English literature of the Renaissance period in north Europe is designated by some special quality features. One of these is the close interrelation between the religious beliefs and the large use of the antique heritage practices of old Greece and Rome. That is why this period is seen as a some specific matters. One of them is the relationship between pleasure and pain. This theme is broadly discovered in the sixteenth and the first 1 / 2 of the seventeenth century, though the Renaissance period in British literature continues on until the overdue seventeenth century. The time described in this article covers the key works of English poets and writers of the mid-sixteenth and the start of the seventeenth century concluding with the death of the very most prominent publisher in British and world's books William Shakespeare in 1616. The thesis of the essay is the fact that the specific description of associations between pleasure and pain is a result of the primary philosophical ideas of this time.
Pleasure and Pain in British Poetry of the Sixteenth Century
According to Isabel Rivers, "both traditional and Christian civilizations shared a belief within an original condition of human efficiency, where man lived very easily and in complete harmony with nature, free from time, change and death. " That's the reason the literary development of the middle ages England and France was evenly influenced by the great works of antiquity and the literary custom of the Italian Renaissance authors. These ideas helped to revive the English literature, though the idea of necessary suffering while seeking pleasure and love was the dominating in these literary current. It started with the poetry by the Italian author Petrarch, and shifted with the most prominent English plug-ins of those times - Wyatt and Surrey. Both these creators originated from the ruling classes, participated in administration service and seen Italy at some amount of their lives. Sir Thomas Wyatt's poems were rooted deeply in the English tradition. The effects of Petrarch's poems were seen vividly in his translations and his sonnets. Actually, Wyatt was the first who launched this form of verse into British books. His main theme is love but identified in the Petrarchan traditions. There's always a cruel but innocent woman who remains indifferent to her lover's feelings and makes him are affected severely. This notion of love is quite paradoxal: love brings pain, and there is a lot pleasure in this pain. For instance, in Wyatt's sonnet 17, there will be the lines which explain this notion quite distinctly: "I feed me in sorrow and have fun in every my pain. In the same way, displeased me both fatality and life, and my pleasure is caused by this strife. " It really is quite visible from these lines that the writer is more thinking about his inner thoughts brought on by love than by the girl herself.
Another port of this time, Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, is also devoted to the ideas of unpleasant love. As his modern day, he's also stricken by the severe politics of Henry's court where in fact the king's wives are beheaded so easily despite any their best feelings. This is one more reason the poets of this time portrayed the ideas of pleasure and pain in the unbreakable unity. In the poem "So Cruel Jail How Could Betide", Surrey expresses the contradiction between the concern with monarch's anger and the necessity to remain next to him for worries of pain from the exile.
The Elizabethan Years of Poetry
The reign of Elizabeth I is marked by the culmination of the Renaissance literature in England. This is also the time when the ideas of interrelation of pleasure and pain can be adopted most distinctly. Actually, as Michelle O'Callaghan argues, "the shepherd's life was anesthetized in Elizabethan pastoral fiction. " The interest should be paid to the four most prominent authors of these times. These authors are Spenser, Sidney, Marlowe and, of course, Shakespeare.
Sir Philip Sidney put in his brief life in court circles. He was enthusiastic about classical humanistic ideas and detailed his ideas in several fields, such as pastoral relationship, the series of sonnets and in his critical literary writings. Donald Lemen Clark argues that for Sidney, "poetry is the very best tool for forwarding virtue. " The idea of pleasure and pain is most vividly seen in his sonnet sequence Astrophel and Stella consisting of 108 sonnets and eleven tracks. He strives to look at different aspects of love with tremendous clarity and enthusiasm following Petrarch's ideas of cruel like to Laura and the pains it causes.
Of course, the key aspect of Petrarch's love depiction is erotic. This aspect produces the severe issue between the real human love, on the one hand, and trying to reject the entire world for the divine, on the other side. This turmoil, in its switch, can produce shame, stress and guilt. Needless to say, such poetry was made to amuse kings and their courtiers. However, it also implies some patterns of action and even erotic pathologies, such as masochism, sadism, exhibitionism and voyeurism. The favorite woman is obviously fetishized, but she actually is not allowed to check out her own wishes. If she rejects the lover's exclusive passions, she actually is treated as a cruel and deserving punishment. Here, fear and idealization are mixed together. The guy expresses his erotic associations through the description of his much loved one's shoes, hair, smells, components of clothing, though her physical existence always seems a certain treat to him. If the feeling of love is not answered properly by this beautiful girl, the poet expresses the masochistic ideas of enjoying pain from the denial, and the expectation that this pain will be rewarded soon with still more gratification and pleasure. This courtroom love game is always certain type of enjoyment and it evokes still more involvement in its followers. As the Puritan believer, Sidney cannot completely agree to such views. That's the reason his Astrophel and Stella is not a pure expression of these ideas, but a sort of sarcasm and criticism of them. It was released in 1591 as a certain reaction to the political occasions, ideas of Reformation and threats of Counter Reformation, affects of nationwide moral principles and spiritual requirements which still enforce the vividness of pain and pleasure interactions described in books of those times. So, the affects of the Italian poetry using its unpleasant love and the necessity of abuse were seen more distinctly here. These were still enforced by the visible contradictions between your libido and religious requirements and prescriptions.
Sidney was, of course, in the heart of British politics by his beginning, while some of his ideas and values seemed to be rather troublesome for the Queen. That is why he was exiled from the courtroom, and most of his best works were written in this exile, a long way away from the temptations of the courtier's life. His attempts to revive Petrarch's patterns on the basis of parody and criticism did not meet understanding and acceptation, either. In his sonnets, we watch Sidney de-romantizes Petrarch's lover's sufferings. While Petrarch does not see any contradictions between love and virtue, Sidney makes an attempt to reveal the wrongfulness of the idea. In Sonnet No 14, Astrophel won't recognize his friend's warning's about the sinful dynamics of his love proclaiming that "If that be sin which in set hearts doth breed/ A loathing of most loose unchastity/ Then love is sin and let me sinful be". Stella also wants to call Astrophel for self-restraint, but in vain. The result is the entire moral and religious paralysis of the key character, expressed within the last sonnet. Actually, the rejection of certain moral guidelines and religious limitations leads to the entire collapse of Astrophel, which is depicted by Sidney as the greatest pain that your person could cause to himself by the unwise deeds. No expectation of the further pleasure sometimes appears here, so all Sidney's ideas of pain and pleasure are shut intertwined with spiritual responsibilities and morals of those times.
Another best poet of Elizabethan epoch was 'Edmund Spenser'. He was damaged in his literary ideas and principles by the chivalric epic tradition of the courtroom and the ideas of Renaissance humanism. The medieval tradition also inspired him very much which found its appearance in the allegoric varieties and elements. He also wrote pastoral poetry that was not actually pastoral by their character and the sonnets tightly linked with the poetical tendencies of his time. His most famous sonnet sequence Amoretti was focused on his beloved better half whom he wedded in 1594. However, all his sonnets are written in Petrarchan traditions, with the huge praise and adoration to the favorite woman. The traditional comparisons of the girl eye to the moon, sunshine, personalities and other Universe objects is also used here. Though, the thought of abuse for the rejection of the lover's feelings is absent here. The stress is made on the belief that, though the woman is cruel enough to reject the ardent addresses, she is divine, because she will not consist of the four main components of the human aspect, but of the fifth component implying the sky.
In truth, Spenser proposes the perfect solution is of the love turmoil. He makes an effort to show in what way it is possible to tame the sins of physical desire, lust and egotism, and legitimize them in matrimony. The Amoretti shows the wrongfulness of Petrarch's character's further prospects by the opportunity of looking for the real Christian love instead of being locked up in the egoistic self-hood of sufferings. So, the Protestant moral principles are effectively interwoven into the plot. Spencer's personality, Florinell, finds choices to overcome the traditional unsatisfied perceptions and the encounters of the Petrarchan fan, such as masochistic entertainment of the lost love and watching the pain out of this damage. The voyeuristic perceptions of the favorite physical sexuality and appeal are also absent here. Actually, Spencer's goal for his sonnet sequence is showing the way the severest damage may be turned into gain by the complete rejection of the selfish and egoistic wants and strives. Spencer's love gains his beloved girl by his capability to totally control his emotions and make the girl believe in the purity and seriousness of his intentions. Spencer affirms the fascination of the hitched love instead of the egoistic sufferings of the rejected love affair. Mainly because it sometimes appears from Sonnet No 65, Spencer provides sufficient answer to the Petrarchan problem. The physical desire, egotism and lust should be conquered by mutual devotion and sacrifice, and the delight may be easily achieved by good will and shared faith.
Pleasure and Pain in the English Dramatic Tradition
By the start of the sixteenth century, England got already possessed a rich dramatic custom. However, all the dramatic performances were predicated on the spiritual plots and moral restrictions. The plays of the middle ages period were so-called magic plays based on the themes from the Bible, the lives of saints. The coming of Renaissance evoked the historic passions and depiction of the physical love, sufferings and contradictions presented in the depiction of love affairs of different antique gods and goddesses. One of the most prominent playwrights of this epoch was Christopher Marlowe who made an attempt to modify and modernize the utilization of the blank verse for the dramatic performances. His main personas were real people who had been the complete protagonists whose activities could determine and change the complete span of the events. His ideal play, Edward the Second, altered completely the statistic method of the people' development, accepted in the last dramatic works. It is a genuine tragedy with all contradictions between pleasure and pain related to the Renaissance period in English literature. The main character of the play is Ruler Edward II who ruled the united states in 1307-1327. Then, he was betrayed, deposed and murdered. Marlowe shows this ruler as a fragile personality who depends on the mercy of others. His main enthusiasm is the homosexual devotion to his favorite. Concurrently, his partner, Queen Isabella, has a romance with the young courtier, Mortimer, plus they develop a storyline against the ruler. Mortimer's strive is to get the throne, so he purchases to murder the deposed ruler. However, the king's boy, Edward III, finds out the details of the story and takes revenge by placing Mortimer to loss of life immediately and his mom to the Tower. The dynamism of the play development shows in the changing sympathies of the audience to the deposed ruler. The audience will not sympathize to the lustful and sinful king at the start of the play, though till the end than it the sides are improved, especially within the last moments depicting the murder. The passions and desires that led the ruler to this ghastly position are accepted by the audience with different attitudes, because they start to understand where in fact the real evil is situated. Marlowe was growing in his views himself. He was growing in his regards to the wrongful conquerors and winners and the vulnerable victim's of their own passions and needs. So, the theme of pleasure is effectively intertwined with the theme of pain and consequence, which makes the tragedy very active and reasonable.
Of course, the whole picture of the English books Renaissance would be somewhat incomplete without examining the works of the best British poet and playwright William Shakespeare. He was born in 1564, the same time as Marlowe, but his skill was developing slower and even more consistently. That is why he were able to finish efficiently his literary profession and to become the true genius in the field of British Renaissance poetry and episode of the Elizabethan epoch. The theme of relationships between pleasure and pain moves strictly throughout the complete literary heritage of this prominent personality. Actually, his literary works are divided into some different cycles. The first period was specialized in highly patriotic historical has, "happy" comedies as well as the loving tragedies, such as Romeo and Juliet. Certainly, the well-known tragedy Romeo and Juliet is specialized in the explanation of great pains and disasters of the distributed love and passions of the two young people who come from the families that are enemies. That is why the issue is in the impossibility for them to develop their relations and also to stay jointly. The social conflict relates right to the inner issues between the duty and the love of the young people who prefer to follow their feelings somewhat than become the victims of the public relations.
As for Shakespearean comedies, also, they are characterized by significant amounts of romanticism and realism in the depiction of people's passions and dreams. This perfect blend allows the author to interpret widely the Renaissance themes or templates of love, pleasure and possible pain. His remarkable personas are real people who take action in the imaginative configurations, in strange environment and distant places. Shakespeare's early comedies are certainly true comedies of love which often end in many marriages. Actually, this isn't an egoistic fighting. Shakespeare shows the true love as a spiritual unity of brains and hearts. Unlike the Petrarchan depiction of a heroine as a whole perfection of physical features, Shakespeare's Rosalind Portia, Beatrice or Viola are enchanting and commendable, but wise, joyous, peaceful and harmonious. They know well how to attain their goals and deal with issues. However, some tragic records are also present in these comedies. For example, The Vendor of Venice shows the tragic world of putting your signature on the relationship. Though, such tragic elements aren't dominating, because all the difficulties and complications fade away before real love and the earning power of Bundle of money, which cause happy ends. So, Shakespearian comedies reveal the broader eye-sight of life. They are more humanistic, and their subject matter is not really a ruinous love, but a great combination of the best Renaissance features with the spiritual perfectness of Christianity.
The second period of Shakespeare's creative work is characterized by the chronicled takes on and the "bitter" comedies where the relationships between physical desires and moral pains, the obligations and the selfish sights are shown with still greater and more mature force of the true artistic talent. That is still more vividly proven in the great tragedies of the third period. Regarding the theme of connections between your pleasure and pain, the tragedy Othello is the most characteristic of these all. Shakespeare's tragic heroes are strong people who suffer greatly. Their show up always produce the cathartic effects on the audience. Though Othello owns lot o commendable qualities, he's a true-to-life person with immense credulity and rashness in deeds. That is why his best characteristics are misused in vain, and his passions lead him to the tragic last. Shakespeare's ideas about afflicted love and its own consequences are that every person should be accountable for his/her own wrongful actions and incorrect decisions before himself, and that the calamities usually follow the unwise deeds of the person, as sort of some inevitable consequence for days gone by pleasure and light-mindedness. Destiny always takes on an huge role in these tragedies as a powerful source of pain and catastrophe, which is always up to the type how to handle this factor effectively. So, the character's activities and inclinations as well as his destiny are usually accountable for the fatal end. So, Desdemona is killed by her beloved hubby in the heart stroke of rage, and Othello kills himself when he realizes his mistake.
The most vivid depiction of such a turmoil through the fourth amount of Shakespeare's creative work is his tragedy Antony and Cleopatra. Here, the conflict between the responsibility of the fantastic warrior and armed forces head Antony and his male desire and seeking pleasure from the Queen of Egypt leads the main character to the complete disaster. This issue is revealed from the starting lines of the play when Philo and Demetrius discuss the problem and criticize Antony for neglecting his obligations.
Antony has already made sufficient steps towards his self-destruction. The daring soldier is lost before the beautiful woman who is a dark personality corrupting Antony's manliness. The first stage of the play shows the character's satisfaction with the thing of his desire. This is constantly on the the second level when the hero does not understand the damaging dynamics of his lust yet, and makes further mistakes, though the entire plan of action is still adequate. The next stage shows the symptoms of stress and pain, when the occurrences start going incorrect for Antony. He is not able already to make a correct choice, so he commits further foolish actions, and even crimes, getting rid of his best fans and advisors. The tragedy proceeds with the problem level when the hero loses control completely and becomes hugely frustrated and desperate. This isolates him further from doing his tasks, pursuing his compatriots and accomplishing the heroic deeds he i did so in the past. At the end of the play, he would like loss of life and commits suicide. Such your final is nearly traditional for the Renaissance literature, where the identity normally suffers his pains brought on by the desperate love only and even admires these pains. This final makes Shakespeare's play a quite sensible tragedy, free from the original masochistic views and perceptions. In fact, as it is stated by Sasha Roberts, "Shakespearean play tends to unsettle the very idea that we can arrive at any moral certainty, particularly since the information and organizations of moral expert in Shakespearean dilemma are repeatedly been shown to be conflicted or jeopardized"
In bottom line, it is worth saying that the British literature of the Renaissance period is rolling out the unique notion of resolving the discord between the pleasure and pain in the overcoming passions and physical lust through the ideas of humanism and employing the religious morals and limitations to the true life situations. That is an immense progress which has proceeded from the influences of the antique writings of ancient Greek and Roman authors depicting the physical love and satisfaction with the full covering of all areas of this passion and its own effects, through the impact of the Italian Renaissance authors such as Petrarch or Dante with their declined love, self-admiration and vain objectives of further pain rewards, to the humanistic ideas that only the mixture of physical and religious perfectness can bring about the true love, devotion and happiness. The rest of the variants of love affair development based on the earthly passions and affections are believed to be ruinous and devastating for a personality.
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