1. Sir Thomas More's Utopia addresses the question of religion, an issue that would become a center of controversy during the seventeenth century, as exemplified in Sir Thomas Browne's spiritual autobiography, Religio Medici, covered in "The Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth Century" (see pages 1570–1578 in volume 1B).
  2. Sir Thomas Hoby's English-language translation of Castiglione's Il Cortegiano (The Courtier) describes the qualities of the ideal courtier at the court of the duke of Urbino. Sir Thomas Malory's Morte Darthur, covered in "The Middle Ages" (see pages 421–439 in volume 1A), presents a much earlier vision of court life, focusing on the qualities of the ideal knight.
  3. William Shakespeare's comedy Twelfth Night explores the emotional territory of same-sex desire and cross-class marriage to which English culture was officially hostile in the sixteenth century. During the Restoration, comedy dominated the London stage, often exploring the roles of power, sex, and money, whose roots date back to Shakespeare's time and earlier, as in William Congreve's The Way of the World, covered in "The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century" (see pages 2217–2280 in volume 1C).
  4. Edmund Spenser's Faerie Queen draws on romantic and epic conventions, exemplifying some of the traits of Elizabethan heroic poetry. Lord Byron's Don Juan (see pages 622–689 in volume 2A) is also a form of romantic epic, however exemplifying its Romantic provenance in form and style.
  5. Elizabethan pastoral poetry is characterized by its focus on the simplicity, humility, and leisure of country life. Marlowe's Passionate Shepherd to his Love and Sir Walter Ralegh's The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd are apt examples of Elizabethan pastoral poetics. Romantic poetry and twentieth-century poetry also take interest in the rustic life, but with different stylistic concerns and intentions. Consider Wordsworth's Resolution and Independence (see pages 280–284 in volume 2A) and Thomas Hardy's One We Knew (see pages 1942–43 in volume 2C).

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