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FRN Literature

French Renaissance Literature (16th Century)

François Villon 1455-1463. Grand Rheotrician, poet, thief, & vagabond. Great lyric poet. Short vivid verse of low society lower than Chaucer's pilgrims based on his life. Themes: Parody, lewd jokes, men going to gallows. Crossed medieval courtly ideal.
Grand Testament Author François Villon. Imprisoned at Meugn-sur-Loire in 1461 and wrote the testament addressing sorrows and horrors of life.
Ballade des Dames du Temps Jadis Author François Villon. Compares passing of pretty women to yesterday's snows. Includes heroine of grandparent's generation. "Joan, the beautiful girl from Lorraine, whom the English burnt at Rouen."
Jean Lemaire de Belges 1473-1525. Poet, historian, pamphleteer. Forerunner of Renaissance style and thought. La Concorde des deux langages reconciles influence of Italian Renaissance with French tradition.
Clément Marot 1496-1544. Greatest poet of French Renaissance. Added grace and personal warmth to French verse (eclipsed by the Pléiade). Introduced the elegy, eclogue (short pastoral poem), epigram (witty poem inscribed on monument), and others.
Marguerite de Navarre 1492-1549. Queen of Henry II of Navarre. Patron of Arts and Author. Wrote Heptaméron: tales told by travellers returning for Pyrenean spa but delayed by flood. Added female voice to writing. Work led to the creation of modern French realist novel.
Marc-Antoine de Muret 1526-1585. French humanist. Classical scholar. Wrote Julius Caesar, play written in Latin. First tragedy with secular theme written in France. Friends with the Pléiade.
François Rabelais 1532-1552. French Renaissance writer, doctor, humanist, monk, and Greek scholar. Writer of fantasy, satire, grotesque, bawdy jokes, and songs. Widely traveled. Wrote Gargantua and Pantagruel. Work had no equal in his time.
Gargantua and Pantagruel Comic masterpiece. Exploits popular legends, romances, classical and Italian material. Volume 1: Pantagruel is giant with huge cravings for food & drink. Volume 2: Garguantua is story of Panta's father. Work condemned by Sorgonne.
Pléiade Group of Seven Poets who took inspiration from classical masters.
Ronsard The Prince of Poets. Court poet to French king, Charles IX. Head of the Pléiade. Wrote "Odes and Amours." Odes are sung with lute. Love is platonic but Ronsard encourages Cassandre to gather her rosebuds while she may because beauty fades at end of day.
Joachim du Bellay Poet & critic. Meeting with Ronsard is the beginning of French Renaissance poetry. Author of Pléiade Manisfesto: La défense et illustration de la langue française. Stated that French capable of depth and elegance of Greek and Latin, unlike contemporaries.
Jean-Antoine de Baif Poet of Pléiade. Studied with Ronsard under Jean Daurat. Invented vers Baifin, poetic line of 15 syllables. Mediated reforms in French spelling.
Michel de Montaigne 1571-1588. Founder of self-exploration & self-writing. Invents new literary art form, the essay (trial/experiment). Tests his own opinions in his essays. Adds marginal notes in 1588 copy for rest of life. It resides in Bordeaux's library.
Jean Bodin 1530-1596. Political philosopher. Wrote Six Books of Commonweale about principles of stable gov't. Widely influential in Europe because medieval systems changing to centralized states. Introduced concept of sovereignty into legal & political thought.
Grand Rhétoriqueur Grant Rhetorician. Any of principal poets in 15th and 16th century whose poetry based on historical and moral themes. Used allegory, dream, symbology, and mythology for didactic effect.
Created by: kles