- The Elizabethan Period: the reign of Elizabeth I – 1586-1603
- Jacobean Period: the reign of James I of England – 1603-1625
- War of Roses ends in 1485 and political stability arrives
- Printing press helps stabilize English as a language and allows more people to read a variety of literature
- Economy changes from farm-based to one of international trade
- The sonnet
- Metaphysical poetry
- Drama, tragedies, comedies
- All these were supported by royalty.
- World view shifts from religion and after life to one stressing the human life on earth
- Popular themes: development of human potential; love and its many aspects: constant, timeless, courtly love.
- Ben Jonson
- Cavalier Poets
- Metaphysical Poets
- Christopher Marlowe