By Margaret Crawford,2014-10-13 17:10
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    ththThe 17 Century English Literature The 17 Century English Literature

    ththI. The Historical Background of the 17 Century I. The Historical Background of the 17 Century

    ; Major Political Changes:

     1. Wars with Spain, France & Germany

     2. the Civil War between 1642-48

     a. Royalists vs. Parliamentarians or Cavaliers vs. round heads

     b. Charles I taken as prisoner in 1646 & executed in 1949.

     c. The Commonwealth under Cromwell from 1649 to 1660

     d. The Restoration in 1660.

II. The Restoration Literature II. The Restoration Literature

    John Donne

    John Milton

    John Bunyan

    John Dryden

Jacobean Period(16031625) Jacobean Period(16031625)

    ; A period rich in literary activity: in dramaWilliam Shakespeare, Ben Jonson; in lyricsJohn Donne, Dayton; in proseFrancis Bacon, Robert Burton ; The king himself published 4 books

    ; In 1611 the King James Bible was published.

The Metaphysical School The Metaphysical School

     The Origin of the term:

    th; The term generally applied to a group of 17 Century poets: chiefly Donne, Carew, Herbert, Crashaw, Vaughan, Marvel, Cleveland and Cowley. John Donne was the

    founder father of the School.

    ; The term was imposed on them by later critics like Dryden and Samuel Johnson.

The Origin of the Term The Origin of the Term

    ; Dryden said in his essay in 1693: “Donne affects the metaphysics.

    ; Samuel Johnson in his one major essay in 17781779 used the term

    “metaphysical” to describe Donne and his followers.

What’s “Metaphysical”?

    ; Is concerned with spiritual and philosophical matters. ; Refers to a certain style of new poetry at the time with the features as follows:

     use of paradox

     use wit and conceit

     highly inventive, original & intellectual

Paradox, Wit & Conceit Paradox, Wit & Conceit

    ; Paradox: The yoking together of dissimilar ideas


; Wit & conceit: simply put, the imagery is extremely elaborate and fanciful,

    extremely unusual and inventive.


    Critics Views on the Metaphysical Poets & Poetry Critics Views on the Metaphysical Poets & Poetry th; Dryden in the 17 century: 他喜弄玄学?不仅在他的讽刺诗中如此?在爱情诗中也如此。爱情诗本应言情?他却用哲学的微妙的思辩?把女性们的头脑弄糊涂了。

    th; Samuel Johnson in the 18 century: Donne这一派的爱情诗不是抒写自然之情?只是炫耀学问?所以他们写的不是诗?只是韵文。他们有聪明机智(wit),但不Pope所说的机智?而是把不和谐的东西聚在一起。The most heterogeneous

    ideas are yoked by violence together. 把杂七杂八的思想生拉硬套?扭在一起?只是为了语不惊人死不朽?是雕虫小技。但话说回来?他的奇思妙想?conceits)不多读书?不多思考?也是写不出来的。

    thth; Obscure in the 18 & 19 centuries.

    ; T.S.Eliot saw this type of poetry not just the beginning of but also the end of

    tradition in this organic union of English poetry. --“unified sensibility”. ; Yet it is also criticized because of not imitating nature or life.

John Donne John Donne

    ; Donne’s Works:

     Love Poems, Satires (in the 1590s)

     Holy Sonnets (later in his life)


    ; Two kinds of poetry:

     secular poetry: love poetry

     religious matter: sonnets

Qualities of poetry of John Donne Qualities of poetry of John Donne

    ; Dramatic opening

    ; Spontaneous

    ; Private and personal

    ; Innovative

    ; Use of colloquial language ; Reference to various new sciences

John Milton John Milton

    His Works fall into 3 periods His Works fall into 3 periods

    ; Before the Civil War

     both in Latin and English verses.


     “Lycidas”(1637—1638): a pastoral elegy

    ; With the Civil War

     Prose writing (16401660)

    ; The rest of 15 years of his life

     Paradise Lost (1667)

     Paradise Regained (1671)

Paradise Lost (1667) Paradise Lost (1667)

    ; The background:

     disillusioned and blind

     1. Democracy didn’t succeed

     2. Became blind

     3. Feeling insecure of future

    ; Contained 10 books, later became 12 books ; The Content: Satan, named Lucifer when still an angel, led his angels against God.

    Defeated, thrown into Hell, and suffered there. Satan: prince of light and beauty,

    aspired to be as high as God, a symbol of pride.

John Bunyan John Bunyan

    His Writings: His Writings:

    ; Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners (1666)

    ; The Pilgrim’s Progress, Part I (1678), Part II(1684) ; The Life and Death of Mr. Badman (1680)

    ; The Holy War (1682)

    Features and influences Features and influences

    ; Reflect religious elements

    ; Reflect dissatisfaction & protest of petty bourgeoisie, peasants, crafters after

    English bourgeoisie revolution against capitalists & restored aristocrats.

    ; A soul full of optimism, confidence, and determination not to compromise

    ; Simple, clear, vivid and forceful

    ; Closer to modern prose

    th; Important writer in the sense that he paved the way for the 18 C. Swift and Defoe in language and techniques of novel.

The Pilgrims Progress The Pilgrims Progress

    ; Unique as a work:

     An allegory instead of a novel or autobiography.

     Written by a man with little education

     The characters’ names are not individuals

     The journey is a symbolic one


Features of the allegory Features of the allegory

    ; Use of personification

    ; The whole work depends on an analogy

    ; Elements of myth, something archetypal

    ; Strong element of good psychology

    ; Strong sense of realism

    ; A super prose

    ; High dramatic

About The Pilgrims Progress About The Pilgrims Progress

    ; Pilgrim: one religious man going on a journey in order to obtain spiritual things. ; Progress: optimistic word suggesting forward movement, destination, getter better.

     narrower meaning: a journey has a planned route.

Sum-up of the Work Sum-up of the Work

    ; The use of “I”-narrator

    ; Simple prose style of tremendous dignity

    ; Colloquial language & well-known cliches

    ; Concrete images, physical images & reality

    ; Wonderful choice of dream, advantage of dialogue of a play. ; Narration/ dialogue & dream

    ; Didactic element

    th; A work foreshadowing the development of the novel in the early 18 century

Setting & Characters Setting & Characters

    ; Geographically simple: city, river, buildings, all medieval castles and houses ; Spiritual journey: leads to celestial city

    ; Allegorical names: of orthodoxy virtue and vice, of physical connotation, of moral tone

    Moral of the Book Moral of the Book

    ; A didactic book, yet also entertaining

    ; Highly Christian & Puritan& Protestant

    ; Appreciates courage, strength of heart & body, good deeds, self-reliance ; Individual is weak. Needs help from others & God

Cavalier Poets Cavalier Poets th; Cavaliers: a name given to the adherents of the king in the Civil War of the 17


    ; Cavalier lyrics: a term applied to the lyrical poetry that had a remarkable outburst during the reign of Charles I, and of which the court was the center. ; The principal Cavalier poets/lyrists: Robert Herrick, Thomas Carew, Sir John

    Suckling, Richard Lovelace, and Edmund Waller.

    ; Influenced by Ben Jonson & metaphysical poets, esp. John Donne.


Features of Cavalier Poetry Features of Cavalier Poetry

    ; Short

    ; witty, clever, balanced, graceful ; light, not serious

    ; melancholy

    ; highly aristocratic, anti-puritan one single theme: carpe diem themeseize the day.


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