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Ch 17: NES ELA: The Renaissance in English Literature

About This Chapter

Use these video lessons and practice quizzes to review English Renaissance literature for the National Evaluation Series (NES) English Language Arts (ELA) exam.

NES ELA: The Renaissance in English Literature - Chapter Summary

Brush up on English Renaissance literature for the NES ELA exam with these lessons and quizzes. You'll find lessons on the life and works of William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson and Edmund Spenser. By the end of the chapter, you'll have covered the following:

  • Introducing the major authors and works of Renaissance literature
  • Exploring the facts, history and fiction of William Shakespeare's Richard III and Julius Caesar
  • Discussing the themes of racism, colonialism and magic in Othello and The Tempest
  • Examining the biography and plays of Christopher Marlowe
  • Identifying important poetry by Edmund Spenser
  • Considering the works of Ben Johnson

Chapter topics are broken down into short video lessons that concisely explain each of these author's works in less than ten minutes. Use the written transcripts to follow along or for review purposes. Test what you've studied and gauge what you still need to work on with lesson quizzes and a chapter exam.

9 Lessons in Chapter 17: NES ELA: The Renaissance in English Literature
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Introduction to Renaissance Literature: Characterizing Authors and Works

1. Introduction to Renaissance Literature: Characterizing Authors and Works

Chances are, you've heard of the term 'Renaissance' before, but do you know what it means? Watch this video to learn about how this artistic movement forever altered England and the way we look at literature.

Richard III: Fact and Fiction in Shakespeare's History Plays

2. Richard III: Fact and Fiction in Shakespeare's History Plays

We'll tease apart the real and the invented in Shakespeare's Richard III and discuss Shakespeare's particular brand of historical fiction. We'll also go over the plot and characters, as well as some famous quotes from the work.

Julius Caesar: Shakespeare's Play vs. History

3. Julius Caesar: Shakespeare's Play vs. History

In this lesson, we'll examine Shakespeare's take on the life of Julius Caesar, which spawned such famous quotes as 'Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears!' and 'Et tu, Brute!' We'll also take a look at Brutus and Cassius, the conspirators who plotted Caesar's demise, as well as Mark Antony and Octavius, who remained loyal.

Twelfth Night: Themes, Quotes and Cross-Dressing Characters

4. Twelfth Night: Themes, Quotes and Cross-Dressing Characters

In this lesson, we'll outline the interplay between love and deception in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. We'll go over plot, characters, and figure out what Shakespeare's cross-dressing heroine Viola means in the context of love.

Othello: Racism and Shakespeare

5. Othello: Racism and Shakespeare

In this video, we'll give an overview of the plot of Shakespeare's 'Othello.' We'll discuss the motivations of his wicked ensign, Iago, and address the racial issues brought to light by Shakespeare's writing.

The Tempest: Colonialism and Magic in Shakespeare

6. The Tempest: Colonialism and Magic in Shakespeare

In Shakespeare's 'The Tempest,' a group of Italian nobility is shipwrecked on the island of Prospero, an exiled magician. In this lesson you'll learn how Prospero seeks to regain his right to the title Duke of Milan.

Introduction to Christopher Marlowe: Biography and Plays

7. Introduction to Christopher Marlowe: Biography and Plays

English playwright Christopher Marlowe was a contemporary of Shakespeare with a short but potent body of work to his name. Learn all about his plays - and his fascinating character - from our video lesson!

Introduction to Edmund Spenser: The Faerie Queene and Sonnets

8. Introduction to Edmund Spenser: The Faerie Queene and Sonnets

Edmund Spenser is one of the key figures in the English Renaissance, and he made his name mostly by writing about dragons and knights. Pretty cool, right? Watch this video to learn about this important author and his biggest work, The Faerie Queene.

Introduction to Ben Jonson: Poems, Plays and Shakespeare

9. Introduction to Ben Jonson: Poems, Plays and Shakespeare

To a great deal of people, for a great deal of time, English playwright and poet Ben Jonson was known merely as a rival (and inferior) to William Shakespeare. But there's more to the story than that! Watch our video lesson to get the skinny on Jonson's life and work.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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