EN 216 Week 2 Notes
EN 216 Week 2 Notes EN 216
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Rhiannon Hein on Wednesday January 27, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to EN 216 at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa taught by Dr. Abraham Smith in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 26 views. For similar materials see Honors English Literature II in Foreign Language at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa.
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Date Created: 01/27/16
1/2715 The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere Notes I. Wordsworth and Coleridge a. These two couldn’t really be any different b. Coleridge recognized the poetic genius of Wordsworth and called him the great poet of his age. c. Wordsworth later became the poet laurite of England. d. Wordsworth’s theme was himself all across his writing. e. Wordsworth wasn’t really a Christian. If he believed in anything, he believed in nature. f. Coleridge was a manic genius. He had fits and starts, mood swings, etc. He would start projects and abandon them. g. Coleridge was manic all the time. i. Very addicted to opium, brought a lot of shame to his life. II. “The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere” a. Advertisement: i. Wordsworth put his flaws out there by saying that the reader might not like it and critics might not like it. ii. He asks people to hold off on immediate judgment. iii. He makes it clear that it’s not going to be classic poetry, it’s going to be “hick” poetry, lower class, etc. 1. Ballads are for taverns, they aren’t for poetry. Does the poem lose dignity in the form of a ballad? 2. They wanted a link to the deep past in order to resuscitate the spirit of poetry. iv. The most unballad of ballads of all time. They don’t keep to the four lines, at times they speed it up or slow it down by adding more lines. th v. Use of 14 century language. b. Section 1: i. Use of repetition 1. “Beard”, “glimmering eye” 2. You would need to use repetition if you were actually singing the poem aloud. ii. Wedding guest stands raptured of the mariner, the mariner has a special power to enrapture those to whom he must tell his story. 1. The wedding guest no longer has agency, he is trapped under the mariner’s tale. iii. Mariner’s position parallels that of the balladeer, he travels to diff. places regaling audiences with his tale. iv. Introduces the two layers of the story: 1. The mariner as a wedding guest and the second layer, the story of the mariner’s voyage. v. Vivid imagery 1. Sensory detail with sound 2. Reputation of the word ice vi. The text that the wedding guest has to read is the mariner’s face vii. Ends with him killing the albatross 1. Why? Seems senseless c. Section 2: i. “I had done an hellish thing” 1. The crowd at first isn’t happy with his decision ii. When the sun comes out, the tune changes: “ I had kill’d the Bird/that brought the fog and mist” 1. All of a sudden, he’d done the right thing because the sun came out. 2. This demonstrates the fickle attitude of the crowd. iii. Idleness 1. Breeze leaves, why? Must be because of the albatross! 2. Water changes colors during the idleness 3. Invocation of the supernatural iv. slimy creatures upon the slimy sea. v. “Instead of the Cross the Albatross/About my neck was hung” d. Section 3: i. “I bit my arm and suck’d the blood” 1. Shows how intense the dryness was. 2. He slurps some blood to get some viscosity in his mouth and then he cries out “a sail, a sail” and that seals everyone’s fate. ii. Instead, a ghost ship arrives 1. “A spectral boat” iii. Once again, everyone thinks all of this is happening because he shot the albatross. iv. The boat gets between them and the sun and the bars create the image like the sailors are in jail. v. The two creatures on the boat are “Death” and “Life in Death” and they are gambling for everyone on the boat. 1. Death wins everybody on the boat and Life in Death wins the mariner. vi. The rest of the crew dies and the souls leave him. 1. “And every soul it pass’d me by,/Like the whiz of my Crossbow” a. He makes the connection between the crossbow which shot the albatross and the sailors who died. b. This suggests his culpability and perhaps even stands as a confession, he thinks that because he has killed the albatross he is responsible for everything that has happened. e. Section 4: i. “And Christ would take no pity on/My soul in agony” 1. There’s also no albatross to be found, no savior comes forth. ii. Wedding guest gets pretty freaked out. 1. He fears the mariner’s experience and story. 2. Perhaps he fears him being a ghost as well, unnatural. iii. He’s miserable for seven days and seven nights 1. It’s his punishment. iv. He finds salvation when he blesses the snakes “unaware” (as in he wasn’t trying to gain anything from God) 1. Snakes are bringers of evil, and yet he blesses them. v. Albatross falls off like led into the sea 1. Perhaps the curse is broken? f. Section 5: i. He rests for a little bit. ii. Spirits came into the dead man’s body and started doing their duties. 1. Very Davey Jones’ locker 2. They’re doing their duty on the ship but they can’t interact with the Mariner. iii. The crew began to sing 1. It’s not ghastly as much as it is heavenly (354355). iv. The wind stops but the boat still sails (line 356) v. Spirits from the nine fathoms deep are discussing whether or not he’s done enough penance, and they decide he hasn’t. g. Section 6: i. Spirits continue discussing what to do. Do they make him pay the piper or continue on the penance? ii. They decide to continue on the penance for the rest of his life by forcing him to wander around and tell his story to strangers. iii. They get him home safely so he can begin telling his story. 1. They put a flaming angel on the chest of each one of his dead crew so that they can catch the attention of those on shore. 2. The flaming angels did not have any voice but they still call out to those on shore. 3. The hermit comes and the pilot and the pilot’s son and they save him. h. Section 7: i. (To be discussed next week) 1/25/16 The Marriage of Heaven and Hell Notes I. The Devil is the good guy in this satire. a. Blake likes the Devil and wants us to listen to Him because the Devil is a rebel against institutionalized religion (which Blake was wary of). II. Blake throws conventional form away by giving us little snippets that seem rather disorganized. III. Starts off with the Old Testament in “The Argument”, a jealous and wrathful God IV. “Red Clay brought forth” a. Christ’s redemptive nature, red clay as Christ’s blood, also could be a reference to the new Adam, who would be Jesus. V. Preface ends with Blake’s view of institutionalized religion a. He’s afraid that institutionalized religion gets rid of imagination. b. Institutional religion equates your imaginative energy and other desires with evil, and reason with good. c. Blakian Hell occurs when reason eclipses desire or imagination. The best possible condition (or Heaven) is for reason and imagination to clash against each other because Blake believes that opposites form the truest friendship. VI. In Blake’s view, the prophets—those with imagination and insight—are those that stand at the periphery, they are the coyotes and wolves in the wilderness (line 18). VII. Those who have the bravery and staunchness to stand up and speak out can move mountains, but there is no place for them within the machinery of society. VIII. Blake’s Points: a. Without contraries there is no progression. b. From these contraries spring what the religious call Good & Evil. c. Good is the passive that obeys reason. Evil is the active springing from Energy. i. This is the institutionalized religion’s view, which wants reason to limit and shut out imagination. d. The stuff of the imaginative life is the stuff of timelessness. IX. Blake takes on the voice of the devil to advocate for imagination a. In “The Voice of the Devil”: i. Energy is Eternal Delight b. Blake makes fun of Milton for writing so heroically of evil and not so heroically of good i. Blake claims that he must’ve been in league with the devil because of his imagination when it came to describing Hell and creating the devil as a character. 1. Thus, Blake follows the same idea that imagination is evil, and because Milton used his imagination in creating such a vivid picture of Hell, he must’ve been in league with the devil. c. “Man has no Body distinct from his Soul”; “The five Senses” are the “chief inlets” of the soul. i. The body and senses are actually very important and not just the soul (as institutionalized religion had long prioritized the soul over the body) and that we should not ignore or repress them. 1. The 5 senses can melt together in the furnace called imagination and you can begin to glimpse the infinite (seeing objects as metaphors, such a coat hanger as a willow tree, etc.) X. “A Memorable Fancy” a. He believed in what Swedenborg had to say, but later changes his opinion and comes to believe that Swedenborg was actually more in league with that with which Blake disagreed, so Blake decided to “kick” him to the curb by parodying him. b. In a memorable fancy he basically introduces the proverbs of Hell. XI. “Proverbs of Hell” a. These are aphorisms specific to the place or the person, they reveal identity or culture of a place or a thing. b. “The nakedness of woman is the work of God” i. Here, Blake argues that the human body is a beautiful thing and should not be demonized or indicative of sin c. “What is now proved was once only imagin’d” st i. All manner of singularity is often allied with badness. We as 21 century thinkers, however, would immediately agree with this quote. d. “He who desires but acts not, breed pestilence” i. You should act upon desire, it would be bad not to. e. “Everything that’s possible to be believed is an image of truth” i. Everything you imagine can be a truth or a reality. f. “A dead body revenges not injuries” g. “Improvement makes strait roads, but the crooked roads without Improvement are roads of Genius” i. Connections of the imagination instead of linear pathways. h. These are not all the proverbs listed, only some of those we went over in class. XII. Plate 11 a. Back in the old days, the poets of the world encoded a God for every natural feature. Every town had some encoded divine feature within it. b. Then abstraction happened—a system took place and access to the divine was limited through the creation of positions (such as medicine men, or priests) and rules. c. All the encoding of the divine within each town with their own particular deity disappears. i. “Thus all men forgot that All deities reside in the human breast”. XIII. Plate 12: A Memorable Fancy a. Point: most lambs out in the world have refused their birthright to see the world imaginatively and to declare themselves alive and seek agency within their own lives. b. Most people just roll around like pebbles in the stream and never take charge of themselves or seek to see the world in different ways. c. People are scared to make changes, it’s easier to fall among the rest and go with the flow. d. “Honest indignation is the voice of God” XIV. Plate 16: A Memorable Fancy a. The Prolific and the Devouring i. The Prolific creates and creates, the devouring eats all the excess from the creators in the world. ii. The Devouring looks at the creators and says “look at them, there they are with their chains” 1. This is the cardinal sin for Blake. iii. The prolific and the devouring should clash. XV. An angel swoops in and tells Blake where he’s headed with all his imagination. a. They go into the church, which ends up being a mill. i. The mill is Blake’s image for institutional religion again and again, because it pulverizes imagination the same way that the mill grinds wheat. b. When the angel disappears, so does Hell i. It was the Angel that saw Hell for Blake, not Blake himself. The angel gives Blake the gift of his imagination of Hell. ii. When the Angel leaves, Blake’s own imagination takes over and he ends up on a beautiful bank. c. “The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, & breeds reptiles of the mind” XVI. “Opposition is true Friendship” XVII. Ending of the poem a. A devil comes upon an angel and says “The worship of God is, Honouring his gifts in other men, each according to his genius, and loving the greatest men best.” b. Angel says that he’s an idolater and did not Jesus give sanction to the law of the 10 commandments. c. Devil responds that no virtue can exist without breaking these ten commandments. Jesus was all virtue and acted from impulse, not from rules.” d. Angel decides to convert and becomes a devil.
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