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Week 8 Notes

by: Shelby Flippen

Week 8 Notes ENGL 221

Shelby Flippen

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The Early Seventeenth Century: John Donne, George Herbert
British Literature to 1798
K. Attie
Class Notes
The Early Seventeenth Century, John Donne, george herbert
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Shelby Flippen on Thursday March 31, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ENGL 221 at Towson University taught by K. Attie in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 7 views. For similar materials see British Literature to 1798 in Foreign Language at Towson University.

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Date Created: 03/31/16
The Early Seventeenth Century 1   Style  Metaphysical Conceit ­ A far­fetched, surprising, ingenious metaphor that links different domains such as: a. The concrete and the abstract b. The material and the spiritual  c. The lowly and the lofty  d. The sexual and the sacred  Switch from Petrarchan copies  ­ originality of thought ­ intimacy of characters (same space) ­ post­sexual satisfaction in some cases ­ more involved female roles John Donne 2   The Flea  Donne’s Background  ­ Marriage to Ann More:  “parents grudge” (14)  Plot ­ Male speaker asking his beloved for sex ­ Flea bites the two of them  blood intermingling a. Background: belief that sex also causes blood mixture  ­ Female action a. Kills the flea:  “cruel and sudden, hast thou since / Purpled thy nail in the blood of  innocence” (19­20) b. States that the flea does not represent them as a couple:  “find ‘st not thy self nor me the weaker now” (24) ­ Sex as more innocent (like the flea)  Style ­ Metapoetic element “Mark but this flea, and mark in this” (1) ­ Carpe diem poem similarity (longing, call for action) a. BUT not limited time ­ Petrarchan poem similarity  b.  BUT the lovers know each other well (she is in the habit of refusing his  advances) ­ Metaphysical conceit 1 a. Sacred: religious imagery “sacrilege, three sins in killing three” (18) b. Sexual: sexual desires “Yet this enjoys before it woo” (7) ­ Metaphysical Conceit 2 a. Lofty: marriage: specific b. Lowly: flea: abstract Marriage temple/sacred space: “The flea is you and I, and this / our marriage  bed and temple is (12­13) 3. The Sun Rising  Plot ­ Morning­after (sex) poem: desire for the continuation of languishing with partner  rather than dealing with daily working life ­ Sexual – political conquest  “She is all the states, and all princes I” (21)  Style ­ NOT carpe diem: Wants to slow time (rather than seize the day) “months, which are the rags of time” (10) ­ BUT Petrarchan “If her eyes had not blinded thine” (15) – like the sun ­ Microcosm (the bedroom)  4   A Valediction: Forbidden Mourning  Donne’s Background ­ Difficult situation of his traveling to another continent and leaving wife behind  Style ­ Metaphysical context a. Trepidation of spheres/shaking of the heavens  “But trepidation of the spheres” (11) b. Their love is pure and thus transcends the bounds of earth c. Comparison: compasses and lovers’ souls  5   To His Mistress Going to Bed  (Note: we did not read this in class; we merely covered the basics of it)  Plot ­ The narrator wants his lover to do a striptease ­ Narrator claims her bodily territory       Holy Sonnets  Themes  ­ Eroticism of the sacred (vs. prior making the erotic sacred) ­ Microcosm vs. Macrocosm a. Consistency of God’s creation/great glory b. Can be seen through the belief in all matter coming from the 4 elements and  the 4 humors of the human body (blood, phlegm, black bile, and yellow bile)   indicated temperament  6.  5  Microcosm troupe – man ­ “I am a little world made cunningly: (1)  Plot ­ Body and soul must die – drown sin “Drown my world” (8) “My world’s both parts, and O, both parts must die” (4)  Theme: Discovery ­ “Have found new spheres, and of new lands can write” (6) ­ BUT new findings are disorienting  “beyond heaven which was most high” (5) 7. 14  Prayer ­ God’s punishment: confrontation and begging because body wrongfully possessed by Satan (as seen through passionate control) a. Holy trinity: “Batter my heart, three­personed God” (1) b. “force to break, blow, burn, and make me new” (4) c. “like an usurped town” (5) ­ Sexual and the spiritual  a. “you enthrall me” (13) b. “except you ravish me” (14) ­ God has agency George Herbert 1. Man  Renaissance Humanism interacts with Judeo­Christianity  ­ Privileges humankind microcosm over the macrocosm  c. Mankind controls the tides: “For head with foot . . .  And both with moon and  tides” (17­18) d. “the world serves us, we may serve thee” (53) ­ BUT Man as home of God a. “My God, thou hast / so brave a palace built” (49­50) b. “and both thy servants be” (54) 2   The Collar  Resents God’s rules on man – 10 Commandments  ­ Metapoetic rebellion: “My lives and life are free, free as the road” (4) ­ BUT structure reinforces idea of inability and lack of desire to be free a. Desire to be bound to God “I heard one calling, Child! / And I replied, My Lord” (35­36)  Inner rebellion ­ Italics: objections ­ Non­italics: analyzing thoughts 


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