Ripe for the Renaissance

Paper, Order, or Assignment Requirements

  1. Matching (5 questions, 4 points each, 20 points)


Match each description with the correct poet. Poets may be used more than once or not at all.


Edmund Spenser

Sir Philip Sidney

William Shakespeare

Christopher Marlowe

Sir Walter Raleigh


His father is a wealthy tradesman and politician, but when he is thirteen, the family begins to struggle financially and loses its social standing. He marries Anne Hathaway and has three children, but leaves home to seek his fortune in the London theater. His first theater job is holding the horses of theater patrons during performances.


He spends his time at Cambridge writing poetry and getting into trouble. It is rumored that he secretly works for the queen’s government. He is killed in a barroom brawl. Because his plays are so influential, he is widely considered “the father of English drama.”


Son of a clothmaker, he attends Cambridge on scholarship. He makes his fortune acquiring land from defeated Irish rebels, who later burn his castle. His work marks the early popularity of pastoral verse, and he becomes known as “the prince of poets.”


A true Renaissance man, he is a courtier, statesman, soldier, patron of the arts, and writer. Few of his works are published in his lifetime, but he travels, encouraging other writers and volunteering for causes close to his heart. He is known as “the father of English literary criticism.”


With the money he receives from a patron to whom he dedicated two significant poems, he becomes part owner of a theater company called Lord Chamberlain’s Men. His plays draw large crowds and critical acclaim, but his reputation as a great writer is a product of his poems. He eventually retires to his estate in Stratford.


  1. Write a Dialogue (10 points)


After reading Christopher Marlowe’s “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” and Sir Walter Raleigh’s “The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd,” write a dialogue using the voices of the shepherd and the nymph. Paraphrase the key ideas in each poem to create a complete and active conversation between the shepherd and the nymph, using formal or informal modern English. Be sure that you do not just summarize.

  1. Write a Sonnet (10 points)


Write your own sonnet using Italian, English, or Spenserian sonnet form. Develop a clear main idea using the correct structure, rhyme scheme, and meter of the sonnet form you have chosen. State which form you are using.

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