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Early 17th Century


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Learning Goals To identify the major authors and literary contributors of the early 17th century. To recognize the major ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Early 17th Century

Early 17th Century 1603-1660
Learning Goals
  • To identify the major authors and literary
    contributors of the early 17th century.
  • To recognize the major literary characteristics
    of the period.
  • To understand how the politics of a time period
    can influence its literature.
  • To identify major vocabulary needed to analyze
    the literature of the period.

Around the World
  • 1605-1615 - Don Quixote Miguel Cervantes
  • 1608 Telescope Invented
  • 1641 - Sakoku begins in Japan (Japanese
  • 1633 Galileo and the Inquisition (Copernican
  • 1637-44 Descartes major works published (I
    think therefore, I am.) Cartesian
  • 1643-1717 The reign of the Sun King, Louis XIV
    in France

History and Monarchs
The Interregnum (1653-1660) The Protectorate
The Stuarts
  • James I (1603-1625)

Charles I (1625-1649)
Oliver Cromwell (1653-1658)
Richard Cromwell (1658-1659)
James I (1603-1625)
  • Divine Right of Kings
  • The True Law of Free Monarchies
  • Court Masques / Sun King / Pagan rituals that
    annoyed the Puritans
  • Puritans set out on Mayflower 1620 wanted to
    Purify the church of all pagan/catholic rituals
  • 1622 First English Newspaper
  • Known for gluttonous feasting, financial
    heedlessness, hunting and sport, and hard
  • Beginning of the East India Trading Company

Charles I (1625-1649)
  • Divine Right of Kings / Absolute Monarchy
  • Marries a Catholic (Henrietta Maria of France)
  • Wants money!
  • 1635 Connecticut first settled
  • English Civil War breaks out 1642
  • 1649 - Gets beheaded

The English Civil War (1642-1648)
  • Charles I hoped to unite the kingdoms of England,
    Scotland and Ireland into a new single kingdom
  • Parliament afraid of losing control of the
  • Charles marries a Roman Catholic
  • Parliament is staunchly Protestant
  • Cromwell / Parliament want a constitutional
    monarchy then decide they want a republic
    instead. Roundheads vs. Cavaliers
  • Charles I beheaded for treason
  • Commonwealth Protectorate
  • Monty Python!

Oliver Cromwell
  • General who came to lead the victorious Puritan
    Roundheads against Charles I in the English Civil
  • Ruled England as Lord Protector from1649 to his
    death in 1658.
  • The Protectorate barely outlived him his son
    Richard resigned his post in 1659, and the
    monarchy was restored in 1660.
  • (The years 1649-60 are known as the
    "Interregnum," the period between kings.)

Characteristics of the Literature
  • A heightened focus on and analysis of the self
    and the personal life.
  • The true beginnings of political pamphleteering
    and propaganda. (News Books precursor to
  • Suppression of the theatre anything
    Catholic/Pagan during the Commonwealth and
    Cromwells reign.
  • Art and Nature (Artifice that must look natural)
    Think Pastoral Poemsdo they truly reflect
    nature as it is?
  • A Dark Side underlying many of the poetry and
    literature of the time is a sense of impending
    decay and death.

Thomas Hobbes (1588 1679)
  • Leviathan (1651)
  • the right of the individual
  • the natural equality of all men
  • the artificial character of the
  • political order
  • the view that all legitimate political
  • power must be "representative"
  • and based on the consent of the
  • people
  • a liberal interpretation of law which leaves
    people free to do whatever the law does not
    explicitly forbid

The Power Structure
  • In Early Modern England, both gender hierarchy,
    with the man at the top, and the husband's
    patriarchal role as governor of his family and
    household wife, children, wards, and servants
    were assumed to have been instituted by God and
  • The family was seen as the secure foundation of
    society and the patriarch's role as analogous to
    that of God in the universe and the king in the
  • Unmarried virgins and wives were to maintain
    silence in the public sphere and give unstinting
    obedience to father and husband, though widows
    had some scope for making their own decisions and
    managing their affairs. Children and servants
    were bound to the strictest obedience.

Tension in the Power Structure
  • Inevitably, however, tension developed when such
    norms met with common experience, as registered
    in the records of actual households and
    especially in the complexities and ambiguities
    represented in literary treatments of love,
    courtship, marriage, and family relations, from
    Shakespeare's King Lear, to Webster's Duchess of
    Malfi, to Milton's Paradise Lost, and more.

  • Greek mythology still plays a leading role King
    James liked to liken himself to the god Apollo
    a god that the people of the Renaissance through
    the Enlightenment viewed as a god of the sun, the
    arts, and civilized society. Louis XIV will later
    call himself the Sun King.

Ben Jonson (1572-1637)
  • Satirical Playwright Volpone, The Alchemist,
    Bartholomew Fair
  • Wrote for the Lord Admirals Men w/ Philip
  • Collaborated with Inigo Jones to create court
    masques for James Is court.
  • Poetry serves as a predecessor to the Cavalier
    Poets who called themselves the Sons of Ben or
    the Tribe of Ben
  • Playful use of wit, lyricism

Drama and Masques
  • Highly elaborate
  • pagents/plays/
  • masquerades
  • Held at court and
  • typically designed by
  • famous architects,
  • performed by famous
  • actors, with courtiers
  • filling in the background
  • parts.
  • VERY showy and expensive to put on.
  • Inigo Jones and Ben Jonson were responsible for
    most of the court masques during the early 17th

Metaphysical Poetry
  • Investigate the world by
  • rational discussion of its
  • phenomena rather than by
  • intuition or mysticism.
  • Not really a school or
  • movement, but these poets
  • share some common
  • characteristics
  • Wit
  • Inventiveness
  • A love of elaborate stylistic maneuvers
  • Metaphysical Conceit high stylized comparison
    between two VERY unlike things.
  • John Donne considered the main poet in this genre.

Metaphysical Poetry
  • Reaction against the deliberately smooth and
    sweet tones of much 16th-century verse.
  • Metaphysical poets style is energetic, uneven,
    and rigorous.
  • It has also been labeled the 'poetry of strong
    lines'. T. S. Eliot argued that their work
  • fuses reason with passion
  • shows a unification of thought and feeling
  • John Donne, George Herrick, Andrew Marvell, Sir
    John Suckling

John Donne (1572-1631)
  • Chief producer of metaphysical poetry
  • Early life broke most of the time / married
    young, lived in poverty.
  • Anglican priest in 1615 by the suggestion of
    James I, later Dean of St. Pauls Cathedral.
  • Early Poetry
  • Very witty, sexual
  • Political commentary
  • Later Poetry
  • Religious, somber, pious
  • Challenges to Death

Cavalier Poetry
  • Also called Royalists, for their allegiance to
    the monarchy.
  • Courtly, well-educated, genteel, the Cavaliers
    are as likely to be talented with the rapier as
    with rapier wit, and honored skill with each.
  • Characteristics of Poetry
  • Avoids discussion of religion
  • No plumbing the depths of the soul
  • A combination of Donnes intellectual conceits
    with Jonsons eloquence
  • Direct, colloquial language
  • Casual, amateur, light-hearted, carefree, and
  • Carpe Diem message

Cavalier Poetry
  • For these poets, life is far too enjoyable for
    much of it to be spent sweating over texts in a
  • The poems must be written in the intervals of
    living, and are celebratory of things that are
    much livelier than mere philosophy or art.
  • To put it in a nutshell, the Mistress in no
    longer an impossibly chaste Goddess to be wooed
    with sighs, but a woman who may be spoken to in a
    forthright fashion.
  • Many of these poems have a much different
    attitude toward love than we've seen before,
    often more carefree, even flippant, and often
    more sexual, as well.

Puritan Poetry
  • The Descendants of Spenser
  • The period of the Interregnum discouraged many
    aspiring Catholic and traditional Anglican
    artists and writers, but Puritan writers saw a
    time of encouragement.
  • To set forth orthodox Calvinist Christianity
  • Rejection of the worldly
  • Need for self-examination
  • Idea of Original Sin / Search for salvation
  • John Milton Latin Secretary under Cromwell
  • Anne Bradstreet and Edward Taylor American
    Colonial Poets

Paradise Lost
  • John Milton published in 1667
  • Purpose To justify the ways of God to men
  • Conflict Gods Eternal Foresight vs. Free Will
  • English Religious Tragic Epic Poem
  • Muse is the Holy Spirit
  • Written in blank verse
  • Begins in medias res
  • Two tragic heroes Satan and Adam
  • Draws on different texts for inspiration
  • The Book of Genesis
  • Ovids Metaphorphoses

Paradise Lost
  • Traditional Epic Satan is portrayed as the
    tragic hero (Fall of Lucifer)
  • Wages war with Heaven / Defeated / Wages war on
  • Satan is depicted as a strict conservative who
    values old-fashioned views of hierarchy not the
    new system of position and prominence based on
  • Domestic Epic Relationship of Adam and Eve (Fall
    of Mankind)
  • Eve is successfully tempted by Satans RHETORIC
    (what could this mean?)
  • Adam eats because he knows Eve is doomed and
    doesnt want to live without her
  • Sex is introduced into the world / creates GUILT
  • Adam is given a vision of the consequences of his
    sin in the future (Flood / Christ)

Pilgrims Progress
  • Written by John Bunyan (1678)
  • Protestant allegory in which Christian, an
    everyman character, journeys from his hometown,
    the "City of Destruction" ("this world"), to the
    "Celestial City" ("that which is to come"
    Heaven) atop Mt. Zion.
  • Now I saw in my Dream, that at the end of this
    Valley lay blood, bones, ashes, and mangled
    bodies of men, I espied a little before me a
    Cave, where two Giants, Pope and Pagan, dwelt in
    old times, by whose Power and Tyranny the Men
    whose bones, blood ashes, c. lay there, were
    cruelly put to death.

In America
  • Anne Bradstreet, Puritan Poet
  • The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America (w/
  • Upon the Burning of Our House
  • The Author to Her Book
  • To My Dear and Loving Husband
  • Characteristics
  • A rejection of the worldly and material
  • Domestic and Religious Themes
  • Justification of womens education
  • Plain style

Terms to Know
  • Metaphysical Conceit
  • Oxymoron
  • Paradox
  • Carpe Diem
  • Baroque
  • Allegory
  • Sprezzatura
  • Epic
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