John Donne (1572-1631)Anglican (Church of England) priest Holy Sonnet 10 “Death be not proud”. Published in 1633 posthumously.
Time Line - Elizabethans TUDORS (English Renaissance) • Henry VII (1485-1509) • Henry VIII (1509-1547), separation of Church of England from Roman catholicism, dissolution of monasteries, 6 marriages • Edward VI (1547-53) (s/o Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, 9 years old) • Lady Jane Grey (1553), protestant, nine-day reign, executed by Mary Tudor • Mary Tudor (1553-58) (d/o Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon), catholic, religious persecution • Elizabeth I (1558-1603) (d/o Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn) Shakespeare, 1564-1616, Elizabethan poet and playwright; Edmund Spenser, Christopher Marlowe etc.
Time Line - Jacobeans STUARTS • James I (King James VI of Scotland, 1603-25) Jacobean era (Ben Jonson, John Donne), production of the King James Bible in 1611 • Charles I (1625-49), Caroline period, Cavalier poets’ support, John Milton, George Herbert (shaped verse) • Commonwealth, Interregnum (1649-1660), political literature, Oliver Cromwell ruled the Commonwealth of England, Charles I executed • Charles II (1660-1685), Restoration of the monarchy after the English Civil War, John Milton’s Paradise Lost, poetical satire (John Dryden’s Satire on Mankind), birth of journalism and fiction, restoration dramatists and diarists (Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn), John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress • James II (1685-1688)
Changesin 17thC England • Political change: The form of England’s government changed • from absolute monarchy (until 1642) • to Puritan commonwealth (-1660) • to constitutional monarchy (after 1660 and more so after 1688) • The center of political power changed • from the court (aristocracy) (until 1642) • to the Parliament and City (commons, middle class) (after 1642) • Religious change: The status of English churches changed from • the Church of England as the only legal church (until 1642) • to a Puritan state church (-1660) • to the re-establishment of the Church of England, but as one of many churches (1660 until the present)
Metaphysical Poetry-1 The poetry of the first half of the 17thC (through 1660) has been classified as Metaphysical (John Donne, George Herbert, Henry Vaughan, Thomas Traherne, Abraham Cowley, Richard Crashaw, and Andrew Marvell) and Cavalier (Robert Herrick, Richard Lovelace, Sir John Suckling, and Thomas Carew). The term was coined by John Dryden (1693): "He affects the metaphysics . . . and perplexes the minds of the fair sex with nice [i.e., overly subtle] speculations of philosophy, when he should engage their hearts, and entertain them with the softnesses of love." Samuel Johnson later used the term to describe the poetic method
Metaphysical poetry-2 Characteristics of Metaphysical poetry: • Rebellion against the conventional imagery of the Elizabethan lyric. • Poems are intellectually complex • Irregular rhythms, stanzas • Colloquial, condensed language, give and take of actual speech • Use of metaphysical conceit: ingenious, strained; links images from different contexts; intellectual; subtle argument Samuel Johnson: “…a combination of dissimilar images or discovery of occult resemblances in things apparently unlike. The most heterogeneous ideas are yoked by violence together. Nature and art are ransacked for illustrations, comparisons and allusions…”.
Time Line –Neo-classicism House of Orange and Stuart • William III (William of Orange) gs/o Charles I and Mary II, gd/o of Charles I (1689-1702), joint monarchs • Queen Anne (1702-1714), sister of Mary II House of Brunswick, Hanover Line George I (1714-1727), Augustan George II (1727-1760) George III (1760-1820), Romanticism George IV (1820-1830) William IV (1830-1837) Victoria (1837-1901), Victorian
Neo-Classicists (Augustan) • Admiration and imitation of Greek and Roman art, literature and architecture – principles derived from the rules and practice of the ancients (Renaissance – 1st major revival) • Imitation of classical literary forms: ode, epic, epistle, satire • Use of aesthetic & critical principles taken from classical authors like Horace, Homer, Virgil, Ovid: Augustus Caesar, 1st Roman Emperor 63-14 BCE • Prosody: heroic couplet and the alexandrine (iambic hexameter, with caesura after the third foot)
Neo-Classicists View of poetry: • Craft not overflowing of genius • mimesis not expression • Poets represent nature – esp. human nature • Public in character and deals with generalities and abstractions View of world: • Great chain of being • Humans – fallen creatures Poets: Pope. Novelists: Jonathan Swift, Daniel Defoe, L. Sterne, T. Smollet, Henry Fielding, .
Age of Sensibility Or Age of Johnson: 1750-1798, named after Samuel Johnson. The period began to emphasize instinct, feeling or “sensibility”, rather than judgment and restraint. A renewed interest in medieval ballads and folk literature. Age of transition between the Neoclassical period, and the Romantic period. A rational and scientific approach to religious, social, political, and economic issues promoted a secular view of the world and a desire to discover and to act upon universally valid principles governing humanity, nature, and society. Authors attacked spiritual and scientific authority, dogmatism, intolerance, censorship, and economic and social restraints. They considered the state theproper and rational instrument of progress. The rationalism and skepticism of the age led naturally to deism; the same qualities played a part in bringing the later reaction of romanticism. Ann Radcliffe and Henry Mackenzie, dramatists Richard Sheridan and Oliver Goldsmith, and poets William Collins and Thomas Gray.
Oliver Goldsmith (1730?-1774) Irish writer and physician. Studied medicine at Edinburgh and Leiden, but his career as a physician was quite unsuccessful. In 1756 he settled in London, where he achieved some success as a miscellaneous contributor to periodicals. It was not until The Citizen of the World (1762), a series of whimsical and satirical essays, that he was recognized as an able man of letters. His fame grew with The Traveler (1764), a philosophic poem, and the nostalgic pastoral The Deserted Village (1770). His literary reputation rests on his two comedies, The Good-natur’d Man (1768) and She Stoops to Conquer (1773), and his only novel, The Vicar of Wakefield (1766). He had the friendship of many of the literary and artistic great of his day, the most notable being that of Samuel Johnson.
Elegy In Greek and Roman poetry, a poem written in elegiac verse: couplets consisting of a hexameter line followed by a pentameter line. The form dates back to 7th cent. B.C. in Greece and poets such as Archilochus, Mimnermus, and Tytraeus and in Roman poetry, it was widely used by Catullus, Ovid, and other Latin poets. In English poetry, since the 16th cent., the term elegy designates a reflective poem of lamentation or regret, with no set metrical form, generally of melancholy tone, often on death. The elegy can mourn one person, such as Walt Whitman’s “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d” on the death of Abraham Lincoln, or humanity in general, as in Thomas Gray’s “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard.” In the pastoral elegy the subject and friends are depicted as nymphs and shepherds inhabiting a pastoral world in classical times (Milton’s “Lycidas,” on Edward King, Shelley’s “Adonais,” on John Keats).
Romanticism Romantics and Romanticism (roman, romances) • Literary and aritstic movements of the 18th and 19th centuries • Inspired by the libertarian and egalitarian ideals of the French revolution • Rebellion against classicism • A sense of struggle between the dream of heavenly perfection and the experience of human inadequacy and guilt; magical, dramatic, surprising, full of adventure and mystery as in the Arthurian legends. Music: Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, Tchaikovsky . Art: Turner and Constable. Literature: Poe, Emerson, Thoreau, Longfellow, Pushkin, Hugo, Rousseau, Flaubert etc.
Romanticism and literature Basic aims • Return to nature • Belief in the goodness of humanity • Artist as a supremely individual creator • Development of nationalistic pride – interest in folk culture, national and ethnic origins • Use of natural, everyday diction (and not lofty poetic diction) • Importance given to poet’s imagination rather than adherence to arbitrary literary rules • The exaltation of the senses and emotion over reason and rebellion against social convention • Philosophical revolt against rationalism (Descartes, Leibniz, Spinoza)
Romanticism and literature • William Wordsworth (1770-1850) and Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s (1772–1834) Lyrical Ballads (1798 contained Tintern Abbey, Rime of the Ancient Mariner) was the literary manifesto of the romantic movement and it formally declared the revolution against neo-classicism. Coleridge emphasized the importance of the poet’s imagination and discounted adherence to arbitrary literary rules • Poetry is “…the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings” Poets: Wordsworth, Coleridge, Southey (early romantics), Shelley, Keats, Blake, Byron, Burns (later romantics. Essay: Charles Lamb, William Hazlitt, Thomas de Quincey. Novel: Sir Walter Scott.
Ode - 1 Middle French, from Late Latin, from Greek OidE, literally, song, from aeidein, aidein to sing; akin to Greek audE voice A lyric poem usually marked by exaltation of feeling and style, varying length of line, and complexity of stanza forms. Classified as: • Pindaric (after Pindar, 518-438BCE) Poems of praise and glory with a triadic or three stanza structure - a strophe (first stanza), an antistrophe (second stanza) and an epode (third stanza). When odes were sung and danced by a Greek chorus, the strophe was chanted when the chorus danced to the left, the antistrophe when it danced to the right and the epode when the chorus stood still.
Ode - 2 • Horatian (after Horace 65-8BCE, Catullus 84-54BCE ) Simpler and more personal lyric form. Homostrophic i.e. they repeat a single stanza shape through out (based upon the first stanza). The actual shape of the stanza is at the discretion of the poet. Hail to thee, blithe Spirit! Bird thou never wert – That from Heaven or near it Pourest thy full heart In profuse strains of unpremeditated art. • Abraham Cowley developed the irregular ode with stanzas of varying forms and lengths. Ode on the Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood by Wordsworth is an example of an irregular ode.
John Keats 1795-1821, died of consumption when 25 years old. In 1816 gave up surgery to pursue poetry • Endymion 1818 (A thing of beauty is a joy forever…), Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes and Other poems (1820) In a letter of October 27, 1818: • Keats' letters show that he certainly believed the poet possessed “negative capability”, the self-nullifying power to enter other things and speak as and for them. To be “in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason”; “to let the mind be a thoroughfare for all thought.”
Synaesthesia Keats's imagery ranges among all our physical sensations: sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell, temperature, weight, pressure, hunger, thirst, sexuality, and movement. Keats repeatedly combines different senses in one image, that is, he attributes the trait(s) of one sense to another, a practice called synaesthesia(Greek for ‘joined feelings’). His synaesthetic imagery performs two major functions in his poems: it is part of their sensual effect, and the combining of senses normally experienced as separate suggests an underlying unity of dissimilar happenings, the oneness of all forms of life.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson 1809-1892 Victorian poet poet laureate (1850), spokesman for the ideas and values of his time • Poems, Chiefly Lyrical (1830) • Poems (1832) – “The Lotus-Eaters”, “Lady of Shallot” • Poems (1842), expressed his philosophic doubts in a materialistic, increasingly scientific age and his longing for a sustaining faith - “Ulysses,” “Morte d’Arthur,” and “Break, Break, Break.” • In Memoriam, an elegy sequence that records Tennyson’s years of doubt and despair after Arthur Henry Hallam’s death and culminates in an affirmation of immortality. • Occasional poems, such as the “Ode on the Death of the Duke of Wellington” (1852) and “The Charge of the Light Brigade” (1855), were part of his duties as laureate.