Ch 3: The English Renaissance

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons and learn about the different aspects of the English Renaissance. Test your knowledge of the English Renaissance with quizzes that follow each lesson.

One of the biggest names of the English Renaissance period in literature was William Shakespeare. Although he wasn't the only great writer to come from this period, it is difficult to ignore his impact. Other writers, though, such as Miguel de Cervantes, also created works that contributed to the lasting legacy of this period. In this chapter, you'll study some of Shakespeare's most famous works, such as Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet. You'll also get a chance to look at Cervantes' most well-known piece. By the end of these lessons, you'll have learned about:

  • The meaning behind the famous soliloquy in Hamlet
  • Famous quotes from Romeo and Juliet
  • The supernatural elements of the plot in Macbeth
  • Who William Shakespeare really was
  • The man behind Don Quixote and The Gentleman of La Mancha

Video Objective
Hamlet: Beyond the Famous Soliloquy Dig deeper into one of Shakespeare's most famous pieces as you learn more about the meaning behind its celebrated quotes and storyline.
Romeo and Juliet: Shakespeare's Famous Star-Crossed Lovers Analyze the role of fate in this story while also looking at the characters and plot.
Macbeth: Themes and Quotes From the Scottish Play Explore the role of ambition in the story, along with taking a look at how the supernatural plays into the plot.
Introduction to Shakespeare: Life and Works Learn more about the man behind the fame.
Cervantes and Don Quixote: The Gentleman of La Mancha Study The Gentleman of La Mancha, its star, Don Quixote, and the writer behind it, Miguel de Cervantes.

7 Lessons in Chapter 3: The English Renaissance
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.

Introduction to Shakespeare: Life and Works

2. Introduction to Shakespeare: Life and Works

This video provides a crash course introduction to William Shakespeare's life, plays, and poetry. From 'Two Gentlemen of Verona' to 'The Tempest', we'll give you a timeline of his works and quick descriptions of what you need to know to identify them.

Hamlet: Beyond the Famous Soliloquy

3. Hamlet: Beyond the Famous Soliloquy

To be or not to be? In this lesson, that really is the question. Watch this video to learn all about Hamlet, one of Shakespeare's great tragedies. We'll explore its plot, characters and the meaning of that famous phrase.

Romeo and Juliet: Shakespeare's Famous Star-Crossed Lovers

4. Romeo and Juliet: Shakespeare's Famous Star-Crossed Lovers

Great tragedies resonate throughout time. In this lesson, we'll go over the role of fate in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. We'll explore the story of his star-crossed lovers and explain some of his most famous quotes.

Macbeth: Themes and Quotes from the Scottish Play

5. Macbeth: Themes and Quotes from the Scottish Play

In this lesson, we'll follow how ambition shapes the events of Shakespeare's Scottish play, 'Macbeth'. We'll explore the plot, characters and supernatural elements that are characteristic of this play.

Introduction to John Milton: Life and Major Poems

6. Introduction to John Milton: Life and Major Poems

English poet, essayist and political figure John Milton ranks right up there with William Shakespeare in a list of literary greats. Check out this lesson for an overview of Milton's life and most important works.

Introduction to 17th- and 18th-Century Literature: Major Authors and Works

7. Introduction to 17th- and 18th-Century Literature: Major Authors and Works

A lot can happen in 200 years, as you'll see on our lesson that introduces you to British literature of the 17th and 18th centuries. Go from Shakespeare to the invention of the novel to the introduction of a prominent dictionary in our video below!

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