Monday, June 11, 2007

1588 to 1592

1588. An "invincible" Spanish Armada of 132 vessels sails against England. A great storm blows up and the elements help the English defeat the armada by August 8, scoring a victory that opens the world to English trade and colonization.

The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus. Christopher Marlowe. British. 1588. Play. Yearning for the infinite. Seeker after power through knowledge. One feels sympathy for the boundless longings of the hero.

The Jew of Malta. Christopher Marlowe. British. 1589. Play. Barabas degenerates from longing for power and the ability to express desire in stirring poetry to a caricature of the grasping, greedy Jew dominated by desire for gold. Commits atrocities and dies atrociously.

The Faithful Shepherd. Giambattista Guarini. Italian. 1590. Play. Tragic plot with happy ending. Goddess Diana sets terms for placating her anger.

Henry VI: Part I. William Shakespeare. British. 1590/92. Play. Early years of Henry's reign to his marriage to Margaret of Anjou. Beginning of the Wars of the Roses.

Henry VI: Part II. William Shakespeare. British. 1590/92. Play. Early years of the Wars of the Roses. Henry dominated by Margaret of Anjou.

Henry VI: Part III. William Shakespeare. British. 1590/92. Play. Downfall of Henry VI; victory of the house of York and Edward IV. Edward vs. Margaret of Anjou, Henry's queen.

The Faerie Queen. Edmund Spenser. British. 1590/96. Poetry. Spiritual allegory of man's quest for salvation. Quest motif. Each leading knight represents a particular virtue. Book I: Legend of the Red Cross Knight, or of Holiness. Book II: Sir Guyon, or Temperance. Book III: Britomart or Chastity. Book IV: Legend of Cambel and Triamond, or of Friendship. Book V: Legend of Artegal, or Justice. Book VI: Legend of Calidor, or of Courtesy.

As You Like It. William Shakespeare. British. 1590/1600? Play. Duke Frederick; niece Rosalind-Ganymede and Orlando vs. his wicked brother Oliver; Celia/Touchstone; Audrey/Silvius; Phebe. Pastoral. Duke banished to the forest. Rosalind disguised as Ganymede is wooed by Phebe. Rosalind eventually marries Orlando.

1591. John White returns to Roanoke after having been delayed by the war with Spain and finds the colony has vanished, possibly victims of hostile Indians. The word Coratan, never to be satisfactorily explained, is the only message left by the 117 lost colonists who include White's family.

1591. Pamplona in northern Spain has a running of the bulls in which men run through the streets in front of the bulls being driven to the local bullring. The event will be repeated for centuries with occasional deaths and frequent injuries as men are gored or trampled.

1592. A Russian census lists peasants under the names of landholders. The peasants will hereafter be considered the landlords' serfs.

1592. Jesuit Robert Southwell is apprehended while celebrating mass in a Catholic household in England. He is tortured severely and imprisoned in the Tower of London but refuses to reveal the names of fellow priests.

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