1. Humanism: Man is the measure of all things; Human beings are glorious creatures; The pursuit of Knowledge, beauty, power and wealth; The best representative writers in English Renaissance are Moore, Spenser, Marlowe and Shakespeare. 2. Geoffrey Chaucer and his The Canterbury Tales: Geoffrey Chaucer is the father of English peotry. The Canterbury Tales is a comprehensive realistic picture of the medieval English society and created a whole gallery of vivid characters from all walks of life. 3. Romance: Romance which uses marrative verse or prose to tell stories of knightly adventures or other heroic deeds, is a popular literary form in the medieval period. Chivalry is the spirit of it. 4. Couplet: Couplet refers to two consecutive lines of poetry that rhyme. 5. Heroic Couplet: It is an iambic pentameter couplet. 6. Blank Verse: Blank verse is an unrhymed iambic pentameter. 7. Sonnet: It is a fourteen-line lyric poem in iambic pentameter. Sonnet expresses a single theme or idea. 8. Shakespearean sonnet: It is a sonnet consists of three quartrains followed by one couplet. The rhyme scheme is ABAB CDCD EFEF GG. 9. Stimulus of the Renaissance Movement: The rediscovery of ancient Greek and Roman culture; The new discoveries in geography and astrology; The religious reformation and the economic expansion. 10. Characteristics of Renaissance humanism: Cultivation of the art of this world and this life; Tolerence of human foibles; Search for genuine flavor of ancient culture. 11. Allegory: Also defined as an extended mataphor; It is a story in verse or prose with a double meaning: a primary or surface one and a secondary or deep implied one; It is a story to be read and interpreted at two or more than two levels. John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress and Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene are representative allegories. 12. Hamlet: As a spokeman and intellectual for Renaissance humanism, Hamlet is the protagonist of the tragedy; As an idealistic thinker, he is forthright, courageous and honest by nature. To realize his personal ideal of filial piety and a strong sense of justice to demand revenge, he pays great tribute to the infinite capabilities of man:” the beauty of the world/the paragon of animals.” Being a careful observer, he is introspective, thoughtful, perheps world-weary and sardonic. The reason of his inaction in revengeful action is that he is too sophisticated to degrade his nature to the conventional role of a stage revenger; Critics also believe that he is too typical a humanist to launch a violent storm. 13. The tragic history of doctor Faustus: By portraying Faustus’s overstepping ambition, Marlowe celebrates the Renaissance hero’s endless aspiration for knowledge, power, money and beauty.
14. Alliteration: It is the repetition of the initial consonant sounds in poetry, such as in Beowulf; Alliteration is the principal organizing device of the verse line in Old English alliterative meter.