Presentation on theme: "Lecture Five The 17th Century (The Period of Revolution and Restoration) Historical context Historical context Literary characteristics Literary characteristics."— Presentation transcript:
Lecture Five The 17th Century (The Period of Revolution and Restoration) Historical context Historical context Literary characteristics Literary characteristics Metaphysical Poetry Metaphysical Poetry John Donne John Donne John Milton John Milton John Bunyan John Bunyan
Historical Context a. The cooperation between the monarchy and the bourgeoisie was over in the early 17th century. (Elizabethan I died, James I came to power, and Charles I then dissolved the parliament and ruled the country with absolute government in 1629). b. The English Revolution (led by Oliver Cromwell), Charles I was captured and was executed in Thus, the monarchy was abolished and came the period of the Republican or commonwealth.
c. The split within the revolutionary camp ( the middle bourgeoisie—the big bourgeoisie ; the bourgeoisie—the common people; ) d. The bourgeoisie dictatorship and the Restoration. After the death of Cromwell, the monarchy was restored. It was called the period of restoration. In 1688, James II was forced to flee to France. His Protestant daughter Mary and her husband William, Duke of Orange, were welcomed to England as the joint rulers of the country. This is known as the Glorious Revolution (bloodless). It marked the end of feudalism and the triumph of the bourgeois revolution. After a century of disputes and battles, the state structure of England was settled, within which capitalism could develop freely.
Literary Characteristics Puritan influence (to suppress literary art, stern and hard style) Metaphysical poets (John Donne, George Herbert, Andrew Marvell) John Donne: “The Flea”, “Song”, “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning ” John Milton ( a great revolutionary poet) Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, Samson Agonistes, On his Blindness, On His Deceased Wife John Bunyan The Pilgrim’s Progress
Puritanism Puritanism was the religious doctrine of the revolutionary bourgeoisie during the English Revolution. It preached thrift, sobriety, hard work and unceasing labor in whatever calling one happened to be, but with no extravagant enjoyment of the fruits of labor.
Metaphysical poetry( 玄学诗 ) Metaphysical poetry is commonly used to name the work of the 17 th century writers who wrote under the influence of John Donne. With a rebellious spirit, the metaphysical poets try to break away from the conventional fashion of the Elizabethan love poetry. They are characterized by mysticism in content and fantasticality in form. John Donne is the leading figure of the “metaphysical school.”
Rise & Fall of Metaphysical Poetry Metaphysical poetry was rarely read in the 17 th, 18 th and early 19 th century. In the late 19 th century and early 20 th century, there was a renewed interest in metaphysical poetry. The modernist poets T.S. Eliot, John Ransom and Allen Tate claimed their influence by John Donne. So John Donne became a cult figure in the early 20 th century English-speaking countries.
John Donne ( ) “the first poet of the world in some things.” —Ben Jonson
John Donne Born into a prosperous merchant’s family. Roman Catholic family, but quitted his religious belief later. In 1615, he entered the Anglican Church ( 英国国教 ) and took orders. In 1621, he was appointed the Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral and kept the post to his death. Well-educated in both Cambridge and Oxford universities but took no degree at either university because he would not take the Oath of Supremacy required at graduation. Expeditions in France and Italy. Donne became the private secretary to Egerton, the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal. He ruined his own prospect by secretly marrying the Lord Keeper’s niece, Anne More.
A Letter to his father-in-law about their secret marriage "Sir, I acknowledge my fault to be so great as I dare scarce offer any other prayer to you in mine own behalf than this, to believe that I neither had dishonest end nor means. But for her whom I tender much more than my fortunes or life (else I would, I might neither joy in this life nor enjoy the next) I humbly beg of you that she may not, to her danger, feel the terror of your sudden anger."
Final Reconciliation Sir George had Donne thrown in Fleet prison for some weeks. Donne was dismissed from his post, and for the next decade had to struggle near poverty to support his growing family. Donne later summed up the experience: "John Donne, Anne Donne, Undone.” It was not until 1609 that a reconciliation was effected between Donne and his father-in-law, and Sir George More was finally induced to pay his daughter’s dowry.
Artistic Features Conceit ( 奇喻 ): to construct a reasonable relation between two completely incompatible things. (love and flea, love and compasses etc.) Metaphysical poetry uses conceits to express ideas. e.g. He looks like a pig. (normal) 他胖得象头猪。 He looks like a gas container. (abnormal) 他一副标准的煤气罐身材。 John Donne, the leading poet of the metaphysical school, frequently applies conceits, i.e. extended metaphors involving dramatic contrasts.(P113)
Love and flea … It sucked me first, and now sucks thee, And in this flea, our two bloods mingled be; This flea is you and I, and this Our marriage bed, and marriage temple is;
Love and Compasses If they be two, they are two so As stiff twin compasses are two; Thy soul, the fixed foot, makes no show To move, but doth, if th’ other do. … Thy firmness makes my circle just, And makes me end where I begun.
Interpreting “Song” Song is from his “Songs and Sonnets”. In “Songs and Sonnets”, Donne often holds more negative attitudes towards love and woman. It is the same with “Song”. (Donne was influenced by his mother and his wife’s early death, aged 33, after giving the birth to their twelfth baby)
Lead-in Questions Please examine the poetic form, is it regular or irregular? What images are involved in this poem? Are they related to each other? Do you think that you can find a true and fair lady in your life? What is the speaker’s attitude towards love and woman? What is the tone?
Detailed Analysis Form: irregularity among the regularity. ababccddd ababbbccc ababccddd Imagery: a falling star, a mandrake root ( 曼德拉 草根 ), the devil’s foot, mermaids singing The above images, from different perspectives, all have something to do with extreme impossibilities.
Stars are often symbolic of Angels and heaven, so a falling star is a thing of great destruction, symbolizing the duplicity of women. It is of no possibility to catch a falling star. “mandrake” in superstition is said to scream when it is pulled from the ground, according to whether the roots are twofold or threefold, representing female form or male form. While a female form can help to be pregnant. However, when it does, it is always male rather than female, meaning it is impossible to be pregnant.
The following juxtaposed image is the devil’s foot. It is said to be cleft, which may be traced to Pan, the God of Shepherds. He has the hindquarters, legs, and horns of a goat. But still it’s of no possibility to cleave the devil’s foot. envies’ stinging was supposed to be impossible to avoid, which accompanies one’s whole life. Envy exists like a scorpion, and once a scorpion has you in its vice, as envy does, it is impossible to escape.
Mermaids ( 女妖塞壬 siren), are mythological Greek creatures who with their singing lured sailors to their death. The image of mermaid appears to be women above the waist but is not beneath, and this could suggest that women are deceptive creatures. The utter frustration is that mermaids are not for visual beauty but leading to one’s death. It was said that as soon as the singing of a siren was heard, the listener was bound to fall dead. The only one who can escape this fate was Odysseus. Mermaid is a symbol of deception and destruction as well.
Tone: ironic and satiric Theme: Inconstancy is woman’s nature; true love is unattainable
Appreciating “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning” Background: In 1611, John Donne wrote “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning” to his wife, Anne More, weak and pregnant when he was about to set off France conducting government business. Donne intended to prevent his wife from the sadness of their departure. Valediction is derived from a Latin word, meaning to say farewell. The title says, in essence, "When we part, we must not mourn."
Rhyme Scheme and Meter Compared to many of Donne’s poems, the nine stanzas of this Valediction are quite simple. Here, each four-line stanza is quite unadorned, with an ABAB rhyme scheme and an iambic tetrameter. The meter is iambic tetrameter with eight syllables (four feet) per line. Each foot, or pair of syllables, consists of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable. So let /us melt/, and makes/ no noise, No tear/-floods, nor/ sigh tem/pests move,
4.3 Textual Analysis Stanza 1 and 2 (Find out the simile) Tenor ( 本体 ) ： their separation Vehicle( 喻体 ) ： virtuous men pass away mildly (death), a man’s soul from his body “Parting” to “death” is a common comparison in literary works. Here, “Virtuous” refers to not in moralities, but those people who can meet their death without complaints, saying it is time for their souls to move on to eternity.
profanation -- the act of showing contempt for God or holy things. “debasing or cheapening (of religious) laity -- common people (of religious) church members who are not ordained clergymen; laymen Hyperbole: tear-floods, sigh tempests “melt” means the physical bond that unites us. we must not cry storms of tears, and move tempests of sigh. To declare our love publicly will debase and cheapen our love, which is love of the ordinary people. This shows the speaker’s emotional aristocrats.
Stanza 3, 4 and 5 trepidation – movement sublunary love—below the moon, worldly love The field of astronomy ( 天文学 ): earthquake and the movements of the sun and other Moving of the earth: earthquake, harmful and causing fear Trepidation of the spheres: heavenly bodies, natural and harmless, actually with more greater motions and unknown. Question: Which one bears resemblance with the speaker’s love? (like the heavenly bodies; our movements–our temporary separations– should cause no excitement. )
Moving of the earth → the dull sublunary love→ sensual and physical bond Trepidation of the spheres → the speaker’s love →spiritual attachment By contrast, our love is so refined, so otherworldly, that it can still survive without the closeness of eyes, lips, and hands.
Stanza 6, 7, 8 and 9 (two similes) Our souls are one, like a gold beaten to airy thinness. (alchemy) A gold -- when it is beaten with a hammer, widens and lengthens; when we depart, the spiritual bond that unites us actually expands rather than causes a break and rift. Our souls are two, like the feet of twin compasses. (geometry) The wife’s soul the fixed foot The husband’s soul the outer foot
The fixed foot (wife’s soul) makes no show to move, but does if the outer foot (husband’s soul) moves. When the outer foot(husband’s soul) travels far, the fixed foot(wife’s soul) should follow it and grows straight until the outer foot (husband’s soul) comes back. Wife’s attachment to husband Your position there helps me complete my circle so that I end up where I began. The image of a circle (perfection) Husband’s attachment to wife
4.4 The main thread of this poem develops farewell as mild as the uncomplaining deaths of virtuous men→ to weep would be "profanation of our joys." → harmful “Moving of the earth” to innocent "trepidation of the spheres," →dull sublunary lovers “love” and their love “Inter- assured of the mind” →the unity of two souls expands rather than breaks→the feet of twin compasses
A Comparison between the Common Love of the Everyday World and the Uncommon Love of the Speaker the common love of the everyday worldthe uncommon love of the speaker like virtuous men pass away many complaints as the trepidation of the spheres no absence of the body more of spiritual love
Theme Real, complete love unites not only the bodies of a husband and wife but also their souls. Such spiritual love is transcendent, metaphysical, keeping the lovers together intellectually and spiritually even though the circumstances of everyday life may separate their bodies.
Homework: Compare Donne’s “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning” with Liu Yong’s “Yu Lin Ling” and find out the difference. 寒蝉凄切。对长亭晚，骤雨初歇。都门 帐饮无绪，留恋处、兰舟催发。执手相看 泪眼，竟无语凝噎。念去去、千里烟波， 暮霭沉沉楚天阔。 多情自古伤离别，更那堪冷落清秋节！ 今宵酒醒何处？杨柳岸、晓风残月。此去 经年，应是良辰好景虚设。便纵有千种风 情，更与何人说？
What are the features of Cavalier’s poetry? Appreciate Ben Jonson’s Song to Celia.
Work to be prepared How much do you know about Satan( 撒旦 )? Do you think that Satan is a devil or a rebellious hero? Read John Milton’s On His Blindness, what’s the speaker’s attitude towards his blindness? Illustrate your points with examples.
John Milton ( ) Milton is regarded as the third greatest English poet after Chaucer and Shakespeare, and the greatest to come out of the 17th century.
Milton’s Life Milton was born in London. He studied at Christ’s College, Cambridge and received his Master’s degree in From 1632 to 1638, he retired to his father’s country house at Horton, and devoted himself to private study. From , he traveled on the Continent.
Paradise Lost Paradise Lost is Milton’s masterpiece, and the greatest English epic, whose original story is taken from Genesis 3:1-24 of the Bible. The theme is the “Fall of Man”. It is a long epic in 12 books written in blank verse.
Main Characters The main characters are God, Lucifer (Satan), Adam and Eve. Devils (inhabiting hell) and angels (inhabiting heaven and earth). In the poem, God is no better than a selfish despot （暴君）, seated upon a throne with a chorus of angels about him eternally singing his praises. His long speeches are never pleasing. He is cruel and unjust in his struggle against Satan. While the rebel Satan who rose against God and, though defeated, still sought for revenge, is by far the most striking character in the poem. Adam and Eve embody Milton’s belief in the powers of man. Their longing for knowledge opens before mankind a wide road to an intelligent and active life.
Characterization and Theme Old BibleParadise Lost God authorityDespot, selfish, cruel and unjust Satan devilGrand hero/to lead an active and fresh life Adam and Eve obedientrebellious
Adam and Eve Adam - The first human, the father of our race, and, along with his wife Eve, the caretaker of the Garden of Eden. Adam is grateful and obedient to God, but falls from grace when Eve convinces him to join her in the sin of eating from the Tree of Knowledge. Eve - The first woman and the mother of mankind. Eve was made from a rib taken from Adam’s side. Because she was made from Adam and for Adam, she is subservient to him. She is also weaker than Adam, so Satan focuses his powers of temptation on her. He succeeds in getting her to eat the fruit of the forbidden tree despite God’s command.
The Image of Satan Satan is the real hero of the poem. Like a conquered and banished giant, he remains obeyed and admired by those who follow him down to hell. He is firmer than the rest of the angels. Though wounded, he triumphs, for the thunder which hit upon his head left his heart invincible. Though feebler in force, he remains superior in nobility, since he prefers independence to happy servility, and welcomes his defeat and his torments as a glory, a liberty, and a joy. He is the sprit questioning the authority of God. How much do you know about Satan? Do you think that Satan is a devil or a rebellious hero?
Milton says that the aim of his Paradise Lost is to “justify the ways of God to man”. But as a matter of fact, he is exposing God’s tyranny and singing praise of Satan’s revolt against the unjust God. The extract is the most widely read part. It contains Satan’s most powerful speech about his unconquerable will & his resolution to carry on the struggle. Introduction
Theme The theme of God’s absolute authority The theme of rebellion against God’s authority The theme of original sin (the fall of Adam and Eve) Paradise Lost was actually written after Milton became totally blind. He spent seven years upon this epic poem. The rebellious Satan is the embodiment of the revolutionary Milton. In spite of his blindness, he endeavors to do his utmost.
Brief Summary Milton is a prominent figure in politics in the 17th century England. He makes great contribution to the English Revolution. He was a militant pamphleteer of the English Revolution, and the greatest English revolutionary poet of the 17th century. It is no wonder that everyone progressive English poet since Milton owed much to his influence. Milton is a great poet and important prose writer. His Paradise Lost is the only generally acknowledged English epic since Beowulf. His Areopagitica serves as one of the most powerful declarations on freedom of press.
Milton is a master of the blank verse. He was the most successful in the use of blank verse, and he is the forerunner to introduce blank verse into non-dramatic poetry. Here, his own genius for poetry and matchless daring in experiment introduced variety (variation of pause, connection of lines, etc) and achieved extraordinary freedom from monotony. In Paradise Lost, he acquires an absolute mastery of the blank verse. Milton is a great stylist. He is famous for his grand style which is the result of his life—long classical and biblical study. But his style is never exactly natural. It is art attained by definite and conscientious rhetorical devices. For example, he likes to use Latinisms and proper names of resonance and colour to create an elevated and dignified effect.
Milton has always been admired for his sublimity of thought and majesty of expression. But, in order to appreciate Milton, it is necessary to know the English language thoroughly and with a close intimacy. As his works include some of the greatest poems of the world, it is worth the great effort to read them in the original.
Homework Read John Milton’s On His Blindness, what’s the speaker’s attitude towards his blindness? Illustrate your points with examples.
Work to be prepared Preview John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress
John Bunyan ( )
Biographical Introduction John Bunyan, the son of a poor tinker, was born in the little village of Elstow, near Bedford in He received the simplest education before taking up his father’s trade. When he was about 17, Bunyan enlisted in the Parliamentary army, and served during the decisive battle of Naseby in He had a sensitive imagination. Bunyan lived at a time when political struggles adopted the form of religious struggles.
Bunyan joined a Baptist society in Bedford and began to preach among the villagers. He preached the truth as he saw and directed his attacks against the social evils, the oppressors, the court and the bourgeoisie. After the Restoration, he was imprisoned in 1660, because he refused to obey the law prohibiting religion meetings. In 1675 he was imprisoned again. It was during his second imprisonment that he wrote his masterpiece The Pilgrim ’ s Progress.
Major Works The Pilgrim’s Progress (Part Ⅰ, 1678) The Pilgrim’s Progress (Part Ⅱ,1684) Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners (1666) The Life and Death of Mr. Badman (1680) The Holy War (1682)
The Pilgrim’s Progress (another Bible) The Pilgrim’s Progress is an allegory, a narrative in which general concepts such as sin, despair, and faith are represented as people or as aspects of the natural world. The underlying metaphor of this book is: Life is a journey. The hero’s name is Christian. He represents every Christian.
Allegory( 寓言, 讽喻 ): The term derives from the Greek “allegorein”, meaning “to speak in other words”, it is a work of art intending to be meaningful on at least two levels of understanding: a literal level and an abstract (figurative, or moral) level. It is a fictional literary narrative or artistic expression that conveys a symbolic meaning parallel to but distinct from, and more important than the literal meaning. Allegory has also been defined as an extended metaphor. The symbolic meaning is usually expressed through personifications and other symbols. Allegory
The whole book falls into two parts. The beginning tells us that the author has a dream. In his dream, he notices a man called Christian carrying a bag of sins on his back and reading the Bible. From the book Christian gets to know that his home city will be destroyed someday by a big fire. Then on the advice of the Evangelist （福音传道者）, he flees away from his home City — the city of Destruction. Part One mainly describes his pilgrimage through the Slough of Despond, Vanity Fair, Doubting Castle, the Valley of Humiliation, and the Valley of the Shadow of Death.
On the way he overcomes many obstacles and encounters various allegorical personages, such as, Mr. Worldly Wiseman, Faithful, Hopeful, Giant Despair, the foul fiend Apollyon and some others. Finally he accomplishes his journey by reaching the Celestial City. The best known section in the book is the Vanity Fair episode. Christian, the hero, and his companion, Faithful, are passing through a town called Vanity during the season of the local fair. In the Vanity Fair, honors, titles, kingdoms, lusts, pleasures and lives can be sold or bought, and cheating, roguery, murder and adultery are normal phenomena.
Questions Why is it called “Vanity Fair”? What can you buy in the Vanity Fair? What is the symbolic meaning of vanity fair? Did Jesus buy anything in this fair? Why the two pilgrims arouse people’s attention when they passed through the fair?What happened to them and how did they respond to people’s unjust treatment? How do you understand “We buy the truth” on page 176?
Comments Bunyan is known for his simple and lively prose style. His prose is admirable. It is popular speech ennobled by the solemn dignity and simplicity of the language of the English Bible. His prose, modeled on King James Bible, is clear enough to be followed by common readers. His biblical language enabled him to narrate his stories and reveal his ideas in a direct and straightforward way.