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After Geoffrey Chaucer’s
death in 1400 for two
centuries there was no name
in English literature which
could be placed next to his.
There were historical reasons
for this. England was faced
with a great misfortune: a
feudal war between the
descendants of King Edward III
Feudal war
It started in 1455 between the
houses of Lancaster and York,
and is known as the War of the
A red rose was the symbol of the
Lancasters, and a white rose was
the symbol of the Yorks.
 It was the war of aristocracy in
which common people took little
part. In the situation of war,
destruction and ignorance of the
people it was impossible to
continue what Geoffrey Chaucer
had started.
Nevertheless, the name of
William Caxton is worth
remembering, because he
set up the first printing
press in London and later
in Oxford.
Though there were no original authors in the 15th
century, folklore could not stop developing.
That century is famous for another genre of
folklore - ballad. Ballads became popular in
England and Scotland.
They were lyrical poems, which were recited or
sung to the lute or the bagpipe.
Ballads and songs expressed the feelings and
thoughts of people.
They were handed down from generation to
generation by word of mouth.
Ballads continued to develop till the 18th
(based on
a historical
(about the
persecuted by
law and their
(telling of
love and
noble deeds)
The most popular ballad cycle is
“The Robin Hood Ballads”, which
consists of about 40 heroic
ballads with the element of
The ballads about Robin Hood
consist of four-line stanzas,
usually in the form of a dialogue
between Robin Hood and other
Repetition of sounds is quite
common in these ballads.
The 15th century in Europe was the
beginning of the Renaissance. It was the
period when European culture was at its
height. New social and economic conditions
demanded that new ideology should appear.
This ideology was to be opposed to the
Catholic dogmas of the Middle Ages.
This new ideology proclaimed the value of
human individuality, the value of Man as
such, whatever his birth or social status.
This new outlook was called Humanism. The
time demanded positive, rational
knowledge, that’s why intellect,
experience, scientific experiment were of
vital importance. It was the time of great
discoveries in science and geography. The
time was glorified by the names of
Copernicus, Columbus, Magellan, Leonardo
da Vinci, Sir Thomas More, Montaigne,
Francis Bacon and many other giants of
Sir Walter Raleigh
Sir Walter Raleigh was a typical man of the
Renaissance. He was a statesman, courtier,
soldier, sailor, explorer, pirate, colonizer,
historian, philosopher, poet. He was born
in1552 and entered military service when he
was a very young man. He was very brave,
and Queen Elizabeth I dubbed him a knight.
He fought with Spaniards at sea, he founded
the colony of Virginia in North America and
brought potatoes and tobacco to Europe.
After Queen Elizabeth’s death Sir Walter
Raleigh was imprisoned and spent 13 years
in the Tower of London. He was executed in
1618 on a charge of conspiracy.
In the Tower of London Sir Walter Raleigh
turned to writing poetry and wrote “ A
History of the World”.
Unfortunately, much of his
poetry is lost, but even
what is left can prove that
he was an outstanding
poet. His poems are deeply
philosophical and quite sad,
as many of them very
composed during his