The medieval plays often use abstractions as main characters. Throughout the play, these angels appear at the moments when Faustus critically examines the decision that he has made.
    http://www.cliffsnotes.com/study_guide/literature/doctor-faustus/summary-analysis/chorus.html

    4. The Faery Queen
    The Faery Queen is an epic poem that was written as an allegory to praise Queen Elizabeth I. The poem is vastly symbolic and follows the lives of several knights. The poem itself is meant to examine human virtues and uses these knights as a way to convey them. Due to the link to Queen Elizabeth the poem found political favor with her and became a tremendous success and Spencer’s defining work. Queen Elizabeth I enjoyed the poem so much that she awarded Edmund Spencer with a 50 pound a year pension for life.
    Queen Elizabeth I was a member of the Tudor era of which the Faery Queen celebrated without fail as in the tradition of Aeneid’s writings of Rome during the time of Augustus Caesar. The poem itself can be considered propaganda for the ruler of the country by plainly stating that Queen Elizabeth I, and the Tudor line, is directly connected to Arthurian lore. The poem is as much allegorical as it is allusive to the point that any Elizabethan of high station could see themselves in any number of the characters presented in The Faery Queen. The characters presented were loosely constructed so that they could be easily identified by the readers. The Faery Queen herself is a direct characterization of Queen Elizabeth I. In books III and IV of the poem Belphoebe represents “womanly married love” but in book I, as lucifera (maiden queen), brightly little the Court of Pride to mask the dungeon full of prisoners. This serves to show duality in people and the ability to do good as well as evil.
    http://sci-fi.lovetoknow.com/wiki/Spenser's_The_Faerie_Queene

    5. Utopia
    Thomas More wrote Utopia in 1516. The story was written in Latin and it was published in Louvain (Belgium). Utopia is a work of satire, indirectly critizing Europe’s political corruption and religious hypocrisy. More was a Catholic Humanist. Alongside his close friend, the philosopher and writer Erasmus, More saw Humanism as a way to combine faith and reason. In depicting Utopia, More steps the bounds of orthodox Catholicism, but More’s ultimate goal is to indicate areas of improvement for Christian society. More spots Giles speaking with a bearded man whom takes to be a ship’s captain. Giles introduces More to Raphael Hythloday, and while it turns out that Hythloday is a world traveler, he is a philosopher rather than a captain. Hythloday believes Utopia to be the greatest social order in the world. As he says, “Everywhere else people talk about the public good but pay attention to their own private interests. In Utopia, no man worries about food or impoverishment for themselves or any of their descendants. Unlike the rest of the world, when men who do nothing productive live in luxury.
    The Utopians believe that it is through that the values and dispositions of citizens are molded. The success of the Utopian educational system is evident in the fact that while most Utopians are engaged in manual labor as a career, in their free time Utopians choose to follow intellectual pursuits. Utopians conduct all their studies in their native language. In the science the utopians are rational and accomplished. They have the same general level of understanding as Europeans in the field of music, logic, arithmetic, and geometry. They are adept at astronomy and no one believes in astrology. In philosophy, the utopians are uninterested in the abstract suppositions that are the rage in Europe and which Hythloday finds empty. The foremost topic of utopian philosophy is the nature of happiness, and the relation of happiness to pleasure. in such matters they ground their reason in religion, believing reason alone is equipped to handle such an investigation.
    http://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/utopia/summary.html

  20. 1. Beowulf
    Beowulf is the title of the earliest existing Anglo-Saxon epic. The poem combined elements of Anglo-Saxon culture with Christian moral values in an extraordinary adventure story. It is written in Old English, the language of the Anglo-Saxon invaders who settled in England between A.D.450 and 600. Beowulf is a story about a brave young man from southern Sweden. Beowulf goes to help Hrothgar, King of the Danes, who cannot defend himself or his people against a terrible monster called Grendel. One night Beowulf attacks Grendel and pulls off the arm of the monster. Grendel returns to the lake where he lives, but dies there. Beowulf is then attacked by the mother of Grendel and Beowulf follows her to the bottom of the lake and kills her, too. Fifty years later, Beowulf has to defend his own people against a dragon, which breathes fire. Although he kills the dragon, Beowulf himself is injured in the fight and dies. The poem has a sad ending, but the poem is a statement of heroic values and Beowulf dies a hero.
    Beowulf reflects the warrior culture of ancient Germanic peoples, among whom wars were common and fighting was a traditional occupation. The king supplied his warriors with food, shelter, land, and weapons. In return, they were bound by oaths of loyalty and obedience to the king. The epic emphasizes values that were important to Norse warriors, such as courage, loyalty to one’s king and comrades, and honor for those who fight and die bravely.
    Retrieved from:
    http://www.mythencyclopedia.com/Ar-Be/Beowulf.html
    http://www.gradesaver.com/beowulf/study-guide/about/

    2. Geoffrey Chaucer‘s The Caterbury Tales
    The Canterbury Tales, a collection of the stories which written by Goeffrey Chaucher in the Middle English Period (1066-1500). It is the story of a group of thirty people who travel as pilgrims to Canterbury (England). The pilgrims, who come from all layers of society, tell stories to each other to kill time while they travel to Canterbury. The Canterbury Tales begins with the introduction of each of pilgrims making their journey to Canterbury to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. The prize for this contest is a free meal at the Tabard Inn at Southwark on their return.
    The Tales reflect diverse views of the Church in Chaucer’s England. After the Black Death, many Europeans began to question the authority of the established Church. Some turned to lollardy, while others chose less extreme paths, starting new monastic orders or smaller movements exposing church corruption in the behavior of the clergy, false church relics or abuse of indulgences. Several characters in the Tales are religious figures, and the very setting of the pilgrimage to Canterbury is religious (although the prologue comments ironically on its merely seasonal attractions), making religion a significant theme of the work. The Tales constantly reflect the conflict between classes. For example, the division of the three estates; the characters are all divided into three distinct classes, the classes being “those who pray” (the clergy), “those who fight” (the nobility), and “those who work” (the commoners and peasantry.
    Retrieved from:
    http://www.librarius.com/cantales.htm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Canterbury_Tales

    3. Faerie Queene
    The Faerie Queene tells the stories of several knights, each representing a particular virtue, on their quests for the Faerie Queene, Gloriana. Redcrosse is the knight of Holiness, and must defeat both theological error and the dragon of deception to free the parents of Una (“truth”). Guyon is the knight of Temperance, who must destroy the fleshly temptations of Acrasia’s Bower of Bliss. Britomart, a woman in disguise as a male knight, represents Chastity; she must find her beloved and win his heart. Artegall, the knight of Justice, must rescue the lady Eirene from an unjust bondage. Cambell and Triamond, the knights of Friendship, must aid one another in defense of various ladies’ honor. Finally, Calidore, the knight of Courtesy, must stop the Blatant Beast from spreading its slanderous venom throughout the realm. Spencer wrote his poem in Old English, although he was living during the time where Middle English being used. The Faerie Queene is divided into Books I through VI, each book focusing on the adventures of different hero and different virtue. It’s designed to glorify Queen Elizabeth I of England. Some of the characters presented to Queen Elizabeth I, about her dedicated for England.
    Retrieved from:
    http://www.gradesaver.com/the-faerie-queene/study-guide/short-summary/

    4. Christopher Marlowe‘s Dr. Faustus
    Dr. Faustus originally published in 1600. Dr. Faustus is Christopher Marlowe’s version of the famous legend of a doctor who sells his soul to the devil in exchange for knowledge and power. Doctor Faustus, a talented German scholar at Wittenburg, rails against the limits of human knowledge. He has learned everything he can learn, or so he thinks, from the conventional academic disciplines. All of these things have left him unsatisfied, so now he turns to magic. Insofar as Doctor Faustus is a Christian play, it deals with the themes at the heart of Christianity’s understanding of the world. First, there is the idea of sin, which Christianity defines as acts contrary to the will of God. In making a pact with Lucifer, Faustus commits what is in a sense the ultimate sin: not only does he disobey God, but he consciously and even eagerly renounces obedience to him, choosing instead to swear allegiance to the devil. In a Christian framework, however, even the worst deed can be forgiven through the redemptive power of Jesus Christ, God’s son, who, according to Christian belief, died on the cross for humankind’s sins. Thus, however terrible Faustus’s pact with Lucifer may be, the possibility of redemption is always open to him. All that he needs to do, theoretically, is ask God for forgiveness. The play offers countless moments in which Faustus considers doing just that, urged on by the good angel on his shoulder or by the old man in scene 12—both of whom can be seen either as emissaries of God, personifications of Faustus’s conscience, or both.
    Retrieved from:
    http://www.essortment.com/tragical-history-dr-faustus-21195.html
    http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/doctorfaustus/themes.html

    5. William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
    Romeo and Juliet is the only tragedy which Shakespeare has written entirely on a love-story. It was first published in quarto in 1597, and republished in a new edition only two years later. In William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, a long feud between the Montague and Capulet families disrupts the city of Verona and causes tragic results for Romeo and Juliet. Revenge, love, and a secret marriage force the young star-crossed lovers to grow up quickly — and fate causes them to commit suicide in despair. This story is started from two prominent families (the Montagues and the Capulets) from the city of Verona are at war with one another. These families have battled against each other for quite some time, but things have recently become even worse. From these households, two people will fall in love, but their “star-cross’d” relationship will end in death. Once these two people die, the families will finally end their bitter feud.
    Retrieved from:
    http://www.cliffsnotes.com/study_guide/literature/romeo-and-juliet/at-a-glance.html
    http://www.sparknotes.com/shakespeare/romeojuliet/themes.html

  21. 1. Romeo and Juliet
    Romeo and Juliet is the one of dramatic love story which famous in young lovers. It tells about the power of love from the couple lovers (Romeo and Juliet). Romeo and Juliet belongs to a tradition of tragic romances stretching back to antiquity. Its plot is based on an Italian tale, translated into verse as The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet byArthur Brooke in 1562 and retold in prose in Palace of Pleasure by William Painter in 1582. This story was began by feud between two families has caused much has caused much disruption in the city of Verona, Italy. The Capulets and the Montagues cannot seem to get along, and there have been many deaths among the two families because of it. Prince Escalus of Verona warns the two families that if the feud does not stop, the punishment will be death. The stage opens with servants of the Capulet and Montague families. They get into a minor argument. Romeo, a Montague, enters the stage. He has recently been denied the love of Rosaline. He is miserable over this. His friend and cousin, Benvolio, enters and decides that they will go to the Capulet feast, in disguises, so he can prove to Romeo that other pretty women exist. They all exit. At the feast, Romeo meets Juliet, the daughter of Capulet. Instantly, they fall in love. After the feast, Romeo sneaks into the Capulet orchard and visits Juliet. Here, they proclaim their love for each other. They decide to marry the next afternoon but their family didn’t agree their relationship. Juliet’s mother suggested that Juliet should be married with Paris but Juliet didn’t love him. Suddenly, Juliet drank a poison that made a trick for her family which it can make sure her family if she passed away, she didn’t marry to Paris. Suddenly, Romeo saw her that has passed away; he drank a poison because he really loved her then after Juliet got up and saw the situation that Romeo has passed away, she was sad and she killed herself.
    Based on this story, the people think that the story of Romeo and Juliet has a power society because it tells about the power of love between Romeo and Juliet and the conflict between their families have improved the effect of the society value in this story.
    Retrieved from:
    http://www.wikisummaries.org/Romeo_and_Juliet
    http://www.bookrags.com/notes/rj/SUM.html

    2. The Dream of the Rood
    The source as well as the authorship of The Dream of the Rood remain unknown. Authorship of the poem has been credited by many critics to Cynewulf (c. 770-840), author of the epic poem Elene, and by others to Caedmon (fl. 658-680). The earliest evidence of the text of The Dream of the Rood is found on the Ruthwell Cross, a large freestanding stone cross, which is inscribed with passages from The Dream of the Roodrendered in the Northumbrian dialect. Scholars have been unable to concur upon a date for the cross, proposing any time from the fifth to the twelfth century, although many have agreed that the eighth century—the Golden Age of Northumbria—is the most probable date. The most complete text of The Dream of the Rood is found in the Vercelli Book, a manuscript of Old English prose and poetry unanimously assigned to the second half of the tenth century. Some commentators believe that The Dream of the Rood is possibly a later version of a lost poem by Caedmon; this theory is supported by one scholar’s speculation that the Ruthwell Cross was inscribed on the upper panel with the phrase “Caedmon made me.” However, this assertion has been called into question by others who have been unable to find any convincing traces of Caedmon’s name on the cross.
    The poem has been the subject of literary and historical study for generations and has been interpreted in a variety of ways. Profound and moving of itself, The Dream of the Rood also provides a valuable window into early Christian England. The dream vision uses strong, virile images of Christ in order to reach members of the Anglo-Saxon warrior culture, who valued strength above humility. This may have been a deliberate strategy to convert pagans to Christianity. It also reflects how the image of Jesus was adapted to suit different cultures.
    Retrieved from:
    http://historymedren.about.com/od/generalliterature1/p/dream_rood.htm
    http://www.enotes.com/dream-rood-61424-criticism/dream-rood

    3. Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar
    The Tragedy of Julius Caesar has enough known for the people. This story has written by by William Shakespeare in 1599. Although the title of the play is Julius Caesar, Caesar is not the most visible character in its action; he appears in only three scenes, and is killed at the beginning of the third act. Marcus Brutus speaks more than four times as many lines, and the central psychological drama is his struggle between the conflicting demands of honour, patriotism, and friendship. Julius Caesar is a highly successful but ambitious political leader of Rome and his goal is to become an unassailable dictator. Caesar is warned that he must “beware the Ides of March” . The prophecy comes true and Caesar is assassinated. Marcus Brutus is a well respected Roman senator who helps plan and carry out Caesar’s assassination which he believes will rid Rome of a tyrant. Caesar’s friend Mark Antony provides the famous funeral oration (“Friends, Romans, and countrymen…”) Brutus and Cassius meet their inevitable defeat. Brutus, the noble Roman, whose decision to take part in the conspiracy for the sake of freedom, plunges his country into civil war.
    Julius Caesar is a dramatization of actual events. He was assassinated in 44 B.C. It is believed that his mother endured agonising surgery in order to extract him at birth. This belief gave rise to the term “Caesarean birth”. Not only that, Julius Caesar Quote One! The Julius Caesar play contains famous quotes about life, death, love and hate by William Shakespeare. Although set in different times many of the most famous quotes about life and love by William Shakespeare are still relevant today and cover many different subjects and feelings, some of which are illustrated in our quote collection from Julius Caesar. Famous quotes about Life, Love, Hate, Music, Education, War Trauma, Deception, Betrayal, Death and Revenge. Many people continue to use a quote or words of William Shakespeare in famous quotes about life.
    Retrieved from:
    http://www.william-shakespeare-quotes.info/julius-caesar-quotes/index.htm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julius_Caesar_(play)

    4. The Caterbury Tales
    The Canterbury tales was written by Geoffrey Chaucer that a collection in a frame story between 1387 and 1400. It is the story of a group of thirty people who travel as pilgrims to Canterbury (England). The pilgrims, who come from all layers of society, tell stories to each other to kill time while they travel to Canterbury. If we trust the General Prologue, Chaucer intended that each pilgrim should tell two tales on the way to Canterbury and two tales on the way back. He never finished his enormous project and even the completed tales were not finally revised. Scholars are uncertain about the order of the tales. As the printing press had yet to be invented when Chaucer wrote his works, The Canterbury Tales has been passed down in several handwritten manuscripts. The Host of the Tabard Inn sets the rules for the tales. Each of the pilgrims will tell two stories on the way to Canterbury, and two stories on the return trip. The Host will decide whose tale is best for meaningfulness and for fun. They decide to draw lots to see who will tell the first tale, and the Knight receives the honor.

    The Canterbury Tales was written during a turbulent time in English history. The Catholic Church was in the midst of the Western Schism and, though it was still the only Christian authority in Europe, was the subject of heavy controversy. Lollardy, an early English religious movement led by John Wycliffe, is mentioned in the Tales, as is a specific incident involving pardoners (who gathered money in exchange for absolution from sin) who nefariously claimed to be collecting for St. Mary Rouncesval hospital in England. The Canterbury Tales is among the first English literary works to mention paper, a relatively new invention which allowed dissemination of the written word never before seen in England. Political clashes, such as the 1381 Peasants’ Revolt and clashes ending in the deposing of KingRichard II, further reveal the complex turmoil surrounding Chaucer in the time of theTales’ writing. Many of his close friends were executed and he himself was forced to move to Kent in order to get away from events in London.

    Retrieved from:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Canterbury_Tales
    http://www.gradesaver.com/the-canterbury-tales/study-guide/short-summary/

    5. Edm und Spenser’s Faery Queen
    The Faerie Queene is a romantic epic, the first sustained poetic work since Geoffrey Chaucer. In this work, Spenser uses the archaic language of Chaucer as a way to pay homage to the medieval poet. Spenser saw himself as a medievalist, but cognizant of his audience, he uses the modern pronunciation of the Renaissance. Spenser uses biblical allegory to tell his story, but the poem is much more than just a religious poem. Its purpose was to educate, to turn a young man into a gentleman. There are two levels of allegory present. One level examines the moral, philosophical, and religious and is represented by the Red Cross Knight, who represents all Christians. The second level is the particular, which focuses on the political, social, and religious, in which the Faerie Queene represents Elizabeth I. Spenser was not born to a wealthy household, as were so many of the other great Renaissance poets, such as Philip Sidney. This fact is important, since his work is colored by this lack of wealth. Spenser needed a patron to provide for his support while he worked, and patrons expect that the artists they support will write flattering words. This was certainly the case with Spenser’s work, The Faerie Queene, which is meant to celebrate Elizabeth I and, oftentimes, flatter her. In this work, Spenser presents his ideas of what constitutes an ideal England. He also thought that he could use his text as a way to recall the chivalry of a past era, and thus, inspire such actions again. Spenser influenced many of the poets who followed, including John Milton, Percy Shelley, John Keats, Lord Byron, and Lord Tennyson.
    Critical sincerity has required us to dwell thus long on the defects of the poem; but once recognized we should dismiss them altogether from mind and turn attention to the far more important beauties. The great qualities of ‘The Faerie Queene’ are suggested by the title, ‘The Poets’ Poet,’ which Charles Lamb, with happy inspiration, applied to Spenser. No poem in the world is nobler than ‘The Faerie Queene’ in atmosphere and entire effect. Spenser himself is always the perfect gentleman of his own imagination, and in his company we are secure from the intrusion of anything morally base or mean. But in him, also, moral beauty is in full harmony with the beauty of art and the senses.

    Retrieved from:
    http://www.enotes.com/faerie-queene
    http://classiclit.about.com/library/bl-etexts/rfletcher/bl-rfletcher-history-5-spenser.htm

  22. 1. Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar
    The Tragedy of Julius Caesar is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1599. It portrays the 44 BC conspiracy against the Roman dictator Julius Caesar, his assassination and the defeat of the conspirators at the Battle of Philippi. It is one of several Roman plays that Shakespeare wrote, based on true events from Roman history.
    Shakespeare’s contemporaries, well versed in ancient Greek and Roman history, would very likely have detected parallels between Julius Caesar’s portrayal of the shift from republican to imperial Rome and the Elizabethan era’s trend toward consolidated monarchal power. In 1599, when the play was first performed, Queen Elizabeth I had sat on the throne for nearly forty years, enlarging her power at the expense of the aristocracy and the House of Commons. As she was then sixty-six years old, her reign seemed likely to end soon, yet she lacked any heirs (as did Julius Caesar). Many feared that her death would plunge England into the kind of chaos that had plagued England during the fifteenth-century Wars of the Roses. In an age when censorship would have limited direct commentary on these worries, Shakespeare could nevertheless use the story of Caesar to comment on the political situation of his day.
    As his chief source in writing Julius Caesar, Shakespeare probably used Thomas North’s translation of Plutarch’s Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans, written in the first century A.D. Plutarch, who believed that history was propelled by the achievements of great men, saw the role of the biographer as inseparable from the role of the historian. Shakespeare followed Plutarch’s lead by emphasizing how the actions of the leaders of Roman society, rather than class conflicts or larger political movements, determined history. However, while Shakespeare does focus on these key political figures, he does not ignore that their power rests, to some degree, on the fickle favor of the populace.

    http://www.sparknotes.com/shakespeare/juliuscaesar/context.html

    2. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
    Romeo and Juliet belongs to a tradition of tragic romances stretching back to antiquity. Its plot is based on an Italian tale, translated into verse as The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet by Arthur Brooke in 1562 and retold in prose in Palace of Pleasure by William Painter in 1582. Shakespeare borrowed heavily from both but, to expand the plot, developed supporting characters, particularly Mercutio and Paris. Believed written between 1591 and 1595, the play was first published in a quarto version in 1597.
    William Shakespeare’s tragedy, Romeo and Juliet, is one of the most popular and best loved of all Shakespeare’s plays; one reason is Shakespeare’s masterful use of foreshadowing, metaphors, and paradoxes.Shakespeare’s use of foreshadowing in Romeo and Juliet is to give the readers and the audience hints on the outcome of the play. His utilizes this starting in the prologue of the play, Shakespeare writes: “A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life. Do with their death bury their parents’ strife (Shakespeare Prologue).” He foreshadows that Romeo and Juliet will kill themselves by the end of the play and that with their death the problems of their parents’ will be concluded. Foreshadowing is used in a story so that it seems to have certain logic, so that the events seem plausible, logical, and even inevitable (Play Synopses).
    Romeo compares Juliet with the dawning sun in a metaphor. Metaphors for darkness in Romeo and Juliet are extremely prevailent; The darkness shields their light, their love, from the eyes of their family. Much of what it means to be completely human is embodied in the device of a paradox (Play Synopses). Shakespeare uses paradoxes to illustrate the themese of the play in subtle ways (Thrasher 189). Romeo and Juliet is based upon a paradox; I am in love with the child of enemy therefore my lover is my enemy. There are also many othere paradoxes used to differentiate between the social classes of the characters. The courtly love of Romeo is balanced by the earthly love of Mercutio, the sexual innocence and loyalty of Juliet are counterbalanced by the Nurse’s carnal knowledge and shifting loyalties, the peace-loving Benvolio is offset by the ferocious Tybalt, and the irrational hatred between the Capulet and the Montague is counterbalanced by rational Prince and Friar Lawrence (Love). Romeo amd Juliet, both, use many paradoxes when describing each other as well as, the feeling they experience for one another.
    References:
    Retrieved from:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romeo_and_Juliet
    http://absoluteshakespeare.com/guides/romeo_and_juliet/romeo_and_juliet.htm
    http://www.online-literature.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20659

    3. Edmund Spenser’s Faery Queen
    The Faerie Queene is an incomplete English epic poem by Edmund Spenser. (1590-1596). The Faerie Queene is notable for its form: it was the first work written in Spenserian stanza and is one of the longest poems in the English language. It is an allegorical work, and can be read (as Spenser presumably intended) on several levels of allegory, including as praise of Queen Elizabeth I.
    The Faerie Queene tells the stories of several knights, each representing a particular virtue, on their quests for the Faerie Queene, Gloriana. Redcrosse is the knight of Holiness, and must defeat both theological error and the dragon of deception to free the parents of Una (“truth”). Guyon is the knight of Temperance, who must destroy the fleshly temptations of Acrasia’s Bower of Bliss. Britomart, a woman in disguise as a male knight, represents Chastity; she must find her beloved and win his heart. Artegall, the knight of Justice, must rescue the lady Eirene from an unjust bondage. Cambell and Triamond, the knights of Friendship, must aid one another in defense of various ladies’ honor. Finally, Calidore, the knight of Courtesy, must stop the Blatant Beast from spreading its slanderous venom throughout the realm. Each quest is an allegory, and the knight given the quest represents a person’s internal growth in that particular virtue. Such growth happens through various trials, some of which the knights fail, showing how personal development is a struggle requiring the aid of other forces and virtues to make it complete. Many more characters appear in The Faerie Queens but these are the most important protagonists and antagonists in the epic poem’s story. Since Spenser never completed the poem before his death, we never see a resolution to the conflicts between the protagonists and antagonists in this Arthurian legend. Even the Faerie Queen herself never has her unifying court scene at the end. The public and the court understood the political and religious statements Spenser was making through his allegorical epic poem, and especially, Queen Elizabeth I, for whom the entire poem was written to support.
    The Faerie Queene was one of the most influential poems in the English language. Dedicating his work to Elizabeth I, Spenser brilliantly united Arthurian romance and Italian renaissance epic to celebrate the glory of the Virgin Queen. Each book of the poem recounts the quest of a knight to achieve a virtue: the Red Crosse Knight of Holinesse, who must slay a dragon and free himself from the witch Duessa; Sir Guyon, Knight of Temperance, who escapes the Cave of Mammon and destroys Acrasia’s Bowre of Bliss; and the lady-knight Britomart’s search for her Sir Artegall, revealed to her in an enchanted mirror. Although composed as a moral and political allegory, The Faerie Queene’s magical atmosphere captivated the imaginations of later poets from Milton to the Victorians.This edition includes the letter to Raleigh, in which Spenser declares his intentions for his poem, the commendatory verses by Spenser’s contemporaries and his dedicatory sonnets to the Elizabethan court, and is supplemented by a table of dates and a glossary.
    References:
    Retrieved from:
    http://www.sparknotes.com/poetry/fqueen/characters.html
    http://www.enotes.com/faerie-queene

    4. Geoffrey Chaucer‘s The Caterbury Tales
    Geoffrey Chaucer wrote The Canterbury Tales, (1387-1400). It is the story of a group of thirty people who travel as pilgrims to Canterbury (England). The pilgrims, who come from all layers of society, tell stories to each other to kill time while they travel to Canterbury.
    In the Prologue to The Canterbury Tales Geoffrey Chaucer introduces the speaker of the poem as a man named Chaucer, who is traveling from London with a group of strangers to visit Canterbury, a borough to the southeast of London. This group of people is thrown together when they travel together on a trip to the shrine of Saint Thomas à Becket, who was murdered in Canterbury in 1170. The Prologue gives a brief description of the setting as they assemble at the Tibard Inn in Southwark to prepare for their trip. It describes each of the pilgrims, including ones who were meant to be discussed in sections of the book that were never written before Chaucer died. After the introductions, the Host, who owns the inn that they gather at and who is leading the group, suggests that they should each tell two stories while walking, one on the way to Canterbury and one on the way back, to pass the time more quickly. He offers the person telling the best story a free supper at the tavern when they return.
    In the same way that The Canterbury Tales gives modern readers a sense of the language at the time, the book also gives a rich, intricate tapestry of medieval social life, combining elements of all classes, from nobles to workers, from priests and nuns to drunkards and thieves. The General Prologue alone provides a panoramic view of society that is not like any found elsewhere in all of literature. Students who are not particularly interested in medieval England can appreciate the author’s technique in capturing the variations of human temperament and behaviour. Collections of stories were common in Chaucer’s time, and some still exist today, but the genius of The Canterbury Tales is that the individual stories are presented in a continuing narrative, showing how all of the various pieces of life connect to one another. Copyright notes. This entry does not cover all the tales, only some of the most studied.
    References:
    Retrieved from:
    http://www.enotes.com/canterbury-tales
    http://www.librarius.com

    5. Christopher Marlowe‘s Dr. Faustus
    Doctor Faustus was probably written in 1592, although the exact date of its composition is uncertain, since it was not published until a decade later. The idea of an individual selling his or her soul to the devil for knowledge is an old motif in Christian folklore, one that had become attached to the historical persona of Johannes Faustus, a disreputable astrologer who lived in Germany sometime in the early 1500s.
    The Chorus’s introduction to the play links Doctor Faustus to the tradition of Greek tragedy, in which a chorus traditionally comments on the action. Although we tend to think of a chorus as a group of people or singers, it can also be composed of only one character. Here, the Chorus not only gives us background information about Faustus’s life and education but also explicitly tells us that his swelling pride will lead to his downfall. The story that we are about to see is compared to the Greek myth of Icarus, a boy whose father, Daedalus, gave him wings made out of feathers and beeswax. Icarus did not heed his father’s warning and flew too close the sun, causing his wings to melt and sending him plunging to his death. In the same way, the Chorus tells us, Faustus will “mount above his reach” and suffer the consequences.
    The way that the Chorus introduces Faustus, the play’s protagonist, is significant, since it reflects a commitment to Renaissance values. The European Renaissance of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries witnessed a rebirth of interest in classical learning and inaugurated a new emphasis on the individual in painting and literature. In the medieval era that preceded the Renaissance, the focus of scholarship was on God and theology; in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the focus turned toward the study of humankind and the natural world, culminating in the birth of modern science in the work of men like Galileo Galilei and Isaac Newton. The Prologue locates its drama squarely in the Renaissance world, where humanistic values hold sway. Classical and medieval literature typically focuses on the lives of the great and famous—saints or kings or ancient heroes. But this play, the Chorus insists, will focus not on ancient battles between Rome and Carthage, or on the “courts of kings” or the “pomp of proud audacious deeds” (Prologue.4–5). Instead, we are to witness the life of an ordinary man, born to humble parents. The message is clear: in the new world of the Renaissance, an ordinary man like Faustus, a common-born scholar, is as important as any king or warrior, and his story is just as worthy of being told.
    References:
    Retrieved from:
    http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/doctorfaustus/section1.rhtml
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_Faustus_%28play%29

  23. Sir. Parlin this is the correct answer…..

    1. Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar
    Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written early in the career of playwright William Shakespeare about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately unite their feuding families. It is among Shakespeare’s most popular archetypal stories of young, teenage lovers. Romeo and Juliet ranks with Hamlet as one of Shakespeare’s most-performed plays. Capulet plans a feast to introduce his daughter, Juliet, who is almost fourteen, to the Count Paris who would like to marry her. By a mistake of the illiterate servant Peter, Montague’s son, Romeo, and hisfriends Benvolio and the Prince’s cousin Mercutio, hear of the party and decide to go in disguise. Romeo hopes he will see his adored Rosaline but instead hemeets and falls in love with Juliet. Juliet’s cousin Tybalt recognises the Montagues and they are forced to leave the party just as Romeo and Juliet have each discovered the other’s identity. Romeo lingers near the Capulet’s house and talks to Juliet when she appears on her balcony. With the help of Juliet’s Nurse the lovers arrange to meet next day at the cell of Friar Lawrence when Juliet goes for confession, and they are married by him. Tybalt picks a quarrel with Mercutio and his friendsand Mercutio is accidentally killed as Romeo intervenes to try to break up the fight. Romeo pursues Tybalt in anger, kills him and is banished by the Prince for the deed. Juliet is anxious that Romeo is late meeting her and learns of the fighting from her Nurse. With Friar Lawrence’s help it is arranged that Romeo will spend the night with Juliet before taking refuge at Mantua. To calm the family’s sorrow at Tybalt’s death the day for the marriage of Juliet to Paris is brought forward. Capulet and his wife are angry that Juliet does not wish to marry Paris, not knowing of her secret contract with Romeo. Friar Lawrence helps Juliet by providing a sleeping draught that will make everyone think she’s dead. Romeo will then come to her tomb and take her away. When the wedding party arrives to greet Juliet next day they think she is dead. The Friar sends a colleague to warn Romeo to come to the Capulet’s family monument to rescue his sleeping wife but the message doesn’t get through and Romeo, hearing instead that Juliet is dead, buys poison in Mantua. He returns to Verona and goes to the tomb where he surprises and kills the mourning Paris. Romeo takes the poison and dies just as Juliet awakes from her drugged sleep. She learns what has happened from Friar Lawrence but she refuses to leave the tomb and stabs herself as the Friar returns with the Prince, the Capulets and Romeo’s father. The deaths of their children lead the families to make peace, promising to erect a monument in their memory.
    The first conversation between Romeo and Juliet is an extended Christian metaphor. Using this metaphor, Romeo ingeniously manages to convince Juliet to let him kiss her. But the metaphor holds many further functions. The religious overtones of the conversation clearly implies that their love than can be described only through the vocabulary of religion, that pure association with God.
    http://www.nosweatshakespeare.com/play-summary/romeo-juliet/
    http://www.enotes.com/romeo-and-juliet/
    2. Geoffrey Chaucer‘s The Canterbury Tales
    The Canterbury tales is a collection of the stories which written by Geoffrey Chaucer n the Middle English period (1066 – 1500). The Canterbury Tales begins with of each of the pilgrims journeying to Canterbury to catch sight of the shrine to Sir Thomas a Becket, the martyred saint of Christianity, supposedly buried in the Cathedral of Canterbury since 1170. The pilgrims, a mixture of virtuous and villainous characters from Medieval England, include a Knight, his son the Squire, the Knight’s Yeoman, a Prioress, a Second Nun, a Monk, a Friar, a Merchant, a Clerk, a Man of Law, a Franklin, a Weaver, a Dyer, a Carpenter, a Tapestry-Maker, a Haberdasher, a Cook, a Shipman, a Physician, a Parson, a Miller, a Manciple, a Reeve, a Summoner, a Pardoner, the Wife of Bath, and Chaucer himself. They each bring a slice of England to the trip with their stories of glory, chivalry, Christianity, villainy, disloyalty, cuckoldry, and honor. Some pilgrims are faithful to Christ and others openly disobey the church. Chaucer frequently places tales of religion and Christ. There are several rivalries that grow from within the intertext, including the small quarrels between the Friar and Summoner and between the Miller and Reeve.Chaucer conclude his tales with a Retraction, asking for mercy and forgiveness from those whom he may have offended along his course of storytelling and pilgrimage. He hopes to blame his ignorance and lack of education on any erroneous behavior or language, for he believes that his intentions were all moralistic and honorable. In the end, he gives all credit to Jesus Christ.
    The Canterbury Tales was written during a turbulent time in English history. The Catholic Church was in the midst of the Western Schism and, though it was still the only Christian authority in Europe, was the subject of heavy controversy. From the religion the Tales reflect diverse views of the Church in Chaucer’s England. After the Black Death, many Europeans began to question the authority of the established Church.
    http://www.bookrags.com/notes/ct/SUM.html
    3. Christopher Marlowe‘s Dr. Faustus
    Doctor Faustus tells about a talented German scholar at Wittenburg. All of these things have left him unsatisfied, so now he turns to magic. A Good Angle and an Evil Angel arrive, representing Faustus’ choice between Christian conscience and the path to damnation. He thrills at the power he will have, and the great feats he’ll perform. He summons the devil Mephostophilis. They flesh out the terms of their agreement, with Mephostophilis representing Lucifer. Faustus will sell his soul, in exchange for twenty-four years of power, with Mephostophilis as servant to his every whim. Faustus curses Mephostophilis for depriving him of heaven, although he has seen many wonders. He manages to torment Mephostophilis, he can’t stomach mention of God, and the devil flees. The Good Angel and Evil Angel arrive again. The Good Angel tells him to repent, and the Evil Angel tells him to stick to his wicked ways. At the court of Charles V, Faustus performs illusions that delight the Emperor. He also humiliates a knight named Benvolio. When Benvolio and his friends try to avenge the humiliation, Faustus has his devils hurt them and cruelly transform them, so that horns grow on their heads. Faustus’ twenty-four years are running out. Wagner tells the audience that he thinks Faustus prepares for death. He has made his will, leaving all to Wagner. But even as death approaches, Faustus spends his days feasting and drinking with the other students. Later, Faustus tells his scholar friends that he is damned, and that his power came at the price of his soul.
    The Faust legend had its inception during the medieval period in Europe and has since become one of the world’s most famous and oft-handled myths. The play “Doctor Faustus” tells “the story of a Renaissance man who had to pay the medieval price for being one.” In the middle Ages, the highest wisdom was knowledge of the divine achieved through God’s grace, bestowed in revelation. However, in the Renaissance, one finds abundant deprecation of the contemplative life rooted in faith and abundant praise of the active life, the study of political and social man.
    http://www.gradesaver.com/dr-faustus/study-guide/short-summary/
    4. Edm und Spenser’s Faery Queen
    The Faerie Queene was written over the course of about a decade by Edmund Spenser. He published the first three books in 1590, then the next four books (plus revisions to the first three) in 1596. The Faerie Queene tells the stories of several knights, each representing a particular virtue, on their quests for the Faerie Queene, Gloriana. Redcrosse is the knight of Holiness, and must defeat both theological error and the dragon of deception to free the parents of Una (“truth”). Guyon is the knight of Temperance, who must destroy the fleshly temptations of Acrasia’s Bower of Bliss. Britomart, a woman in disguise as a male knight, represents Chastity; she must find her beloved and win his heart. Artegall, the knight of Justice, must rescue the lady Eirene from an unjust bondage. Cambell and Triamond, the knights of Friendship, must aid one another in defense of various ladies’ honor. Finally, Calidore, the knight of Courtesy, must stop the Blatant Beast from spreading its slanderous venom throughout the realm.
    Each quest is an allegory, and the knight given the quest represents a person’s internal growth in that particular virtue. Such growth happens through various trials, some of which the knights fail, showing how personal development is a struggle requiring the aid of other forces and virtues to make it complete. Although Spenser was living during the time where Middle English was being used He felt the Old English form was more conducive to connecting King Arthur to Elizabeth I and the Tudor Dynasty.
    http://www.enotes.com/faerie-queene
    http://www.gradesaver.com/the-faerie-queene/study-guide/section1/

    5. Mandeville’s Travels
    Mandeville’s Travels, most likely written in 1356 or 1357, purports to chronicle the travels of English knight Sir John Mandeville. In the years immediately following the return to Europe of such famous travelers as Marco Polo and Friar John of Plano Carpini, accounts of travel in the Middle East and Far East were in demand.
    The Travels of Sir John Mandeville was written in approximately 1357 and is an account of Sir John Mandeville’s 30-year odyssey throughout Europe, North Africa, the Far East, and Arabia. He Travels became a major source for geographical information for the next two centuries. Two notable historical figures that relied upon Mandeville’s guide were Leonardo da Vinci and Christopher Columbus. The Travels gives us a broad overview of the world during the Fourteenth Century and how Mandeville viewed the world, along with directions and geographical markers for travel by land or by sea. For each locale, Mandeville tells us of his encounter with other peoples. He also goes into detail about their culture and customs and their religious viewpoint or lack thereof. Throughout the Travels, Mandeville focuses on morals and religion. He even recalls of having traveled to Rome and asking the Pope and his council to review his book for approval. He tells many fanciful tales such as of the bird phoenix in Arabia, of finding fruit in the kingdom of Cadhilo that when opened, a flesh and blood animal is inside and of hippopotami.
    http://www.oppapers.com/essays/The-Travels-Of-Sir-John-Mandeville/248664

  24. 1. Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar
    Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written early in the career of playwright William Shakespeare about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately unite their feuding families. It is among Shakespeare’s most popular archetypal stories of young, teenage lovers. Romeo and Juliet ranks with Hamlet as one of Shakespeare’s most-performed plays. Capulet plans a feast to introduce his daughter, Juliet, who is almost fourteen, to the Count Paris who would like to marry her. By a mistake of the illiterate servant Peter, Montague’s son, Romeo, and hisfriends Benvolio and the Prince’s cousin Mercutio, hear of the party and decide to go in disguise. Romeo hopes he will see his adored Rosaline but instead hemeets and falls in love with Juliet. Juliet’s cousin Tybalt recognises the Montagues and they are forced to leave the party just as Romeo and Juliet have each discovered the other’s identity. Romeo lingers near the Capulet’s house and talks to Juliet when she appears on her balcony. With the help of Juliet’s Nurse the lovers arrange to meet next day at the cell of Friar Lawrence when Juliet goes for confession, and they are married by him. Tybalt picks a quarrel with Mercutio and his friendsand Mercutio is accidentally killed as Romeo intervenes to try to break up the fight. Romeo pursues Tybalt in anger, kills him and is banished by the Prince for the deed. Juliet is anxious that Romeo is late meeting her and learns of the fighting from her Nurse. With Friar Lawrence’s help it is arranged that Romeo will spend the night with Juliet before taking refuge at Mantua. To calm the family’s sorrow at Tybalt’s death the day for the marriage of Juliet to Paris is brought forward. Capulet and his wife are angry that Juliet does not wish to marry Paris, not knowing of her secret contract with Romeo. Friar Lawrence helps Juliet by providing a sleeping draught that will make everyone think she’s dead. Romeo will then come to her tomb and take her away. When the wedding party arrives to greet Juliet next day they think she is dead. The Friar sends a colleague to warn Romeo to come to the Capulet’s family monument to rescue his sleeping wife but the message doesn’t get through and Romeo, hearing instead that Juliet is dead, buys poison in Mantua. He returns to Verona and goes to the tomb where he surprises and kills the mourning Paris. Romeo takes the poison and dies just as Juliet awakes from her drugged sleep. She learns what has happened from Friar Lawrence but she refuses to leave the tomb and stabs herself as the Friar returns with the Prince, the Capulets and Romeo’s father. The deaths of their children lead the families to make peace, promising to erect a monument in their memory.
    The first conversation between Romeo and Juliet is an extended Christian metaphor. Using this metaphor, Romeo ingeniously manages to convince Juliet to let him kiss her. But the metaphor holds many further functions. The religious overtones of the conversation clearly implies that their love than can be described only through the vocabulary of religion, that pure association with God.
    http://www.nosweatshakespeare.com/play-summary/romeo-juliet/
    http://www.enotes.com/romeo-and-juliet/

    2. Geoffrey Chaucer‘s The Canterbury Tales
    The Canterbury tales is a collection of the stories which written by Geoffrey Chaucer n the Middle English period (1066 – 1500). The Canterbury Tales begins with of each of the pilgrims journeying to Canterbury to catch sight of the shrine to Sir Thomas a Becket, the martyred saint of Christianity, supposedly buried in the Cathedral of Canterbury since 1170. The pilgrims, a mixture of virtuous and villainous characters from Medieval England, include a Knight, his son the Squire, the Knight’s Yeoman, a Prioress, a Second Nun, a Monk, a Friar, a Merchant, a Clerk, a Man of Law, a Franklin, a Weaver, a Dyer, a Carpenter, a Tapestry-Maker, a Haberdasher, a Cook, a Shipman, a Physician, a Parson, a Miller, a Manciple, a Reeve, a Summoner, a Pardoner, the Wife of Bath, and Chaucer himself. They each bring a slice of England to the trip with their stories of glory, chivalry, Christianity, villainy, disloyalty, cuckoldry, and honor. Some pilgrims are faithful to Christ and others openly disobey the church. Chaucer frequently places tales of religion and Christ. There are several rivalries that grow from within the intertext, including the small quarrels between the Friar and Summoner and between the Miller and Reeve.Chaucer conclude his tales with a Retraction, asking for mercy and forgiveness from those whom he may have offended along his course of storytelling and pilgrimage. He hopes to blame his ignorance and lack of education on any erroneous behavior or language, for he believes that his intentions were all moralistic and honorable. In the end, he gives all credit to Jesus Christ.
    The Canterbury Tales was written during a turbulent time in English history. The Catholic Church was in the midst of the Western Schism and, though it was still the only Christian authority in Europe, was the subject of heavy controversy. From the religion the Tales reflect diverse views of the Church in Chaucer’s England. After the Black Death, many Europeans began to question the authority of the established Church.
    http://www.bookrags.com/notes/ct/SUM.html

    3. Christopher Marlowe‘s Dr. Faustus
    Doctor Faustus tells about a talented German scholar at Wittenburg. All of these things have left him unsatisfied, so now he turns to magic. A Good Angle and an Evil Angel arrive, representing Faustus’ choice between Christian conscience and the path to damnation. He thrills at the power he will have, and the great feats he’ll perform. He summons the devil Mephostophilis. They flesh out the terms of their agreement, with Mephostophilis representing Lucifer. Faustus will sell his soul, in exchange for twenty-four years of power, with Mephostophilis as servant to his every whim. Faustus curses Mephostophilis for depriving him of heaven, although he has seen many wonders. He manages to torment Mephostophilis, he can’t stomach mention of God, and the devil flees. The Good Angel and Evil Angel arrive again. The Good Angel tells him to repent, and the Evil Angel tells him to stick to his wicked ways. At the court of Charles V, Faustus performs illusions that delight the Emperor. He also humiliates a knight named Benvolio. When Benvolio and his friends try to avenge the humiliation, Faustus has his devils hurt them and cruelly transform them, so that horns grow on their heads. Faustus’ twenty-four years are running out. Wagner tells the audience that he thinks Faustus prepares for death. He has made his will, leaving all to Wagner. But even as death approaches, Faustus spends his days feasting and drinking with the other students. Later, Faustus tells his scholar friends that he is damned, and that his power came at the price of his soul.
    The Faust legend had its inception during the medieval period in Europe and has since become one of the world’s most famous and oft-handled myths. The play “Doctor Faustus” tells “the story of a Renaissance man who had to pay the medieval price for being one.” In the middle Ages, the highest wisdom was knowledge of the divine achieved through God’s grace, bestowed in revelation. However, in the Renaissance, one finds abundant deprecation of the contemplative life rooted in faith and abundant praise of the active life, the study of political and social man.
    http://www.gradesaver.com/dr-faustus/study-guide/short-summary/

    4. Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar
    Probably written in 1599, Julius Caesar was the earliest of Shakespeare’s three Roman history plays. The play begins in Rome in 44 B.C. on the Feast of Lupercal, in honor of the god Pan. Marcus Brutus is Caesar’s friend and a Roman praetor. Brutus allows himself to joining a group of conspiring senators because of a growing suspicion that Caesar intends to turn republican Rome into a monarchy under his own rule. Caesar’s assassination is one of the most famous scenes of the play the conspirators create a superficial motive for the assassination by means of a petition brought by Metellus Cimber. After Caesar’s death, Brutus delivers an oration defending his actions, and for the moment, the crowd is on his side. The play ends with a tribute to Brutus by Antony, who proclaims that Brutus has remained “the noblest Roman of them all” because he was the only conspirator who acted for the good of Rome.
    http://www.enotes.com/julius-caesar
    http://www.online-literature.com/shakespeare/julius_caesar/

    5. Edm und Spenser’s Faery Queen
    The Faerie Queene was written over the course of about a decade by Edmund Spenser. He published the first three books in 1590, then the next four books (plus revisions to the first three) in 1596. The Faerie Queene tells the stories of several knights, each representing a particular virtue, on their quests for the Faerie Queene, Gloriana. Redcrosse is the knight of Holiness, and must defeat both theological error and the dragon of deception to free the parents of Una (“truth”). Guyon is the knight of Temperance, who must destroy the fleshly temptations of Acrasia’s Bower of Bliss. Britomart, a woman in disguise as a male knight, represents Chastity; she must find her beloved and win his heart. Artegall, the knight of Justice, must rescue the lady Eirene from an unjust bondage. Cambell and Triamond, the knights of Friendship, must aid one another in defense of various ladies’ honor. Finally, Calidore, the knight of Courtesy, must stop the Blatant Beast from spreading its slanderous venom throughout the realm.
    Each quest is an allegory, and the knight given the quest represents a person’s internal growth in that particular virtue. Such growth happens through various trials, some of which the knights fail, showing how personal development is a struggle requiring the aid of other forces and virtues to make it complete. Although Spenser was living during the time where Middle English was being used He felt the Old English form was more conducive to connecting King Arthur to Elizabeth I and the Tudor Dynasty.

    http://www.enotes.com/faerie-queene
    http://www.gradesaver.com/the-faerie-queene/study-guide/section1/

  25. 1. Dream of the rood
    The Dream of the Rood is one of the earliest Christian poems in the corpus of Old English literature and an example of the genre of dream poetry. Like most Old English poetry, it is written in alliterative verse. Rood is from the Old English rod “pole”, specifically “crucifix”. Although no definite date can be assigned to the poem, many scholars agree that the most probable date of composition was during the 8th century.
    This poem attributed to Cynewulf is “Dream of the Rood.” This work is an example of a style known as “dream vision,” a style that later became popular in Middle English literature. This poem is considered to be one of the most beautiful of Old English Christian poems. It talks of the radiant vision of the Crucifixion. Although there is no certainty to the poem’s authorship, most authorities credit Cynewulf as the poet, based on the style, mood, and subject.
    The poem is set up with the narrator having a dream. In this dream or vision he is speaking to the Cross on which Jesus was crucified. The poem itself is divided up into three separate sections. In section one; the narrator has a vision of the Cross. Initially when the dreamer sees the Cross, he notes how it is covered with gems. He is aware of how wretched he is compared to how glorious the tree is. However, he comes to see that amidst the beautiful stones it is stained with blood. In section two, the Cross shares its account of Jesus’ death. The Crucifixion story is told from the perspective of the Cross. It begins with the enemy coming to cut the tree down and carrying it away. The tree learns that it is to be the bearer of a criminal, but instead the Christ comes to be crucified. The Lord and the Cross become one, and they stand together as victors, refusing to fall, taking on insurmountable pain for the sake of mankind. The author gives his reflections about this vision. The vision ends, and the man is left with his thoughts. He gives praise to God for what he has seen and is filled with hope for eternal life and his desire to once again be near the glorious Cross.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dream_of_the_Rood
    http://www.dreamofrood.co.uk/introduction.htm

    2. The Canterbury Tales
    The Canterbury Tales is a collection of stories written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer at the end of the 14th century. The tales (mostly written in verse although some are in prose) are told as part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together on a journey from Southwark to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. The prize for this contest is a free meal at the Tabard Inn at Southwark on their return
    The narrator opens the General Prologue with a description of the return of spring. He describes the April rains, the burgeoning flowers and leaves, and the chirping birds. Around this time of year, the narrator says, people begin to feel the desire to go on a pilgrimage. Many devout English pilgrims set off to visit shrines in distant holy lands, but even more choose to travel to Canterbury to visit the relics of Saint Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral, where they thank the martyr for having helped them when they were in need. The narrator tells us that as he prepared to go on such a pilgrimage, staying at a tavern in Southwark called the Tabard Inn, a great company of twenty-nine travelers entered. The travelers were a diverse group who, like the narrator, were on their way to Canterbury. They happily agreed to let him join them. That night, the group slept at the Tabard, and woke up early the next morning to set off on their journey. Before continuing the tale, the narrator declares his intent to list and describe each of the members of the group.
    The Canterbury Tales begins with the introduction of each of the pilgrims making their journey to Canterbury to the shrine of Thomas a Becket. These pilgrims include a Knight, his son the Squire, the Knight’s Yeoman, a Prioress, a Second Nun, a Monk, a Friar, a Merchant, a Clerk, a Man of Law, a Franklin, a Weaver, a Dyer, a Carpenter, a Tapestry-Maker, a Haberdasher, a Cook, a Shipman, a Physician, a Parson, a Miller, a Manciple, a Reeve, a Summoner, a Pardoner, the Wife of Bath, and Chaucer himself. Congregating at the Tabard Inn, the pilgrims decide to tell stories to pass their time on the way to Canterbury. The Host of the Tabard Inn sets the rules for the tales. Each of the pilgrims will tell two stories on the way to Canterbury, and two stories on the return trip. The Host will decide whose tale is best for meaningfulness and for fun. They decide to draw lots to see who will tell the first tale, and the Knight receives the honor. The question whether The Canterbury Tales is finished has not yet been answered. The combined elements of chaucer’s quadri-lingual expertise in law, philosophy, and other subjects, the uncertainty of medieval English historical records and chaucer’s method of telling his stories through a multi-perspective prism of subjectivity make the “Tales” difficult to interpret.
    http://www.gradesaver.com/the-canterbury-tales/study-guide/short-summary/
    http://www.cliffsnotes.com/study_guide/literature/canterbury-tales/summary.html

    3. Faeries Queen
    Spenser’s epic poem The Faerie Queene (1590-96), an allegorical romance designed to glorify Queen Elizabeth I of England, is celebrated as one of the greatest and most important works of English verse. Spenser’s aim in writing The Faerie Queene was to create a great national literature for England, equal to the classic epic poems of Homer and Virgil.
    The Faerie Queene tells the stories of several knights, each representing a particular virtue, on their quests for the Faerie Queene, Gloriana. Redcrosse is the knight of Holiness, and must defeat both theological error and the dragon of deception to free the parents of Una (“truth”). Guyon is the knight of Temperance, who must destroy the fleshly temptations of Acrasia’s Bower of Bliss. Britomart, a woman in disguise as a male knight, represents Chastity; she must find her beloved and win his heart. Artegall, the knight of Justice, must rescue the lady Eirene from an unjust bondage. Cambell and Triamond, the knights of Friendship, must aid one another in defense of various ladies’ honor. Finally, Calidore, the knight of Courtesy, must stop the Blatant Beast from spreading its slanderous venom throughout the realm. Each quest is an allegory, and the knight given the quest represents a person’s internal growth in that particular virtue. Such growth happens through various trials, some of which the knights fail, showing how personal development is a struggle requiring the aid of other forces and virtues to make it complete. Many more characters appear in The Faerie Queens but these are the most important protagonists and antagonists in the epic poem’s story. Since Spenser never completed the poem before his death, we never see a resolution to the conflicts between the protagonists and antagonists in this Arthurian legend. Even the Faerie Queen herself never has her unifying court scene at the end. The public and the court understood the political and religious statements Spenser was making through his allegorical epic poem, and especially, Queen Elizabeth I, for whom the entire poem was written to support.
    Interestingly, Spenser wrote his poem in Old English which is roughly the type of English Chaucer wrote in when he wrote the Canterbury Tales. Although Spenser was living during the time where Middle English was being used He felt the Old English form was more conducive to connecting King Arthur to Elizabeth I and the Tudor Dynasty. Again, it is probably easier for the modern reader of today to read an English translation of the original poem than the difficult Old English in which Spenser wrote his poem.
    Sources:
    Spenser, Edmund. The Faerie Queene. The Norton Collection of English Literature, Vol. I.
    SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on “The Faerie Queene.” SparkNotes.com. SparkNotes LLC. n.d. Web. 6 March 2012.

    4. Romeo and Juliet
    Romeo and juliet is the only tragedy which Shakespeare has written entirely on a love-story. It was first published in quarto in 1597, and republished in a new edition only two years later. The second copy was used to create yet a third quarto in 1609, from which both the 1623 Quarto and First Folio are derived. The first quarto is generally considered a bad quarto, or an illicit copy created from the recollections of several actors. The second quarto seems to be taken from Shakespeare’s rough draft, and thus has some inconsistent speech and preserved lines which Shakespeare apparently meant to cross out.
    This poem is the famous story of the “star-crossed” young lovers Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet. The themes running through the play address the issues of the consequences of immature blind passion, hatred and prejudice. Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet are young teenagers who fall deeply in love but their families are bitter enemies. Regardless of the feud between their families they marry in secret. They make every effort to conceal their actions but the story ends in tragedy when Romeo and Juliet die.
    Between tragedy and comedy the transition is often but slightly marked. Thus Romeo and Juliet differs but little from most of Shakespeare’s comedies in its ingredients and treatment–it is simply the direction of the whole that gives it the stamp of tragedy. Romeo and Juliet is a picture of love and its pitiable fate in a world whose atmosphere is too sharp for this, the tenderest blossom of human life. Two beings created for each other feel mutual love at the first glance; every consideration disappears before the irresistable impulse to live for one another; under circumstances hostile in the highest degree to their union, they unite themselves by a secret marriage, relying simply on the protection of an invisible power. Untoward incidents following in rapid succession, their heroic constancy is within a few days put to the proof, till, forcibly separated from each other, by a voluntary death they are united in the grave to meet again in another world.
    http://www.gradesaver.com/romeo-and-juliet/study-guide/about/
    http://www.theatrehistory.com/british/romeoandjuliet001.html

    5. Dr. Faustus
    This story is a tragedy the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus, commonly referred to simply as Doctor Faustus, is a play by Christopher Marlowe, based on the Faust story, in which a man sells his soul to the devil for power and knowledge. Doctor Faustus was first published in 1604, eleven years after Marlowe’s death and at least twelve years after the first performance of the play.
    Doctor Faustus, a talented German scholar at Wittenburg, rails against the limits of human knowledge. He has learned everything he can learn, or so he thinks, from the conventional academic disciplines. All of these things have left him unsatisfied, so now he turns to magic. A Good Angle and an Evil Angel arrive, representing Faustus’ choice between Christian conscience and the path to damnation. The former advises him to leave off this pursuit of magic, and the latter tempts him. From two fellow scholars, Valdes and Cornelius, Faustus learns the fundamentals of the black arts. He thrills at the power he will have, and the great feats he’ll perform. He summons the devil Mephostophilis. They flesh out the terms of their agreement, with Mephostophilis representing Lucifer. Faustus will sell his soul, in exchange for twenty-four years of power, with Mephostophilis as servant to his every whim.
    Mephastophilis is a devil whom Faustus summons with his initial magical experiments. Mephastophilis’s motivations are ambiguous: on the one hand, his oft-expressed goal is to catch Faustus’s soul and carry it off to hell; on the other hand, he actively attempts to dissuade Faustus from making a deal with Lucifer by warning him about the horrors of hell. Mephastophilis is ultimately as tragic a figure as Faustus, with his moving, regretful accounts of what the devils have lost in their eternal separation from God and his repeated reflections on the pain that comes with damnation

  26. 1. Geoffrey Chaucer‘s The Caterbury Tales

    The Canterbury tales is a collection of the stories which written by Geoffrey Chaucer n the Middle English period (1066 – 1500). One spring day, the Narrator of The Canterbury Tales rents a room at the Tabard Inn before he recommences his journey to Canterbury. That evening, a group of people arrive at the inn, all of whom are also going to Canterbury to receive the blessings of “the holy blissful martyr,” St. Thomas à Becket. Calling themselves “pilgrims” because of their destination, they accept the Narrator into their company. The Narrator describes his newfound traveling companions. The Host at the inn, Harry Bailey, suggests that, to make the trip to Canterbury pass more pleasantly, each member of the party tell two tales on the journey to Canterbury and two more tales on the journey back. The person who tells the best story will be rewarded with a sumptuous dinner paid for by the other members of the party. The Host decides to accompany the pilgrims to Canterbury and serve as the judge of the tales.
    In The Prologue are portraits of all levels of English life. The order of the portraits is important because it provides a clue as to the social standing of the different occupations. The pilgrims presented first are representative of the highest social rank, with social rank descending with every new pilgrim introduced. Highest in the social rank are representatives of the aristocracy or those with pretensions toward nobility. Following this class are pilgrims whose high social rank is mainly derived from commercial wealth. The next class of pilgrims is the guildsmen, consisting of men who belong to something similar to specialized unions of craftsmen guilds. A middle-class group of pilgrims comprises the next lower position of social rank. The Parson and the Plowman comprise the next group of pilgrims, the virtuous poor or lower class. Each, although very poor, represents all of the Christian virtues.The last group of pilgrims include those of the immoral lower class. Among this group of pilgrims are the Manciple, who profits from buying food for the lawyers in the Inns of Court, and the vulgar Miller, who steals from his customers. The Reeve tells dirty stories and cheats his trusting young master, and the corrupt Summoner takes bribes. Last, and most corrupt in this litany of undesirables is the Pardoner, who sells false pardons and fake relics.

    Retrieved from:
    http://www.cliffsnotes.com

    2. Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar

    The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, also known simply as Julius Caesar, is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1599. On a street in ancient Rome, Flavius and Marullus, two Roman tribunes — judges meant to protect the rights of the people — accost a group of workmen and ask them to name their trades and to explain their absence from work. The first workman answers straight forwardly, but the second workman answers with a spirited string of puns that he is a cobbler and that he and his fellow workmen have gathered to see Caesar and to rejoice in his triumph over Pompey. Marullus accuses the workmen of forgetting that they are desecrating the great Pompey, whose triumphs they once cheered so enthusiastically. He upbraids them for wanting to honor the man who is celebrating a victory in battle over Pompey’s sons, and he commands them to return to their homes to ask forgiveness of the gods for their offensive ingratitude. Flavius orders them to assemble all the commoners they can and take them to the banks of the Tiber and fill it with their tears of remorse for the dishonor they have shown Pompey. Flavius then tells Marullus to assist him in removing the ceremonial decorations that have been placed on public statues in honor of Caesar’s triumph. Marullus questions the propriety of doing so on the day during which the feast of Lupercal is being celebrated, but Flavius says that they must remove the ornaments to prevent Caesar from becoming a godlike tyrant.
    The tribunes call upon the commoners to identify themselves in terms of their occupations. In the past, Flavius could recognize a man’s status by his dress, but now all the signposts of stability are gone and the world is out of control and dangerous. At first glance, this disorder is attributed to the lower classes who won’t wear the signs of their trade and who taunt the tribunes with saucy language full of puns. When Flavius demands, “Is this a holiday?” he is asking whether Caesar’s triumph ought to be celebrated. It’s a rhetorical question. Flavius thinks poor Romans ought not to celebrate but should “weep [their] tears / Into the channel, till the lowest stream / Do kiss the most exalted shores of all.” Caesar, a member of the ruling class, has violently overthrown the government and brought civil strife with him. These issues would have resonated with an audience of the time, able to recall civil disturbances themselves and with a ruler who, by virtue of being a woman, was perceived as less able to rule than a man.

    Retrieved from:
    http://absoluteshakespeare.com
    http://www.cliffsnotes.com

    3. Mendelville’s Travel

    The Travels of Sir John Mandeville was written in approximately 1357 and is an account of Sir John Mandeville’s 30-year odyssey throughout Europe, North Africa, the Far East, and Arabia. The Travels was originally written in French and because of its immense popularity was translated into all major European languages, of which three hundred survive today. The Travels became a major source for geographical information for the next two centuries. Two notable historical figures that relied upon Mandeville’s guide were Leonardo da Vinci and Christopher Columbus. It is unknown whether Sir John Mandeville is a man or myth. He claimed to be an English knight from St. Albans. However, there is no proof of his nationality or if he actually lived. Furthermore, it is unknown whether he actually traveled to all the locales which he documents. Historians believe that he did indeed travel, but not as extensively as people had been lead to believe; Mandeville also adopted the facts of other people’s travels as his own.
    The Travels gives us a broad overview of the world during the Fourteenth Century and how Mandeville viewed the world, along with directions and geographical markers for travel by land or by sea. For each locale, Mandeville tells us of his encounter with other peoples. He also goes into detail about their culture and customs and their religious viewpoint or lack thereof. Throughout the Travels, Mandeville focuses on morals and religion.

    Retrieved from:
    http://www.oppapers.com

    4. Thomas More‘s Utopia

    The description of Thomas More´s Utopia, which was published in 1516, is divided into two parts. The first book basically contains former conversations and discussions with the cardinal and lord chancellor John Morton about various aspects of the unjust and decadent English society and criminal law, the second book contains a detailed description of Raphael Hythlodaeus, a famous traveller, of the island Utopia. Utopia is described as a system of perfect social stability and equality as it is founded on the central ideal of man as a reasonable being in a community that nourishes everyone and cares for all. The efficiently organized macrocosm provides food, standard clothing, work and housing and produces in abundance 1 all the goods that are necessary for the modest life of the utopians.

    At the core of the utopian model is the idea of humans as rational beings, which will not trade greed and envy for the stability, happiness, and prosperity that Utopia provides. Thus, utopians seem to be happy and satisfied with what they have and scorn on those who strive for prestigious goods like gold or silver. Those luxury materials are used for low -value things like the chains they use for slaves 2 . These happen to be only few: no utopian needs to be criminal because everything needed is provided for. However, Utopia is not a system of laziness or lethargy as every member is urged to work not less or more than six hours in his desired profession to produce goods that are needed by the population of Utopia. This produces surplus in goods and serves as a means for social and individual stability. The system of Utopia is based on simple truths and does not require its inhabitants to become scholars of particular philosophical traditions or sciences in order to rise in social rank. The family as the core of the utopian society provides all the necessary information and education that one needs in living a happy and satisfied life in Utopia. Social ranks are abolished and replaced with a communist-like system of equal rights and rule of majority. The utopians are pragmatic people. The main interest for the stability of Utopia is the happiness and satisfaction of its inhabitants, enough food and housing for everyone and the absence of greed and envy through the abolition of money. Given the time and circumstances in which Utopia was written, it becomes evident that this is indirectly an expression of social criticism on the English society and its inequality and in justice.

    Retrieved from:
    http://www.gradesaver.com
    http://www.grin.com

    5. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

    Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written early in the career of playwright William Shakespeare about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately unite their feuding families. It is among Shakespeare’s most popular archetypal stories of young, teenage lovers. William Shakespeare’s tragic tale of love and death goes like this: Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet, of the houses of Montague and Capulet, are sworn enemies. The opening scene finds Samson, Tybalt, and gregory (of the Capulet family), quarreling with Balthasar, Abraham, and Benvlio (of the Montague family). This turns into a full-out brawl, which disturbs the citizens, and brings the prince in to yell at them. Later that night,Romeo and Juliet meet at a party in the Capulet mansion, and instantly fall in love. Later that night they meet in the Capulet’s orchard, and plan to be married the next morning. Their union is made, but soon ruined, as Romeo slays Tybalt, and is banished from Verona. After he leaves, Juliet learns she is to marry Paris (as no one around them knew they were married). She is devestated, and her and the Friar form a plan. But, as in a classic tragedy, everything goes wrong, and they both end up killing themselves.
    Much of Romeo and Juliet involves the lovers’ struggles against public and social institutions that either explicitly or implicitly oppose the existence of their love. Such structures range from the concrete to the abstract: families and the placement of familial power in the father; law and the desire for public order; religion; and the social importance placed on masculine honor. These institutions often come into conflict with each other. The importance of honor, for example, time and again results in brawls that disturb the public peace. Though they do not always work in concert, each of these societal institutions in some way present obstacles for Romeo and Juliet. The enmity between their families, coupled with the emphasis placed on loyalty and honor to kin, combine to create a profound conflict for Romeo and Juliet, who must rebel against their heritages. Further, the patriarchal power structure inherent in Renaissance families, wherein the father controls the action of all other family members, particularly women, places Juliet in an extremely vulnerable position. Her heart, in her family’s mind, is not hers to give. The law and the emphasis on social civility demands terms of conduct with which the blind passion of love cannot comply. Religion similarly demands priorities that Romeo and Juliet cannot abide by because of the intensity of their love. Though in most situations the lovers uphold the traditions of Christianity (they wait to marry before consummating their love), their love is so powerful that they begin to think of each other in blasphemous terms.

    Retrieved from:
    http://www.sparknotes.com
    http://www.nosweatshakespeare.com

  27. 1. Geoffrey Chaucer‘s The Caterbury Tales

    The Canterbury tales is a collection of the stories which written by Geoffrey Chaucer n the Middle English period (1066 – 1500). One spring day, the Narrator of The Canterbury Tales rents a room at the Tabard Inn before he recommences his journey to Canterbury. That evening, a group of people arrive at the inn, all of whom are also going to Canterbury to receive the blessings of “the holy blissful martyr,” St. Thomas à Becket. Calling themselves “pilgrims” because of their destination, they accept the Narrator into their company. The Narrator describes his newfound traveling companions. The Host at the inn, Harry Bailey, suggests that, to make the trip to Canterbury pass more pleasantly, each member of the party tell two tales on the journey to Canterbury and two more tales on the journey back. The person who tells the best story will be rewarded with a sumptuous dinner paid for by the other members of the party. The Host decides to accompany the pilgrims to Canterbury and serve as the judge of the tales.
    In The Prologue are portraits of all levels of English life. The order of the portraits is important because it provides a clue as to the social standing of the different occupations. The pilgrims presented first are representative of the highest social rank, with social rank descending with every new pilgrim introduced. Highest in the social rank are representatives of the aristocracy or those with pretensions toward nobility. Following this class are pilgrims whose high social rank is mainly derived from commercial wealth. The next class of pilgrims is the guildsmen, consisting of men who belong to something similar to specialized unions of craftsmen guilds. A middle-class group of pilgrims comprises the next lower position of social rank. The Parson and the Plowman comprise the next group of pilgrims, the virtuous poor or lower class. Each, although very poor, represents all of the Christian virtues.The last group of pilgrims include those of the immoral lower class. Among this group of pilgrims are the Manciple, who profits from buying food for the lawyers in the Inns of Court, and the vulgar Miller, who steals from his customers. The Reeve tells dirty stories and cheats his trusting young master, and the corrupt Summoner takes bribes. Last, and most corrupt in this litany of undesirables is the Pardoner, who sells false pardons and fake relics.

    Retrieved from:
    http://www.cliffsnotes.com

    2. Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar

    The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, also known simply as Julius Caesar, is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1599. On a street in ancient Rome, Flavius and Marullus, two Roman tribunes — judges meant to protect the rights of the people — accost a group of workmen and ask them to name their trades and to explain their absence from work. The first workman answers straight forwardly, but the second workman answers with a spirited string of puns that he is a cobbler and that he and his fellow workmen have gathered to see Caesar and to rejoice in his triumph over Pompey. Marullus accuses the workmen of forgetting that they are desecrating the great Pompey, whose triumphs they once cheered so enthusiastically. He upbraids them for wanting to honor the man who is celebrating a victory in battle over Pompey’s sons, and he commands them to return to their homes to ask forgiveness of the gods for their offensive ingratitude. Flavius orders them to assemble all the commoners they can and take them to the banks of the Tiber and fill it with their tears of remorse for the dishonor they have shown Pompey. Flavius then tells Marullus to assist him in removing the ceremonial decorations that have been placed on public statues in honor of Caesar’s triumph. Marullus questions the propriety of doing so on the day during which the feast of Lupercal is being celebrated, but Flavius says that they must remove the ornaments to prevent Caesar from becoming a godlike tyrant.
    The tribunes call upon the commoners to identify themselves in terms of their occupations. In the past, Flavius could recognize a man’s status by his dress, but now all the signposts of stability are gone and the world is out of control and dangerous. At first glance, this disorder is attributed to the lower classes who won’t wear the signs of their trade and who taunt the tribunes with saucy language full of puns. When Flavius demands, “Is this a holiday?” he is asking whether Caesar’s triumph ought to be celebrated. It’s a rhetorical question. Flavius thinks poor Romans ought not to celebrate but should “weep [their] tears / Into the channel, till the lowest stream / Do kiss the most exalted shores of all.” Caesar, a member of the ruling class, has violently overthrown the government and brought civil strife with him. These issues would have resonated with an audience of the time, able to recall civil disturbances themselves and with a ruler who, by virtue of being a woman, was perceived as less able to rule than a man.

    Retrieved from:
    http://absoluteshakespeare.com
    http://www.cliffsnotes.com

    3. Mendelville’s Travel

    The Travels of Sir John Mandeville was written in approximately 1357 and is an account of Sir John Mandeville’s 30-year odyssey throughout Europe, North Africa, the Far East, and Arabia. The Travels was originally written in French and because of its immense popularity was translated into all major European languages, of which three hundred survive today. The Travels became a major source for geographical information for the next two centuries. Two notable historical figures that relied upon Mandeville’s guide were Leonardo da Vinci and Christopher Columbus. It is unknown whether Sir John Mandeville is a man or myth. He claimed to be an English knight from St. Albans. However, there is no proof of his nationality or if he actually lived. Furthermore, it is unknown whether he actually traveled to all the locales which he documents. Historians believe that he did indeed travel, but not as extensively as people had been lead to believe; Mandeville also adopted the facts of other people’s travels as his own.
    The Travels gives us a broad overview of the world during the Fourteenth Century and how Mandeville viewed the world, along with directions and geographical markers for travel by land or by sea. For each locale, Mandeville tells us of his encounter with other peoples. He also goes into detail about their culture and customs and their religious viewpoint or lack thereof. Throughout the Travels, Mandeville focuses on morals and religion.

    Retrieved from:
    http://www.oppapers.com

    4. Thoma s More‘s Utopia

    The description of Thomas More´s Utopia, which was published in 1516, is divided into two parts. The first book basically contains former conversations and discussions with the cardinal and lord chancellor John Morton about various aspects of the unjust and decadent English society and criminal law, the second book contains a detailed description of Raphael Hythlodaeus, a famous traveller, of the island Utopia. Utopia is described as a system of perfect social stability and equality as it is founded on the central ideal of man as a reasonable being in a community that nourishes everyone and cares for all. The efficiently organized macrocosm provides food, standard clothing, work and housing and produces in abundance 1 all the goods that are necessary for the modest life of the utopians.

    At the core of the utopian model is the idea of humans as rational beings, which will not trade greed and envy for the stability, happiness, and prosperity that Utopia provides. Thus, utopians seem to be happy and satisfied with what they have and scorn on those who strive for prestigious goods like gold or silver. Those luxury materials are used for low -value things like the chains they use for slaves 2 . These happen to be only few: no utopian needs to be criminal because everything needed is provided for. However, Utopia is not a system of laziness or lethargy as every member is urged to work not less or more than six hours in his desired profession to produce goods that are needed by the population of Utopia. This produces surplus in goods and serves as a means for social and individual stability. The system of Utopia is based on simple truths and does not require its inhabitants to become scholars of particular philosophical traditions or sciences in order to rise in social rank. The family as the core of the utopian society provides all the necessary information and education that one needs in living a happy and satisfied life in Utopia. Social ranks are abolished and replaced with a communist-like system of equal rights and rule of majority. The utopians are pragmatic people. The main interest for the stability of Utopia is the happiness and satisfaction of its inhabitants, enough food and housing for everyone and the absence of greed and envy through the abolition of money. Given the time and circumstances in which Utopia was written, it becomes evident that this is indirectly an expression of social criticism on the English society and its inequality and in justice.

    Retrieved from:
    http://www.gradesaver.com
    http://www.grin.com

    5. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

    Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written early in the career of playwright William Shakespeare about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately unite their feuding families. It is among Shakespeare’s most popular archetypal stories of young, teenage lovers. William Shakespeare’s tragic tale of love and death goes like this: Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet, of the houses of Montague and Capulet, are sworn enemies. The opening scene finds Samson, Tybalt, and gregory (of the Capulet family), quarreling with Balthasar, Abraham, and Benvlio (of the Montague family). This turns into a full-out brawl, which disturbs the citizens, and brings the prince in to yell at them. Later that night,Romeo and Juliet meet at a party in the Capulet mansion, and instantly fall in love. Later that night they meet in the Capulet’s orchard, and plan to be married the next morning. Their union is made, but soon ruined, as Romeo slays Tybalt, and is banished from Verona. After he leaves, Juliet learns she is to marry Paris (as no one around them knew they were married). She is devestated, and her and the Friar form a plan. But, as in a classic tragedy, everything goes wrong, and they both end up killing themselves.
    Much of Romeo and Juliet involves the lovers’ struggles against public and social institutions that either explicitly or implicitly oppose the existence of their love. Such structures range from the concrete to the abstract: families and the placement of familial power in the father; law and the desire for public order; religion; and the social importance placed on masculine honor. These institutions often come into conflict with each other. The importance of honor, for example, time and again results in brawls that disturb the public peace. Though they do not always work in concert, each of these societal institutions in some way present obstacles for Romeo and Juliet. The enmity between their families, coupled with the emphasis placed on loyalty and honor to kin, combine to create a profound conflict for Romeo and Juliet, who must rebel against their heritages. Further, the patriarchal power structure inherent in Renaissance families, wherein the father controls the action of all other family members, particularly women, places Juliet in an extremely vulnerable position. Her heart, in her family’s mind, is not hers to give. The law and the emphasis on social civility demands terms of conduct with which the blind passion of love cannot comply. Religion similarly demands priorities that Romeo and Juliet cannot abide by because of the intensity of their love. Though in most situations the lovers uphold the traditions of Christianity (they wait to marry before consummating their love), their love is so powerful that they begin to think of each other in blasphemous terms.

    Retrieved from:
    http://www.sparknotes.com
    http://www.nosweatshakespeare.com

  28. Dream of the rood
    The Dream of the Rood is one of the earliest Christian poems in the corpus of Old English literature and an example of the genre of dream poetry. Like most Old English poetry, it is written in alliterative verse. Rood is from the Old English rod “pole”, specifically “crucifix”. Although no definite date can be assigned to the poem, many scholars agree that the most probable date of composition was during the 8th century.
    This poem attributed to Cynewulf is “Dream of the Rood.” This work is an example of a style known as “dream vision,” a style that later became popular in Middle English literature. This poem is considered to be one of the most beautiful of Old English Christian poems. It talks of the radiant vision of the Crucifixion. Although there is no certainty to the poem’s authorship, most authorities credit Cynewulf as the poet, based on the style, mood, and subject.
    The poem is set up with the narrator having a dream. In this dream or vision he is speaking to the Cross on which Jesus was crucified. The poem itself is divided up into three separate sections. In section one; the narrator has a vision of the Cross. Initially when the dreamer sees the Cross, he notes how it is covered with gems. He is aware of how wretched he is compared to how glorious the tree is. However, he comes to see that amidst the beautiful stones it is stained with blood. In section two, the Cross shares its account of Jesus’ death. The Crucifixion story is told from the perspective of the Cross. It begins with the enemy coming to cut the tree down and carrying it away. The tree learns that it is to be the bearer of a criminal, but instead the Christ comes to be crucified. The Lord and the Cross become one, and they stand together as victors, refusing to fall, taking on insurmountable pain for the sake of mankind. The author gives his reflections about this vision. The vision ends, and the man is left with his thoughts. He gives praise to God for what he has seen and is filled with hope for eternal life and his desire to once again be near the glorious Cross.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dream_of_the_Rood
    http://www.dreamofrood.co.uk/introduction.htm

    The Canterbury Tales
    The Canterbury Tales is a collection of stories written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer at the end of the 14th century. The tales (mostly written in verse although some are in prose) are told as part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together on a journey from Southwark to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. The prize for this contest is a free meal at the Tabard Inn at Southwark on their return
    The narrator opens the General Prologue with a description of the return of spring. He describes the April rains, the burgeoning flowers and leaves, and the chirping birds. Around this time of year, the narrator says, people begin to feel the desire to go on a pilgrimage. Many devout English pilgrims set off to visit shrines in distant holy lands, but even more choose to travel to Canterbury to visit the relics of Saint Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral, where they thank the martyr for having helped them when they were in need. The narrator tells us that as he prepared to go on such a pilgrimage, staying at a tavern in Southwark called the Tabard Inn, a great company of twenty-nine travelers entered. The travelers were a diverse group who, like the narrator, were on their way to Canterbury. They happily agreed to let him join them. That night, the group slept at the Tabard, and woke up early the next morning to set off on their journey. Before continuing the tale, the narrator declares his intent to list and describe each of the members of the group.
    The Canterbury Tales begins with the introduction of each of the pilgrims making their journey to Canterbury to the shrine of Thomas a Becket. These pilgrims include a Knight, his son the Squire, the Knight’s Yeoman, a Prioress, a Second Nun, a Monk, a Friar, a Merchant, a Clerk, a Man of Law, a Franklin, a Weaver, a Dyer, a Carpenter, a Tapestry-Maker, a Haberdasher, a Cook, a Shipman, a Physician, a Parson, a Miller, a Manciple, a Reeve, a Summoner, a Pardoner, the Wife of Bath, and Chaucer himself. Congregating at the Tabard Inn, the pilgrims decide to tell stories to pass their time on the way to Canterbury. The Host of the Tabard Inn sets the rules for the tales. Each of the pilgrims will tell two stories on the way to Canterbury, and two stories on the return trip. The Host will decide whose tale is best for meaningfulness and for fun. They decide to draw lots to see who will tell the first tale, and the Knight receives the honor. The question whether The Canterbury Tales is finished has not yet been answered. The combined elements of chaucer’s quadri-lingual expertise in law, philosophy, and other subjects, the uncertainty of medieval English historical records and chaucer’s method of telling his stories through a multi-perspective prism of subjectivity make the “Tales” difficult to interpret.
    http://www.gradesaver.com/the-canterbury-tales/study-guide/short-summary/
    http://www.cliffsnotes.com/study_guide/literature/canterbury-tales/summary.html

    Faeries Queen
    Spenser’s epic poem The Faerie Queene (1590-96), an allegorical romance designed to glorify Queen Elizabeth I of England, is celebrated as one of the greatest and most important works of English verse. Spenser’s aim in writing The Faerie Queene was to create a great national literature for England, equal to the classic epic poems of Homer and Virgil.
    The Faerie Queene tells the stories of several knights, each representing a particular virtue, on their quests for the Faerie Queene, Gloriana. Redcrosse is the knight of Holiness, and must defeat both theological error and the dragon of deception to free the parents of Una (“truth”). Guyon is the knight of Temperance, who must destroy the fleshly temptations of Acrasia’s Bower of Bliss. Britomart, a woman in disguise as a male knight, represents Chastity; she must find her beloved and win his heart. Artegall, the knight of Justice, must rescue the lady Eirene from an unjust bondage. Cambell and Triamond, the knights of Friendship, must aid one another in defense of various ladies’ honor. Finally, Calidore, the knight of Courtesy, must stop the Blatant Beast from spreading its slanderous venom throughout the realm. Each quest is an allegory, and the knight given the quest represents a person’s internal growth in that particular virtue. Such growth happens through various trials, some of which the knights fail, showing how personal development is a struggle requiring the aid of other forces and virtues to make it complete. Many more characters appear in The Faerie Queens but these are the most important protagonists and antagonists in the epic poem’s story. Since Spenser never completed the poem before his death, we never see a resolution to the conflicts between the protagonists and antagonists in this Arthurian legend. Even the Faerie Queen herself never has her unifying court scene at the end. The public and the court understood the political and religious statements Spenser was making through his allegorical epic poem, and especially, Queen Elizabeth I, for whom the entire poem was written to support.
    Interestingly, Spenser wrote his poem in Old English which is roughly the type of English Chaucer wrote in when he wrote the Canterbury Tales. Although Spenser was living during the time where Middle English was being used He felt the Old English form was more conducive to connecting King Arthur to Elizabeth I and the Tudor Dynasty. Again, it is probably easier for the modern reader of today to read an English translation of the original poem than the difficult Old English in which Spenser wrote his poem.
    Sources:
    Spenser, Edmund. The Faerie Queene. The Norton Collection of English Literature, Vol. I.
    SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on “The Faerie Queene.” SparkNotes.com. SparkNotes LLC. n.d. Web. 6 March 2012.

    Romeo and Juliet
    Romeo and juliet is the only tragedy which Shakespeare has written entirely on a love-story. It was first published in quarto in 1597, and republished in a new edition only two years later. The second copy was used to create yet a third quarto in 1609, from which both the 1623 Quarto and First Folio are derived. The first quarto is generally considered a bad quarto, or an illicit copy created from the recollections of several actors. The second quarto seems to be taken from Shakespeare’s rough draft, and thus has some inconsistent speech and preserved lines which Shakespeare apparently meant to cross out.
    This poem is the famous story of the “star-crossed” young lovers Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet. The themes running through the play address the issues of the consequences of immature blind passion, hatred and prejudice. Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet are young teenagers who fall deeply in love but their families are bitter enemies. Regardless of the feud between their families they marry in secret. They make every effort to conceal their actions but the story ends in tragedy when Romeo and Juliet die.
    . Between tragedy and comedy the transition is often but slightly marked. Thus Romeo and Juliet differs but little from most of Shakespeare’s comedies in its ingredients and treatment–it is simply the direction of the whole that gives it the stamp of tragedy. Romeo and Juliet is a picture of love and its pitiable fate in a world whose atmosphere is too sharp for this, the tenderest blossom of human life. Two beings created for each other feel mutual love at the first glance; every consideration disappears before the irresistable impulse to live for one another; under circumstances hostile in the highest degree to their union, they unite themselves by a secret marriage, relying simply on the protection of an invisible power. Untoward incidents following in rapid succession, their heroic constancy is within a few days put to the proof, till, forcibly separated from each other, by a voluntary death they are united in the grave to meet again in another world.
    http://www.gradesaver.com/romeo-and-juliet/study-guide/about/
    http://www.theatrehistory.com/british/romeoandjuliet001.html

    Dr. Faustus
    This story is a tragedy the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus, commonly referred to simply as Doctor Faustus, is a play by Christopher Marlowe, based on the Faust story, in which a man sells his soul to the devil for power and knowledge. Doctor Faustus was first published in 1604, eleven years after Marlowe’s death and at least twelve years after the first performance of the play.
    Doctor Faustus, a talented German scholar at Wittenburg, rails against the limits of human knowledge. He has learned everything he can learn, or so he thinks, from the conventional academic disciplines. All of these things have left him unsatisfied, so now he turns to magic. A Good Angle and an Evil Angel arrive, representing Faustus’ choice between Christian conscience and the path to damnation. The former advises him to leave off this pursuit of magic, and the latter tempts him. From two fellow scholars, Valdes and Cornelius, Faustus learns the fundamentals of the black arts. He thrills at the power he will have, and the great feats he’ll perform. He summons the devil Mephostophilis. They flesh out the terms of their agreement, with Mephostophilis representing Lucifer. Faustus will sell his soul, in exchange for twenty-four years of power, with Mephostophilis as servant to his every whim.
    Mephastophilis is a devil whom Faustus summons with his initial magical experiments. Mephastophilis’s motivations are ambiguous: on the one hand, his oft-expressed goal is to catch Faustus’s soul and carry it off to hell; on the other hand, he actively attempts to dissuade Faustus from making a deal with Lucifer by warning him about the horrors of hell. Mephastophilis is ultimately as tragic a figure as Faustus, with his moving, regretful accounts of what the devils have lost in their eternal separation from God and his repeated reflections on the pain that comes with damnation

  29. 1. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
    Juliet and Romeo is a great tragedies story in the year between 1598 and 1607. This story begins with a large fight between the Capulets and the Montagues, two prestigious families in Verona, Italy. These families have been fighting for quite some time. One day, Romeo and Benvolio (Romeo’s cousin) are accidentally invited to their enemy’s party; Benvolio convinces Romeo to go. At the party he met with the young lady named Juliet who comes from the family of his enemies. They did not realize it while instantly they fall in love each other. But later they know their identities and it made their heart so broken. Their family still did not about their relation. Juliet’s mom asks her to marry with man named Paris and of course she refused it. Then, Juliet asked some advice to Friar Lawrence and he suggested her to take poison to make her as if she was death. She did it, but Romeo did not know about that trick. Romeo thought that Juliet was really died, soon after that he take a vial poison. Moment later Julie wake up and find her lovely Romeo has been died, directly she killed herself. In the end this tragedy brings their families together .
    Due to the lack of technology in society in the 19th century, the art of plays, and the conventions of the Elizabethan theatre had more focus on the words with minimal costuming and cinematic techniques. Yet among other things, the art of theatre is or was a reflection on society. Thus why Shakespeare showed or retold it like drama. Through social life context shows us that the sacrifice of Romeo and Juliet toward their love is very big. They decide to die together instead of living without one of them or living with another man/woman. Romeo And Juliet is a true tragedy in the literary sense because the families gather sufficient self-knowledge to correct their behaviour but not until it is too late to save the situation.
    Retrieved from:
    http://www.wikisummaries.org/Romeo_and_Juliet

    2. Edmund Spenser ‘s The Faerie Queene
    Spenser’s epic poem The Faerie Queene which is written by Edmund Spenser is the great national epic to celebrate Queen Elizabeth. It is divided into I-VI books each focusing on the adventures of a different hero or heroine and a different virtue, including Holiness, Temperance, Chastity, Friendship, Justice, and Courtesy. The Faerie Queene tells about several knights, each representing a particular virtue on their guest for the Faerie Queene, Gloriana (her castle is the ultimate goal or destination). Redcrosse, the knight of Holiness, is much like the Apostle Peter: In his eagerness to serve his Lord, he gets himself into unforeseen trouble that he is not yet virtuous enough to handle. Florimell represents Beauty. Una represents purity, truth, and wholesomeness. Guyon is the knight of temperance must destroy the fleshly temptations of Acrasia’s Bower of Bliss. There are many characters also appears in The Faerie Queene such as Artegal, Cambell, triamond etc. Edmund Spenser has not finished in writing this poem, so the reader never know what is the end of the story. Even the Faerie Queen herself never has her unifying court scene at the end.
    Spenser’s The Faerie Queene is a poem seemingly based upon a fiction world, with a very real political background. Characters such as the Faerie Queene herself as representative of figures in history that are very recognizable – like Queen Elizabeth and her power which is very successfully. King Arthur is also seen throughout the story, and the other characters are based upon the virtues we all known from biblical stories and everyday life. That is why from the whole of the Book I-VI it shows the aim is to glorify Queen of Elizabeth.
    Retrieved from:
    http://www.enotes.com/faerie-queene-criticism/faerie-queene-edmund-spenser
    http://voices.yahoo.com/edmund-spensers-faerie-queene-2964010.html

    3. Thomas More’ s Utopia
    Utopia is written by Thomas More (1516) describing a fictional island in the Atlantic Ocean . More travels to Antwerp as an ambassador for England and King Henry VIII. While not engaged in his official duties, More spends time conversing about intellectual matters with his friend, Peter Giles. One day, Giles introduces More to this new man, Raphael Hythloday, who turns out to be a philosopher and world traveler. Hythloday has been on many voyages one of the interesting one is that he even landing in Utopia island. He describes the societies through which he travels with such insight that Giles and More become convinced that Hythloday would make a terrific counselor to a king and he cover all his story to show how pointless it is to counsel a king when the king can always expect his other counselors to agree with his own beliefs or policies. Then Hythloday describes the geography and history of Utopia. He explains how the founder of Utopia. Next, Hythloday moves to a discussion of Utopian society, portraying a nation based on rational thought, with communal property, great productivity, no rapacious love of gold, no real class distinctions, no poverty, little crime or immoral behavior, religious tolerance, and little inclination to war. It is a society that Hythloday believes is superior to any in Europe. In the end More admits he would like to see some aspects of Utopian society put into practice in England, though he does not believe any such thing will happen.
    Thomas More wrote Utopia is looking forward to a world of individual freedom and equality governed by Reason, at a time when such a vision was almost inconceivable. Hythloday believes Utopia to be the greatest social order in the world. As he says, “Everywhere else people talk about the public good but pay attention to their own private interests. In Utopia, where there is no private property, everyone is seriously concerned with pursuing the public welfare.” In Utopia, no man worries about food or impoverishment for themselves or any of their descendants. Unlike the rest of the world, where men who do nothing productive live in luxury, in Utopia, all people work and all live well. Only this, in Hythloday’s mind, is truly just. Hythloday believes societies other than Utopia are merely conspiracies of the rich, “whose objective is to increase their own wealth while the government they control claims to be a commonwealth concerned with the common welfare.” These societies are realms of greed and pride. And pride causes men to measure their welfare not by their well-being, but by having things that others lack, which is irrational and un-Christian. Only in Utopia has pride and all its attendant vices been eviscerated from society.
    Retrieved from:
    http://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/utopia/summary.html
    http://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/utopia
    4. Beowulf
    Beowulf is considered to be the longest and greatest poem extant in Old English, set in Scandinavia, commonly cited as one of the most important works of Anglo- Saxon literature. In the poem, Beowulf, a hero of the Geats in Scandinavia, comes to the help of Hroogar, the king of the Danes, whose mead hall (Heorot) has been under attack by a being known as Grendel. Unfortunately, Grendel has an overprotective mother who decides to avenge her son. While all the warriors are sleeping off the party, she attacks Heorot Hall. Beowulf, his Geatish warriors, and some of Hrothgar’s Danish warriors track her there. Beowulf dives into the lake and finds the cave, where he takes on Grendel’s mother in another one-on-one battle. When Beowulf returns to the surface, carrying the sword hilt and Grendel’s severed head, the Danish warriors have given him up for dead, but his own Geatish followers are still waiting patiently. When everyone sees that Beowulf has survived this second challenge, there’s even more partying and gift-giving. Soon Beowulf reigns as king for fifty years, protecting the Geats from all the other tribes around them, especially the Swedes. But one day, Beowulf finally meets his match: a dragon, woken by a thief stealing a goblet, begins attacking the Geats, burning villages and slaughtering people. Everyone scared only one man, Wiglaf, remains at Beowulf’s side. With Wiglaf’s help and encouragement, Beowulf is able to defeat the dragon, but he is mortally wounded in the process. After his death, his attendants bury him in a tumulus in Geatland.
    The greatest point about Beowulf, however, is his dependence on God. Such a character, with mythic strength, you think would rise above a need for or a belief in God, but Beowulf is a Christian character, and his piety does not appear to be manipulation at all. It is, instead, a simple faith. Beowulf did not consider himself all-powerful, but “placed complete trust in his strength of limb and the Lord’s favor” (lines 669-670), humbly acknowledging that there were some things even a man as powerful as he was could not control. He knew that he might lose his life, but with the Lord’s help, he could win, if the God wanted him to. In a man as powerful as Beowulf was, this shows great humility on his part. These softer characteristics, together with the more traditionally hard, aggressive characteristics, help to round out his character and to present him to the reader as a complete man and a true hero. Despite his bragging, you sincerely feel for him and his people when he faces the dragon at the end and is ultimately defeated physically.
    Retrieved from:
    http://voices.yahoo.com/beowulf-hero-today-180366.html?cat=9

    5. Geoffrey Chaucers’ The Canterbury tales
    The Canterbury tales is a collection of the stories which written by Geoffrey Chaucer n the Middle English period (1066 – 1500). The tales are told as part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together on a journey from Southwark to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. The Canterbury Tales begins with the introduction of each of the pilgrims making their journey to Canterbury to the shrine of Thomas a Becket. Congregating at the Tabard Inn, the pilgrims decide to tell stories to pass their time on the way to Canterbury. The pilgrims, who come from all layers of society, tell stories to each other to kill time while they travel to Canterbury.
    The Canterbury Tales gives a realistic picture about the life of British society. This anthology is rich in humor despite the criticism leveled at many of the characters, especially the priests who neglect their duties and are still concerned with worldly pleasures. Inevitably, this work presents a description of the social life of the priests, monks, nuns or religious leaders are corrupt, greedy and swindlers, rather than as role models for many British people wracked by poverty in that period.The Canterbury Tales is finished has not yet been answered.
    Chaucer’s Tales differs from most other story “collections” in this genre chiefly in its intense variation. Most story collections focused on a theme, usually a religious one. Many characters in The Canterbury Tales represent the behavior and character opposite to what is traditionally expected of them. Thus the irony of life of the monks who should become public role models. Life does not exemplify the simplicity of the monks, instead enjoying material life. Their average body fat because it is always a good meal. They wear flashy clothes; expensive robe with fur complete with decorations. Not to mention their habit which often hunt animals rather than studying the scriptures. The severity of these monks still have the guts to preach that hunting is not considered holy (unholy). They use church funds for private interests to build a big house and stables as well as buying fancy clothes and expensive jewelry. The Canterbury Tales represent that Church is not all that it appears to be.
    Retrieved from:
    http://www.librarius.com/cantales.htm
    http://www.bookrags.com/notes/ct/

  30. 1. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
    Juliet and Romeo is a great tragedies story in the year between 1598 and 1607. This story begins with a large fight between the Capulets and the Montagues, two prestigious families in Verona, Italy. These families have been fighting for quite some time. One day, Romeo and Benvolio (Romeo’s cousin) are accidentally invited to their enemy’s party; Benvolio convinces Romeo to go. At the party he met with the young lady named Juliet who comes from the family of his enemies. They did not realize it while instantly they fall in love each other. But later they know their identities and it made their heart so broken. Their family still did not about their relation. Juliet’s mom asks her to marry with man named Paris and of course she refused it. Then, Juliet asked some advice to Friar Lawrence and he suggested her to take poison to make her as if she was death. She did it, but Romeo did not know about that trick. Romeo thought that Juliet was really died, soon after that he take a vial poison. Moment later Julie wake up and find her lovely Romeo has been died, directly she killed herself. In the end this tragedy brings their families together .
    Due to the lack of technology in society in the 19th century, the art of plays, and the conventions of the Elizabethan theatre had more focus on the words with minimal costuming and cinematic techniques. Yet among other things, the art of theatre is or was a reflection on society. Thus why Shakespeare showed or retold it like drama. Through social life context shows us that the sacrifice of Romeo and Juliet toward their love is very big. They decide to die together instead of living without one of them or living with another man/woman. Romeo And Juliet is a true tragedy in the literary sense because the families gather sufficient self-knowledge to correct their behaviour but not until it is too late to save the situation.
    Retrieved from:
    http://www.wikisummaries.org/Romeo_and_Juliet

    2. Edmund Spenser ‘s The Faerie Queene
    Spenser’s epic poem The Faerie Queene which is written by Edmund Spenser is the great national epic to celebrate Queen Elizabeth. It is divided into I-VI books each focusing on the adventures of a different hero or heroine and a different virtue, including Holiness, Temperance, Chastity, Friendship, Justice, and Courtesy. The Faerie Queene tells about several knights, each representing a particular virtue on their guest for the Faerie Queene, Gloriana (her castle is the ultimate goal or destination). Redcrosse, the knight of Holiness, is much like the Apostle Peter: In his eagerness to serve his Lord, he gets himself into unforeseen trouble that he is not yet virtuous enough to handle. Florimell represents Beauty. Una represents purity, truth, and wholesomeness. Guyon is the knight of temperance must destroy the fleshly temptations of Acrasia’s Bower of Bliss. There are many characters also appears in The Faerie Queene such as Artegal, Cambell, triamond etc. Edmund Spenser has not finished in writing this poem, so the reader never know what is the end of the story. Even the Faerie Queen herself never has her unifying court scene at the end.
    Spenser’s The Faerie Queene is a poem seemingly based upon a fiction world, with a very real political background. Characters such as the Faerie Queene herself as representative of figures in history that are very recognizable – like Queen Elizabeth and her power which is very successfully. King Arthur is also seen throughout the story, and the other characters are based upon the virtues we all known from biblical stories and everyday life. That is why from the whole of the Book I-VI it shows the aim is to glorify Queen of Elizabeth.
    Retrieved from:
    http://www.enotes.com/faerie-queene-criticism/faerie-queene-edmund-spenser
    http://voices.yahoo.com/edmund-spensers-faerie-queene-2964010.html

    3. Thomas More’ s Utopia
    Utopia is written by Thomas More (1516) describing a fictional island in the Atlantic Ocean . More travels to Antwerp as an ambassador for England and King Henry VIII. While not engaged in his official duties, More spends time conversing about intellectual matters with his friend, Peter Giles. One day, Giles introduces More to this new man, Raphael Hythloday, who turns out to be a philosopher and world traveler. Hythloday has been on many voyages one of the interesting one is that he even landing in Utopia island. He describes the societies through which he travels with such insight that Giles and More become convinced that Hythloday would make a terrific counselor to a king and he cover all his story to show how pointless it is to counsel a king when the king can always expect his other counselors to agree with his own beliefs or policies. Then Hythloday describes the geography and history of Utopia. He explains how the founder of Utopia. Next, Hythloday moves to a discussion of Utopian society, portraying a nation based on rational thought, with communal property, great productivity, no rapacious love of gold, no real class distinctions, no poverty, little crime or immoral behavior, religious tolerance, and little inclination to war. It is a society that Hythloday believes is superior to any in Europe. In the end More admits he would like to see some aspects of Utopian society put into practice in England, though he does not believe any such thing will happen.
    Thomas More wrote Utopia is looking forward to a world of individual freedom and equality governed by Reason, at a time when such a vision was almost inconceivable. Hythloday believes Utopia to be the greatest social order in the world. As he says, “Everywhere else people talk about the public good but pay attention to their own private interests. In Utopia, where there is no private property, everyone is seriously concerned with pursuing the public welfare.” In Utopia, no man worries about food or impoverishment for themselves or any of their descendants. Unlike the rest of the world, where men who do nothing productive live in luxury, in Utopia, all people work and all live well. Only this, in Hythloday’s mind, is truly just. Hythloday believes societies other than Utopia are merely conspiracies of the rich, “whose objective is to increase their own wealth while the government they control claims to be a commonwealth concerned with the common welfare.” These societies are realms of greed and pride. And pride causes men to measure their welfare not by their well-being, but by having things that others lack, which is irrational and un-Christian. Only in Utopia has pride and all its attendant vices been eviscerated from society.
    Retrieved from:
    http://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/utopia/summary.html
    http://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/utopia
    4. Beowulf
    Beowulf is considered to be the longest and greatest poem extant in Old English, set in Scandinavia, commonly cited as one of the most important works of Anglo- Saxon literature. In the poem, Beowulf, a hero of the Geats in Scandinavia, comes to the help of Hroogar, the king of the Danes, whose mead hall (Heorot) has been under attack by a being known as Grendel. Unfortunately, Grendel has an overprotective mother who decides to avenge her son. While all the warriors are sleeping off the party, she attacks Heorot Hall. Beowulf, his Geatish warriors, and some of Hrothgar’s Danish warriors track her there. Beowulf dives into the lake and finds the cave, where he takes on Grendel’s mother in another one-on-one battle. When Beowulf returns to the surface, carrying the sword hilt and Grendel’s severed head, the Danish warriors have given him up for dead, but his own Geatish followers are still waiting patiently. When everyone sees that Beowulf has survived this second challenge, there’s even more partying and gift-giving. Soon Beowulf reigns as king for fifty years, protecting the Geats from all the other tribes around them, especially the Swedes. But one day, Beowulf finally meets his match: a dragon, woken by a thief stealing a goblet, begins attacking the Geats, burning villages and slaughtering people. Everyone scared only one man, Wiglaf, remains at Beowulf’s side. With Wiglaf’s help and encouragement, Beowulf is able to defeat the dragon, but he is mortally wounded in the process. After his death, his attendants bury him in a tumulus in Geatland.
    The greatest point about Beowulf, however, is his dependence on God. Such a character, with mythic strength, you think would rise above a need for or a belief in God, but Beowulf is a Christian character, and his piety does not appear to be manipulation at all. It is, instead, a simple faith. Beowulf did not consider himself all-powerful, but “placed complete trust in his strength of limb and the Lord’s favor” (lines 669-670), humbly acknowledging that there were some things even a man as powerful as he was could not control. He knew that he might lose his life, but with the Lord’s help, he could win, if the God wanted him to. In a man as powerful as Beowulf was, this shows great humility on his part. These softer characteristics, together with the more traditionally hard, aggressive characteristics, help to round out his character and to present him to the reader as a complete man and a true hero. Despite his bragging, you sincerely feel for him and his people when he faces the dragon at the end and is ultimately defeated physically.
    Retrieved from:
    http://voices.yahoo.com/beowulf-hero-today-180366.html?cat=9

    5. Geoffrey Chaucers’ The Canterbury tales
    The Canterbury tales is a collection of the stories which written by Geoffrey Chaucer n the Middle English period (1066 – 1500). The tales are told as part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together on a journey from Southwark to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. The Canterbury Tales begins with the introduction of each of the pilgrims making their journey to Canterbury to the shrine of Thomas a Becket. Congregating at the Tabard Inn, the pilgrims decide to tell stories to pass their time on the way to Canterbury. The pilgrims, who come from all layers of society, tell stories to each other to kill time while they travel to Canterbury.
    The Canterbury Tales gives a realistic picture about the life of British society. This anthology is rich in humor despite the criticism leveled at many of the characters, especially the priests who neglect their duties and are still concerned with worldly pleasures. Inevitably, this work presents a description of the social life of the priests, monks, nuns or religious leaders are corrupt, greedy and swindlers, rather than as role models for many British people wracked by poverty in that period.The Canterbury Tales is finished has not yet been answered.
    Chaucer’s Tales differs from most other story “collections” in this genre chiefly in its intense variation. Most story collections focused on a theme, usually a religious one. Many characters in The Canterbury Tales represent the behavior and character opposite to what is traditionally expected of them. Thus the irony of life of the monks who should become public role models. Life does not exemplify the simplicity of the monks, instead enjoying material life. Their average body fat because it is always a good meal. They wear flashy clothes; expensive robe with fur complete with decorations. Not to mention their habit which often hunt animals rather than studying the scriptures. The severity of these monks still have the guts to preach that hunting is not considered holy (unholy). They use church funds for private interests to build a big house and stables as well as buying fancy clothes and expensive jewelry. The Canterbury Tales represent that Church is not all that it appears to be.
    Retrieved from:
    http://www.librarius.com/cantales.htm
    http://www.bookrags.com/notes/ct/

  31. 1. Geoffrey Chaucer‘s The Canterbury Tales

    The Canterbury Tales is a collection of stories written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer at the end of the 14th century. The Canterbury Tales is the most famous and critically acclaimed work of Geoffrey Chaucer. The tales are told as part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together on a journey from Southwark to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. The prize for this contest is a free meal at the Tabard Inn at Southwark on their return. The Canterbury Tales begins with the introduction of each of the pilgrims making their journey to Canterbury to the shrine of Thomas a Becket. Congregating at the Tabard Inn, the pilgrims decide to tell stories to pass their time on the way to Canterbury. Each of the pilgrims will tell two stories on the way to Canterbury, and two stories on the return trip. The Host will decide whose tale is best for meaningfulness and for fun. They decide to draw lots to see who will tell the first tale, and the Knight receives the honor.

    The Tales reflect diverse views of the Church in Chaucer’s England. After the Black Death, many Europeans began to question the authority of the established Church. Some turned to lollardy, while others chose less extreme paths, starting new monastic orders or smaller movements exposing church corruption in the behavior of the clergy, false church relics or abuse of indulgences. Several characters in the Tales are religious figures, and the very setting of the pilgrimage to Canterbury is religious, making religion a significant theme of the work. Pilgrimage was a very prominent feature of medieval society. The ultimate pilgrimage destination was Jerusalem, but within England Canterbury was a popular destination. The pilgrimage in the work ties all of the stories together, and may be considered a representation of Christians’ striving for heaven, despite weaknesses, disagreement, and diversity of opinion.

    References:
    Retrieved, May 1, 2012 from
    http://www.gradesaver.com/the-canterbury-tales/study-guide/
    http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/canterbury/context.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Canterbury_Tales

    2. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
    Romeo and Juliet is one of the early plays of Shakespeare. It was probably written in 1594 or 1595. The story begins with a large fight between the Capulets and the Montagues, two prestigious families in Verona, Italy. These families have been fighting for quite some time, and the Prince declares that their next public brawl will be punished by death. Romeo Capulets fell in love in a party with a young woman named Juliet Montagues. They instantly fall in love, but they do not realize that their families are mortal enemies. The next day, Romeo and Juliet are married by Friar Lawrence. Fr. Lawrence gives Juliet a potion which will make her appear dead and tells her to take it in the night before. He promises to send word to Romeo. Juliet drinks the potion and everybody assumes that she is dead , including Balthasar, who immediately tells Romeo. Friar Lawrence’s letter fails to reach Romeo, so he assumes that his wife is dead. He rushes to Juliet’s tomb and, in deep grief, drinks a vial of poison. Moments later, Juliet wakes to find Romeo dead and kills herself due to grief. Once the families discover what happened, they finally end their bitter feud. Thus the youngsters’ deaths bring the families together. Romeo And Juliet is a true tragedy in the literary sense because the families gather sufficient self-knowledge to correct their behaviour but not until it is too late to save the situation.

    The first permanent professional theater in England was built around 1576 and was called the Theater. Other theaters soon opened, including two called the Curtain and the Rose. Not only was Shakespeare working as a playwright and an actor for the Theater, he was also a stock holder. Another theater soon opened and became one of the most famous of the London public playhouses. It was completed around 1599 and was called the Globe. It was perhaps the largest theater in England and derived its name “from the sign painted above its door”. Romeo and Juliet belong to a tradition of tragic romances stretching back to antique.

    References:
    Retrieved, May 1, 2012 from
    http://www.enotes.com/romeo-and-juliet/historical-background
    http://www.wikisummaries.org/Romeo_and_Juliet

    3. Christopher Marlowe‘s Dr. Faustus
    Dr. Faustus originally published in 1600. Dr. Faustus is Christopher Marlowe’s version of the famous legend of a doctor who sells his soul to the devil in exchange for knowledge and power. Doctor Faustus, a talented German scholar at Wittenburg, rails against the limits of human knowledge. He has learned everything he can learn, or so he thinks, from the conventional academic disciplines. All of these things have left him unsatisfied, so now he turns to magic. He decides to call on the Devil for further knowledge and magic powers with which to indulge all the pleasure and knowledge of the world. In response, the Devil’s representative, Mephistopheles, appears. He makes a bargain with Faust: Mephistopheles will serve Faust with his magic powers for a term of years, but at the end of the term, the devil will claim Faust’s soul and Faust will be eternally damned. In many versions of the story, particularly Goethe’s drama, Mephistopheles helps him to seduce a beautiful and innocent girl. However, when the term ends, the devil carries him off to Hell.

    In many ways, Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus reflects the extensive intellectual, economic, and political changes taking place in sixteenth century England, changes sparked by the Renaissance and the Reformation. The Renaissance began in Italy during the 14th century, and in the next two centuries, spread new ideas throughout Europe. Generally, this intellectual and aesthetic rebirth resulted from the recovery and translation of many lost ancient Greek and Roman texts and from the new ideas which people developed after studying the work of earlier thinkers. Goethe’s Faust complicates the simple Christian moral of the original legend. A hybrid between a play and an extended poem, Goethe’s two-part “closet drama” is epic in scope. It gathers together references from Christian, medieval, Roman, eastern and Hellenic poetry, philosophy and literature.

    References:
    Retrieved, May 1, 2012 from
    http://www.amazon.com/Dr-Faustus-Christopher-Marlowe/dp/
    http://www.gradesaver.com/dr-faustus/study-guide/short-summary/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faust
    http://www.enotes.com/faustus/historical-context

    4. Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar
    The Tragedy of Julius Caesar is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1599. It portrays the 44 BC conspiracy against the Roman dictator Julius Caesar, his assassination and the defeat of the conspirators at the Battle of Philippi. Although the title of the play is Julius Caesar, Caesar is not the most visible character in its action; he appears in only three scenes, and is killed at the beginning of the third act. Marcus Brutus speaks more than four times as many lines, and the central psychological drama is his struggle between the conflicting demands of honour, patriotism, and friendship.

    When the story starts, Julius Caesar has just returned to Rome after defeating the sons of Pompey in battle. At the battle, Cassius and Brutus knowing they will probably both die, smile their last smiles to each other and hold hands. However, Brutus wins that stage of the battle, but his victory is not conclusive. With a heavy heart, Brutus battles again the next day. He loses and commits suicide. The story ends with a tribute to Brutus by Antony.

    When Gaius Julius Caesar was born, the leading man in Rome was Caius Marius, who had saved the Roman Republic several years before by defeating two German tribes, the Teutones (102) and the Cimbri (101). The connections between the Marius and Julius families were close: Marius was married to a sister of Caesar’s father. So, Caesar belonged to a powerful family. His contemporaries called Marius a popularis. It is unclear what this label mean, but modern historians tend to believe that it means that Marius tried to reach his political aims via the People’s Assembly. The opposite group, the optimates, played the political game in the senate.

    References:
    Retrieved, May 1, 2012 from
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julius_Caesar_(play)
    http://www.alljuliuscaesar.bravehost.com/julius-caesar-historical-background-biography.html

    5. Thomas More‘s Utopia
    The book begins with a short six-line poem, followed by a four-line poem and a letter of greetings from Thomas More, the author, to his friend Peter Giles. The two poems, written by Utopians, describe Utopia as an ideal state. Laughably, there is one major question that does need to be addressed rather urgently: More does not remember “in what part of that New World Utopia is located.” The author confides that he is rather embarrassed “not to know in which ocean the island lies,” especially since he has devoted so much time and energy to recounting less significant details. There are a few individuals already prepared to go to Utopia including a theologian who would like to see the island and meet its inhabitants. He intends to ask the Pope to be made the Bishop of the Utopians. More concludes his letter expressing his hesitation to publish the work. Despite the good qualities of the work, Utopia will still be exposed to the unnecessarily fierce commentary of critics. More wonders whether it will be worth while in the end.

    Ever since Sir Thomas More wrote his 1516 book Of the Best State of a Republic, and of the New Island Utopia, the term “utopia” has been used to describe apparently perfect societies that have attained an ideal social and political structure that protects the people from the worst ills of humankind. Like many such works before his and after his, More’s book featured many aspects of communalism. Historically, many communities that were founded as experiments in utopia tried to honor socialist values such as egalitarianism and the common good, both of which are reflected in the beginning chapters of The Giver.

    References:
    Retrieved, May 1, 2012 from
    http://www.gradesaver.com/utopia/study-guide/section1/
    http://www.gradesaver.com/the-giver/study-guide/section11/

  32. 1. Beowulf
    The story of Beowulf opens by recounting the career of Scyld Scefing, a king sent by God to the Danes. After Scyld’s death the Danes prosper under his descendants. One of those descendants, Hrothgar, builds the Danes a great hall called Heorot. Heorot is soon invaded by Grendel, a half-human monster who is hated by God. The Danes are helpless against these attacks until the hero Beowulf arrives to aid them. He battles Grendel in hand to hand combat in Heorot and kills the monster by tearing off its arm. Grendel’s mother then comes to avenge her son. Beowulf and Hrothgar follow her to her lair in a disgusting lake, where Beowulf fights Grendel’s mother in her hall at the bottom of the lake. Beowulf almost loses, but with the aid of God is eventually victorious. He is lavishly rewarded and returns to his own land where he tells his adventures to his uncle, King Hygelac. The poem then jumps fifty years into the future when Beowulf is in old age and king of the Geats. He then fights his last battle agains a dragon that is guardian of a cursed treasure. He tries to fight the dragon alone, but can only defeat it with the aid of a younger relative, Wiglaf. The dragon is killed, but mortally wounds Beowulf in the battle, and the old king passes away while gazing on the cursed treasure. The death of Beowulf marks the decline of the Geats, who are now surrounded by enemies made in previous campaigns. Consequently, the poem ends in mourning for both Beowulf and his nation.
    I focus on the religious background . The greatest point I found about Beowulf is his dependence on God. Such a character, with mythic strength. Beowulf is a Christian character, and his piety does not appear to be manipulation at all. It is, instead, a simple faith. Beowulf did not consider himself all-powerful, but “placed complete trust in his strength of limb and the Lord’s favor” , humbly acknowledging that there were some things even a man as powerful as he was could not control. He knew that he might lose his life, but with the Lord’s help, he could win, if the God wanted him to. In a man as powerful as Beowulf was, this shows great humility on his part. These softer characteristics, together with the more traditionally hard, aggressive characteristics, help to round out his character. Despite his bragging, I sincerely feel for him and his people when he faces the dragon at the end and is ultimately defeated physically.

    References:
    Retrieved from:
    http://voices.yahoo.com/beowulf-hero-today-180366.html?cat=9
    http://www.gradesaver.com/beowulf/study-guide/short-summary
    http://www.shmoop.com/beowulf/summary.html
    http://www.beowulfepic.com/

    2. The Dream of the Rood
    The Dream of the Rood is one of the Christian poems that written by Cynewulf. It tells about someone who dreams about a tree on which Jesus’ cross was made from it. Firstly, he told that in his dream, he saw wondrous, beautiful rood-trees which lifted into the air, accessorized with gems and covered by gold. The dreamer was lying a long time there, until he heard the tree spoke. Then, the tree told its story. It was started when the tree was cut down from the edge of the forest and men made the tree to become a cross. The cross then was placed on a hill. After that, he saw men brought Jesus on to the cross. The cross refused to bow down when the tree saw the earth tremble. Jesus and the cross became one as the enemies pierced them with dark nails. A short time later, Jesus finally died and all of the creation wept. Subsequently, the men cut down the cross to the earth and buried it together with Jesus’ corpse. The cross then arose to the heaven and commanded to the dreamer that he had to tell this vision to human mankind. After got the vision, the dreamer prayed for the cross and hoped that he could find the tree and honor it well. He hoped that the time when the cross of Jesus which he saw on his dream will fetch him and will bring him to where great bliss is or maybe simply called heaven.
    The ‘Dream of the Rood’ is written in two monologues — the Dreamer and the Cross itself. Both characters, and their different contributions to the poem, are clearly juxtaposed to show the different functions of the cross- through the Dreamer. We see the Cross as a material object of veneration, and through the prosopopeia-endowed Cross, we are allowed to witness the abstract sign become a liturgical focus of devotion. Somehow, it was difficult to understand the symbol of the Cross. We must first explore its origins and influence, especially considering that it was not until Emperor Constantine’s conversion to Christianity, that the sign gained any other connotative meaning. Crucifixion was a common form of execution and Jesus Christ’s was no different.
    References:
    Retrieved from:
    http://www.shvoong.com/books/1674433-dream-rood/#ixzz1t0u4IekP
    http://www.all-art.org/literature/literature_english1.html

    3. Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales
    The Canterbury tales is a collection of the stories which written by Geoffrey Chaucer n the Middle English period (1066 – 1500). The tales (mostly written in verse although some are in prose) are told as part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together on a journey from Southwark to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. The Canterbury Tales begins with the introduction of each of the pilgrims making their journey to Canterbury to the shrine of Thomas a Becket. These pilgrims include a Knight, his son the Squire, the Knight’s Yeoman, a Prioress, a Second Nun, a Monk, a Friar, a Merchant, a Clerk, a Man of Law, a Franklin, a Weaver, a Dyer, a Carpenter, a Tapestry-Maker, a Haberdasher, a Cook, a Shipman, a Physician, a Parson, a Miller, a Manciple, a Reeve, a Summoner, a Pardoner, the Wife of Bath, and Chaucer himself. Congregating at the Tabard Inn, the pilgrims decide to tell stories to pass their time on the way to Canterbury. The pilgrims, who come from all layers of society, tell stories to each other to kill time while they travel to Canterbury.The Host of the Tabard Inn sets the rules for the tales. Each of the pilgrims will tell two stories on the way to Canterbury, and two stories on the return trip. The Host will decide whose tale is best for meaningfulness and for fun. They decide to draw lots to see who will tell the first tale, and the Knight receives the honor.
    The Canterbury Tales gives a realistic picture about the life of British society. This anthology is rich in humor despite the criticism leveled at many of the characters, especially the priests who neglect their duties and are still concerned with worldly pleasures. Inevitably, this work presents a description of the social life of the priests, monks, nuns or religious leaders are corrupt, greedy and swindlers, rather than as role models for many British people wracked by poverty in that period. The question of whether The Canterbury Tales is finished has not yet been answered. The combined elements of Chaucer’s quadri-lingual expertise in law, philosophy, and other subjects, the uncertainty of medieval English historical records, issues of manuscript transmission, and Chaucer’s method of telling his stories through a multi-perspective prism of subjectivity make the “Tales” extremely difficult to interpret.
    Chaucer’s Tales differs from most other story “collections” in this genre chiefly in its intense variation. Most story collections focused on a theme, usually a religious one. Many characters in The Canterbury Tales represent the behavior and character opposite to what is traditionally expected of them. Thus the irony of life of the monks who should become public role models. Life does not exemplify the simplicity of the monks, instead enjoying material life. Their average body fat because it is always a good meal. They wear flashy clothes; expensive robe with fur complete with decorations. Not to mention their habit which often hunt animals rather than studying the scriptures. The severity of these monks still have the guts to preach that hunting is not considered holy (unholy). They use church funds for private interests to build a big house and stables as well as buying fancy clothes and expensive jewelry.

    References:
    Retrieved from:
    http://www.librarius.com/cantales.htm
    http://www.bookrags.com/notes/ct/

    4. Christopher Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus
    Doctor Faustus was first published in 1604, eleven years after Christopher Marlowe’s death, and twelve years after the play’s first performance. In 1616, twenty-three years after Christopher Marlow’s death, a different version of “Doctor Faustus” was published.
    The Chorus tells us what type of play Doctor Faustus is. It is not about war and courtly love, but about Faustus, who was born of lower class parents. This can be seen as a departure from the medieval tradition; Faustus holds a lower status than kings and saints, but his story is still worth telling. It gives an introduction to his wisdom and abilities, most notably in academia, in which he excels so tremendously that he is awarded a doctorate. He appreciates Logic as being a tool for arguing; Medicine as being unvalued unless it allowed raising the dead and immortality; Law as being upstanding and above him;Divinity as useless because he feels that all humans commit sin, and thus to have sins punishable by death complicates the logic of Divinity. Though Faustus is momentarily dissuaded, he is apparently won over by the possibilities Magic offers to him. Valdes declares that if Faustus devotes himself to Magic, he must vow not to study anything else and points out that great things are indeed possible with someone of Faustus’s standing. After creating a magic circle and speaking an incantation in which he revokes his baptism, Faustus sees a devil named Mephistophilis appear before him. Faustus is unable to tolerate the hideous looks of the devil and commands it to change its appearance. Faustus, in seeing the obedience of the devil (for changing form), takes pride in his skill. He tries to bind the devil to his service but is unable to because Mephistophilis already serves Lucifer, the prince of devils. Mephistophilis also reveals that it was not Faustus’s power that summoned him but rather that if anyone abjures the scriptures it results in the Devil coming to claim their soul.
    The play “Doctor Faustus” tells “the story of a Renaissance man who had to pay the medieval price for being one.” The highest wisdom was knowledge of the divine achieved through God’s grace, bestowed in revelation. However, in the Renaissance, one finds abundant deprecation of the contemplative life rooted in faith and abundant praise of the active life, the study of political and social man. The play “Doctor Faustus” has Faustus the magician, not a worshiper of God, but rather an operator who manages to impose his will on the material world. Faustus was an applied scientist, rejoicing in power rather than in contemplation, making Faustus a symbol of the Renaissance. The Renaissance is depicted as the age of enlightenment, freeing the mind from dogma by means of reason and experiments. The Renaissance goal was to understand a phenomenon in terms of cause and effect.

    References:
    Retrieved from:
    http://voices.yahoo.com/book-summary-doctor-faustus-christopher-marlowe-5039280.html
    Julie R.P. Doctor Faustus: Summary and analysis of prologue. 10th Nov 2010
    http://reviews.wikinut.com/Doctor-Faustus%3A-Summary-and-Analysis-of-Prologue/1j7zd717/

    5. Thomas More’s Utopia
    Utopia (published in 1516) attempts to offer a practical response to the crises of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries by carefully defining an ideal republic. Unlike Plato’s Republic, a largely abstract dialogue about justice, Utopia focuses on politics and social organization in stark detail. The books begin a conversation between Thomas More and Raphael (Hebrew for ‘God has healed’). Raphael is a traveler who has seen much of the world yet is impressed by little of it. Even monsters are hardly worthy of concern. After all “There is never any shortage of horrible creatures who prey on human beings, snatch away their food, or devour whole populations; but examples of wise social planning are not so easy to find” (p. 40). Before long, it becomes clear that Raphael offers shrewd analysis of various communities around the globe – and that he finds most of them to be faulty in some way. Even Tudor England offers little in the form of civilization. Raphael illustrates this rebuke by noting that thieves in English society are executed when, instead, they should be pitied and helped. The seizure of land by oligarchs, the maintenance of a wasteful standing army, the practice of gambling and gratuitous ornamentation – all of these social ills lead to a sick society, according to Raphael. Moreover, these ills produce a subjugated people: “you create thieves, and then punish them for stealing” (p. 49).
    In my opinion, St. Thomas Moore wrote Utopia as a means of identifying the social problems of the times in which he lived. The social problems identified in Utopia by St. Thomas Moore stem from the seven deadly sins. Through careful analogy, More prescribes a perfect society in which the civil laws are structured upon toleration, moderation and respect. Individualism flourishes and society is perfected. Therefore, conscious eradication of the seven deadly sins is accomplished. Humanism prevails. Humanism is the potential perfectibility of the human being through social civil laws. The seven deadly sins, which are greed, sloven, pride, envy, lust, gluttony and wrath, lay at the root of society’s problems. The consequences of these sins affect society with devastating results. More’s prescription for society’s ills is a perfect society in which the civil laws are structured upon toleration, moderation, and respect. Therefore, the seven deadly sins are eliminated. Society is perfected and individualism flourishes. In essence, Utopia is humanism
    References:
    Retrieved from:
    http://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/utopia/summary.html
    http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/wooda/149/149syllabus4summary.html
    http://www.ashevillelist.com/history/utopia.htm

  33. 1. Beowulf
    The story of Beowulf opens by recounting the career of Scyld Scefing, a king sent by God to the Danes. After Scyld’s death the Danes prosper under his descendants. One of those descendants, Hrothgar, builds the Danes a great hall called Heorot. Heorot is soon invaded by Grendel, a half-human monster who is hated by God. The Danes are helpless against these attacks until the hero Beowulf arrives to aid them. He battles Grendel in hand to hand combat in Heorot and kills the monster by tearing off its arm. Grendel’s mother then comes to avenge her son. Beowulf and Hrothgar follow her to her lair in a disgusting lake, where Beowulf fights Grendel’s mother in her hall at the bottom of the lake. Beowulf almost loses, but with the aid of God is eventually victorious. He is lavishly rewarded and returns to his own land where he tells his adventures to his uncle, King Hygelac. The poem then jumps fifty years into the future when Beowulf is in old age and king of the Geats. He then fights his last battle agains a dragon that is guardian of a cursed treasure. He tries to fight the dragon alone, but can only defeat it with the aid of a younger relative, Wiglaf. The dragon is killed, but mortally wounds Beowulf in the battle, and the old king passes away while gazing on the cursed treasure. The death of Beowulf marks the decline of the Geats, who are now surrounded by enemies made in previous campaigns. Consequently, the poem ends in mourning for both Beowulf and his nation.
    The greatest point about Beowulf, however, is his dependence on God. Such a character, with mythic strength. Beowulf is a Christian character, and his piety does not appear to be manipulation at all. It is, instead, a simple faith. Beowulf did not consider himself all-powerful, but “placed complete trust in his strength of limb and the Lord’s favor” , humbly acknowledging that there were some things even a man as powerful as he was could not control. He knew that he might lose his life, but with the Lord’s help, he could win, if the God wanted him to. In a man as powerful as Beowulf was, this shows great humility on his part. These softer characteristics, together with the more traditionally hard, aggressive characteristics, help to round out his character. Despite his bragging, we sincerely feel for him and his people when he faces the dragon at the end and is ultimately defeated physically.

    References:
    Retrieved from:
    http://voices.yahoo.com/beowulf-hero-today-180366.html?cat=9
    http://www.gradesaver.com/beowulf/study-guide/short-summary
    http://www.shmoop.com/beowulf/summary.html
    http://www.beowulfepic.com/
    http://www.bookbrowse.com/reviews/index.cfm/book_number/308/Beowulf

    2. The Dream of the Rood
    The Dream of the Rood is one of the Christian poems that written by Cynewulf. It tells about someone who dreams about a tree on which Jesus’ cross was made from it. Firstly, he told that in his dream, he saw wondrous, beautiful rood-trees which lifted into the air, accessorized with gems and covered by gold. The dreamer was lying a long time there, until he heard the tree spoke. Then, the tree told its story. It was started when the tree was cut down from the edge of the forest and men made the tree to become a cross. The cross then was placed on a hill. After that, he saw men brought Jesus on to the cross. The cross refused to bow down when the tree saw the earth tremble. Jesus and the cross became one as the enemies pierced them with dark nails. A short time later, Jesus finally died and all of the creation wept. Subsequently, the men cut down the cross to the earth and buried it together with Jesus’ corpse. The cross then arose to the heaven and commanded to the dreamer that he had to tell this vision to human mankind. After got the vision, the dreamer prayed for the cross and hoped that he could find the tree and honor it well. He hoped that the time when the cross of Jesus which he saw on his dream will fetch him and will bring him to where great bliss is or maybe simply called heaven.
    The ‘Dream of the Rood’ is written in two monologues — the Dreamer and the Cross itself. Both characters, and their different contributions to the poem, are clearly juxtaposed to show the different functions of the cross- through the Dreamer we see the Cross as a material object of veneration, and through the prosopopeia-endowed Cross we are allowed to witness the abstract sign become a liturgical focus of devotion. To understand the symbol of the Cross one must first explore its origins and influence, especially considering that it was not until Emperor Constantine’s conversion to Christianity in 312 AD that the sign gained any other connotative meaning. Crucifixion was a common form of execution and Jesus Christ’s was no different.
    References:
    Retrieved from:
    http://www.shvoong.com/books/1674433-dream-rood/#ixzz1t0u4IekP
    http://www.all-art.org/literature/literature_english1.html

    3. Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales
    The Canterbury tales is a collection of the stories which written by Geoffrey Chaucer n the Middle English period (1066 – 1500). The tales (mostly written in verse although some are in prose) are told as part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together on a journey from Southwark to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. The Canterbury Tales begins with the introduction of each of the pilgrims making their journey to Canterbury to the shrine of Thomas a Becket. These pilgrims include a Knight, his son the Squire, the Knight’s Yeoman, a Prioress, a Second Nun, a Monk, a Friar, a Merchant, a Clerk, a Man of Law, a Franklin, a Weaver, a Dyer, a Carpenter, a Tapestry-Maker, a Haberdasher, a Cook, a Shipman, a Physician, a Parson, a Miller, a Manciple, a Reeve, a Summoner, a Pardoner, the Wife of Bath, and Chaucer himself. Congregating at the Tabard Inn, the pilgrims decide to tell stories to pass their time on the way to Canterbury. The pilgrims, who come from all layers of society, tell stories to each other to kill time while they travel to Canterbury.The Host of the Tabard Inn sets the rules for the tales. Each of the pilgrims will tell two stories on the way to Canterbury, and two stories on the return trip. The Host will decide whose tale is best for meaningfulness and for fun. They decide to draw lots to see who will tell the first tale, and the Knight receives the honor.
    The Canterbury Tales gives a realistic picture about the life of British society. This anthology is rich in humor despite the criticism leveled at many of the characters, especially the priests who neglect their duties and are still concerned with worldly pleasures. Inevitably, this work presents a description of the social life of the priests, monks, nuns or religious leaders are corrupt, greedy and swindlers, rather than as role models for many British people wracked by poverty in that period. The question of whether The Canterbury Tales is finished has not yet been answered. The combined elements of Chaucer’s quadri-lingual expertise in law, philosophy, and other subjects, the uncertainty of medieval English historical records, issues of manuscript transmission, and Chaucer’s method of telling his stories through a multi-perspective prism of subjectivity make the “Tales” extremely difficult to interpret.
    Chaucer’s Tales differs from most other story “collections” in this genre chiefly in its intense variation. Most story collections focused on a theme, usually a religious one. Many characters in The Canterbury Tales represent the behavior and character opposite to what is traditionally expected of them. Thus the irony of life of the monks who should become public role models. Life does not exemplify the simplicity of the monks, instead enjoying material life. Their average body fat because it is always a good meal. They wear flashy clothes; expensive robe with fur complete with decorations. Not to mention their habit which often hunt animals rather than studying the scriptures. The severity of these monks still have the guts to preach that hunting is not considered holy (unholy). They use church funds for private interests to build a big house and stables as well as buying fancy clothes and expensive jewelry.

    References:
    Retrieved from:
    http://www.librarius.com/cantales.htm
    http://www.bookrags.com/notes/ct/

    4. Christopher Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus
    Doctor Faustus was first published in 1604, eleven years after Christopher Marlowe’s death, and twelve years after the play’s first performance. In 1616, twenty-three years after Christopher Marlow’s death, a different version of “Doctor Faustus” was published.
    The Chorus tells us what type of play Doctor Faustus is. It is not about war and courtly love, but about Faustus, who was born of lower class parents. This can be seen as a departure from the medieval tradition; Faustus holds a lower status than kings and saints, but his story is still worth telling. It gives an introduction to his wisdom and abilities, most notably in academia, in which he excels so tremendously that he is awarded a doctorate. He appreciates Logic as being a tool for arguing; Medicine as being unvalued unless it allowed raising the dead and immortality; Law as being upstanding and above him;Divinity as useless because he feels that all humans commit sin, and thus to have sins punishable by death complicates the logic of Divinity. Though Faustus is momentarily dissuaded, he is apparently won over by the possibilities Magic offers to him. Valdes declares that if Faustus devotes himself to Magic, he must vow not to study anything else and points out that great things are indeed possible with someone of Faustus’s standing. After creating a magic circle and speaking an incantation in which he revokes his baptism, Faustus sees a devil named Mephistophilis appear before him. Faustus is unable to tolerate the hideous looks of the devil and commands it to change its appearance. Faustus, in seeing the obedience of the devil (for changing form), takes pride in his skill. He tries to bind the devil to his service but is unable to because Mephistophilis already serves Lucifer, the prince of devils. Mephistophilis also reveals that it was not Faustus’s power that summoned him but rather that if anyone abjures the scriptures it results in the Devil coming to claim their soul.
    The play “Doctor Faustus” tells “the story of a Renaissance man who had to pay the medieval price for being one.” In the Middle Ages, the highest wisdom was knowledge of the divine achieved through God’s grace, bestowed in revelation. However, in the Renaissance, one finds abundant deprecation of the contemplative life rooted in faith and abundant praise of the active life, the study of political and social man. The play “Doctor Faustus” has Faustus the magician, not a worshiper of God, but rather an operator who manages to impose his will on the material world. Faustus was an applied scientist, rejoicing in power rather than in contemplation, making Faustus a symbol of the Renaissance. The Renaissance is depicted as the age of enlightenment, freeing the mind from dogma by means of reason and experiments. The Renaissance goal was to understand a phenomenon in terms of cause and effect.

    References:
    Retrieved from:
    http://voices.yahoo.com/book-summary-doctor-faustus-christopher-marlowe-5039280.html
    Julie R.P. Doctor Faustus: Summary and analysis of prologue. 10th Nov 2010
    http://reviews.wikinut.com/Doctor-Faustus%3A-Summary-and-Analysis-of-Prologue/1j7zd717/

    5. Thomas More’s Utopia
    Utopia (published in 1516) attempts to offer a practical response to the crises of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries by carefully defining an ideal republic. Unlike Plato’s Republic, a largely abstract dialogue about justice, Utopia focuses on politics and social organization in stark detail. The books begin a conversation between Thomas More and Raphael (Hebrew for ‘God has healed’). Raphael is a traveler who has seen much of the world yet is impressed by little of it. Even monsters are hardly worthy of concern. After all “There is never any shortage of horrible creatures who prey on human beings, snatch away their food, or devour whole populations; but examples of wise social planning are not so easy to find” (p. 40). Before long, it becomes clear that Raphael offers shrewd analysis of various communities around the globe – and that he finds most of them to be faulty in some way. Even Tudor England offers little in the form of civilization. Raphael illustrates this rebuke by noting that thieves in English society are executed when, instead, they should be pitied and helped. The seizure of land by oligarchs, the maintenance of a wasteful standing army, the practice of gambling and gratuitous ornamentation – all of these social ills lead to a sick society, according to Raphael. Moreover, these ills produce a subjugated people: “you create thieves, and then punish them for stealing” (p. 49).
    St. Thomas Moore wrote Utopia as a means of identifying the social problems of the times in which he lived. The social problems identified in Utopia by St. Thomas Moore stem from the seven deadly sins. Through careful analogy, More prescribes a perfect society in which the civil laws are structured upon toleration, moderation and respect. Individualism flourishes and society is perfected. Therefore, conscious eradication of the seven deadly sins is accomplished. Humanism prevails. Humanism is the potential perfectibility of the human being through social civil laws. The seven deadly sins, which are greed, sloven, pride, envy, lust, gluttony and wrath, lay at the root of society’s problems. The consequences of these sins affect society with devastating results. More’s prescription for society’s ills is a perfect society in which the civil laws are structured upon toleration, moderation, and respect. Therefore, the seven deadly sins are eliminated. Society is perfected and individualism flourishes. In essence, Utopia is humanism
    References:
    Retrieved from:
    http://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/utopia/summary.html
    http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/wooda/149/149syllabus4summary.html
    http://www.ashevillelist.com/history/utopia.htm

    1. Faery Queen by Edmund Spenser
      The Faery Queen is an incomplete English epic poem by Edmund Spenser. The first half was published in 1590, and a second installment was published in 1596. The Faery Queen is notable for its form: it was the first work written in Spenserian stanza and is one of the longest poems in the English language. It is an allegorical work, and can be read (as Spenser presumably intended) on several levels of allegory, including as praise of Queen Elizabeth I. A letter written by Spenser to Sir Walter Raleigh in 1590 contains a preface for The Faerie Queene, in which Spenser describes the allegorical presentation of virtues through Arthurian knights in the mythical “Faerieland”. The poem celebrates, memorializes, and critiques the Tudor dynasty (of which Elizabeth was a part), much in the tradition of Virgil’s Aeneid’s celebration of Augustus Caesar’s Rome. Like the Aeneid, which states that Augustus descended from the noble sons of Troy, The Faerie Queene suggests that the Tudor lineage can be connected to King Arthur. The poem is deeply allegorical and allusive: many prominent Elizabethans could have found themselves—or one another—partially represented by one or more of Spenser’s figures.
      The poem also displays Spenser’s thorough familiarity with literary history. Although the world of The Faeriy Queen is based on English Arthurian legend, much of the language, spirit, and style of the piece draw more on Italian epic, particularly Ludovico Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso and Torquato Tasso’s Jerusalem Delivered. Spenser takes considerable historical license in connecting her line with King Arthur. Spenser took a great pride in his country and his protestant faith. He took aim at very reqal corruption within the Catholic Church; such attacks were by no means unusual in his day, but his use of them in an epic poem raised his criticism above the level of the propagandists. Specific historical events and political circumstances during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I are thus addressed through Spenser’s use of allegory. Spenser explicitly stated that both the Faery Queen and Britomart represent Queen Elizabeth I. The Faery Queen is a relief to turn Spenser’s poetry, which is variously related to life. He captured the attention of social and materialistic critics. In this pastoral dialogue, Spenser, under the mask of colin, weighs with insightful ambivalence the drawback and virtues of court life, equated with England, and of country life under the name of Ireland. High on Spenser’s list of evils is the Catholic Church, and this enmity lends a political overtone to the poem, since the religious conflicts of the time were inextricably tied to politics. The poet is unashamed in his promotion of his beloved monarch, Queen Elizabeth; he takes considerable historical license in connecting her line with King Arthur. Spenser took a great pride in his country and in his Protestant faith. The Faerie Queene is a religious parable. Spenser, a zealous Protestant as well as a fine-spirited idealist, was in entire sympathy with Lord Grey’s policy of stern repression of the Catholic Irish, to whom, therefore, he must have appeared merely as one of the hated crew of their pitiless tyrants. Like all poetry, Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene delights in its use of symbolism to reveal the moral struggle of his characters and the journey toward enlightenment they must seek to fulfill their destinies.
      http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Faerie_Queene
      http://www.sparknotes.com/poetry/fqueen/context.html
      http://www.enotes.com/faerie-queene-edmund-spenser
      http://www.britania.com/history/monarc.html

      The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
      The Canterbury Tales is a collection of stories written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer at the end of the 14th century. The tales (mostly written in verse although some are in prose) are told as part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together on a journey from Southwark to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. The prize for this contest is a free meal at the Tabard Inn at Southwark on their return.
      The Canterbury Tales was written during a turbulent time in English history. The Catholic Church was in the midst of the Western Schism and, though it was still the only Christian authority in Europe, was the subject of heavy controversy. Lollardy, an early English religious movement led by John Wycliffe, is mentioned in the Tales, as is a specific incident involving pardoners (who gathered money in exchange for absolution from sin) who nefariously claimed to be collecting for St. Mary Rouncesval hospital in England. The Tales reflect diverse views of the Church in Chaucer’s England. After the Black Death, many Europeans began to question the authority of the established Church. Some turned to lollardy, while others chose less extreme paths, starting new monastic orders or smaller movements exposing church corruption in the behavior of the clergy, false church relics or abuse of indulgences. The upper class or nobility, represented chiefly by the Knight and his Squire, was in Chaucer’s time steeped in a culture of chivalry and courtliness. Nobles were expected to be powerful warriors who could be ruthless on the battlefield, yet mannerly in the King’s Court and Christian in their actions. The Tales constantly reflect the conflict between classes. For example, the division of the three estates; the characters are all divided into three distinct classes, the classes being “those who pray” (the clergy), “those who fight” (the nobility), and “those who work” (the commoners and peasantry). Convention is followed when the Knight begins the game with a tale, as he represents the highest social class in the group.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Canterbury_Tales
      http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/canterbury/context.html
      http://jjjjournal.wordpress.com/2009/03/23/the-canterbury-tales-2/

      Julius Caesar by Shakespeare
      The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, also known simply as Julius Caesar, is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1599.[1] It portrays the 44 BC conspiracy against the Roman dictator Julius Caesar, his assassination and the defeat of the conspirators at the Battle of Philippi. It is one of several Roman plays that Shakespeare wrote, based on true events from Roman history, which also include Coriolanus and Antony and Cleopatra. Julius Caesar tells the story of an extremely powerful general who substantially increased the size of Rome’s territorial possessions yet was assassinated because he wanted to rule Rome by himself.
      Elizabeth I had been monarch over England since 1559 but was in her mid-60s in 1599, and speculation was rife regarding a successor. She had no heir, and there was considerable worry that her death might lead to warfare such as had consumed the houses of Lancaster and York in the 15th century. Julius Caesar is a play exploring the chaos that results when a monarch dies without obvious successors. When she died in 1603, the Scottish House of Stuart took the throne with James I (James VI of Scotland) ruling.
      The history of Caesar’s political appointments is complex and uncertain. Caesar held both the dictatorship and the tribunate, but alternated between the consulship and the Proconsulship.[69] His powers within the state seem to have rested upon these magistracies. The religious significance of the ritual anticipation of Caesar’s triumphant procession into Rome is timed to coincide with the festival of the Lupercal which is symbolic of fertility. Here the political agenda is being advanced by association; the mob associates Caesar with plenty and triumph. This is why the tribunes opposed to Imperialism attempt to sabotage the symbols of triumph, dismantling the crowning of Caesar’s statues and dispersing the crowds in Act 1 Sc 1.

      http://www.bardweb.net/globe.html
      http://www.hull.ac.uk/renforum/v5no2.giddens.htm
      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0045943/
      http://www.leithart.com./archives/000791.php

      Utopia by Thomas More
      Utopia, a connotation between the Greek word eutopia, which means “happy place”, and utopia which means literally “nowhere”, is a term used by Thomas More to describe the ideal society. More directly contradicts most common policies and beliefs of sixteenth century Europe with his own views which are obviously influenced by humanism.
      More’s society based on the practices of tolerance, equality, and reason portrayed a life many would embrace as was made apparent with the appearance of communism in later centuries. The perfect society depicted in Thomas More’s UTOPIA uses reason alone in political, religious practices, and in society. The Utopian political structure is very radical compared to all systems in Europe during More’s life in that it was democratic in nature. Decisions were made to benefit the entire Utopian society. Financial superiority was not a factor considering Utopia had no form of money. Value was placed on human life rather than on possessions. Religion in Utopia is innovatively tolerant and is kept simple. Citizens are only required to accept three principles which are as follows: Every human soul is immortal; after death there is a state of rewards and punishments; the world is guided by divine providence.

      http://www.sparknotes.com/…/utopia/context.html
      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utopia

      http://www.gradesaver.com/utopia/study-guide/about/
      The Dream of the Rood by Cynewulf
      The Dream of the Rood is one of the earliest Christian poems in the corpus of Old English literature and an example of the genre of dream poetry. Like most Old English poetry, it is written in alliterative verse. Rood is from the Old English rod “pole”, specifically “crucifix”. Preserved in the 10th century Vercelli Book, the poem may be considerably older, even one of the oldest works of Old English literature.
      As “The Dream of the Rood’s” many deviations from the biblical account of the crucifixion suggest, the image of Christ in the Middle Ages emphasized the salvation Christ brought to mankind by presenting him as a triumphant warrior. Swanton writes: “Unlike the later Gothic sensibility which stressed the explicitly pathetic details of the Crucifixion narrative, the medieval church was less concerned with literal description [of the crucifixion] than with analyzing its significance as the pivotal event of Christian history.” (36) Though Christ’s crucifixion has held great significance throughout Christian history, it was the especial focus of medieval religion. The warlike Germanic culture of the Early Middle Ages viewed the crucifixion as a victorious battle of good over evil and perceived Jesus as a hero who delivered humankind from sin.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dream_of_the_Rood
      http://history.hanover.edu/hhr/98/hhr98_2.html

    2. Dian Maya Margareth 0812150038
      Faery Queen by Edmund Spenser
      The Faery Queen is an incomplete English epic poem by Edmund Spenser. The first half was published in 1590, and a second installment was published in 1596. The Faery Queen is notable for its form: it was the first work written in Spenserian stanza and is one of the longest poems in the English language. It is an allegorical work, and can be read (as Spenser presumably intended) on several levels of allegory, including as praise of Queen Elizabeth I. A letter written by Spenser to Sir Walter Raleigh in 1590 contains a preface for The Faerie Queene, in which Spenser describes the allegorical presentation of virtues through Arthurian knights in the mythical “Faerieland”. The poem celebrates, memorializes, and critiques the Tudor dynasty (of which Elizabeth was a part), much in the tradition of Virgil’s Aeneid’s celebration of Augustus Caesar’s Rome. Like the Aeneid, which states that Augustus descended from the noble sons of Troy, The Faerie Queene suggests that the Tudor lineage can be connected to King Arthur. The poem is deeply allegorical and allusive: many prominent Elizabethans could have found themselves—or one another—partially represented by one or more of Spenser’s figures.
      The poem also displays Spenser’s thorough familiarity with literary history. Although the world of The Faeriy Queen is based on English Arthurian legend, much of the language, spirit, and style of the piece draw more on Italian epic, particularly Ludovico Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso and Torquato Tasso’s Jerusalem Delivered. Spenser takes considerable historical license in connecting her line with King Arthur. Spenser took a great pride in his country and his protestant faith. He took aim at very reqal corruption within the Catholic Church; such attacks were by no means unusual in his day, but his use of them in an epic poem raised his criticism above the level of the propagandists. Specific historical events and political circumstances during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I are thus addressed through Spenser’s use of allegory. Spenser explicitly stated that both the Faery Queen and Britomart represent Queen Elizabeth I. The Faery Queen is a relief to turn Spenser’s poetry, which is variously related to life. He captured the attention of social and materialistic critics. In this pastoral dialogue, Spenser, under the mask of colin, weighs with insightful ambivalence the drawback and virtues of court life, equated with England, and of country life under the name of Ireland. High on Spenser’s list of evils is the Catholic Church, and this enmity lends a political overtone to the poem, since the religious conflicts of the time were inextricably tied to politics. The poet is unashamed in his promotion of his beloved monarch, Queen Elizabeth; he takes considerable historical license in connecting her line with King Arthur. Spenser took a great pride in his country and in his Protestant faith. The Faerie Queene is a religious parable. Spenser, a zealous Protestant as well as a fine-spirited idealist, was in entire sympathy with Lord Grey’s policy of stern repression of the Catholic Irish, to whom, therefore, he must have appeared merely as one of the hated crew of their pitiless tyrants. Like all poetry, Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene delights in its use of symbolism to reveal the moral struggle of his characters and the journey toward enlightenment they must seek to fulfill their destinies.
      http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Faerie_Queene
      http://www.sparknotes.com/poetry/fqueen/context.html
      http://www.enotes.com/faerie-queene-edmund-spenser
      http://www.britania.com/history/monarc.html

      The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
      The Canterbury Tales is a collection of stories written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer at the end of the 14th century. The tales (mostly written in verse although some are in prose) are told as part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together on a journey from Southwark to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. The prize for this contest is a free meal at the Tabard Inn at Southwark on their return.
      The Canterbury Tales was written during a turbulent time in English history. The Catholic Church was in the midst of the Western Schism and, though it was still the only Christian authority in Europe, was the subject of heavy controversy. Lollardy, an early English religious movement led by John Wycliffe, is mentioned in the Tales, as is a specific incident involving pardoners (who gathered money in exchange for absolution from sin) who nefariously claimed to be collecting for St. Mary Rouncesval hospital in England. The Tales reflect diverse views of the Church in Chaucer’s England. After the Black Death, many Europeans began to question the authority of the established Church. Some turned to lollardy, while others chose less extreme paths, starting new monastic orders or smaller movements exposing church corruption in the behavior of the clergy, false church relics or abuse of indulgences. The upper class or nobility, represented chiefly by the Knight and his Squire, was in Chaucer’s time steeped in a culture of chivalry and courtliness. Nobles were expected to be powerful warriors who could be ruthless on the battlefield, yet mannerly in the King’s Court and Christian in their actions. The Tales constantly reflect the conflict between classes. For example, the division of the three estates; the characters are all divided into three distinct classes, the classes being “those who pray” (the clergy), “those who fight” (the nobility), and “those who work” (the commoners and peasantry). Convention is followed when the Knight begins the game with a tale, as he represents the highest social class in the group.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Canterbury_Tales
      http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/canterbury/context.html
      http://jjjjournal.wordpress.com/2009/03/23/the-canterbury-tales-2/

      Julius Caesar by Shakespeare
      The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, also known simply as Julius Caesar, is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1599.[1] It portrays the 44 BC conspiracy against the Roman dictator Julius Caesar, his assassination and the defeat of the conspirators at the Battle of Philippi. It is one of several Roman plays that Shakespeare wrote, based on true events from Roman history, which also include Coriolanus and Antony and Cleopatra. Julius Caesar tells the story of an extremely powerful general who substantially increased the size of Rome’s territorial possessions yet was assassinated because he wanted to rule Rome by himself.
      Elizabeth I had been monarch over England since 1559 but was in her mid-60s in 1599, and speculation was rife regarding a successor. She had no heir, and there was considerable worry that her death might lead to warfare such as had consumed the houses of Lancaster and York in the 15th century. Julius Caesar is a play exploring the chaos that results when a monarch dies without obvious successors. When she died in 1603, the Scottish House of Stuart took the throne with James I (James VI of Scotland) ruling.
      The history of Caesar’s political appointments is complex and uncertain. Caesar held both the dictatorship and the tribunate, but alternated between the consulship and the Proconsulship.[69] His powers within the state seem to have rested upon these magistracies. The religious significance of the ritual anticipation of Caesar’s triumphant procession into Rome is timed to coincide with the festival of the Lupercal which is symbolic of fertility. Here the political agenda is being advanced by association; the mob associates Caesar with plenty and triumph. This is why the tribunes opposed to Imperialism attempt to sabotage the symbols of triumph, dismantling the crowning of Caesar’s statues and dispersing the crowds in Act 1 Sc 1.

      http://www.bardweb.net/globe.html
      http://www.hull.ac.uk/renforum/v5no2.giddens.htm
      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0045943/
      http://www.leithart.com./archives/000791.php

      Utopia by Thomas More
      Utopia, a connotation between the Greek word eutopia, which means “happy place”, and utopia which means literally “nowhere”, is a term used by Thomas More to describe the ideal society. More directly contradicts most common policies and beliefs of sixteenth century Europe with his own views which are obviously influenced by humanism.
      More’s society based on the practices of tolerance, equality, and reason portrayed a life many would embrace as was made apparent with the appearance of communism in later centuries. The perfect society depicted in Thomas More’s UTOPIA uses reason alone in political, religious practices, and in society. The Utopian political structure is very radical compared to all systems in Europe during More’s life in that it was democratic in nature. Decisions were made to benefit the entire Utopian society. Financial superiority was not a factor considering Utopia had no form of money. Value was placed on human life rather than on possessions. Religion in Utopia is innovatively tolerant and is kept simple. Citizens are only required to accept three principles which are as follows: Every human soul is immortal; after death there is a state of rewards and punishments; the world is guided by divine providence.

      http://www.sparknotes.com/…/utopia/context.html
      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utopia

      http://www.gradesaver.com/utopia/study-guide/about/
      The Dream of the Rood by Cynewulf
      The Dream of the Rood is one of the earliest Christian poems in the corpus of Old English literature and an example of the genre of dream poetry. Like most Old English poetry, it is written in alliterative verse. Rood is from the Old English rod “pole”, specifically “crucifix”. Preserved in the 10th century Vercelli Book, the poem may be considerably older, even one of the oldest works of Old English literature.
      As “The Dream of the Rood’s” many deviations from the biblical account of the crucifixion suggest, the image of Christ in the Middle Ages emphasized the salvation Christ brought to mankind by presenting him as a triumphant warrior. Swanton writes: “Unlike the later Gothic sensibility which stressed the explicitly pathetic details of the Crucifixion narrative, the medieval church was less concerned with literal description [of the crucifixion] than with analyzing its significance as the pivotal event of Christian history.” (36) Though Christ’s crucifixion has held great significance throughout Christian history, it was the especial focus of medieval religion. The warlike Germanic culture of the Early Middle Ages viewed the crucifixion as a victorious battle of good over evil and perceived Jesus as a hero who delivered humankind from sin.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dream_of_the_Rood
      http://history.hanover.edu/hhr/98/hhr98_2.html

  34. 1. Romeo and Juliet By Shakespeare
    Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare is one of many respected tragedies that engages our hearts and minds and helps us to understand our world. The qualities of fate, impulsiveness, and death are told through an entertaining love story of Romeo and Juliet. The play is set in Verona, Italy, where a feud has broken out between the families of the Montegues and the Capulets. The two families have been enemies for a long time. In Shakespeare, as in life, everything is tragic when times are tragic, and even love can’t be expected to solve every problem. It is shown in the last scene that Romeo and Juliet died because of doing suicide. Once the families discover what happened, they finally end their bitter feud. Thus the youngsters’ deaths bring the families together. Romeo And Juliet is a true tragedy in the literary sense because the families gather sufficient self-knowledge to correct their behaviour but not until it is too late to save the situation.
    Historical Background of Romeo and Juliet
    The setting of Romeo and Juliet is generally based on a real Italian love story from the third Century. The real families are the Capeletti and the Montecci. Romeo and Juliet belongs to a tradition of tragic romance stretching back to antiquity. Its plot is based on an Italian tale, translated into verse as The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet by Arthur Brooke in 1562. This period was “The Elizabethan Era” which was also known as “The Renaissance”. Then it retold in prose in Palace of Pleasure by William Painter in 1582. Shakespeare borrowed heavily from both but, to expand the plot, developed supporting characters, particularly Mercutio and Paris. Believed written between 1591 and 1595, the play was first published in a quarto version in 1597. This text was of poor quality, and later editions corrected it, bringing it more in line with Shakespeare’s original.

    2. The Canterbury Tales By Geoffrey Chaucer
    The Canterbury Tales was one of the most famous poems written by Geoffrey Chaucer during the medieval period. This infamous essay was written in 1387 to 1400, and it is a poem that depicts the journey of a group of pilgrims who traveled together to Canterbury.
    The Canterbury Tales begins with the introduction of each of the pilgrims making their journey to Canterbury to the shrine of Thomas a Becket. These pilgrims include a Knight, his son the Squire, the Knight’s Yeoman, a Prioress, a Second Nun, a Monk, a Friar, a Merchant, a Clerk, a Man of Law, a Franklin, a Weaver, a Dyer, a Carpenter, a Tapestry-Maker, a Haberdasher, a Cook, a Shipman, a Physician, a Parson, a Miller, a Manciple, a Reeve, a Summoner, a Pardoner, the Wife of Bath, and Chaucer himself. Congregating at the Tabard Inn, the pilgrims decide to tell stories to pass their time on the way to Canterbury. The Host of the Tabard Inn sets the rules for the tales. Each of the pilgrims will tell two stories on the way to Canterbury, and two stories on the return trip. The Host will decide whose tale is best for meaningfulness and for fun. They decide to draw lots to see who will tell the first tale, and the Knight receives the honor.
    Political, Sociological and Religious Background of Canterbury Tales
    The Canterbury Tales is a reflection of the time and period in which Chaucer lived as many of the characteristics of the political and sociological status at the time was reflected in the poem. It was the medievel period when Chaucer wrote this poem.
    During the medieval period, Feudalism was practiced where there are social hierarchies among men. God has the highest importance, followed by kings and royals, nobles, artists and peasants. This political status was reflected in the poem through character of the rich woman from BATH city. She was a rich widow as it was mentioned in the poem. “Her kerchiefs were finely woven ground; I dared have sworn they weight a good ten pound.” (Chaucer). This woman from BATH city might have been noble and that her status is high among the others. This made the people afraid of her and dare not cross her path; for fear that they might infuriate her as it was shown in the poem. “In all the parish not a dame dared stir, towards the altar steps in front of her. And if indeed they did, so wrath was she. As to be put out of charity.” (Chaucer). This shows that the social hierarchy system that was shown in the poem was a reflection on the political condition during the period of time in which Chaucer lived.
    Religion played a huge part in the sociological context in which this poem was written and things that were happened during the period of time were usually defined by the church and God. As this poem is about a group of pilgrims who journeyed all the way to Canterbury to offer their blessings to saints, it reflected the society during the time in which they place high importance on religion as it was during the medieval times. “And palmers long to seek the stranger strands. Of far off saints, hallowed in sundry lands, and especially from every shire’s end. In England down to Canterbury they wend. To seek the holy blissful martyr, quick in giving help to them when they were sick.” (Chaucer).
    Out of the nine characters that were mentioned in the poem, there were two nuns, three priests and a monk. This is a reflection of Chaucer’s time as religion was given high importance as most of the people in the society had religious occupations as portrayed in the poem. Other than that, religious places were often mentioned in the poem that it mirrored the high status of Christianity during Chaucer’s time period. In example, “And she had thrice been to Jerusalem…St James of Compostella and Cologne.” (Chaucer).
    The monk that was mentioned in the poem was different than other religious leaders as he hunts for meats for many of the other religion leaders do not. This might have been a reflection to the time in which Chaucer lived that some individuals within the society had begun to change from the expectations of the society. People began to slowly rebel against the idea of the church and it was shown through the monk as he hunts animals, which most monks do not. He tends to think more modernly than the minds of others as Chaucer has portrayed it, “He let go by the things of yesterday, and took modern world’s more spacious way.” (Chaucer). Therefore, it is a reflection during the time of Chaucer in which some individuals might have started to think differently than the conservative minds of the others and the expectations of the church which might have lead to the reformation period.
    The stereotyping of women as weak and vulnerable in the poem was also reflection in Chaucer’s time of life. During the medieval period, men were often seen as the muscular and strong while women were often portrayed as weak and vulnerable. This was shown in the poem when Chaucer described all men in the poem as strong and tough. In example, the knight was portrayed as honest and skillful. “Truth, honor, generousness and courtesy. He had done nobly in his sovereign’s war, and ridden in battle, no man more.” (Chaucer). This squire was also depicted as a man who is strong. “In stature he was of a moderate length, with wonderful agility and strength.” (Chaucer). While the males were depict as muscular and strong, Chaucer portrayed the women in the poem to be gentle and weak as how he portrayed the nuns in the poem. “She use to weep if she saw but a mouse, caught in a trap, if it were dead or bleeding.” (Chaucer). Therefore, stereotyping of women in the poem was a reflection of the status of women in the society in which the time Chaucer lived.
    3. Beowulf
    Beowulf is the conventional title of an old Englis heroic epic poem consisting of 3182 alliterative long lines, set in Scandinavia, commonly cited as one of the most important works of Anglo-Saxon literature. It survives in a single manuscript known as the as the Nowell Codex. Its composition by an anonymous Anglo-Saxon poet is dated between the 8th and the early 11th century.
    In the poem, Beowulf, a hero of the Geats in Scandinavia, comes to the help of Hrodgar, the king of the Danes, whose mead hall has been under attack by a being known as Grendel. After Beowulf slays him, Grendel’s mother attacks the hall and is then also defeated. Victorious, Beowulf goes home to Geatland in Sweden and later becomes king of the Geats. After a period of fifty years has passed, Beowulf defeats a dragon, but is fatally wounded in the battle. After his death, his attendants bury him in a tumulus in Geatland.
    Historical Background of Beowulf
    The events described in the poem take place in the late 5th century, after the Anglo-Saxons had begun migration and settlement in England, and before the beginning of the 7th century, a time when the Saxons were either newly arrived or in close contact with their fellow Germanic Kinsmen in Scandinavia and Northern Germany. The poem could have been transmitted in England by people of Geatish origins. It has been suggested that Beowulf was first composed in the 7th century at Rendlesham in East Anglia, as Sutton Hoo also shows close connections with Scandinavia, and also that the East Anglian royal dynasty, the Wuffings, were descendants of the Geatish Wulfings. Others have associated this poem with the court of King Alfred, or with the court of King Canute.
    The poem deals with legend, and was composed for entertainment and does not separate between fictional elements and real historic events, such as the raid by King Hygelac into Frisia. Scholars generally agree that many of the personalities of Beowulf also appear in Scandinavian sources (specific works designated in the following section). This does not only concern people, but also clans (e.g.,Scyldings, Scylfings and Wulfings) and some of the events (e.g., the Battle on the Ice of Lake Vanem). The dating of the events in the poem has been confirmed by archaeological excavations of the barrows indicated by Snorri Sturluson and by Swedish tradition as the graves of Ohthere (dated to c. 530) and his son Eadgils (dated to c. 575) in Uppland, Sweden.
    In Denmark, recent archaeological excavations at Lejre, where Scandinavian tradition located the seat of the Scyldings, have revealed that a hall was built in the mid-6th century, exactly the time period of Beowulf. Three halls, each about 50 metres long, were found during the excavation.
    The majority view appears to be that people such as King Hroðgar and the Scyldings in Beowulf are based on real people in 6th-century Scandinavia. Like the Finnsburg Fragment and several shorter surviving poems, Beowulf has consequently been used as a source of information about Scandinavian personalities such as Eadgils and Hygelac, and about continental Germanic personalities such as Offa, king of the continental Angles.
    19th-century archeological evidence may confirm elements of the Beowulf story. Eadgils was buried at Uppsala, according to Snorri Sturluso. When Eadgils’ mound (to the left in the photo) was excavated in 1874, the finds supported Beowulf and the sagas. They showed that a powerful man was buried in a large barrow, c 575, on a bear skin with two dogs and rich grave offerings. These remains include a Frankish sword adorned with gold and garnets and a tafl game with Roman pawns of ivory. He was dressed in a costly suit made of Frankish cloth with golden threads, and he wore a belt with a costly buckle. There were four cameos from the Middle East which were probably part of a casket. This would have been a burial fitting a king who was famous for his wealth in Old Norse sources.ongenpeow’s barrow (to the right in the photo) has not been excavated.
    4. Faery Queen by Edmund Spencer
    The Faery Queen is an incomplete English epic poem that first half was published in 1590 and a second installment was published in 1596.
    The Faery Queen was one of the most influential poems in the English language. Dedicating his work to Elizabeth I, Spenser brilliantly united Arthurian romance and Italian renaissance epic to celebrate the glory of the Virgin Queen. The poem is about the quest of a knight to achieve a virtue: the Red Crosse Knight of Holinesse, who must slay a dragon and free himself from the witch Duessa; Sir Guyon, Knight of Temperance, who escapes the Cave of Mammon and destroys Acrasia’s Bowre of Bliss; and the lady-knight Britomart’s search for her Sir Artegall, revealed to her in an enchanted mirror. Although composed as a moral and political allegory, The Faery Queen magical atmosphere captivated the imaginations of later poets from Milton to the Victorians.
    Political Background of Faery Queen
    The Faery Queen found political favour with Elizabeth I and was consequently a success, to the extent that it became Spenser’s defining work. The poem found such favour with the monarch that Spenser was granted a pension for life amounting to 50 pounds a year, though there is no evidence that Elizabeth I read any of the poem.
    The poem celebrates, memorializes, and critiques the Tudor dynasty (of which Elizabeth was a part), much in the tradition of Virgil’s Aeneid’s celebration of Augustus Caesar’s Rome. Like the Aeneid, which states that Augustus descended from the noble sons of Troy, The Faerie Queene suggests that the Tudor lineage can be connected to King Arthur. The poem is deeply allegorical and allusive: many prominent Elizabethans could have found themselves—or one another—partially represented by one or more of Spenser’s figures. Elizabeth herself is the most prominent example: she appears most prominently in her guise as Gloriana, the Faerie Queene herself; but also in Books III and IV as the virgin Belphoebe, daughter of Chrysogonee and twin to Amoret, the embodiment of womanly married love; and perhaps also, more critically, in Book I as Lucifera, the “maiden queen” whose brightly-lit Court of Pride masks a dungeon full of prisoners.
    5. Mandelville’s Travel
    Jehan de Mandeville, translated as Sir John Mandeville, is the name claimed by the compiler of The Travels of Sir John Mandeville, a book account of his supposed travels, written in Anglo-Norman French, and first circulated between 1357 and 1371.
    Mandelville Travel is basically a road map to the Holy Land, with descriptions of the various routes that can be taken from Europe, how long each leg of the journey will take, etc. He describes many of the holy sites in and around Jerusalem, Galilee and Bethelehem – descriptions which were very accurate even by today’s standards.
    From Palestine, Mandeville’s travels proceed through Egypt and Persia, east to India and the Malaysian islands, and up into China. He also describes people and their customs, manner of dress and dispositions, the means of government and their religion. He describes strange animals and plants which must have fascinated his European readers, and concludes from astronomical observations that the world absolutely must be round.
    Mandelville’s Travel discusses important religious sites that he encountered along the way from Europe to the Holy Land.. Mandeville states that the book is intended as a guide for religious pilgrims planning to travel to Jerusalem. The second half of the narrative describes the world to the East beyond the Holy Land. At the center of Mandeville’s adventure is the Earthly Paradise, which he describes in great detail but claims not to have entered because he believes himself unworthy. Mandeville describes the customs and cultures of the people he encounters, including the Chinese and the Muslims, as well as the geography and physical characteristics of the Middle and Far East. Included in the narrative are descriptions of headless giants, mute pygmies, and mythical beasts, as well as anecdotes about Mandeville himself, including stories about his passage through the Far Eastern Valley Perilous and his military service to the sultan of Egypt and the khan of Cathay. Although the original manuscript of Mandeville’s Travels is not extant, most scholars believe that it was written by someone living in northern France and that three of the French manuscripts—The Continental Version, dated 1371; The Liège Version; and The Insular Version—are independent derivatives of the original. There are four principal English versions of Mandeville’s Travelsin manuscript: the Bodley, Cotton, Defective, and Egerton versions. The Bodley Version was translated from a Latin source, while the Egerton Version is a revision of either the Cotton or Defective versions. Scholars believe that one of the latter was translated from a French text shortly before 1400 and that the other was a revision of the earlier translation. Two renditions in English verse—one metrical, the other stanzaic—have also been discovered, although the stanzaic version exists only as a fragment. Although the Defective Version was the first English edition to be printed (c. 1496), the Cotton Version, first printed in 1725, has enjoyed a wider popular and scholarly influence on the narrative’s history in English than the other three versions.
    Reference : http://www.wikipedia.org

  35. Dear Mr. Parlin

    These are my Mid-Term Assignment :

    1. Beowulf

    A. SUMMARIZE THE WORK

    Beowulf is the most famous and most frequently translated poem in the Anglo-Saxon language (also called Old English); at 3,182 lines it is also by far the longest to have survived. An anonymous work written sometime between the late eighth century and the early eleventh century, Beowulf is better known than any other poem before Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (c. 1390–1399). For nearly two centuries, this poem has embodied the early Middle Ages for millions of readers. Beowulf is much more than the sum of its exciting narrative parts; the poem’s history is closely connected with the development of the nineteenth-century nation-state, and scores of editions and translations collectively demonstrate its power to arouse controversy and stir deep feeling. Beowulf exists in a single, copy in a tenth-century in the British Library, London. The Beowulf manuscript had been badly damaged in a fire in 1731, and in the course of the nineteenth century words and letters were lost as its burned edges crumbled. Beowulf had acquired the status of historical record by the time John Mitchell Kemble published the first English edition of the poem in 1833.

    B. SOCIOLOGICAL, HISTORICAL, POLITICAL, AND RELIGIOUS BACKGROUNDS

    In the Sociological of Beowulf : The Anglo-Saxons have a very different lifestyle in comparison to people in today’s society. The Anglo-Saxons lead a life full of difficult struggle against constant enemies, and their two greatest passions include war and wandering. Every culture has distinctions that separate it from other cultures. That it what makes them so unique. The have different religions, foods, ceremonies, rituals, and holidays. The perceive the world in different ways, and also have certain values that they treasure very much.
    The history of Beowulf : Beowulf had been written in the middle of the fifth century, the time of the Anglo-Saxon invasion of Britain. However, in his preface of 1837 Kemble changed his views and now claimed that the poem was “a confused remembering of heathen myth” about an “earlier Beowulf” who was not a historical figure at all but rather a god. Throughout the nineteenth century, interest in Beowulf continued to grow, spurred partly by the desire to recover early records of national history, partly by growing fascination with folk and national literatures, and partly by philology, which improved the study of medieval languages. In its first hundred years as an object of serious study, the poem was translated forty times and edited fifteen times. Throughout the twentieth century, scholarship on Beowulf exceeded that on all other works written in Anglo-Saxon England. Set against the coming of Christianity, this is the story of the last hero: in 507, a monstrous troll wreaks havoc in the mead hall of the Danish king, Hrothgar. He offers rewards for the death of Grendel, so Beowulf, a great and boastful Geat warrior, arrives with his thanes. Beowulf sets aside his armor and awaits the monster; a fierce battle ensues that leads to Beowolf’s entering the watery lair of Grendel’s mother, where a devil’s bargain awaits. Beowulf returns to Herot, the castle, and becomes king. Jump ahead many years, and the sins of the father are visited upon Beowulf and his kingdom. The hero must face his weakness and be heroic once again.
    The Political : The epic story Beowulf is the most important of all English epics. The story embodies the values and morals of the Anglo Saxon society and discusses social and political hierarchies. Seamus Heaney’s translation of Beowulf is excellent. I love the cover art, his introduction is great, and his translation is direct and beautiful. I recently reread this portion, in which Beowulf offers a response to Unferth’s political smears. Fair to say Beowulf would be devastating in the debates. In short, “you are a drunk coward and will go to hell, I killed nine sea monsters, I will kill Grendel and restore sunlight to the world.” This article provides a reading of the Old English poem Beowulf, with a focus on its symbolic and political geographies. The key question is the role of place or site in the poem in general terms, and the more specific issue of land. The article first analyses three significant sites in the narrative — the locations of the battles between Beowulf and Grendel, Grendel’s mother and the dragon. Each of these places — the hall, the mere, and the burial-mound — are shot through with powerful emotive, elemental, symbolic and material geographies. Analysis then moves to the politics of land, a resource which is gifted, distributed, disputed and fought over. While part of a larger project which seeks to look at the conceptual and historical relation between land, terrain and territory, this article offers a more modest focused study of a single text from a particular period.
    The Religious Background : The religious in Beowulf is an aspect of the author’s sense of history, his appreciation that the past is different from yet prologue to the present, his exploration of the meaning of individual action in the framework of possibilities and limitations imposed by time and place. Beowulf seeks to explore both the bridges and the chasms between the pagan past and the Christian present, it teaches secular readers how to be pious, moral, and thoughtful about their own history, mindful of fame and courage while aware of its limitations and dangers. The poem is a Christian author’s imaginative recreation.
    References:
    * Wikipedia
    2. Mandeville Travel

    A. SUMMARIZE THE WORK
    “Jehan de Mandeville”, translated as “Sir John Mandeville”, is the name claimed by the compiler of The Travels of Sir John Mandeville, a book account of his supposed travels, written in Anglo-Norman French, and first circulated between 1357 and 1371. Mandeville’s Travels, most likely written in 1356 or 1357, purports to chronicle the travels of English knight Sir John Mandeville. In the years immediately following the return to Europe of such famous travelers as Marco Polo and Friar John of Plano Carpini, accounts of travel in the Middle East and Far East were in demand. More than 270 manuscripts of the book, in ten European languages, survive today, attesting to its immense popularity. In addition, authors of subsequent travel books retold Mandeville’s stories, and his accounts influenced thought and literature until the mid-1500s, when settlement of the New World shifted interests. Sir John Mandeville was an Early-Renaissance writer of travel tales similar in content and style to his famous near-contemporary, Marco Polo. During his lifetime, and for a couple of centuries afterwards, Mandeville was by far the more famous of the two. A copy of Mandeville – but not Polo – was in the possession of Leonardo da Vinci. More telling, about 300 manuscripts (hand-written copies) of Mandeville survive, compared to only about 70 of Polo.
    B. SOCIOLOGICAL, HISTORICAL, POLITICAL, AND RELIGIOUS BACKGROUNDS

    In the Sociological of Mandeville Travel : Mandeville tells of a society in which women often have private parts. In order to protect themselves their men hire the services of professional “testers.”
    The history of Mandeville Travel : Standards of what constitutes a historical/geographic work have greatly changed. Both books — but especially Mandeville — contain a fascinating pastiche of facts (often distorted), impressions, opinions, and utterly fantastic claims. Reading Mandeville today, one is left with a bewildering farrago of National Geographic and supermarket tabloids. Historians cannot decide whether the author was French or English, though they agree that the book was originally composed in French. The character of Mandeville, as already indicated, was almost certainly fictitious. The name might have been adapted from an earlier French romance titled Mandevie that also involved a hero who embarked on an imaginary journey. The Travels of Sir John Mandeville described the travels of an English knight who left England around 1322 and journeyed throughout Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Persia, and Turkey. The stories that Mandeville returned with were fantastic, by any measure.
    The Religious Background : Medieval culture made sense of the world by viewing it through the lens of religious imagery and fantastic legends. So in this respect the book did offer a truth, of a kind, though not one that modern readers are likely to grasp. The Travels of Sir John Mandeville (1356 or 1366) has been coined as the first travel narrative. Mandeville, claimed to be a knight, traveled for many years around Eur-Asia, Africa, and surrounding areas. The text seems to be heavily charged with Western Christianity, doused with information about the holy land and events of the bible. While abroad, he worked for the sultan and knew the great khan. The text is full of descriptions of exotic and unheard-of creatures, many are descriptions of mutated or deformed humans. Some accounts of his travels and encounters could be reputable, while others are slightly outrageous or otherwise undocumented by anyone else. Copies of the book were supposedly owned by Da Vinci, Colombus, and Chaucer, among others. There exist over 300 extant manuscripts, and this is considered the first time we really are leaving Europe and the bounds of Western Christianity.
    References:
    * Wikipedia
    3. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
    A. SUMMARIZE THE WORK
    Romeo and Juliet is a story tragedy in the career of William Shakespeare abut two young whose lovers. The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet by Arthur Brooke in 1562 and retold in prose in Palace of Pleasure by William Painter in 1582. Shakespeare’s use of dramatic structure, especially effects such as switching between comedy and tragedy to heighten tension, his expansion of minor characters, and his use of sub-plots to embellish the story, has been praised as an early sign of his dramatic skill. The play ascribes different poetic forms to different characters, sometimes changing the form as the character develops. Romeo, for example, grows more adept at the sonnet over the course of the play. Believed written between 1591 and 1595, the play was first published in a quarto version in 1597. This text was of poor quality, and later editions corrected it, bringing it more in line with Shakespeare’s original.
    B. SOCIOLOGICAL, HISTORICAL, AND RELIGIOUS BACKGROUNDS

    In the Sociological of Romeo and Juliet : Romeo and Juliet are not sociologists or social/political radicals. They simply wish to follow a very human instinct. It is their intelligence that causes them to conceal their humanity and adopt a bizarre course of action in isolation.

    The Historical background, Romeo and Juliet belongs to a tradition of tragic romances stretching back to antiquity. Its plot is based on an Italian tale, translated into verse as The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet by Arthur Brooke in 1562 and retold in prose in Palace of Pleasure by William Painter in 1582. Shakespeare borrowed heavily from both but, to expand the plot, developed supporting characters, particularly Mercutio and Paris. Believed written between 1591 and 1595, the play was first published in a quarto version in 1597. This text was of poor quality, and later editions corrected it, bringing it more in line with Shakespeare’s original.
    The Religious Background : In the Catholic religion, suicides were often thought to be condemned to hell, whereas people who die to be with their loves under the “Religion of Love” are joined with their loves in paradise. Romeo and Juliet’s love seems to be expressing the “Religion of Love” view rather than the Catholic view. Another point is that although their love is passionate, it is only consummated in marriage, which prevents them from losing the audience’s sympathy. Throughout the film we always see Christ portrayed with his arms outstretched as if he is on a cross. The cross is the religious symbol for the sacrifice Christ made so that the world might live on into eternity. Romeo and Juliet have a relationship that is centered around the church, and there is almost always a cross or other religious symbol in the scenes in which they appear. This symbolism leads one to believe that Luhrmann creates a parallel between Romeo and Juliet and Christ. Perhaps one should view Luhrmann’s Christ imagery as an attempt to show that both Romeo and Juliet play a Christ-like role in their families—sacrificing themselves for the eventual peace between their families. Thus, rather than being “star-cross’d lovers”(I. i. 6-10) Romeo and Juliet can be viewed as sacrificial lovers.
    References:
    * Wikipedia
    * http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romeo_and_Juliet
    4. Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar
    A. SUMMARIZE THE WORK

    The Tragedy of Julius Caesar believed to have been written in 1599. The Roman dictator Julius Caesar is one of several Roman plays that Shakespeare wrote, based on true events from Roman history, which also include Coriolanus and Antony and Cleopatra. Caesar is not the most visible character in its action; he appears in only three scenes, and is killed at the beginning of the third act. Marcus Brutus speaks more than four times as many lines, and the central psychological drama is his struggle between the conflicting demands of honor, patriotism, and friendship.

    B. SOCIOLOGICAL, HISTORICAL, POLITICAL, AND RELIGIOUS BACKGROUNDS

    The Sociological, Julius tended to conflate the early modern period with the French sociologist Émile Durkheim stresses the unifying aspects of culture, Reminiscent of the balcony scenes from Romeo and Juliet.
    The Historical Tragedy of Julius Caesar also known simply by William Shakespeare. It portrays the 44 BC conspiracy against the Roman dictator Julius Caesar, his assassination and the defeat of the conspirators at the Battle of Philippi. Shakespeare is telling about the battle between two brothers. It also tells about the expansion of Rome. Traditional readings of the play may maintain that Cassius and the other conspirators are motivated largely by envy and ambition, whereas Brutus is motivated by the demands of honor and patriotism. But one of the central strengths of the play is that it resists categorizing its characters as either simple heroes or villains.
    The Political appointment is complex and uncertain. Caesar held both the dictatorship and the tribunate, but alternated between the consulship and the Proconsulship. His powers within the state seem to have rested upon these magistracies. He was first appointed dictator in 49 BC possibly to preside over elections, but resigned his dictatorship within eleven days. In 48 BC, he was re-appointed dictator, only this time for an indefinite period, and in 46 BC, he was appointed dictator for ten years. In February 44 BC, one month before his assassination, he was appointed dictator for life. Under Caesar, a significant amount of authority was vested in his lieutenants, mostly because Caesar was frequently out of Italy. The political journalist and classicist Garry Wills maintains that “This play is distinctive because it has no villains.
    The Religion Background expanded again to include the Emperors themselves. Julius Caesar, having claimed to be a direct descendent of Aeneas, the son of Venus, was among the first to deify himself in such a manner. At first, such a system of human divinity was largely rejected by the masses, but the popularity of Caesar helped pave the way for future leaders.
    References:
    * Wikipedia
    * http://www.unrv.com/cuture/roman.religion
    5. Edmund Spenser’s Faery Queen
    A. SUMMARIZE THE WORK

    The Canterbury Tales is a collection of stories written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer at the end of the 14th century. The tales (mostly written in verse although some are in prose) are told as part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together on a journey from Southwark to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. The prize for this contest is a free meal at the Tabard Inn at Southwark on their return.

    B. SOCIOLOGICAL, HISTORICAL, POLITICAL, AND RELIGIOUS BACKGROUNDS

    In The Sociological , there are probably some interesting sociological reasons, such as the prevalent interest in fictive worlds and autonomous structures of myth; for some of the brethren, one suspects, Spenser is a Tolkien off whom it’s respectable to make a living. But most modern Spenserians seem to be wrestling with a specific and troublesome problem: allegory and the difficulties of historical reconstruction which it involves.
    In The Historical, the poem also displays Spenser’s thorough familiarity with literary history. Although the world of The Faerie Queene is based on English Arthurian legend, much of the language, spirit, and style of the piece draw more on Italian epic, particularly Ludovico Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso and Torquato Tasso’s Jerusalem Delivered. The fifth Book of The Faerie Queene, the Book of Justice, is Spenser’s most direct discussion of political theory. In it, Spenser both attempts to tackle the problem of policy toward Ireland and recreates the trial of Mary, Queen of Scots

    The Political favour with Elizabeth I and was consequently a success, to the extent that it became Spenser’s defining work. The poem found such favour with the monarch that Spenser was granted a pension for life amounting to 50 pounds a year, though there is no evidence that Elizabeth I read any of the poem. The poem celebrates, memorializes, and critiques the Tudor dynasty (of which Elizabeth was a part), much in the tradition of Virgil’s Aeneid’s celebration of Augustus Caesar’s Rome. The Faerie Queene suggests that the Tudor lineage can be connected to King Arthur.
    In Religious Background, The Catholic Church was in the midst of the Western Schism and, though it was still the only Christian authority in Europe, was the subject of heavy controversy. Lollardy, an early English religious movement led by John Wycliffe, is mentioned in the Tales, as is a specific incident involving pardoners (who gathered money in exchange for absolution from sin) who nefariously claimed to be collecting for St. Mary Rouncesval hospital in England. The Canterbury Tales is among the first English literary works to mention paper, a relatively new invention which allowed dissemination of the written word never before seen in England. Political clashes, such as the 1381 Peasants’ Revolt and clashes ending in the deposing of King Richard II, further reveal the complex turmoil surrounding Chaucer in the time of the Tales’ writing. Many of his close friends were executed and he himself was forced to move to Kent in order to get away from events in London. In the social background, it reflected the invention at that time. So it is very important for the growth of the development.
    References:
    * Wikipedia
    * http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Faerie_Queene

  36. Dear Sir, Below are my responses to Mid Term Assignment of Literature III

    1. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

    This heartwarming journey of love is an ancient legacy from Italian cities of Verona and Mantua during the Renaissance (around the fourteenth century). Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written early in the career of playwright William Shakespeare about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately unite their feuding families. This love story has been introduced to the public since 1597 through the staging of drama. It is among Shakespeare’s most popular archetypal stories of young, teenage lovers.

    Romeo and Juliet story illustrates not only the romantic story between two men alone, but the story between two important families in Verona, Italy. This story begins when Juliet enters the age of 17, at that time Juliet has a noble family named Capulets, while Romeo’s noble family known as Mountage. Initially the family feud has been handed down conflict. Romeo and Juliet fall in love when they are confronted with personal conflicts respectively. They agree to conceal their relationship, until Romeo gets angry to Capulets family since his family member, Mercutio killed by Tybalt from Capulets’ family. Romeo is very angry and wants to revenge and kills Tybalt, so that Romeo is punished and The Prince of Verona rules that Romeo won’t be killed, but banished from Verona. Because of that punishment, Romeo and Juliet could not meet. In meanwhile, Juliet is not able to refuse the proposal from Paris, who is regarded as her family’s choice. Then she comes to Friar Laurence, who has ideas by giving her a potion that will make it seem like she’s died but will really only put her to sleep and promises to tell about this to Romeo, but Romeo never hears the news. So when Romeo hears only that Juliet has died in despair he buys poison and, after fighting and killing a grieving Paris, sneaks into Juliet’s tomb then drinks the poison, and dies. But after awhile, Juliet wakes. She sees Romeo’s body. In order to be with Romeo, Juliet kills herself with a dagger. The Montagues and Capulets are grief-stricken after knowing the truth and they agree to end their feud.

    The death of Romeo and Juliet has brought profound changes not only to communities in Verona, Italy, but also to the social lives of people around the world. This is evidenced by the two noble families, Mountagues and Capulets agree to end their feud. In the past, most people assume that if someone wants to marry off their daughters, then it must be the same level of social strata of their lives, and parental choice is the best and deserves. When their daughters refuse, they will be punished even banished. By the death of Romeo and Juliet’s parents began to open-minded and do not impose their will to their daughters or sons. Their daughters and sons have the freedom to pick and choose her life partner because they are undergoing their own lives not their parents.

    References:

    Retrieved, March 9 2012 from http://www.litcharts.com/lit/romeoandjuliet/backgroundinfo
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romeo_and_Juliet#Synopsis

    2. Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Caterbury Tales

    Geoffrey Chaucer wrote The Canterbury Tales, a collection of stories in a frame story, between 1387 and 1400. The end of middle ages is often called The Age of Chaucer. It is the story of a group of thirty people who travel as pilgrims to Canterbury (England). The pilgrims, who come from all layers of society, tell stories to each other to kill time while they travel to Canterbury.
    This work tells of an imaginary pilgrimage monks on 11 April, 1387 to Canterbury Cathedral to visit the tomb of Saint Thomas A. Beckett. This work is a collection of 70 narrative poems, with long lines and a wide range of subject matter. The Canterbury Tales gives a realistic picture about the life of British society. This anthology is rich in humor despite the criticism leveled at many of the characters, especially the priests who neglect their duties and are still concerned with worldly pleasures. Inevitably, this work presents a description of the social life of the priests, monks, nuns or religious leaders are corrupt, greedy and swindlers, rather than as role models for many British people wracked by poverty in that period.
    From religious view, many characters in The Canterbury Tales represents the behavior and character opposite to what is traditionally expected of them. Thus the irony of life of the monks who should become public role models. Life does not exemplify the simplicity of the monks, instead enjoying material life. Their average body fat because it is always a good meal. They wear flashy clothes; expensive robe with fur complete with decorations. Not to mention their habit which often hunt animals rather than studying the scriptures. The severity of these monks still have the guts to preach that hunting is not considered holy (unholy). They use church funds for private interests to build a big house and stables as well as buying fancy clothes and expensive jewelry.

    Reference:
    Retrieved, March 9 2012 from http://www.librarius.com/cantales.htm
    http://www.bookrags.com/notes/ct/

    3. Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar

    A tragedy story which also known as Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1599. It portrays the 44 BC conspiracy against the Roman dictator Julius Caesar, his assassination and the defeat of the conspirators at the Battle of Philippi. It is one of several Roman plays that Shakespeare wrote, based on true events from Roman history, which also include Coriolanus and Antony and Cleopatra.
    Gaius Julius Caesar is a Roman military leader and politician whose power to expand the world of Roman to Oceanus Atlanticus, the first Roman to attack Britain, and introduces the influence of Roman, an achievement is a direct result are still visible today. Julius Caesar fights and wins a civil war that makes the greatest ruler of the Roman world, and the start of major reforms of Roman society and government. He becomes dictator for life, and weakened further centralize government in the republic. Caesar stabbed to death by Marcus Junius Brutus and several Roman senators. Acts of murder against him on the second civil war triggers the end of the Roman Republic and early Roman Empire under the reign of his adopted son and grandson, the Emperor Augustus. Julius Caesar’s military campaigns are known in detail through his own set of comments, and much of his life story as recorded historian Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, Mestrius Plutarch, and Lucius Cassius Dio.
    Julius Caesar represents to political and religion lives. Many prominent leader of the program start with the desire to bring about change and democracy, but just as Julius Caesar, many leaders when the more powerful and a great empire, and then tied a noose unstoppable power ambitions and ends on otorianism and tiranism. Throne of power or leadership is difficult to avoid snares man full of ambition so all the effort and political intrigues are used to seize it. Property is the destination side and the power inherent in the goal as leaders without authority elusive treasure and the power of wealth can be seized.

    Retrieved, 9 March 2012 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julius_Caesar_%28play%29
    http://www.litcharts.com/lit/romeoandjuliet/backgroundinfo

    4. Christopher Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus

    The tragical history of Christopher Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus, a great man of knowledge. He sought to gain more knowledge by making a pact with the devil. Doctor Faustus was first published in 1604, eleven years after Marlowe’s death and at least twelve years after the first performance of the play.
    There is a young man named Doctor Faustus. He is a prominent man in the field of science. For many years he thinks about the world that he struggles until he arrives at a decision that all of this there are no limits. The man always wants more. Faustus knows that there is a point where he can not enter and the point that will take him on to his dream. This curiosity is leads Faustus takes the an unusual life to the black road. To achieve his dream, he decides to learn the science of witchcraft are two people who are proficient in that area, they are Valdes and Cornelius. Before entering the next round, Faustus must promise to leave all his power, Faustus agrees by the dream. Faustus road farther from the truth when he has managed to summon the spirit, we call it the devil, Satan is called Mephistophilis. Through the devil he is doing a deal with the demon king named Lucifer. Before the deal is done the devil tries to call to advise of the Faustus’ dangerous decision. The devil tells how the destruction of human life when the agreement occurs. He also tells how cruel the situation a hell. With such a devil asks Faustus to rethinks his, but it all ignored by Faustus, his lust is greater than the things that the devil was expressed. Agreement is finally agreed by both parties, Faustus and Lucifer. Faustus asks for Mephistophilis Lucifer to be his personal aide for twenty four years and instead he will submit himself to Lucifer as the inhabitants of hell after that. The blood of Doctor Faustus shed from the body as a sign that the treaty has been in force.
    This story is a plot of a play titled Doctor Faustus written by Christopher Marlowe. Many important things we can learn from this story which reflects to our religion, one is that every action it will take the consequences of each. Good and evil bear sweet fruit. so it all depends on us, which path we should go, do not get us wrong path caused by the thirst of this world given to us as perceived by Doctor Faustus that ends with a regret that of whom no longer good for anything.

    Retrieved, 9 March 2012 from http://www.essortment.com/tragical-history-dr-faustus-
    21195.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romeo_and_Juliet#Synopsis

    5. Mendelville’s Travel
    The writer of the seventeenth-century, Sir Thomas Browne declared that Sir John Mandeville is “the greatest liar of all time.” The travel book attributed to Mandeville, which first appeared around 1371, was certainly one of the most popular books of the late Middle and it was definitely filled with bizarre fabrications. But, Browne’s assessment of Mandeville’s character is undermined by the fact that Mandeville probably never existed.
    Mandeville’s Travels chronicles the experiences of Sir John Mandeville, an English knight who travels for more than thirty years through Europe, Northern Africa, and Asia. It describes a number of routes from Europe to the Holy Land and discusses important historical and religious sites that he encounters along the way. Mandeville states that the book is intended as a guide for religious pilgrims planning to travel to Jerusalem. At the center of Mandeville’s adventure is the Earthly Paradise, which he describes in great detail but claims not to have entered because he believes himself unworthy. He describes the customs and cultures of the people he encounters, including the Chinese and the Muslims, as well as the geography and physical characteristics of the Middle and Far East. Included in the narrative are descriptions of headless giants, mute pygmies, and mythical beasts, as well as anecdotes about Mandeville himself, including stories about his passage through the Far Eastern Valley Perilous and his military service to the sultan of Egypt and the khan of Cathay.
    Mandeville shows concern for religion. Saracen views of Christianity, admits that Christians can be evil. Obviously favors Christians: Of the head of the devil in the Vale Perilous, the valley where the head of a devil is under a rock and only Christians can pass by unharmed,Acknowledges that non-Christians can be favored if they live by the Ten Commandments.

    Retrieved, March 9 2012 from http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/archive/permalink/
    the_travels_of_sir_john_mandeville

  37. Dear Mr. Parlin
    This is my assigment
    1. Beowulf
    Summary :
    King Hrothgar, the ruler of the Danes, is troubled by the rampages of a demon named Grendel. Every night, Grendel attacks King Hrothgar’s wealthy mead-hall, Heorot, killing Danish warriors and sometimes even eating them. Hrothgar was a great warrior in his time, but now he’s an old king and can’t seem to protect his people. Fortunately, a young Geat warrior named Beowulf travels to Heorot Hall from his own lands overseas to lend a helping hand – literally.
    After explaining that he owes Hrothgar a favor because Hrothgar helped out his father, Beowulf offers to fight Grendel himself. Unfortunately, Grendel has an overprotective mother who decides to avenge her son. While all the warriors are sleeping off the party, she attacks Heorot Hall. But when the warriors wake up, she panics and flees back to her lair, a cave underneath a nearby lake.
    Beowulf, his Geatish warriors, and some of Hrothgar’s Danish warriors track her there. Beowulf dives into the lake and finds the cave, where he takes on Grendel’s mother in another one-on-one battle.
    Finally, the Geats take their leave of the Danes; Beowulf says goodbye to King Hrothgar and sails back to Geatland, where he is a lord in the court of King Hygelac. But one day, Beowulf finally meets his match: a dragon, woken by a thief stealing a goblet, begins attacking the Geats, burning villages and slaughtering people.
    After Beowulf’s death, the Geats build an enormous funeral pyre for him, heaped with treasures. Once the pyre has burned down, they spend ten days building an enormous barrow (a large mound of earth filled with treasure) as a monument to their lost king.
    B. sociological, historical, political, and/or religious backgrounds.
    The structure of Beowulf is both tripartite and bipartite. Any point in the story, therefore, may be seen as either part of the decline and self-destruction of the steadfast hero and heroic ideal, or as a moment in life to which there exists a parallel yet contrasting moment in the other half of the poem.
    The story of Beowulf opens by recounting the career of Scyld Scefing, a king sent by God to the Danes. After Scyld’s death the Danes prosper under his descendants. One of those descendants, Hrothgar, builds the Danes a great hall called Heorot. Heorot is soon invaded by Grendel, a half-human monster who is hated by God. The Danes are helpless against these attacks until the hero Beowulf arrives to aid them. He battles Grendel in hand to hand combat in Heorot and kills the monster by tearing off its arm. Grendel’s mother then comes to avenge her son. Beowulf and Hrothgar follow her to her lair in a disgusting lake, where Beowulf fights Grendel’s mother in her hall at the bottom of the lake. Beowulf almost loses, but with the aid of God is eventually victorious. He is lavishly rewarded and returns to his own land where he tells his adventures to his uncle, King Hygelac.
    The poem then jumps fifty years into the future when Beowulf is in old age and king of the Geats. He then fights his last battle agains a dragon that is guardian of a cursed treasure. He tries to fight the dragon alone, but can only defeat it with the aid of a younger relative, Wiglaf. The dragon is killed, but mortally wounds Beowulf in the battle, and the old king passes away while gazing on the cursed treasure. The death of Beowulf marks the decline of the Geats, who are now surrounded by enemies made in previous campaigns. Consequently, the poem ends in mourning for both Beowulf and his nation.
    References:
    Wikipedia
    2. Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Caterbury Tales
    Summary :
    The Canterbury Tales begins with the introduction of each of the pilgrims making their journey to Canterbury to the shrine of Thomas a Becket. These pilgrims include a Knight, his son the Squire, the Knight’s Yeoman, a Prioress, a Second Nun, a Monk, a Friar, a Merchant, a Clerk, a Man of Law, a Franklin, a Weaver, a Dyer, a Carpenter, a Tapestry-Maker, a Haberdasher, a Cook, a Shipman, a Physician, a Parson, a Miller, a Manciple, a Reeve, a Summoner, a Pardoner, the Wife of Bath, and Chaucer himself. Each of the pilgrims will tell two stories on the way to Canterbury, and two stories on the return trip. The Host will decide whose tale is best for meaningfulness and for fun. They decide to draw lots to see who will tell the first tale, and the Knight receives the honor.
    The Knight’s Tale is a tale about two knights, Arcite and Palamon, who are captured in battle and imprisoned in Athens under the order of King Theseus. Both knights eventually leave prison separately: a friend of Arcite begs Theseus to release him, while Palamon later escapes. Arcite returns to the Athenian court disguised as a servant, and when Palamon escapes he suddenly finds Arcite, Arcite prays to Mars for victory in battle. When the Knight finishes his tale, everybody is pleased with its honorable qualities, but the drunken Miller insists that he shall tell the next tale. The Miller’s Tale, in many ways a version of the Knight’s, is a comic table in which Nicholas, a student who lives with John the carpenter and his much younger wife, Alison, falls in love with Alison. Another man, the courtly romantic Absolon, also falls in love with Alison. Nicholas contrives to sleep with Alison by telling John that a flood equal to Noah’s flood will come soon, and the only way that he, Nicholas and Alison will survive is by staying in separate kneading tubs placed on the roof of houses, out of sight of all. While John remained in this kneading tub, Nicholas and Alison leave to have sex, but are interrupted by Absolon, singing to Alison at her bedroom window. She told him to close his eyes and he would receive a kiss. He did so, and she pulled down her pants so that he could kiss her arse. The humiliated Absolon got a hot iron from a blacksmith and returned to Alison. This time, Nicholas tried the same trick, and Absolon branded his backside. Nicholas shouted for water, awakening John, who was asleep on the roof. Thinking the flood had come, he cut the rope and came crashing through the floor of his house, landing in the cellar.
    B. sociological, historical, political, and/or religious backgrounds.
    the story of Constance, the daughter of a Roman emperor who becomes engaged to the Sultan of Syria on the condition that he converts to Christianity. Angered by his order to convert his country from Islam, the mother of the Sultan assassinates her son and Constance barely escapes. She is sent on a ship that lands in Britain, where she is taken in by the warden of a nearby castle and his wife, Dame Hermengild. Both of them soon convert to Christianity upon meeting her. A young knight fell in love with Constance, but when she refused him, he murdered Dame Hermengild and attempted to frame Constance. However, when King Alla made the knight swear on the Bible that Constance murdered Hermengild, his eyes burst. Constance marries King Alla and they have a son, Mauritius, who is born when Alla is at war in Scotland. Lady Donegild contrives to have Constance banished by intercepting the letters between Alla and Constance and replacing them with false ones. Constance is thus sent away again, and on her voyage her ship comes across a Roman ship. A senator returns her to Rome, where nobody realizes that she is the daughter of the emperor. Eventually, King Alla makes a pilgrimage to Rome, where he meets Constance once more, and the Roman emperor realizes that Mauritius is his grandson and names him heir to the throne.
    In 1359 to 1360, Chaucer went to war with France under the army of King Edward III (Online-Literature, 2009). This shows that Chaucer was once in the army, and so he may thinks highly of the position as it was shown in the poem. “There was a KNIGHT, a most distinguished man.” (Chaucer). Other than that, because Chaucer had served in the army before, he made the knight in the poem seemed honorable, wise and humble. “And though so much distinguished, he was wise. And in his bearing modest as a maid…He never yet a boorish thing had said.” (Chaucer). This shows that the poem was a reflection of the author’s life as a soldier in the army.
    During the medieval period, Feudalism was practiced where there are social hierarchies among men. The reflection of Chaucer’s time as religion was given high importance as most of the people in the society had religious occupations as portrayed in the poem. Other than that, religious places were often mentioned in the poem that it mirrored the high status of Christianity during Chaucer’s time period. In example, “And she had thrice been to Jerusalem…St James of Compostella and Cologne.” (Chaucer).
    The monk that was mentioned in the poem was different than other religious leaders as he hunts for meats for many of the other religion leaders do not. This might have been a reflection to the time in which Chaucer lived that some individuals within the society had begun to change from the expectations of the society. Therefore, it is a reflection during the time of Chaucer in which some individuals might have started to think differently than the conservative minds of the others and the expectations of the church which might have lead to the reformation period. Therefore, stereotyping of women in the poem was a reflection of the status of women in the society in which the time Chaucer lived.
    References:
    Wikipedia
    3. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
    Summary :
    The story is about the Capulets and the Montagues, two prestigious families in Verona, Italy. These families have been fighting for quite some time, and the Prince declares that their next public brawl will be punished by death. When the fight is over, Romeo’s cousin Benvolio tries to cheer him of his melancholy. Romeo reveals that he is in love with a woman named Rosaline, but she has chosen to live a life of chastity. Romeo and Benvolio are accidentally invited to their enemy’s party; Benvolio convinces Romeo to go.
    At the party, Romeo locks eyes with a young woman named Juliet. They instantly fall in love, but they do not realize that their families are mortal enemies. When they realize each other’s identities, they are devastated, but they cannot help the way that they feel. Romeo sneaks into Juliet’s yard after the party and proclaims his love for her. She returns his sentiments and the two decide to marry. The next day, Romeo and Juliet are married by Friar Lawrence; an event witnessed by Juliet’s Nurse and Romeo’s loyal servant, Balthasar. They plan to meet in Juliet’s chambers that night.
    Romeo visits his best friend Mercutio and his cousin Benvolio but his good mood is curtailed. Juliet’s cousin, Tybalt, starts a verbal quarrel with Romeo, which soon turns into a duel with Mercutio. Romeo tries to stop the fight but it is too late: Tybalt kills Mercutio. Romeo, enraged, retaliates by killing Tybalt. Once Romeo realizes the consequences of his actions, he hides at Friar Lawrence’s cell.
    Friar Lawrence informs Romeo that he has been banished from Verona and will be killed if he stays. The Friar suggests Romeo spend the night with Juliet, then leave for Mantua in the morning. He tells Romeo that he will attempt to settle the Capulet and Montague dispute so Romeo can later return to a united family. Romeo takes his advice, spending one night with Juliet before fleeing Verona.
    Juliet’s mother, completely unaware of her daughter’s secret marriage to Romeo, informs Juliet that she will marry a man named Paris in a few days. Juliet, outraged, refuses to comply. Her parents tell her that she must marry Paris and the Nurse agrees with them. Juliet asks Friar Lawrence for advice, insisting she would rather die than marry Paris. Fr. Lawrence gives Juliet a potion which will make her appear dead and tells her to take it the night before the wedding. He promises to send word to Romeo – intending the two lovers be reunited in the Capulet vault.
    Juliet drinks the potion and everybody assumes that she is dead — including Balthasar, who immediately tells Romeo. Friar Lawrence’s letter fails to reach Romeo, so he assumes that his wife is dead. He rushes to Juliet’s tomb and, in deep grief, drinks a vial of poison. Moments later, Juliet wakes to find Romeo dead and kills herself due to grief. Once the families discover what happened, they finally end their bitter feud. Thus the youngsters’ deaths bring the families together. Romeo And Juliet is a true tragedy in the literary sense because the families gather sufficient self-knowledge to correct their behaviour but not until it is too late to save the situation.
    B. sociological, historical, political, and/or religious backgrounds.
    It is a tragic story of undying love much like the later Romeo and Juliet, which was. the politics and conflicts of the region with war often acting as background to .
    Curiously enough, telling made-up stories in written story form is a rather recent art. There are stories like Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet that make people cry, in literary history are the great figures of any major religion (remember that true, sociology, politics, et al. and how they affect or are used in the literary work.)
    During the wars of religion in the sixteenth, At the time, scholars also tended to conflate the early modern period with the, the French sociologist Émile Durkheim stresses the unifying aspects of culture, Reminiscent of the balcony scenes from Romeo and Juliet.
    Romeo and Juliet derives its story from several sources available during the sixteenth century. Shakespeare’s primary source for the play is Arthur Brooke’s Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet (1562), which is a long, dense poem. This poem in turn was based on a French prose version written by Pierre Boiastuau (1559), who had used an Italian version by Bandello written in 1554. Bandello’s poem was further derived from Luigi da Porto’s version in 1525 of a story by Masuccio Salernitano (1476).
    Shakespeare’s plot remains true to the Brooke version in most details, with theatrical license taken in some instances. For example, as he often does, Shakespeare telescopes the events in the poem which take ninety days into only a few days. He also depicts Juliet as a much younger thirteen rather than sixteen, thus presenting a young girl who is suddenly awakened to love.
    The Religion. This topic is a key controversy in Baz Luhrmann’s William Shakespeare’s Romeo+Juliet. The audience often finds themselves questioning the role of Christ and Christian imagery in a story so filled with hate and destruction. What is Luhrmann’s intention behind emphasizing this part of the culture of Verona Beach? Peter Donaldson offers a suggestion in his essay, “In Fair Verona: Media, Spectacle, and Performance in William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet.” He writes that perhaps religion serves as “a media icon” or “a brand name or a badge” (66) connecting the Montagues and Capulets in a realm outside of the fighting and hatred. This outlook suggests that religion is only skin deep in this production—something by which the two families can justify their actions. By displaying religious icons, the Montagues and Capulets can argue that because they are religious, their fighting, killing, and animosity have a just place in the society of Verona Beach. But, why would Luhrmann choose religion and more specifically Christ imagery to achieve this purpose? He could have used another set of images to serve the same purpose. For example, we see the coat of arms for the government of Verona Beach in Captain Prince’s office after the gas station shootout. Why not make this the most prevalent symbol that unifies the two families? Why use something as sacred as religion? There must be a deeper meaning to his use of the religious figure of Christ. Throughout the film we always see Christ portrayed with his arms outstretched as if he is on a cross. The cross is the religious symbol for the sacrifice Christ made so that the world might live on into eternity. Romeo and Juliet have a relationship that is centered around the church, and there is almost always a cross or other religious symbol in the scenes in which they appear. This symbolism leads one to believe that Luhrmann creates a parallel between Romeo and Juliet and Christ. Perhaps one should view Luhrmann’s Christ imagery as an attempt to show that both Romeo and Juliet play a Christ-like role in their families—sacrificing themselves for the eventual peace between their families. Thus, rather than being “star-cross’d lovers”(I. i. 6-10) Romeo and Juliet can be viewed as sacrificial lovers.
    Romeo and Juliet are not sociologists or social/political radicals. They simply wish to follow a very human instinct. It is their intelligence that causes them to conceal their humanity and adopt a bizarre course of action in isolation.
    In his later years, he could not get away with a play like Romeo and Juliet. The play was subversive then. And it is subversive now. It challenges so much of our precepts about order and social behaviour. The play is not a romance. It isn’t simply a fairy tale about “two star crossed lovers”. It is a tragedy in every sense of the word.
    References:
    Wikipedia
    4. Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar
    Summary :
    The play, Julius Caesar, begins with Tribunes, Marullus and Flavius scolding the Roman people who blindly worship Caesar. Their dialog discusses their great fears that Caesar is growing too powerful and must be stopped. Later, Caesar leads a procession through the streets of Rome. A soothsayer tells Caesar to beware of the ides of March, warning he will die on this day. Caesar ignores the telling. Cassius begins to recruit Brutus, a friend of Caesar’s, to help assassinate Caesar, but Brutus becomes suspicious of his motives. Casca, another conspirator, tells Brutus of the information suggesting Cassius’ fears may be real.
    To help ensure Brutus joins in the conspiracy, Cassius has Cinna place some forged letters in places to where Brutus will find them. Brutus is unable to sleep, and reveals his fears of Caesar. He discovers the letters and joins the conspiracy, helping plan the assassination, but argues against having Mark Antony murdered as well.
    Calphurnia, one of Caesar’s wives, tells Caesar her dream foretells doom, convincing him to not go to the Senate tomorrow, which is the ides of March. Decius Brutus, hears of Caesar’s plans to not go to the Senate and convinces him to go to not look weak. Artemidorus and the soothsayer try to warn Caesar of Brutus, but fail. While at the Senate, the conspirators kill Caesar, leaving Mark Antony to flew, but ask to speak at the funeral. Cassius thinks it is dangerous, but Brutus tells Antony to speak. Brutus and Cassius gain support from the citizens of Rome by explaining why they killed Caesar. Using the famous words, “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;” Mark Antony turns the citizens against Brutus and Cassius by making them feel remorse for Caesar’s death. The crowd turns into a mob and go after the conspirators. Mark Antony and Octavius start planning their attack on Brutus and Cassius.
    Brutus meets Caesar’s ghost, which tells him he will see him again at Philippi. On the Plains of Philippi, the forces of Mark Antony and Octavius face Brutus and Cassius’ forces. Later in battle, Brutus sends orders to Messala, a messenger, to give to Cassius’ forces on the other side of the battlefield. Cassius’ forces lose ground, but Brutus’ forces defeated Octavius; but do not help Cassius.
    Cassius sends Titinius to a nearby hill to report if it is friendly. Cassius then instructs Pindarus to report Titinius’ progress to him. Pindarus sees Titinius pull of his horse and fears he has been captured this would mean Brutus’ forces have been beaten, so Cassius kills himself using Pindarus’ sword. Titinius returns and reveals that he was not killed, but greeted by Brutus’ forces. Brutus learns of Cassius’ death as the battle rages on. Brutus becomes tired and weary and rests with his followers. One by one, Brutus asks Clitius, Dardanius and Volumius to kill him, but each refuse. Finally Brutus falls on his sword, killing him. Octavius, Mark Antony, Messala and Lucilius arrive. Strato explains how Brutus died and Mark Antony pays tribute to Brutus’ noble spirit by saying, “This was the noblest Roman of them all.”

    B. sociological, historical, political, and/or religious backgrounds.
    In 42 BC, for the first time, gladiatorial fights were substituted for chariot-races in official games. After that in the city of Rome, regular gladiatorial shows, like theatrical shows and chariot-races, were given by officers of state, as part of their official careers, as an official obligation and as a tax on status. The Emperor Augustus, as part of a general policy of limiting aristocrats’ opportunities to court favour with the Roman populace, severely restricted the number of regular gladiatorial shows to two each year. He also restricted their splendour and size. Each official was forbidden to spend more on them than his colleagues, and an upper limit was fixed at 120 gladiators a show.
    The arena provided a living enactment of the hell portrayed by Christian preachers. Public punishment ritually re-established the moral and political order. The power of the state was dramatically reconfirmed.
    Gladiatorial shows and public executions reaffirmed the moral order, by the sacrifice of human victims – slaves, gladiators, condemned criminals or impious Christians. Enthusiastic participation, by spectators rich and poor, raised and then released collective tensions, in a society which traditionally idealised impassivity. Gladiatorial shows provided a psychic and political safety valve for the metropolitan population. Politically, emperors risked occasional conflict, but the populace could usually be diverted or fobbed off. The crowd lacked the coherence of a rebellious political ideology. By and large, it found its satisfaction in cheering its support of established order. At the psychological level, gladiatorial shows provided a stage for shared violence and tragedy. Each show reassured spectators that they had yet again survived disaster. Whatever happened in the arena, the spectators were on the winning side. ‘They found comfort for death’ wrote Tertullian with typical insight, ‘in murd
    What can be timelier than a story of political power, its abuse, and the civil strife it can cause? Julius Caesar is a hero, revered and loved by all Romans until the moment he decides to become Emperor. Fearing Caesar’s ambition, a small group (including some of Caesar’s closest friends) decides it must act to save their republic. But their act of terrorism begets more violence and civil unrest. Our 90-minute production focuses Shakespeare’s powerful dialogue, bringing to life this historic tragedy’s depiction of ambition, conspiracy, and revenge.
    Caesar was already in Crassus’ political debt, but he also made overtures to Pompey. Pompey and Crassus had been at odds for a decade, so Caesar tried to reconcile them. The three of them had enough money and political influence to control public business. This informal alliance, known as the First Triumvirate (“rule of three men”), was cemented by the marriage of Pompey to Caesar’s daughter Julia Caesar also married again, this time Calpurnia, who was the daughter of another powerful senator.
    When Caesar was first elected, the aristocracy tried to limit his future power by allotting the woods and pastures of Italy, rather than the governorship of a province, as his military command duty after his year in office was over. With the help of political allies, Caesar later overturned this, and was instead appointed to govern Cisalpine Gaul (northern Italy) and Illyricum (southeastern Europe), with Transalpine Gaul (southern France) later added, giving him command of four legions. The term of his governorship, and thus his immunity from prosecution, was set at five years, rather than the usual one. When his consulship ended, Caesar narrowly avoided prosecution for the irregularities of his year in office, and quickly left for his province.
    In response to Caesar’s earlier activities, the tribes in the north-east began to arm themselves. Caesar treated this as an aggressive move and, after an inconclusive engagement against the In Rome, Caesar was appointed dictator, with Mark Antony as his Master of the Horse (second in command); Caesar presided over his own election to a second consulship and then, after eleven days, resigned this dictatorship. Caesar then pursued Pompey to Egypt, where Pompey was soon murdered.[58] Caesar then became involved with an Egyptian civil war between the child pharaoh and his sister, wife, and co-regent queen, Cleopatra. Perhaps as a result of the pharaoh’s role in Pompey’s murder, Caesar sided with Cleopatra; he is reported to have wept at the sight of Pompey’s head, which was offered to him by the pharaoh as a gift. In any event, Caesar withstood the Siege of Alexandria and later he defeated the pharaoh’s forces Battle of the Nile in 47 BC and installed Cleopatra as ruler. Caesar and Cleopatra celebrated their victory with a triumphant procession on the Nile in the spring of 47 BC. The royal barge was accompanied by 400 additional ships, and Caesar was introduced to the luxurious lifestyle of the Egyptian pharaohs. Caesar and Cleopatra never married, as Roman law recognized marriages only between two Roman citizens. Caesar continued his relationship with Cleopatra throughout his last marriage, which lasted fourteen years – in Roman eyes, this did not constitute adultery – and may have fathered a son called Caesarion. Cleopatra visited Rome on more than one occasion, residing in Caesar’s villa just outside Rome across the Tiber.
    Late in 48 BC, Caesar was again appointed Dictator, with a term of one year. After spending the first months of 47 BC in Egypt, Caesar went to the Middle East, where he annihilated the king of Pontus; his victory was so swift and complete that he mocked Pompey’s previous victories over such poor enemies. Thence, he proceeded to Africa to deal with the remnants of Pompey’s senatorial supporters. He quickly gained a significant victory in 46 BC over Cato, who then committed suicide. After this victory, he was appointed Dictator for ten years. Nevertheless, Pompey’s sons escaped to Spain; Caesar gave chase and defeated the last remnants of opposition in the Battle of Munda in March 45 BC. During this time, Caesar was elected to his third and fourth terms as consul in 46 BC and 45 BC (this last time without a colleague).
    The history of Caesar’s political appointments is complex and uncertain. Caesar held both the dictatorship and the tribunate, but alternated between the consulship and the Proconsulship. His powers within the state seem to have rested upon these magistracies. He was first appointed dictator in 49 BC possibly to preside over elections, but resigned his dictatorship within eleven days. In 48 BC, he was re-appointed dictator, only this time for an indefinite period, and in 46 BC, he was appointed dictator for ten years. In February 44 BC, one month before his assassination, he was appointed dictator for life. Under Caesar, a significant amount of authority was vested in his lieutenants, mostly because Caesar was frequently out of Italy. In October 45 BC, Caesar resigned his position as sole consul, and facilitated the election of two successors for the remainder of the year which theoretically restored the ordinary consulship, since the constitution did not recognize a single consul without a colleague. In 48 BC, Caesar was given permanent tribunician powers, which made his person sacrosanct and allowed him to veto the Senate although on at least one occasion, tribunes did attempt to obstruct him. The offending tribunes in this case were brought before the Senate and divested of their office. This was not the first time that Caesar had violated a tribune’s sacrosanctity. After he had first marched on Rome in 49 BC, he forcibly opened the treasury although a tribune had the seal placed on it. After the impeachment of the two obstructive tribunes, Caesar, perhaps unsurprisingly, faced no further opposition from other members of the Tribunician College.
    In 46 BC, Caesar gave himself the title of “Prefect of the Morals”, which was an office that was new only in name, as its powers were identical to those of the censors. Thus, he could hold censorial powers, while technically not subjecting himself to the same checks that the ordinary censors were subject to, and he used these powers to fill the Senate with his own partisans. He also set the precedent, which his imperial successors followed, of requiring the Senate to bestow various titles and honors upon him. He was, for example, given the title of “Father of the Fatherland” and “imperator”. Coins bore his likeness, and he was given the right to speak first during senate meetings. Caesar then increased the number of magistrates who were elected each year, which created a large pool of experienced magistrates, and allowed Caesar to reward his supporters. Caesar even took steps to transform Italy into a province, and to link more tightly the other provinces of the empire into a single cohesive unit. This addressed the underlying problem that had caused the Social War decades earlier, where individuals outside Rome and Italy were not considered “Roman”, and thus were not given full citizenship rights. This process, of fusing the entire Roman Empire into a single unit, rather than maintaining it as a network of unequal principalities, would ultimately be completed by Caesar’s successor, the emperor Augustus.
    Roman society viewed the passive role during sexual activity, regardless of gender, to be a sign of submission or inferiority. The origins of Roman Religion, Most of the Roman gods and goddesses were a blend of several religious influences. Many were introduced via the Greek colonies of southern Italy. Many also had their roots in old religions of the Etruscans or Latin tribes.
    Often the the old Etruscan or Latin name survived but the deity over time became to be seen as the Greek god of equivalent or similar nature. And so it is that the Greek and Roman pantheon look very similar, but for different names.
    Most form of religious activity required some kind of sacrifice. And prayer could be a confusing matter due to some gods having multiple names or their sex even being unknown. The practice of Roman religion was a confusing thing.
    References:
    Wikipedia
    5. Thomas More’s Utopia
    Thomas More is a public servant living in London with his family. He writes a letter to a friend in Antwerp (Belgium) named Peter Giles. Giles is a printer and editor, as well as a clerk for the city. In More’s letter, we read that More is sending Utopia to Giles for editing and publication. Utopia chronicles a conversation that More and Giles enjoyed with a man named Raphael Hythloday.
    Thomas More and Peter Giles are real persons. In Utopia, they are fictionalized. Their mutual acquaintance, Raphael Hythloday, is entirely invented and fictional. In Book One, Utopia recounts the initial meeting of Hythloday, More and Giles. Book One introduces Hythloday and vaguely mentions the New World island of Utopia. More visits Giles in Antwerp, and this is when Giles introduces Hythloday to More. Hythloday is a Portuguese man who sailed to the New World with the Italian explorer, Amerigo Vespucci. Hythloday stayed behind in the New World and traveled to a few additional locations, eventually making his way back home to Europe. During these travels, Hythloday became acquainted with the Utopians. The three men make their way back to More’s lodging place in the city and they enjoy a conversation in the garden. Hythloday is quite a talker; More and Giles can barely get a word in edgewise.
    B. sociological, historical, political, and/or religious backgrounds.
    Hythloday gives his opinions on a wide range of topics. Having toured Europe, Hythloday believes that many of the Utopian customs are morally superior to European customs. Hythloday especially focuses on political and economic issues (the distribution of labor, capital punishment for thieves, land reform, the abolition of private property). Hythloday’s arguments are rather surprising and the Utopian society is quite unlike the European commonwealths.
    Neither More nor Giles professes deep belief in or total support of Utopian policies. Nonetheless, both men are interested in hearing more about the island nation.
    . Hythloday describes Utopian history, geography, social customs, legal and political systems, economic structures, religious beliefs and philosophy. Utopia is quite unlike the negatively portrayed New World villages with primitive levels of social organization and development. 1760 years before Raphael’s commentary on the island, the general Utopus conquered and civilized the area, giving the land and the people his name. As a demonstration of mastery over nature, Utopus formed the land into an island, organizing a labor force that cut through the thin isthmus connected Utopus from the rest of the continent.
    Hythloday notes that the Utopians have retained many of the plans and values initially established by Utopus. The rulers are selected from the order of scholars. Language, social customs, religion, dress, architecture and education are identical in Utopia’s fifty-four cities. There is a large degree of uniformity and very little individual expression. Laws and social customs heavily regulate the private decisions of individuals. A child is re-assigned to another household if the child wishes to learn a trade other than his or her father’s. Households are composed of extended families, but family members can be relocated to other households if the distribution of adults per household becomes uneven within a given city.
    In terms of natural geography, the Utopians have capitalized on their natural resources. The capital city, Amaurot, is in the center of the island. The city is a major trade port, sitting on the banks of the Anyder River. Hythloday’s depiction indicates that Amaurot is an improved London and the Anyder River is a cleaner version of the Thames River.
    The Utopians are a morally developed people though they are not Christians. Hythloday mentions that the Utopians were eager to hear more about Christianity and that many Utopians had already converted. Most Utopians are monotheists and their religion is similar to Christianity. Some of the Utopians’ beliefs run counter to the moral traditions of the Christian church (e.g. the Utopians encourage euthanasia when the patient is terminally ill). The Utopians believe that pride is the root of great evils. Accordingly, the Utopians have eliminated wealth, the nobility, private property, and currency. Labor and goods are distributed equally. Property is held in common. Everyone works the same hours and even though the rulers are exempt from public labor, they work to set a good example for the others. Work hours are equally distributed and there are no monasteries, convents, alehouses, or academies wherein an individual might withdraw from the rest of society. All Utopians are socially productive.
    Utopia ends with another letter from More to Giles. In the letter, More positively reflects upon the initial reactions to the published work Utopia. More also gives the reader enough jokes and puns to fix the idea that Utopia is an imagined and unreal place. The writer has presented Utopia as an entertaining way to stir contemplation of serious issues. As such, the book is “medicine smeared with honey.”
    References:
    Wikipedia

  38. Dear sir,
    Below is my report assignment:

    The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, also known simply as Julius Caesar, is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1599. It portrays the 44 BC conspiracy against the Roman dictator Julius Caesar, his assassination and the defeat of the conspirators at the Battle of Philippi. It is one of several Roman plays that Shakespeare wrote, based on true events from Roman history, which also include Coriolanus and Antony and Cleopatra. The story of Julius Caesar by Shakespeare is telling about the battle between two brothers. It also tells about the expansion of Rome. Traditional readings of the play may maintain that Cassius and the other conspirators are motivated largely by envy and ambition, whereas Brutus is motivated by the demands of honour and patriotism. But one of the central strengths of the play is that it resists categorizing its characters as either simple heroes or villains. The political journalist and classicist Garry Wills maintains that “This play is distinctive because it has no villains.

    In Political background at that time, it is made to make the people still believe in Queen Elizabeth. Maria Wyke has written that the play reflects the general anxiety of Elizabethan England over succession of leadership. At the time Queen Elizabeth is deliver England in achieving the Golden Age, when its creation and first performance made, Queen Elizabeth, is a strong ruler, was elderly and had refused to name a successor, leading to worries that a civil war similar to that of Rome might break out after her death. People at that time enjoy their spare time to enjoy some kinds of literature that makes them so enjoy their life.

    Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written early in the career of playwright William Shakespeare about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately unite their feuding families. It is among Shakespeare’s most popular archetypal stories of young, teenage lovers. Romeo and Juliet belong to a tradition of tragic romances stretching back to antiquity. Its plot is based on an Italian tale, translated into verse as The Tragically History of Romeus and Juliet by Arthur Brooke in 1562 and retold in prose in Palace of Pleasure by William Painter in 1582. Shakespeare borrowed heavily from both but, to expand the plot, developed supporting characters, particularly Mercutio and Paris. Believed written between 1591 and 1595, the play was first published in a quarto version in 1597. This text was of poor quality, and later editions corrected it, bringing it more in line with Shakespeare’s original.

    Romeo and Juliet is a dramatization of Brooke’s translation, and Shakespeare follows the poem closely. In religious background Shakespeare tells about used a metaphor as an invitation. The religious metaphors of “shrine”, “pilgrim” and “saint” were fashionable in the poetry of the time and more likely to be understood as romantic rather than blasphemous, as the concept of sainthood was associated with the Catholicism of an earlier age. Later in the play, Shakespeare removes the more daring allusions to Christ’s resurrection in the tomb he found in his source work: Brooke’s Romeus and Juliet. In the Catholic religion, suicides were often thought to be condemned to hell, whereas people who die to be with their loves under the “Religion of Love” are joined with their loves in paradise. Romeo and Juliet’s love seems to be expressing the “Religion of Love” view rather than the Catholic view. Another point is that although their love is passionate, it is only consummated in marriage, which prevents them from losing the audience’s sympathy.

    Known by Catholics as Saint Thomas More, was an English lawyer, social philosopher, author, statesman, and noted Renaissance humanist. He was an important councilor to Henry VIII of England and, for three years toward the end of his life, Lord Chancellor. He is recognized as a saint within the Catholic Church and is commemorated by the Church of England as a “Reformation martyr”. He was an opponent of the Protestant Reformation and in particular of Martin Luther and William Tyndale. Between 1512 and 1519, Thomas More worked on a History of King Richard III, which was never finished, but which greatly influenced William Shakespeare’s play Richard III. Both More’s and Shakespeare’s works are controversial to contemporary historians for their unflattering portrait of King Richard III, a bias partly due to both authors’ allegiance to the reigning Tudor dynasty that wrested the throne from Richard III in the Wars of the Roses. More’s work, however, little mentions King Henry VII, the first Tudor king, perhaps for having persecuted his father, Sir John More. Some historians see an attack on royal tyranny, rather than on Richard III himself or on the House of York

    In the Religious background, More tells s about Utopia as the Heaven in the earth. More coined the word “Utopia” – a name he gave to the ideal and imaginary island nation, the political system of which he described in Utopia published in 1516. He opposed the king’s separation from the Catholic Church and refused to accept the king as Supreme Head of the Church of England, a status the king had been given by a compliant parliament through the Act of Supremacy of 1534. Utopia is a forerunner of the utopian literary genre, wherein ideal societies and perfect cities are detailed. Although Utopianism is typically a Renaissance movement, combining the classical concepts of perfect societies of Plato and Aristotle with Roman rhetorical finesse (cf. Cicero, Quintilian, epideictic oratory), it continued into the Enlightenment. Utopia’s original edition included the symmetrical “Utopian alphabet” that was omitted from later editions; it is a notable, early attempt at cryptography that might have influenced the development of shorthand.

    The Faerie Queene is an incomplete English epic poem by Edmund Spenser. The first half was published in 1590, and a second installment was published in 1596. The Faerie Queene is notable for its form: it was the first work written in Spenserian stanza and is one of the longest poems in the English language.[1] It is an allegorical work, written in praise of Queen Elizabeth I. In a completely allegorical context, the poem follows several knights in an examination of several virtues. The Faerie Queene, in which Spenser describes the allegorical presentation of virtues through Arthurian knights in the mythical “Faerieland”. On the other hands, Geoffrey’s Merlin proclaims that the Saxons will rule over the Britons until the “Boar of Cornwall” (Arthur) again restores them to their rightful place as rulers. The prophecy was adopted by the British people and eventually used by the Tudors. Through their ancestor, Owen Tudor, the Tudors had Welsh blood, through which they claimed to be descendants of Arthur and rightful rulers of Britain. The tradition begun by Geoffrey of Monmouth set the perfect atmosphere for Spenser’s choice of Arthur as the central figure and natural bridegroom of Gloriana.

    The Faerie Queene found political favour with Elizabeth I and was consequently a success, to the extent that it became Spenser’s defining work. The poem found such favour with the monarch that Spenser was granted a pension for life amounting to 50 pounds a year, though there is no evidence that Elizabeth I read any of the poem. The poem celebrates, memorializes, and critiques the Tudor dynasty (of which Elizabeth was a part), much in the tradition of Virgil’s Aeneid’s celebration of Augustus Caesar’s Rome. The Faerie Queene suggests that the Tudor lineage can be connected to King Arthur. The poem is deeply allegorical and allusive: many prominent Elizabethans could have found themselves—or one another—partially represented by one or more of Spenser’s figures. Elizabeth herself is the most prominent example: she appears most prominently in her guise as Gloriana, the Faerie Queene herself; but also in Books III and IV as the virgin Belphoebe, daughter of Chrysogonee and twin to Amoret, the embodiment of womanly married love; and perhaps also, more critically, in Book I as Lucifera, the “maiden queen” whose brightly-lit Court of Pride masks a dungeon full of prisoners.

    The Canterbury Tales is a collection of stories written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer at the end of the 14th century. The tales (mostly written in verse although some are in prose) are told as part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together on a journey from Southwark to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. The prize for this contest is a free meal at the Tabard Inn at Southwark on their return.

    In the Political background, The Canterbury Tales was Chaucer’s magnum opus. He uses the tales and the descriptions of its characters to paint an ironic and critical portrait of English society at the time, and particularly of the Church. Structurally, the collection resembles The Decameron, which Chaucer may have read during his first diplomatic mission to Italy in 1372.

    In Religious background, The Catholic Church was in the midst of the Western Schism and, though it was still the only Christian authority in Europe, was the subject of heavy controversy. Lollardy, an early English religious movement led by John Wycliffe, is mentioned in the Tales, as is a specific incident involving pardoners (who gathered money in exchange for absolution from sin) who nefariously claimed to be collecting for St. Mary Rouncesval hospital in England. The Canterbury Tales is among the first English literary works to mention paper, a relatively new invention which allowed dissemination of the written word never before seen in England. Political clashes, such as the 1381 Peasants’ Revolt and clashes ending in the deposing of King Richard II, further reveal the complex turmoil surrounding Chaucer in the time of the Tales’ writing. Many of his close friends were executed and he himself was forced to move to Kent in order to get away from events in London. In the social background, it reflected the invention at that time. So it is very important for the growth of the development.
    References;

    http://www.wikipedia.com

    http://www.sparknotes.com

  39. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

    Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written early in the career of playwright William Shakespeare about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately unite their feuding families. It is among Shakespeare’s most popular archetypal stories of young, teenage lovers.

    Romeo and Juliet belongs to a tradition of tragic romances stretching back to antiquity. Its plot is based on an Italian tale, translated into verse as The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet by Arthur Brooke in 1562 and retold in prose in Palace of Pleasure by William Painter in 1582. Shakespeare borrowed heavily from both but, to expand the plot, developed supporting characters, particularly Mercutio and Paris. Believed written between 1591 and 1595, the play was first published in a quarto version in 1597. This text was of poor quality, and later editions corrected it, bringing it more in line with Shakespeare’s original.

    Shakespeare’s use of dramatic structure, especially effects such as switching between comedy and tragedy to heighten tension, his expansion of minor characters, and his use of sub-plots to embellish the story, has been praised as an early sign of his dramatic skill. The play ascribes different poetic forms to different characters, sometimes changing the form as the character develops. Romeo, for example, grows more adept at the sonnet over the course of the play.

    Romeo and Juliet has been adapted numerous times for stage, film, musical and opera. During the Restoration, it was revived and heavily revised by William Davenant. David Garrick’s 18th-century version also modified several scenes, removing material then considered indecent, and Georg Benda’s operatic adaptation omitted much of the action and added a happy ending. Performances in the 19th century, including Charlotte Cushman’s, restored the original text, and focused on greater realism. John Gielgud’s 1935 version kept very close to Shakespeare’s text, and used Elizabethan costumes and staging to enhance the drama. In the 20th century the play has been adapted in versions as diverse as MGM’s comparatively faithful 1936 film, the 1950s stage musical West Side Story, and 1996’s MTV-inspired Romeo + Juliet.

    Reference : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romeo_and_Juliet

    Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar

    The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, also known simply as Julius Caesar, is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1599.[1] It portrays the 44 BC conspiracy against the Roman dictator Julius Caesar, his assassination and the defeat of the conspirators at the Battle of Philippi. It is one of several Roman plays that Shakespeare wrote, based on true events from Roman history, which also include Coriolanus and Antony and Cleopatra.
    Although the title of the play is Julius Caesar, Caesar is not the most visible character in its action; he appears in only three scenes, and is killed at the beginning of the third act. Marcus Brutus speaks more than four times as many lines, and the central psychological drama is his struggle between the conflicting demands of honour, patriotism, and friendship.

    Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julius_Caesar_%28play%29

    The Canterbury Tales

    The Canterbury Tales is a collection of stories written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer at the end of the 14th century. The tales (mostly written in verse although some are in prose) are told as part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together on a journey from Southwark to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. The prize for this contest is a free meal at the Tabard Inn at Southwark on their return.
    Following a long list of works written earlier in his career, including Troilus and Criseyde, House of Fame, and Parliament of Fowls, the Canterbury Tales was Chaucer’s magnum opus. He uses the tales and the descriptions of its characters to paint an ironic and critical portrait of English society at the time, and particularly of the Church. Structurally, the collection resembles The Decameron, which Chaucer may have read during his first diplomatic mission to Italy in 1372.

    Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Canterbury_Tales

    The Faerie Queene

    The Faerie Queene is an incomplete English epic poem by Edmund Spenser. The first half was published in 1590, and a second installment was published in 1596.

    The Faerie Queene is notable for its form: it was the first work written in Spenserian stanza and is one of the longest poems in the English language.[1] It is an allegorical work, and can be read (as Spenser presumably intended) on several levels of allegory, including as praise of Queen Elizabeth I. In a completely allegorical context, the poem follows several knights in an examination of several virtues. In Spenser’s “A Letter of the Authors,” he states that the entire epic poem is “cloudily enwrapped in allegorical devises,” and that the aim of publishing The Faerie Queene was to “fashion a gentleman or noble person in virtuous and gentle discipline.”

    The Faerie Queene found political favour with Elizabeth I and was consequently a success, to the extent that it became Spenser’s defining work. The poem found such favour with the monarch that Spenser was granted a pension for life amounting to 50 pounds a year, though there is no evidence that Elizabeth I read any of the poem.

    Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Faerie_Queene

    Beowulf

    Beowulf (play /ˈbeɪ.ɵwʊlf/; in Old English [ˈbeːo̯wʊlf] or [ˈbeːəwʊlf]) is the conventional title[note 1] of an Old English heroic epic poem consisting of 3182 alliterative long lines, set in Scandinavia, commonly cited as one of the most important works of Anglo-Saxon literature.

    It survives in a single manuscript known as the Nowell Codex. Its composition by an anonymous Anglo-Saxon poet is dated between the 8th and the early 11th century. In 1731, the manuscript was badly damaged by a fire that swept through a building housing a collection of Medieval manuscripts assembled by Sir Robert Bruce Cotton. The poem fell into obscurity for decades, and its existence did not become widely known again until it was printed in 1815 in an edition prepared by the Icelandic scholar Grímur Jónsson Thorkelin.

    In the poem, Beowulf, a hero of the Geats in Scandinavia, comes to the help of Hroðgar, the king of the Danes, whose mead hall (Heorot) has been under attack by a being known as Grendel. After Beowulf slays him, Grendel’s mother attacks the hall and is then also defeated. Victorious, Beowulf goes home to Geatland in Sweden and later becomes king of the Geats. After a period of fifty years has passed, Beowulf defeats a dragon, but is fatally wounded in the battle. After his death, his attendants bury him in a tumulus in Geatland.

    Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beowulf

  40. Dear Mr.Parlin

    Good morning Sir, these are my assignment:

    Travel
    John Mandeville

    The travel of Sir John Mandeville, a book account of his supposed travels, written in Anglo-Norman French, and first circulated between 1357 and 1371. He was a prolific writer and avid collector of travelogues, right up to his death in 1383.

    The narrator showed sociological when the facts and knowledge acquired by actual travels and residence in the east, at least in the section which treats of the Holly Land and the ways of getting thither, of Egypt, and in general of the Levant. The prologue points almost exclusively to the Holy Land as the subject of the work.
    Historical, the personal history of Mandaville is mere invention. Nor is any contemporary corroboration of the existence of such a Jehan de Mandeville known. Some French manuscripts, not contemporary, give a Latin letter of presentation from him to Edward III, but so vogue that it might have been penned by any writer on any subject. It is in fact beyond reasonable doubt that the travels were in large part compiled by a Liege physician, known as Johains a le Barbe or Jehan a la Barbe, otherwise Jehan de Bourgogne.

    In political, eventhough there is no contempory English mention of any English knight named Jehan de Mandeville, but Dr. George F.Warner has suggested that de Bourgogne may be a certain Johan de Bourgoyne, who was pardoned by parliament on August 20, 1321 for having taken part attack on the Despensers, but whose pardon was revoked in May 1322, the year in which “Mandeville” professes to have left England.
    In religious background, he had been at Paris and Constantinople, had served the Sultan of Egypt for a long time, had been vainly offered by him a princely marriage and great estate on condition of renouncing Christianity.

    References:
    Wikipedia

    The Canterbury Tales
    Geoffrey Chauser

    The Canterbury Tales is a collection of stories written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chauser at the end of the 14th century. The tales are told as part of story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together on a journey from Southwark to shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. In early manuscript containing The Canterbury Tales, the early fifteenth century Harley MS.7334.

    Related to sociological, he uses the tales and the descriptions of its characters to paint an ironic and critical portrait of English society at the time, The Tales constantly reflect the conflict between classes. For example, the division of the three estates; the characters are all divided into three distinct classes, the classes being “those who pray” (the clergy), “those who fight” (the nobility), and “those who work” (the commoners and peasantry). Most of the tales are interlinked by common themes, and some “quit” (reply to or retaliate against) other tales. Convention is followed when the Knight begins the game with a tale, as he represents the highest social class in the group. But when he is followed by the Miller, who represents a lower class, it sets the stage for the Tales to reflect both a respect for and a disregard for upper class rules. Helen Cooper, as well as Mikhail Bakhtin and Derek Brewer, call this opposition “the ordered and the grotesque, Lent and Carnival, officially approved culture and its riotous, and high-spirited underside.” Several works of the time contained the same opposition.

    In religious background, to paint critical particularly of the Church. The tales reflect diverse views of the church in Chaucer’s England. Several characters in the Tales are religious figures, and the very setting of the pilgrimage to Canterbury is religious (although the prologue comments ironically on its merely seasonal attractions), making religion a significant theme of the work. A full list is impossible to outline in little space, but Chaucer also, lastly, seems to have borrowed from numerous religious encyclopedias and liturgical writings, such as John Bromyard’s Summa praedicantium, a preacher’s handbook, and Jerome’s Adversus Jovinianum
    In political background, he had first diplomatic mission to Italy in 1372.
    In historical background, . The Canterbury Tales is among the first English literary works to mention paper, a relatively new invention which allowed dissemination of the written word never before seen in England. Political clashes, such as the 1381 Peasants’ Revolt and clashes ending in the deposing of King Richard II, further reveal the complex turmoil surrounding Chaucer in the time of the Tales’ writing. Many of his close friends were executed and he himself was forced to move to Kent in order to get away from events in London.
    References:
    Wikipedia

    Romeo and Juliet
    Shakespeare

    It is unknown when exactly Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet. Juliet’s nurse refers to an earthquake she says occurred 11 years ago. This may refer to the Dover Straits earthquake of 1580, which would date that particular line to 1591. Other earthquakes—both in England and in Verona—have been proposed in support of different dates. But the play’s stylistic similarities with A Midsummer Night’s Dream and other plays conventionally dated around 1594–95, place its composition sometime between 1591 and 1595. One conjecture is that Shakespeare may have begun a draft in 1591, which he completed in 1595.
    Historical background, Romeo and Juliet belongs to a tradition of tragic romances stretching back to antiquity. Its plot is based on an Italian tale, translated into verse as The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet by Arthur Brooke in 1562 and retold in prose in Palace of Pleasure by William Painter in 1582. Shakespeare borrowed heavily from both but, to expand the plot, developed supporting characters, particularly Mercutio and Paris. Believed written between 1591 and 1595, the play was first published in a quarto version in 1597. This text was of poor quality, and later editions corrected it, bringing it more in line with Shakespeare’s original.
    Related in religious background, Juliet, however, participates in the metaphor and expands on it. The religious metaphors of “shrine”, “pilgrim” and “saint” were fashionable in the poetry of the time and more likely to be understood as romantic rather than blasphemous, as the concept of sainthood was associated with the Catholicism of an earlier age. Later in the play, Shakespeare removes the more daring allusions to Christ’s resurrection in the tomb he found in his source work: Brooke’s Romeus and Juliet.

    References:
    Wikipedia

    Julius Caesar
    Shakespeare

    The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, also known simply as Julius Caesar, is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1599. It portrays the 44 BC conspiracy against the Roman dictator Julius Caesar, his assassination and the defeat of the conspirators at the Battle of Philippi. It is one of several Roman plays that Shakespeare wrote, based on true events from Roman history, which also include Coriolanus and Antony and Cleopatra.
    In political background,1762 The History of England from the Invasion of Julius Caesar to the Accession of Henry VII. London. The great man theory of leadership became popular during the 19th-century. The mythology behind some of the world’s most famous leaders such as Julius Caesar, r the great helped contribute to the notion that great leaders are born and not made. In many examples, it seems as if the right man for the job seems to emerge almost magically to take control of a situation and lead a group of people into safety or success.
    Julius Caesar was the first historical Roman to be officially deified. He was posthumously granted the title Divus Iulius or Divus Julius (the divine Julius or the deified Julius) by decree of the Roman Senate on 1 January 42 BC. Though his temple was not dedicated until after his death, he may have received divine honors during his lifetime, and shortly before his assassination.
    With the passing of the Roman Republic into that of an Imperial system, the nature of Roman religion expanded again to include the Emperors themselves. Julius Caesar, having claimed to be a direct descendent of Aeneas, the son of Venus, was among the first to deify himself in such a manner. At first, such a system of human divinity was largely rejected by the masses, but the popularity of Caesar helped pave the way for future leaders.

    References:
    * Wikipedia
    * http://www.unrv.com/cuture/roman.religion

    The Faerie Queene
    Edmund Spensers

    The Faerie Queene is an incomplete English epic poem by Edmund Spenser. The first half was published in 1590, and a second installment was published in 1596. The Faerie Queene is notable for its form: it was the first work written in Spenserian stanza and is one of the longest poems in the English language. It is an allegorical work, written in praise of Queen Elizabeth I. In a completely allegorical context, the poem follows several knights in an examination of several virtues. In Spenser’s “A Letter of the Authors,” he states that the entire epic poem is “cloudily enwrapped in allegorical devises,” and that the aim of publishing The Faerie Queene was to “fashion a gentleman or noble person in virtuous and gentle discipline

    In political background, the poem celebrates, memorializes, and critiques the Tudor dynasty (of which Elizabeth was a part), much in the tradition of Virgil’s Aeneid’s celebration of Augustus Caesar’s Rome. Like the Aeneid, which states that Augustus descended from the noble sons of Troy, The Faerie Queene suggests that the Tudor lineage can be connected to King Arthur. The poem is deeply allegorical and allusive: many prominent Elizabethans could have found themselves—or one another—partially represented by one or more of Spenser’s figures.

    In historical background, the poem also displays Spenser’s thorough familiarity with literary history. Although the world of The Faerie Queene is based on English Arthurian legend, much of the language, spirit, and style of the piece draw more on Italian epic, particularly Ludovico Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso and Torquato Tasso’s Jerusalem Delivered. The fifth Book of The Faerie Queene, the Book of Justice, is Spenser’s most direct discussion of political theory. In it, Spenser both attempts to tackle the problem of policy toward Ireland and recreates the trial of Mary, Queen of Scots
    In sociological background, there are probably some interesting sociological reasons, such as the prevalent interest in fictive worlds and autonomous structures of myth; for some of the brethren, one suspects, Spenser is a Tolkien off whom it’s respectable to make a living. But most modern Spenserians seem to be wrestling with a specific and troublesome problem: allegory and the difficulties of historical reconstruction which it involves.

    References:
    *Wikipedia
    *www.nybooks.com/articles

  41. CANTERBURY TALES
    Geoffrey Chaucer

    Canterbury Tales is a poem created by Chaucer around late 1300’s. He was known as the father of English Literature as he was one of the greatest poet in Middle English Age. This work is known as unfinished literature work because there are some parts found unfinished. According to Crook that Chaucer planned to write at least two stories for each pilgrim, one was when they took the trip, and one was when they headed for home (Crook, 1993).

    Canterbury Tales is a compilation of tales told by pilgrims who are called palmers. The palmers mean that the pilgrims travel from one place to another. There are thirty people in the group. During their journey, every person in that group has to tell a story. After the story is finished, the others can comments and continue the storytelling with their own. The stories are various since the pilgrims come from different social class and background. In prologue, the members of pilgrimage are described details, from their appearance to personality traits. The prologue also can be found in between the stories which make the poem more interesting. The stories are about people’s daily lives which actually reflect the story teller’s personality. Besides, some stories have Rome related background

    Canterbury Tales implicitly talks more about religion. Every part of the stories is correlated to religious thoughts, rules, or manner. During Middle English Age, religion had a big role in society. Committing actions out of the society and/or religion rules or manners are a big shame for all generations. People would boldly say it’s a sin and must get punishment. From the stories pilgrims told, it is seen that people judge sins and saints are as easy as seeing black and white.

    http://www.readprint.com – Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer.
    Ecker, Ronald L. and Eugene J. Crook. (1993). Geoffrey Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales – A Complete Translation into Modern English. Hodge & Braddock, Publisher.
    http://www.luminarium.org – Geoffrey Chaucer biography

    ROMEO AND JULIET
    SHAKESPEARE

    This famous work of Shakespeare has been interpreted into many versions in movies. Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy play written between 1591 and 1595. Even though Shakespeare was an Englishman, he set the story in Verona, Italy. The story is based on Italian culture. This is considered as tragedy play because at the first place, both families against the forbidden love between Romeo and Juliet. Yet, their death can unite the two families in peace.

    In this play, they are two families that never get along from generation to generation, Capulet and Montague. They have grown the hatred among their relatives and kids. They forbid their children to be friends. What the cause, no one knows. Young Juliet is going to choose a man for her life. Her parents throw a party. She doesn’t want to, but she doesn’t want to against her parents either. On the other side of story, Romeo has just broken heart and his cousin takes him to that party. Even they knew that any Montague cannot go to Capulet’s area (house). They ultimately meet in the party and fall in love. The hatred is getting strong because of Juliet’s cousin is accidently killed by one of the Montague. But Romeo and Juliet’s love never ends. When Juliet’s parents tell her that her wedding day with Paris is held earlier, Juliet has to confess that she is in love with Romeo. His father is outrage and gives choices to Juliet. A friar helps Juliet to be together with Romeo. He gives a potion that can make Juliet died temporary. But Romeo doesn’t know it’s only to fool their families. He orders real poison to be drunken next Juliet’s body. Romeo goes to Juliet’s tomb, but Paris finds him and they have a fight. Paris is stabbed with a dagger by himself. After that Romeo drinks the poison. When Juliet wakes up and finds out Romeo is dead, she takes a dagger which was stabbed Paris.

    Romeo and Juliet show how culture influence people’s behavior in society. Both families are rich and prominent people. They have their dignity. In Italian culture, saying sorry can be humiliation for the whole generations. It happens to Capulet and Montague. It is not stated why they have long dispute. It shows that the dispute has been for ages that Romeo and Juliet’s parents don’t know what the real problem is. Since culture of dignity is very powerful, neither of two families starts to say sorry and live in peace. When Juliet says that she’s in love with Romeo and he’s the only one she wants to marry to, her father is furious. But it is not explained why they can’t be together. Yet, children’s happiness is also important for Italian. They would do anything to see their children’s happiness. The attitude of Juliet’s mom is a bit signal that actually she is willing to give the happiness for Juliet. But, Italians are patriarchy which a female is not the decision maker in family. Another Italians’ character is that they will not let go what they think it’s right. That’s what Romeo and Juliet do. They think that their love is true and no one can separate them. So, they hold to what they believe which ends with death. Their parents can see the truth after the death. That’s why they are able to make up and forget all grudges.

    http://www.enotes.com – Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare with original and modern translation.
    http://www.online-literature.com – Romeo and Juliet

    MANDEVILLE’S TRAVEL
    Unknown

    Mandeville’s Travel is a prose written in 1356 or 1357, No one is known for sure who the writer was. The story itself is talk about the journey of English knight, John Mandeville. This prose was written in Anglo-Norman French.

    The prose is about a 30-year journey of Sir John Mandeville through Europe, Northern Africa, and Asia. Mandeville’s journey is aimed to trace Christianity route as Jesus and His follower passing through. He visits important places in Bible and learns the history there. From one set of history can take him to the next place to find the truth. It is showed that after he visits Europe, he can directly travel to Africa because he can find the answer there. Besides finding the truth of history, he also learns about local culture. He mingles with native and his eagerness has taken him to great adventures. Even when he passes towns or countries where Islam has been developing, he still gives respect and broadens his knowledge.

    Mandeville’s Travel is like a flashback through traveler’s binoculars. From the story, it can be sensed that Mandeville is a Christian practitioner and is searching the truth through exploration. He also learns more about life through his journey. He mentions his gratitude to blessings he received. He also opens his heart to see this journey clear and find more truths. It is said that some manuscripts were plagiarism from other travelers. But it can be proved.

    http://www.enotes.com – Sir John Mandeville mid-fourteenth century, travel writer whose precise identity is unknown.
    http://www.romanization.com – Mendeville

    UTOPIA
    Thomas More

    Utopia is a literature work of Thomas More in sixteenth century. It’s a prose of conversation among three people, Thomas More, Peter Giles and Raphael Hythloday. More as the writer is also part of the story along his good friend, Peter Giles. Raphael Hythloday character is totally fictional. Peter Giles was a printer and editor as well as clerk of city in Belgium. Thomas More was the Lord Chancellor of King Henry VIII. He was under character John Morton in the story.

    Utopia consists of two books. The first book is about the debate among three of characters in the story: More, Giles, and Hythloday. Hytholday was a veteran traveler who had sailed with Amerigo Vespucci. He told his travel experiences which allowed him to observe other nations’ government and civilization. In this book, he stated his critiques over pattern of law, government and economics of European Nation, especially England. He found out inequity happening among common people at that time, particularly in distribution of wealth, unequal participation of productive labor and farm lands for sheep grazing. The conversation showed that they were concerned with the civilization at that time. And this conversation had led to the concept of Utopia, an ideal condition in a remote island. The detail of Utopia is told in Book II. It’s said that they had great conversation about Utopia during their having dinner. Hythloday described Utopia thoroughly as a great concept of living. He started from the demography and geography features, magistrates, trades and manner of life, traffic, travelling of the Utopians, slaves and marriage, military discipline, and religions. It is like to complete what’s missing in government rules at that time.

    Utopia has a tight relation to history of that age. At that time, England was ruled by King Henry VIII. At first, King Henry was known as a good leader and wise king. He was also an artist. No wonder that art had been flourishing at his time. However, he became a tyrant of his later years. He had enacted high taxes to people to pay his high-cost lifestyle and foreign wars. Actually he had power and capability to take control of affairs, but he was too lazy to do it. He preferred to give the responsibilities to others and enjoyed his glamorous life. He is also known as an opportunist who relied on others for most of his ideas. Even though England still has connection to Rome at that time, Henry VIII declared himself as Supreme Head of church, which led England to establish Church of England. It is clearly understood that the king didn’t pay attention to people’s welfare. The messed-up condition had triggered many disappointments. Some artists expressed the disappointments through arts and literature works. One of them was Sir Thomas More who was Lord Chancellor. In my opinion, the UTOPIA literature work is to express what people hope at that time, which is better life. It’s presented by having ideal place as Utopia. Based on history, King Henry VIII executed Sir Thomas More because he opposed the divorce which was going to be done by King Henry VIII.

    http://www.cliffnotes.com – Utopia and Utopian Literature: Book Summary
    http://www.gradesaver.com – Utopia
    http://www.britainexpress.com – Henry VIII and Tudor England
    http://www.clasiclit.about.com – Sir Thomas More and His Utopia

    BEOWULF (POEM)
    UNKNOWN – ANGLO SAXON ERA

    Beowulf is an epic poem from Old English Age. At that time, poems were based on oral narrative which was recorded in written form along people invented writing symbols and tools. Beowulf was composed by an anonymous Anglo-Saxon poet around 700 AD. It is one of the longest poems since it has 3218 lines in it.

    There are two parts in this story. First part is begun with the funeral of King Scyld, a King of Denmark. Years later, his great-grandson, King Hrothgar, becomes the king of the Danes. King Hrothgar is loved by his people and succeeds in any wars. To rewards his loyal army, he built a hall so his warriors have place to gather and tell stories while having relaxed. After the building is finished, they have a big party there. Apparently the sound of party and singing has bothered Grender the monster who lives nearby. One night, he comes to the hall and kills 30 warriors. Since that time, he invades the hall for twelve years. Definitely the king does not like this and tries to find the solutions together with his advisor, but nothing. This story is heard until Sweden. Beowulf, the prince of the Geats travels from his home, Sweden, to help King Hrothgar. Beowulf is welcomed by the members of Hrothgart’s court. He tells his bravery accomplishments. The king promises him abundance of treasure if he can defeat the monster. Beowulf fought against Grender at Heorot. He tears off Grender’s arm and he dies soon. All people celebrate Beowulf’s triumph and the king keeps his promise. However, Grender’s mother is furious and wants revenge. She kidnapped king’s chief advisor, Aeschere, kills him, and put his head on the cliff. Beowulf offers his help to kill Grender’s mother. Finally he gains another victory and rewards more treasures from the king. After that he goes home and tells his adventures to King Hygelac. The second part of story is about what happens to Beowulf after the death of King Hygelac. Beowulf becomes the king of the Geats for 50 years. During his leadership, a thief stole a jeweld cup from a sleeping dragon. This dragon is outrage and takes revenge by burning down the houses, including Beowulf own hall and throne. Then, he has battle with the dragon and ultimately gains victory through Wiglaf’s help. But he’s dying because of the battle. And he asked Wiglaf to build a tomb named Beowulf’s Tower. And the story is closed with the funeral of the great warrior.

    This poem related to legend. This poem definitely has close corresponded with history. This story tells about Scandinavian people. Based on history, the Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian people invaded the island of Britain and settled there for years earlier. During the settlement, they brought along the Germanic language that evolved into Old English. The elements of Beowulf story, both settings and characters, came from the period before the migration happened. Moreover, many of characters related to the Swedish and Danish royal family members. King Scyld is real person in his time. Then, the Geats and the Danes are tribes of Scandinavian for real. In this story, the sense of heroic hero of honor that defines much of the story is a relic of pre-Anglo-Saxon culture. They were still operated in some degree. The values had evolved in some extent.

    http://www.pace.edu – Beowulf for Dummies
    http://www.essortment.com – Beowulf summary
    http://www.bestoflegends.com – Beowulf

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