Elizabethan Poetry – Literature | Major English| Major english | Grade XI | HSEB
Queen Elizabeth reigned in Britain from 1558 to 1603. So this period is named after her reigned and known as Elizabethan age. Elizabethan age is also known as the golden age in English Literature. The Renaissance was the rebirth of human spirit and civilization. It was the revivable of interest in the culture and civilization of ancient Rome. Roman literature, art, music, drama etc. were reviewed. There were number of songs and sonnets etc. during this period. The chief poet who introduce the Elizabethan age with poetic poetry was Edmund Spenser. He wrote ‘The Shephered’s calendar’ including pastoral poems in it. He use old language with the Renaissance spirit. His other major works was ‘The Fairic Queene’. It is his masterpiece and the supreme pride of England.
John Donne is father of metaphysical (Emotion + Intellect) poetry. He wrote his poems with his logics and reason. He wrote religious and love poems. We get talk colloquial language in his poetry his divine poems such as ‘Death be not Proud’ is somehow difficult to understand. He discuss of the union of two soul in love. Lyric sonnets, and narrative poetry where widely written in Elizabethan age. Sir Philip Sidney, Sir Walter Ralign, Christopher Morlowe, Ben Johnson, Shakespeare etc. contributed a lot in Elizabethan poetry.
Edmund Spenser (1558-1590)
The chief poet who introduced the Elizabethan age with poetic beauty was Edmund Spenser. He was born in London in 1558. He was the greatest poet of the age. His ‘The Shephered Calender (1579)’ is a pastoral poem it is divided into twelve parts one for each month of the year. Astrophel (1586) is an Elegy on the death of Philip Sidney.
The Faerie Queene is the masterpiece. In the masterpiece of Edmund Spenser. It is a romantic epic. Queene is either Elizabeth her glory as a person. Ther are twelve knights-representing different virtues. King Arthur Spenser is one of the greatest poets of Elizabethan age.