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English Lit. Before 1800

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Celts
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500 BCE; Britons; Britain (both terms were given to the people/land by the Romans)
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Romans
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0; London
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Christianity
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600-700 CE; spread especially amongst the north
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Invasion of the Vikings
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800 CE; raided people then intermarried and settled (cultural assimilation)
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Angles
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500 CE; pagan people of lesser establishment/economy; eventually became to be known as the English (term given to the Angles and other germanic people who migrated to the island)
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First unified England
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875 CE
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Medieval
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Latin term for the Middle Ages; given to a 1000 year span of time by the people of the Renaissance; time between the Renaissance and the classical period of Greece and the rise of the Roman Empire
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Old English Poetry
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Two half lines consisting of two stressed syllables and a variety of unstressed syllables; the half-lines are pulled together by alliteration
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Manuscript
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Latin- manu (hand), script (written), hand written; everything that survives is written in manuscripts
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Parchment
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Animal skin that’s been tanned and shaved thin to use as paper; very durable except susceptible to weather
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Exeter book
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In the Exeter Cathedral in England; composed of religious poems, riddles, lyric poems; oldest collection of surviving old English poems
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Lyric
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Single speaker; short; expression of feelings/emotion; reader is in a position of over hearing; comes from the lyre; originally would have been sung
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Elegy
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Type of lyric poem; commonly regarded as a poem of mourning; Exeter considers it a poem of serious meditation
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Norman Conquest
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1066 CE; King William of Normandy killed Herald and became King of England
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Consequences of Norman Conquest
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Peasants lives didn’t really change (same language, etc.); Feudalism was implemented (William thought all the land in England was his and everyone paid him somehow, this went down the line of importants i.e. peasants would rent land and pay dues to the lords for protection, the land, etc. then the lords would pay William
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Language and Literature: English French Latin Which began to influence literature?
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English- Common/peasants French- The Court Latin- The Church French (introduced rhyme)
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King Arthur
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6th Century; inconclusive data about if he was real or not; became famous in 1136 when Geoffrey Monmouth (a monk) wrote on the Kings of England (claimed Arthur to be a Welsh descendent of Brutus who was the great grandson of Aeneas who supposedly survived the battle of Troy)
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Romances
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Featured the individual achievements of Knights (courageous and passionate, kind to women); source of the modern conception of romance
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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
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Original Manuscript- Colton Nero; manuscript contains 3 other poems (all religious/Catholic); author is referred to as the Pearl Poet (Pearl is the first poem in the manuscript)
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Geoffrey Chaucer
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Lived in the second half of the 14th century; came from the court and was an important member of it at various points (including parliament); father of English Poetry; one of the first to write in the vernacular; acquired fame as a translator of texts from different languages; largely responsible for introduction of rhyme and meter in English Poetry
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Canterbury Tales
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One of the first printed texts in England (alongside the Bible); further established middle English as the language of the time; strong narrative voice, but still open to interpretation (shows us things without giving explicit judgements)
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Ellesmere
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Possibly Chaucer
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Estates/Ranks
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Those who fight (knights), those who pray (priests, monks, priors, nuns), those who work (millers, workers, etc.)
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What does Nichola is yell in The Miller’s Tale?
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Water
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Renaissance
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Referred to as early modern now, rather than rebirth it is the start of what we have now; rebirth of art, philosophy, literature; hits England in early 16th century
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Middle Ages/Dark Ages
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Term comes from the Renaissance, because it’s the middle age of darkness between the classical period and the renaissance; thought themselves superior to the middle ages
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Italian for Renaissance
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Rinascenza i.e. rebirth
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Humanism
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Can learn about humans from poetry, writing, literature; philological and educational movement
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Philology
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Study of languages; started in part as a renewed interest in Greek; allowed Christian and classical Pagan texts to reconcile, because it started the Western Europe scholasticism that consisted of applying logic to scripture
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Queen Elizabeth I
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One of the longest monarchs to reign; despite turmoil in Europe her reign was relatively peaceful; literature and arts flourished under her rule; almost married Duke of Alenson (the Monsieur); received a humanist education
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Gender stuffs during QEI rule
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Women couldn’t own property, hold political position, etc.; a widow or single woman could hold their husband/father’s estate/property until married
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Sonnet
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Means “little song” in Italian; 14 lines; iambic pentameter; some form of rhyme scheme (Petrarchan or Shakespearean); usuallly about love (often man speaking about an unattainable woman); common motif- paradox (contradiction in some way); volta-turn
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Petrarchan
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ABBA ABBA /(volta) CDE CDE
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Shakespearean
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ABAB CDCD EFEF /(volta) GG
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Sir Philip Sidney
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Private person; pretty sure “Stella” is Penelope Devereaux (married and became Penelope Rich); humanism; argues poetry is enlightening and can heighten us
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Stella
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Star
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Astrophil
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Lover of the star, star lover
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Homoeroticism
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Same sex desire is mediated by the media; 16th and 17th century, identity wasn’t determined by sexual desire; has always occurred, however, the acceptance of this has varied from culture to culture; early modern period, it was legal even in the arts
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Allegory
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Story behind another story; “speaking otherwise”; two levels’ extended metaphor throughout the entire text; usually gives you a hint (red cross on his armor = flag of England)
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Luther
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German monk; very religious and very troubled (felt God’s commands were impossible to follow); struggled with celibacy; read Augustine- decided man is completely depraved, doesn’t deserve grace- predestination- nailed his 95 page theses to the door
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Protestantism
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More about scripture than tradition; fewer sacraments (2 as opposed to the Catholic 7); individual reading of the Bible – Bible in vernacular; no transubstantiation (the idea that communion literally became the blood and bone); no purgatory; got rid of praying to/worship of Saints and Mary, because thought to be idolatry led to a fear/anxiety of images; anxiety over individual salvation (elect or nah?)
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Henry VIII
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1533; hated Luther, wrote against Luther, renown by the Pope for it; wanted divorce, Pope wouldn’t give it to him; breaks with church, becomes head of his own church that was still pretty Catholic
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Edmund Spenser
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The Faerie Queen; most important English poet during his time; classical poetry- Virgil; interested by England as a Protestant nation; Great English Protestant, Epic- sets it in the time of Arthur, chooses to write in old-fashioned language (so it’ll be super English, words without French or Latin roots); poetry tells stories that have virtue rewarded and vices punished; what if we are distracted by the imagery of poetry and miss the lesson
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Epic Poetry
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About nations and heroes; long; invocation to Muse; associated with tragedy more often than comedy; elevated language; serious subject; gods and monsters, trips to heaven/hell; being in medias res (the middle of things); long catalogues; extended/epic similes; extensive battle scenes
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The Exeter Book Elegies
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The Wanderer, The Seafarer, The Wife’s Lament, The Ruin The Wanderer- coffer, mourning because everyone he knows is dead, happy memories only bring more remorse, God is both destroyer and creator
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The Dream of the Rood- pg. 58
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Oldest surviving dream vision in English; possibly the oldest piece of English poetry; Christ painted as warrior- resulted from the blending of germanic warrior culture and Christianity; cross takes on Christ personification as poem continues; cross comes to convert the speaker who converts the readers; comedy, because everything turns out okay, God makes Adam and Eve- stuff goes wrong- Jesus comes and saves- things are good again
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General Prologue
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Spring, rebirth, renewal, awakening of love, “sexualized”: then transforms to travel and adventure (supposedly shocking)
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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight- pg. 159
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-Unknown/The Pearl Author -Sir Gawain, King Arthur, The Green Knight/Lord Bertilak -First day—deer, a kiss -Second day—boar, a kiss -Third day—fox, three kisses (withholds the girdle)
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Geoffrey Chaucer- pg. 233; 285; 298
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-The Canterbury Tales— -The Miller’s Prologue—The Carpenter (John), Absolon, Nicholas, Alisoun; “Water;” Cuckhold because his wife won’t sleep with him; Nicholas (water, astronomy, clerk); Absolom (clerk); falling- literal fall (bathtub), fall of man (sin), fall of language (knight’s tale’s refinement vs. a fart, screaming, yelling, John’s “madman” speech) -The Wife of Bath’s Prologue—tells of all her husbands; fights with the last one who tries to control her; 5th husband tries to control her the way she always controlled her first four husbands (role reversal); reads texts of “bad” women to try to get her to be submissive; she hits him and tears out pages of the book, he then knocks her out, she comes to, they compromise, she gets control; she says women are naturally deceitful, so why should we believe anything she has to say, but if it’s all a lie does it make it of any lesser value; tells a tale that men still get everything no matter what
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*Thomas Wyatt-pg. 532
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-Experimented with many poetic forms (credited for iambic pentameter) -Anne Bowline -They Flee From Me—ballad; animalistic nature; searching for something different; let me go; Anne Bowlin (Henry VIII’s second wife); bitter about her changing her mind -Mine Own John Poyns—telling about how he is too pure for the court; “I cannot…”
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Queen Elizabeth I- pg. 684
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-*On Monsieur’s Departure—confliction between what she wants and how she must act; rid herself of him; her turning away a man she loved; people question the reliability of this, because of the uncertainty of if her feelings were real or just political -To The Troops—takes on the body of the king spiritually; “I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king;” adopts masculine characteristics
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*Francesco Petrarch- pg. 546
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-Rime Sparse- translated by Sir Thomas Wyatt -134—heavily of paradoxes “burn and freeze like ice,” “I desire to perish, and yet ask for health;” she makes me happiest although her love is unrequited which gives me great pain -190—”Whoso list to hunt, I know where is a hind;” he’s tired of chasing her, exhausted but keeps chasing her even as he tells others to go after her he warns them; Anne Bowlin
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Sir Philip Sidney- pg. 654
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Astrophil and Stella -1—searching for inspiration, but other people’s writing is like walking in their shoes; “knowledge might pity win, and pity grace obtain -45—If he writes himself in a story, maybe she’ll pity the fictitious version of himself
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William Shakespeare- pg. 791
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Sonnets -2—procreation=beauty sustained -18—”Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”; this poem will sustain your beauty -20—nature made you wrongly; “pricked thee;” homoeroticism -130— “the dark lady;” despite your dark eyes, pale lips and skin, black hair, bad breath, and bad voice, I will love you -138—older man and younger woman; together in a union of falsities; lying to each other so they can lie with each other
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John Donne- pg. 824
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-The Sun Rising—I hate the sun, because its rising means I must leave my beloved; the whole world lies here with us -The Anniversary—the only thing unaffected by time is our love; the only treason in this world is cheating “who is so safe as we? where none can do treason to us, except one of us two” -The Flea—sleep with me; don’t kill the flea; she kills it -Elegy 19—”to his mistress going to bed;” describes her getting undressed Holy Sonnets -14—battle for Donne’s soul between God and the devil
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Edmund Spenser- pg. 555
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The Faerie Queene—Red Crosse; Arthur; Faerie Queene/Gloriana; Una (Princess/Red Crosse’s future wife; Duessa; Archimago (the image maker)
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Drama in 16th Century
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-Mystery Plays- biblical stories put on by local guilds at festivals (each guild would get a day, most guilds did the same one each year; this went on through about halfway through the century) -Morality Plays- struggle between good and evil (main character was usually named mankind or every man who would go around encountering allegorical temptations and virtues) -Low social status for actors -1576-first real theatre; located in London; named theatre; normally built in liberties (places just outside of London, because of controversy over the theater)
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*Christopher Marlowe (works from here down)
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Contemporary of Shakespeare; probably a spy for QEI in the universities of English Catholics; most important English playwright before Shakespeare; wrote tragedies, comedies, histories, love poetry; blurred genre lines- Doctor Faustus- a tragical history containing a lot of comedy; accused of atheism by roommate who claimed to have papers proving this, but in between the accusation and trail he was killed by being stabbed in the forehead supposedly over his bill
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Doctor Faustus- pg. 757
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-John Faustus; Wagner; Mephastophilis (a devil); Pope; Helen of Troy; Alexander the Great -reformation/humanism -relationship between knowledge and power- thinks knowledge will give him power, but those who already have power still have power over him -trades one master for another -the tree of knowledge- we’re only supposed to know so much, Faustus keeps going for more knowledge
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Drama in the Age of Marlowe & Shakespeare
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-Very little scenery -Relied more on costumes (the most expensive thing they had to buy) & the language of the drama (during this time you went to hear the play not see it; you had to imagine a lot of the scenes -Boys (ages 10-12) played women’s parts -Huge increase in the # and variety in plays in the 1580s and 1590s
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Faustus Myth
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-Rooted in a text published in Germany in 1587 that was called the History of John Faustus; was written during a Catholic time when magic was okay, but with protestantism magic was associated with the work of the devil -John Faustus- studied magic, astronomy, and alchemy; he was supposedly found dead with his head turned around backwards
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Predestination
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Augustine; Luther denies free will because if everything is predestined then its not by chance/choice; Providence (Calvin)- everything good or bad is controlled by God
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The English Civil War
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-Fought in England in the 1640s -QEI dies -King James then takes over (1603-1625)- religion status quo-Centrist Protestantism; divine right (absolute monarchy) -Charles I (1625-1642)- takes over after James; increased the power of bishops; hated Parliament (legit didn’t call a meeting of Parliament for over a decade) -1642- King and Parliament battle over power; Charles I is deposed, tried for treason, and executed; begin England’s first republic, ruled by parliament rather than a King, really ruled by Oliver Cromwell -John Milton- responsible for defense of of regicide (killing the king)
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John Milton
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-religious, but chose not to join the church; went to Cambridge; returned to his father”s house for 6-7 years for a studious retirement and basically read all of literature (classical and modern; with special interest in Virgil and Spencer) -1640s-moved away from poetry and towards involvement in politics; wrote opinions through many prose tracts- religious reform, divorce (wanted if for unsuccessful marriages, helped create the option), freedom of the press, government (in favor of the Republican, opposed tyranny/kings, thus why Oliver Cromwell wanted him to be assistant of the press) -1650s- goes blind (his daughters would write stuff down for him -1660s-restoration of the monarchy, parliament invited Charles II to come back to England and reclaim the throne; Milton opposed it greatly; dangerous time for those who had Charles I executed, opposed him, etc.; Milton went into hidding, was found and imprisoned, eventually released
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Paradise Lost- pg. 918
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-Adam and Eve; Satan; Beelzebub; Gabriel -12 books -Wants to explain God’s plan/how evil fits into it -Multiple muse invocations
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King Charles II
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-Lots of mistresses -Lots of kids (none by his actual wife)
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William Wycherly- pg. 1144
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-The Country Wife—Horner (syphilis); Harcourt; Pinchwife; Sparkish; Margery Pinchwife; Alithea (supposed to marry Sparkish, wants Harcourt); The Fidgets -3 plots- reputation plot (Horner, Lady Fidget, Jasper, etc.); jealousy plot (Pinchwife, Margery); true-love plot (Harcourt, Alithea)- all plots depend upon and are disrupted by each other -Exaggerated type characters- even their names reflect their type- Pinchwife (pinch/constrict your wife); Horner (gives horns- makes cuckolds); Alithea (truth)
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Difference in theatre from Faustus to the Country Wife
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-theatre- globe theatre to theatre more like todays -audience- less->more selective -actors- celebrity culture begins, female actors -repertory- Shakespeare->sexual comedy
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Satire
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-some kind of poem/novel/art that uses humor to ridicule, expose, or criticize immorality/foolishness (Oxford English Dictionary) -attack using something that is obviously and recognizably fictional upon discernible historical particulars (Rosenheim) -comedy-we laugh at universal foolishness; satire- we laugh at something that poses a threat
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Satiric Triangle
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-satirist-voice, narrator, “performing” the satire -satiric target-person, thing, idea being made fun of -audience-goal is to affect the audience’s thoughts/feelings about the satiric target, not the satiric target’s about himself
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John Dryden
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-poet/satirist -associated himself with Milton even though their political/religious views differed greatly -disliked John Wilmot -satire=moral (blame vice in order to uphold virtue; the satirist ridicules the bad guy/satirical target to aid the virtue of the audience)
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John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester- pg. 1195
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-Satire on Charles II—”and she may sway the one who plays with th’other;” quit sleeping around and rule your country -The Imperfect Enjoyment—personal, confessional, about ejaculating too early but it only happens with the woman he loves -Satire Against Reason and Mankind—I would rather be a beast than a human; reason blocks the senses; ridicules how people preserve reason
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Meanwhile in England…
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-King Charles II died; crown goes to King James II, but because he was Catholic passed to their sister Mary who was protestant and her husband William (the glorious & bloodless revolution) -Tories-landed conservatives; King James II -Whigs-new rich, religious progressives; defended Anglican Church
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Early 18th Century
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-Rise of population studies-demography -results in reducing people to numbers -shift in economic pamplets- treated laborers as commodities -economic health of the state becomes more important than that of the individual
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Jonathan Swift- pg. 1260
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-The Lady’s Dressing Room—nosy; ends up repulsed by women; Strephon; Lady Celia; -A Modest Proposal—we’ll just sell and eat the year old Irish children; sympathy to the Irish because it shines light on the English’s responsibility for putting the Irish in this position and for helping them out; puts blame on Irish as well by comparing them to animals, because this plan only works if we see them as animals rather than people; reduces everyone to savages/cannibals/animals; relates back to his misanthropy (hatred of everyone); throwing his hands up
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Novel
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-book, fiction -beginning, middle, end=story -early 18th century -Ian Watt, Rise of the Novel; realism (as opposed to idealism); the way the world is (rather than a physical all of this could happen, it’s an emotional/character realism -focus on the individual- interest in interiority (the individual’s internal thoughts/emotions/conflicts), development of a character through time, question identity, individual readers vs. plays/poems being read aloud to many -modern/modernity- questioning of tradition (even somewhat a rejection of tradition), prioritization of individual, progress, professionalism, urbanization (cities), feudalism/capitalism/market economy -Why?- credit economy; middle class/social mobility; economic instability (poor get rich, rich get poor); new market for consumer goods (books=cheaper, because of printing press); new writers, readers, and kinds of stories
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Eliza Haywood- pg. 1430
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Fantomina—prostitute/Fantomina, maid/Celia, widow/Mrs. Bloomer, Incognita; Beauplaisir; talks around things a lot (prostitution, the woman’s true identity) -paradox of identity-what makes you different from other people (name); what makes you similar to other people (MSU student, the lady shifts her identity with each character-Fantomina dresses like a prostitute to be identified as a prostitutes, etc.); identity as a kind of performance (who you are defined by how you act/conduct yourself-the lady realized if this is true identity can be changed) -Gender and Sexual desire- ruined innocence (women disgraced, man suffers nothing, cautionary tale to women to protect themselves); Haywood plays with this common storyline (the lady takes advantage of the Beauplaisir, she desires him/gets satisfaction from it) -character credit bubble- what if there isn’t anything behind her bubble? -paradox of desire- desire is to want, to have is to no longer want, because you have it -Fantomina as a woman writer- writes a lot of letters; recreates herself (as a character) as an author would a written character) -What is this argument saying? What does it all mean?- Feminist or non-feminist?
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Olaudah Equiano- pg. 1579
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The Interesting Life of Olaudah Equiano— one of the first slave narratives -Debate over if he was born in Africa or Carolina- debate the authenticity of his nationality not the story
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Common Characteristics of a Slave Narratives
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-Portrait -Title includes “written by himself” (statement of authenticity) -Testimonials- white abolitionists confirms authenticity -Narrative itself- origins, “I was born;” slave auction, families being destroyed -account of cruelty of slave owners (1st account of seeing/being whipped, “Christian” slaveholders, cruelest, hypocrisy) -barriers to prevent literacy -everyday details, patterns (clothes, food, work, etc.) -patrols-failed attempt to escape) -successful escape -taking new name -Appendix- documentary material (proof of sale, etc.; authentication)
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Abolitionist Text
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-Description of Native Country- comparison to Judaism -Insisting upon his own humanity- refinement, intial apologies, literacy -Doubled perspective- European Anthopologist meets Native African; relativity of beauty -Lays bare dehumanizing process- description of slave ship -Dehumanizing the white Europeans- emphasis on their avarice/cruelty; bad spirits; cannibals; inhumane treatment of slaves- separation of families; religious hypocrisy -Appeal to Christianity
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Alliteration
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Joins two half lines of old English poetry