Dr. Faustus

The macabre, and especially the theme of selling one's soul to the Devil, has been a very popular theme in Western literature since the 1580s. Many movies, plays, and songs feature this theme, and all trace their origins to a book that centered around the story of Dr. Faustus. The tale tells of a man … Continue reading Dr. Faustus


Montaigne’s Essays

Montaigne, a French writer from the 16th century, is regarded as the father of the essay. His essays were quite compelling to read, but there were aspects of them that were rather dry and hard to understand. He published his works in two volumes, containing a total of 107 essays. A statesman, he gave up … Continue reading Montaigne’s Essays

The Levellers

The Levellers were a political group in England in the 17th century, and they are widely considered the first libertarians. They are sometimes confused with another political group, the Diggers, who were communist. The Levellers believed in a fundamental right of all mankind, and that is the right to self-ownership. Everyone has the ownership of his … Continue reading The Levellers

Rhetoric in the ‘Acts and Monuments’ of John Foxe

The Acts and Monuments of John Foxe, first published in 1563,  told a detailed history of the Protestant religion and of the martyrs for Christianity. In his book Foxe effectively used rhetoric to achieve various ends, producing eloquent arguments in the mouths of his subjects that were pro-Protestant and against Queen Mary and Catholicism. In the … Continue reading Rhetoric in the ‘Acts and Monuments’ of John Foxe