Mr. Medina’s Syllabus

At the parent-teacher meeting, Mr. Medina discusses what he has in store for the children this semester – Elizabethan literature.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) is the focus of this episode. Oddly, Mr. Medina doesn’t mention that the class has a test on Shakespeare that very Friday.

Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593) was the foremost tragedian of his day, despite the Chilton parent who questions his significance. He had a rather mysterious life, and some scholars believe he may have co-authored certain of Shakespeare’s works. His most famous plays include Edward the Second and Doctor Faustus; his most popular poem is The Passionate Shepherd to His Love.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) was a philosopher, scientist, jurist, statesman, and author, serving as both Attorney-General and Lord Chancellor of England. He has been called the father of empiricism and the modern scientific method, and he has influenced the modern world in countless ways. There is a theory that he may have written some, or all, of Shakespeare’s plays. One of his most famous literary works is The New Atlantis, a utopian story.

Ben Jonson (1572-1637) is considered the second most important playwright of his era after Shakespeare. He is best known for his satirical plays such as Every Man in His Humour and Volpone, and for his lyrical poetry.

John Webster (c1580-c1634) is a playwright best known for his tragedies The White Devil and The Duchess of Malfi. His dark, almost Gothic, view of the world is one which went down very well in the twentieth century, and he has been re-assessed favourably by modern audiences.

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