Elizabethan Literature

The Elizabethan age, also known as the English Renaissance, encompassed the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1533–1603) from 1558 to 1603. During the latter part of the sixteenth century and the early part of the seventeenth century, literature was plentiful in the forms of poetry, drama, and prose. Some individuals cite Queen Elizabeth’s love for the arts as the reason literature became so popular during this time. Another factor was likely the invention of the printing press in 1476, making literature more accessible to the growing, affluent middle class. This historic period introduced the world to such great writers as William Shakespeare (1564–1616) and Christopher Marlowe (d. 1593). Sonnets, Spenserian stanzas, and blank verse began during these years—styles that would...

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