Religious imagery and metaphysical poetry

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Donne's Batter My Heart and The Canonization plus Context

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Religious imagery and metaphysical poetry

  1. 1. The Metaphysical Poets •To become familiar with the conventions and typical imagery associated with the metaphysical poets. •To develop awareness of cultural context of religion to expand our ideas on love.•To analyse the language and imagery of a number of poems – ‘Batter My Heart’, ‘The Canonization’ and ‘Song of Songs’What kinds of love are there??? Make amind-map with all the types of love...
  2. 2. What we have done so far...Period Writer Text Form stylistic features Love ConventionsMediev Geoffrey Troilus and Epic Pain language, quiet Courtly Love, tragic death, use of the matchmaker inal Chaucer Criseyde woman, apostrophe. Pandarus, young love separated by politics/ war. Geoffrey The Knight’s Tale, Tale Elevated Language, Courtly Love, objectification/ idolisation of woman, desire Chaucer Canterbury Tales traditional & proper interrupting male world, true love allows order/ security Geoffrey The Miller’s Tale, Fabliaux Shock of rude words, Bawdy, sexual innuendo, crudity. Woman as cruel and Chaucer Canterbury Tales parody, humour, burlesque manipulative. Mockery of courtly lover.Tudor Anon Greensleeves Ballad Repetition, sexual and Adoration of woman undercut by associations with material image. materialism and promiscuity. Objectification of women. Thomas They Flee From Lyric Ambiguous imagery (birds), Love gone wrong, love causes mental paralysis, power battles Wyatt Me dislocation, caesura. between the sexes. Desire causes emasculation. Thomas Sonnet 2 – I Find Shakespear Antithesis and paradoxical Love causes paralysis, Petrarchan Lover, Unrequited love, love Wyatt No Peace ean Sonnet opposites, tight control. as a seat of contradiction and extreme eotion.Elizabe William Sonnet 18 – Shall I Shakespear Extended similes, smooth Petrarchan Lover, Woman elevated through similes, Womanthan Shakespeare Compare Thee...? ean Sonnet metre, elevated language as muse. William Sonnet 130 – My Shakespear Inversions of traditional Inversion of sonnet conventions of Petrarchan lover; insulting Shakespeare Mistress’ Eyes ean Sonnet expectations, practicality. woman; practical and real approach, William Romeo and Juliet Romantic Parody, Sonnet through Romeo as a satire of Elizabethan melancholy lover Shakespeare Tragedy dialogue on stage, couplet. (Petrarchan lover) and then use of sonnet with Juliet.Roman John Keats When I have Shakespear Extended metaphors, Use of nature and the sublime to inspire love for poetry andtic fears... ean Sonnet natural imagery, slow metre woman, impossibility of love, love of writing & self.Victori Louise Am I To Lose You? Shakespear Direct speech, feminine Inversion of male poetic persona, a woman leaving a man,an Bevington ean Sonnet poetic persona, simple lang difference between romantic and platonic love.Postmo Gavin Ewart The Last Things Shakespear Breakdown of rhyme Parody of sonnet, breakdown of structures in grief, filial lovedern ean Sonnet scheme, colloquial. of father &disappointment of human relationships.Postmo Douglas The Kaleidoscope Shakespear Simple language, caesura, Grief and mourning for lost wife, love as domestic anddern Dunn ean Sonnet ‘redesigned’ structure, enriching, practical, loss of love leads to dislocation domestic imagery.
  3. 3. Make at least four predictions about this poem from the wordle. E.g. What kind oflove will be represented? What is the relationship like? What kind of person will be speaking? Who will be the object? What form of poem do you think it will be?
  4. 4. Divide the words into semantic fields Love/ Eroticism Violence/ HateExtension: Do you notice anything about the type of words used?E.g. How many verbs? How many syllables are the words? Areparticular letters used a lot? The bigger the word the more it isrepeated , what conclusions does that lead you to?
  5. 5. Notes on difficult words...• 5. To usurp something is to take over something that does not belong to you. A coup detat, for example, is an instance of usurpation: a military officer deposes the legally constituted government, and assumes control of the powers of state.• 7. A viceroy is an official appointed by the king (Fr. roi) to rule in his stead, on his behalf. Such officials were especially necessary to the governance of remote colonies in the eras before rapid communication.• 9. would be loved faine: "Fain" is a now archaic intensifier that meant "very much like to." To say "I would fain be your friend" meant "I would very much like to be your friend" or "I would love to be your friend." Here it appears in an inversion of ordinary word order.• 13. enthrall: to enslave. (A "thrall" is a slave.) The modern meaning -- to fascinate -- derives from this idea of "reducing to subjection." (Compare the history of meanings attaching to "charming" and "enchanting." Similarly with "ravishing.")• 14. chast: chaste. The concept combines the concepts of being intact (whole, unbroken, sound) and pure (undefiled).• 14. ravish: This word derives originally from Latin rapere -- to seize and carry away by violence, to snatch by force. Hence, eventually, the ideas of rape and rapture.
  6. 6. Batter my heart, three persond______; for, youAs yet but knocke, breathe, shine, and seeke to mend;That I may rise, and stand, oerthrow mee, and bendYour force, to breake, blow, burn and make me new. I, like an usurpt towne, to another due,Labour to admit you, but Oh, to no end,Reason your viceroy in mee, mee should defend,But is captivd, and proves weake or untrue.Yet dearley I love you, and would be loved faine, But am betrothd unto your enemie:Divorce mee, untie, or breake that knot againe,Take mee to you, imprison mee, for IExcept you enthrall mee, never shall be free,Nor ever chast, except you ravish mee.
  7. 7. Can you identify the extended simile used in this poem?Batter my heart, three persond______; for, youAs yet but knocke, breathe, shine, and seeke to mend;That I may rise, and stand, oerthrow mee, and bendYour force, to breake, blow, burn and make me new. “like an usurpt I, like an usurpt towne, toanother due, towne” – PoeticLabour to admit you, but Oh, to no end, Persona comparesReason your viceroy in mee, mee should defend, itself to a conqueredBut is captivd, and proves weake or untrue. town in battle – it is aYet dearley I love you, and would be loved faine, long, extended simile/ But am betrothd unto your enemie: metaphor. This isDivorce mee, untie, or breake that knot againe, terms a conceit and is typical ofTake mee to you, imprison mee, for I Metaphysical verseExcept you enthrall mee, never shall be free,Nor ever chast, except you ravish mee.
  8. 8. Have a look at the typical Shakespearean sonnet form – does it meet the criteria?Sonnet feature Regular/ IrregularPoetic Persona –a male voice, Three Quatrains – 3 groups ofoverwhelmed with love for a four rhyming lines, a new idea/woman, usually in pain and image introduced in each.conflicted. Final Couplet – 2 lines thatObject of poem – A beautiful rhyme, often offer a resolution towoman, although rarely directly the problems proposed indescribed, who resists seduction. quatrains. Strict Rhyme Scheme - ABAB ORPlot – a courtly lover writes a love ABBA in the three quatrains andpoem to seduce/ admire a woman then CC in the coupletwho he can never be with. Volta separates Octave andImagery – beautiful, grandiose Sestet – change of tone, attitude,images used to describe object of place, tense, ideas.poem – usually one per quatrain. Strict punctuation – typically one14 lines idea (or sentence) per quatrain.Iambic Pentameter - 10 syllables in No title – either the number ofeach line, with rhythm ‘De-DUM’ the sequence or the first line.
  9. 9. What do you make of the sentences? Easy/ difficult to follow?Critical Comments on the poetHis metre is “knotted and gnarled like a sailor’s rope.”“for not keeping of accent, [he] deserved hanging“ – Ben Jonson
  10. 10. Fill in the missing word (who the poem is addressed to...) Be prepared to explain your reasoning. Batter my heart, three persond______; for, you As yet but knocke, breathe, shine, and seeke to mend; That I may rise, and stand, oerthrow mee, and bend Your force, to breake, blow, burn and make me new. I, like an usurpt towne, toanother due, Labour to admit you, but Oh, to no end, Reason your viceroy in mee, mee should defend, But is captivd, and proves weake or untrue. Yet dearley I love you, and would be loved faine, But am betrothd unto your enemie: Divorce mee, untie, or breake that knot againe, Take mee to you, imprison mee, for I Except you enthrall mee, never shall be free, Nor ever chast, except you ravish mee.
  11. 11. “three-personed God” = Holy TrinityThe Father, the son and the holy spirit.What kind of love is this then?
  12. 12. Holy Sonnet XIVBatter my heart, three persond God; for, youAs yet but knocke, breathe, shine, and seeke to mend;That I may rise, and stand, oerthrow mee, and bendYour force, to breake, blow, burn and make me new. I, like an usurpt towne, toanother due,Labour to admit you, but Oh, to no end,Reason your viceroy in mee, mee should defend,But is captivd, and proves weake or untrue.Yet dearley I love you, and would be loved faine, But am betrothd unto your enemie:Divorce mee, untie, or breake that knot againe,Take mee to you, imprison mee, for IExcept you enthrall mee, never shall be free,Nor ever chast, except you ravish mee.How does this word change your interpretation of the poem? How does knowing theobject of the poem alter our ideas?
  13. 13. A range of CONCEITS are then used to describe God’s love... Batter my heart, three persond God; for, you As yet but knocke, breathe, shine, and seeke to mend; Male violent lover That I may rise, and stand, oerthrow mee, and bend Your force, to breake, blow, burn and make me new. I, like an usurpt towne, toanother due, Labour to admit you, but Oh, to no end, An invading force Reason your viceroy in mee, mee should defend, But is captivd, and proves weake or untrue. Yet dearley I love you, and would be loved faine, But am betrothd unto your enemie: A husband Divorce mee, untie, or breake that knot againe, Take mee to you, imprison mee, for I Except you enthrall mee, never shall be free, rapist Nor ever chast, except you ravish mee.
  14. 14. Do you think the writer is blasphemous? What does his use of erotic imagery and violent imagery imply about his religion, beliefs and relationship with God?
  15. 15. Meet John Donne“The first thing to remember about Donne,” writes critic John Carey, “is that he was a Catholic; the second that he betrayed his faith.”
  16. 16. Key Facts About John Donne 1) 1572 – 1631 (Elizabeth I and James I protestant reigns) 2) John Donne was born a Catholic and refused to swear to the crown (and hence betray his religion) until he was 43 years old, when he was ordered to specifically join the Church by James I. 3) He was the great-grandson of the Catholic martyr St. Thomas More – his family were Jesuits and many were arrested and burned at the stake. 4) His brother was tortured and died in the Tower of London from his injuries for harbouring secret priests. 5) He secretly eloped with Anne More without her father’s permission and was promptly arrested and lost his financial security. He wrote “John Donne, Anne Donne, Un-done.” 6) He then later became the Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral, becoming famous for his sermons: his famous sayings include “no man is an island”, “for whom the bell tolls”. 7) In his later years he was known for his womanising.
  17. 17. Religion
  18. 18. Religion – The ReformationThe English Reformation was the series of events in 16th-century England by which the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church.
  19. 19. The Reformation: Many factors contributed to theprocess: the decline of feudalism and the rise of nationalism, the rise of the common law, the invention of the printing press and increased circulation of the Bible, thetransmission of new knowledge andideas among scholars and the upper and middle classes.
  20. 20. Martin LutherTranslated the Bible from Latininto the language of the people.Initiated the Protestant Reformation.Influenced the creation of the King James Bible.
  21. 21. The King James Bible
  22. 22. Alexandre Dumas’ historical novel ‘La Reine Margot’ (1845) gives a unique insight into the violence, chaos and scheming that overtook Europe during the reformation in the St Bartholomew’s Massacre.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVzLN9lGT
  23. 23. Though by no means unique, it"was the worst of the centurys religious massacres." [2] St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre 1572Throughout Europe, it "printed on Protestant minds the indelible conviction that Catholicism was a bloody and treacherous religion".
  24. 24. Effect in EnglandThe wars of religion on the continent is reflected by, and influenced the extent of, huge violence and turmoil in England: Burning of the monasteries/ destruction of religion iconography (arts, libraries, centres of learning) Burning at the stake of both Catholics and protestants (depending on who monarch is) Jesuit (Catholic super-spies) infiltrate England during Elizabeth I, constantly trying to assassinate her/ cause disruption. Mary Queen of Scots beheaded for treason – and many MANY others. Gunpowder Plot Traditional sources of education, advice and order abolished. War with Spain: Spanish Armada Informers on religion: growth of secret ‘priestholes’ – there are hundreds of examples of secret Catholics. Fear and paranoia sets in amongst most people. Debate on religion: rise of a variety of different forms of protestantism – in particular, Calvinism comes into fashion.
  25. 25. • Not only is Donne a Catholic, he exists in the time of Calvinism – a particularly terrifying version of Protestantism.
  26. 26. Calvinism• All humans are totally depraved and imprisoned in sin.• God chooses – almost at random – who to take mercy on and ‘save’ with his grace.• This is completely predestined and not based on moral calibre/ actions in life: it cannot be changed.• A ‘good’ person who never broke a law could be damned and a ‘bad’ person could be saved – there is no way to know until the moment of death.• There is nothing a person can do to alter this fate. They are helpless in their sinfulness unless God chooses to save them with his grace.
  27. 27. The Chain Of Being The Chain of Being is a ladder going from Satan up to God: every animal, plant, human characteristic and supernatural characteristic is in the chain. It is a symbol of Christian order.
  28. 28. The chain starts from God and progresses downward with stars, moon, kings, princes, nobles, men, wild animals, domesticated animals, trees, other plants, precious stones, precious metals, and other minerals.
  29. 29. Man’sposition –between ANGELthe angelsand beasts Divine intellect and soul. Animal desires and body. LION
  30. 30. Aren’t we doing the literature of love???The relationship between LOVE and LUST is often viewed through this spectrum of salvation/ damnation in Renaissance texts (indeed, this idea is so powerful it resonates up through the Victorian era).The typical conflicts of love: love & lust, soul & body, intellectual & physical, passionate & platonic.These all have religious significance – the temptations of love/ desire can lead to damnation.
  31. 31. Read Song of Solomon 4 & 5 – King James Bible. • Note the sensory language, the eroticism and fascination with the body. • Protagonists are a husband and wife – often thought of as an allegorical representation of relationship of God & Israel (Jewish tradition)/ God & church/ Christ & human soul/ lust and love/ body and soul/ husband and wife. • Therefore erotic imagery is used to display religious dedication.
  32. 32. Stanza 2 Stanza 3Stanza 4Stanza 5 The Canonization – John Donne Look at the images used in the poem. Can you predict how he will use these similes to defend having a lover?
  33. 33. Prominent member of the Metaphysical Poets (they are named after him)Dryden had written of Donne in 1693: "He affects the metaphysics, not only in his satires, but in his amorous verses, where nature only should reign; and perplexes the minds of the fair sex with nice speculations of philosophy, when he should engage their hearts, and entertain them with the softnesses of love."[
  34. 34. The Metaphysical ConceitAn extended metaphor that combines two vastly different ideas into a single idea, often using imagery.Donne’s Metaphysical Conceits:Lovers = SaintsLovers = Legs of the CompassWoman’s Naked Body = Discovery of AmericaSex = A flea biting
  35. 35. Donne’s Seductive Poetry• Donnes early career was also notable for his erotic poetry, especially his elegies, in which he employed unconventional metaphors, such as a flea biting two lovers being compared to sex.[13] In Elegy XIX: To His Mistress Going to Bed, he poetically undressed his mistress and compared the act of fondling to the exploration of America. In Elegy XVIII, he compared the gap between his lovers breasts to the Hellespont.[13] Donne did not publish these poems, although did allow them to circulate widely in manuscript form.[13]• Donne is considered a master of the metaphysical conceit, an extended metaphor that combines two vastly different ideas into a single idea, often using imagery.[10] An example of this is his equation of lovers with saints in "The Canonization". Unlike the conceits found in other Elizabethan poetry, most notably Petrarchan conceits, which formed clichéd comparisons between more closely related objects (such as a rose and love), metaphysical conceits go to a greater depth in comparing two completely unlike objects. One of the most famous of Donnes conceits is found in "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning" where he compares two lovers who are separated to the two legs of a compass.
  36. 36. HomeworkTo complete table chart for what we studied today and what you have studied with Miss Peacock.To prepare a 10 minute presentation in pairs on how Donne uses a metaphysical conceit in one of his Elegies to seduce a woman.
  37. 37. Presentations on Donne’s Elegies...1) Read the poem aloud2) Who is the subject/ object and ‘plot’ of the poem?3) Identify the central metaphysical conceit and explain how the image is developed?4) How does this image effect the ‘imaginary subject’ and the reader?5) What is the tone of the poetic voice?6) What is the form and structure of the poem – how does this support the ideas of love presented?7) What key words and language devices are used to present the theme of love?8) Can you form a comparison with another text we have studied?

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