2. Late sixteenth century\ early seventeenth century poetry: Elizabethan
POETRY2. Late sixteenth century/ early seventeenth century poetry: Elizabethan Sarah Abdussalam
I. MAJOR FEATURES❖ The reign of Elizabeth I began in 1558 and ended with her death in 1603. Therefore, thesecond half of the 16th century bear her name, the Elizabethan Age.❖ The mere survival of Elizabeth for so long provided the opportunity for nationalisticconsciousness to become ﬁrmly established. The English rallied to their queen, and shebecome a symbol of Englishness and nationalism.❖ Before Elizabeth’s time, the universities were mainly devoted to educating the clergy, andthat remained an important part of their function. But, in the second half of the century thesons of the gentry and the aristocracy were going in increasing numbers to the universities.Their residence in these places was simply an educational preparation for public service ormanaging their estates.❖ Literature was regarded as an adjunct activity, not a primary occupation, and there werecomparatively few readers, purchasers, and publishers of books.❖ Elizabethan writers of higher rank, like Sir Philip Sidney, thought of themselves as courtiers,statesmen, landowners; they considered poetry a social grace and a courtly pastime.❖ Writer of lower rank sought careers as civil servants, secretaries, tutors, and divines; theymight take up more or less permanent residence in a noble household, or, more casually, theymight offer their literary work to actual or prospective patrons1 , amid lavish praises, in thehope of support, career advancement, or ﬁnancial reward.❖ However, some Elizabethan patrons were well-educated humanists motivated by genuineliterary interests, and with them, patronage extended beyond ﬁnancial support to the creationof literary and intellectual circles.❖ Almost every writer of the period got in some sort of trouble (political, copyright) forpublishing a book. It might be prison, it might be merely a reprimand, or it might be aninvestigation.❖ The standards and tastes of the middle class affected all publishing and literary success.They liked books of instruction, romances, religious tracts, conduct books for men andwomen, and sensational ballads.1 a person who gives ﬁnancial or other support to a person, organization, cause, or activity.
II. POETIC FORMSThe Elizabethan poets of lofty ambition, like Spenser and Milton, consciously followed thecourse of poetic development set by Virgil, beginning with pastoral and rising to epic.1. The conventions 2 of the pastoral mode present a simple and idealized world inhabited by shepherds and shepherdesses who are chieﬂy concerned to tend their ﬂock, fall in love, engage in a friendly poetry contest. The conventions of the pastoral mode could be assimilated to several different genres. Pastoral song commonly expressed the joys of the shepherd’s life, or disappointment in love. Pastoral eclogues were dialogues between shepherds. There were also pastoral funeral elegies, pastoral dramas, pastoral romances, and even pastoral episodes within epics.2. Poems in the satirical mode were also placed among the “low” kinds, plain in matter and style.3. Poems in the lyric mode were comparatively brief, and usually concerned with praises of various kinds, with love in its various moods, or with celebration of nature, the good life, or other such matters. The noblest lyric genres were thought to be hymns (praises of God or the gods) and odes (celebrating worthy men and women, and notable occasions); such poems were conventionally exalted in tone, elevated in language, charged with feeling; they often had complex stanzaic patterns and frequent apostrophes. An important variety of ode in the sixteenth century was the epithalamium, a poem in praise of marriage. There were also many varieties of song, written to ﬁxed formal speciﬁcation. A most important lyric genre in the sixteenth century was the sonnet. The Petrarchan sonnet sequence is a series of fourteen-line sonnets (with songs interspersed) exploring the contrary states of feeling lover experiences as he desires and idolizes an unattainable lady: some conventional themes concern the lady’s great beauty, her power over him, her cruelty to him, his sleeplessness, the ﬁre of his love and the ice of her chastity, the pain of absence, the renunciation of love, the eternity and originality of his poems. The chieﬂy purposes of the love sonneteers sought to celebrate the dignity and power of love by elaborate rhetorical and stylistic devices available in the Petrarchan tradition. All love sonnets were not Petrarchan, nor were all sonnets, or sonnet sequences, devoted to love: some sequences treated religious devotion, and occasional sonnets might address a wide variety of topics.2 literary conventions are patterns that have become habitual, and arouse certain expectations in the reader.
4. There were also poems in the tragic mode. A principal genre was the complaint, the chief convention of it is that the ghost of someone who fell from high place bemoans his fate and warns others; the warning carries a moral lesson. A related kind of poem is the heroical epistles, in which the complaint is written as a letter, usually by a wronged woman to the man who abandoned or betrayed her.5. Another set of conventions deﬁned a mythological-erotic mode. And in the late sixteenth century the Ovidian erotic mode was revived: it values and conventions of lush and elaborate descriptions of physical beauty, of delight in the pleasures of the senses, and of frank eroticism appealed to a courtly taste. In this vein were several poems in the genre of the epyllion, a short mythological narrative.6. Finally, there was the heroic mode, with its values of honor, battle courage, loyalty, leadership, endurance, gloriﬁcation of nation or people. The chief genre was the epic, conventionally a long, exalted poem in the high style, based on a heroic story from the nation’s distant history and imitating Homer and Virgil in structure and speciﬁc topics.
III.MAJOR THEMES AND TECHNIQUES❖ A decisive shift of taste toward a ﬂuent artistry self-consciously displaying its own graceand sophistication was announced in the works of Spenser and Sidney.❖The Elizabethan recognized that nature is the basis of art, but had no uneasiness about apossible conﬂict between art and nature. The term “artiﬁcial” had for them good rather thandubious meanings, referring to the proper use of human ingenuity to enhance nature, toenable it to outdo itself.❖ Another vital principal of Elizabethan aesthetics was concern with models3 , withconventions, with literary tradition as the very vehicle for artistic expression.❖ Sidney’s Defence of Poesy is the only major work of literary criticism in sixteenth century,heavily inﬂuenced by Aristotle’s Poetics.❖ There was a spirit of joy and gaiety, of innocence and lightheartedness, which welds thelove of English for their countryside to the mood of pastoral-quiet contentment and reﬂectiveleisure.❖ The Elizabethan also manifest the opposite mood: the burning desire for conquest, forachievement, for surmounting all obstacles, which are themes to the heroic mode.❖ Also, The themes of education and good government predominate in the new humanist writing ofthe 16th century.❖ In order to catch up with Continental developments in arts and philosophy. The Tudorsneeded to create a class of educated diplomats, statesmen, and ofﬁcials and to dignify theircourt by making it a fount of cultural as well as political patronage. The new learning, widelydisseminated through the Erasmian4 educational programs of such men as John Colet andSir Thomas Elyot, proposed to use a systematic schooling in Latin authors and some Greekto encourage in the social elites a ﬂexibility of mind and civilized serviceableness that wouldallow enlightened princely government to walk hand in hand with responsible scholarship.And this new learning create a great inﬂuence of the Greek mythology on the Englishliterature.❖ Virtually every Elizabethan poet tried his hand at the lyric; few, if any, failed to write one that is notstill anthologized today.3 The chief models were Homer and Virgil for epic, Theocritus and Virgil for pastoral, Cicero for rhetoric andprose style, Plautus and Terence for comedy, Seneca for tragedy, Petrarch for the sonnet, Ariosto and Tassofor the romantic epic, Ovid for love poetry and erotic mythological narratives.4 after the humanist Desiderius Erasmus
❖ He was born in Kent, England. ❖ He was the eldest son of Sir Henry Sidney, Lord Deputy of Ireland and Lady Mary Dudley. ❖ After private tutelage, Philip Sidney entered Shrewsbury School at the age of ten in 1564. After attending Christ Church, Oxford, (1568-1571) he left without taking a degree in order to complete his education by travelling the continent. Among the places he visited were Paris, Frankfurt, Venice, and Vienna. ❖ Sidney married Frances Walsingham, daughter of Sir Francis Walsingham, in 1583. The Sidneys had one daughter, Elizabeth, later Countess of Rutland. ❖ Upon his return to England in 1575, Sidney attended the court of Elizabeth I, and was considered "the ﬂower of chivalry." He was alsoIV. OUTSTANDING FIGURES AND THEIR CONTRIBUTION a patron of the arts, actively encouraging such authors as Edward Dyer,Greville, and most importantly, the young poet Edmund Spenser, who dedicated The Shepherds Calendar to him. 1. Sir Philip Sidney (1554 - 1586) ❖ At some uncertain date, he composed a major piece of critical prose that was published after his death under the two titles, The Defence of Poesy and An Apology for Poetry. Sidney’s engaging tract is highly eclectic, drawing together aesthetic precepts from several traditions and underscoring those which are of primary importance to the Elizabethan: ideal imitation, moral teaching, decorum. Sidney also makes large claims for the didactic role poetry: he invokes Horace’s formula that poetry teaches by delighting, but (staunch Protestant that he is) he emphasizes even more its rhetorical power to move us to be virtuous. He also highlights the importance of suiting subject to genre and style. ❖ In 1586 Sidney, along with his younger brother Robert Sidney, another poet in this family of poets, took part in a skirmish against the Spanish at Zutphen, and was wounded of a musket shot that shattered his thigh-bone. According to the story, while lying wounded he gave his water-bottle to another wounded soldier, saying, "Thy necessity is yet greater than mine". Some twenty-two days later Sidney died of the unhealed wound at not yet thirty-two years of age. His death occasioned much mourning in England as the Queen and her subjects grieved for the man who had come to exemplify the ideal courtier. It is said that Londoners, come out to see the funeral progression, cried out "Farewell, the worthiest knight that lived."
FORMAstrophil and Stella 5 39 6 Rhyme scheme: abab abab cddc ee1.Come sleep, O sleep, the certain knot of peace, Sonnet: Petrarchan, octave + sestet2.The baiting place of wit 7, the balm of woe, Meter: iambic pentameter3.The poor man’s wealth, the prisoner’s release, Scan: Come sleep/ O sleep/ the cer/tain knot/ of peace4.Th’indifferent judge between the high and low; Theme: sleep as a savior from the pain of5.With shield of proof shield me from out the prease love, reason vs. love.6.Of those ﬁerce darts, despair at me doth throw: Title: the title is paradox. Astrophil: derives7.Oh make in me those civil wars to cease; from the Greek word for star. Stella derives from the Latin word for star, and it’s name8.I will good tribute pay if thou do so. of a woman which is rarely mentioned in that time. The title is apt, for the sonnets9.Take thou of me smooth pillows, sweetest bed, center on a man who loves a shining beauty. She is the star that illuminates his10.A chamber deaf to noise, and blind to light: life.11.A rosy garland, and a weary head: Tone: Sad, melancholic, tone of complaining , despair and disappointment.12.And if these things, as being thine by right, The importance of Astophil and Stella:13.Move not thy heavy grace, thou shalt in me, 1. it’s the 1st English sonnet sequence containing 108 Petrarchan sonnets.14.Livelier than elsewhere Stellas image see8. 2. inﬂuenced Shakespeare who perfected this type of sonnets. 3. it reﬂects the human psychology.CONTENT5 Sidneys Astrophil and Stella ("Starlover and Star") was begun probably around 1576, during his courtshipwith Penelope Devereux. Astrophil and Stella, which includes 108 sonnets and 11 songs, is the ﬁrst in thelong line of Elizabethan sonnet cycles. Most of the sonnets are inﬂuenced by Petrarchan conventions — theabject lover laments the coldness of his beloved lady towards him, even though he is so true of love and herneglect causes him so much anguish. Lady Penelope was married to Lord Rich in 1581.6 Aim: Sidney personiﬁes sleep and begins to have a conversation with it. He prays that Sleep will come andrelease him from his current misery. Only when he is asleep is he able to ease his suffering and stem thecivil war that is waging between his heart and his head, between his love and his reason. He wonders whatprice he must pay in order to convince the god of Sleep to come to him, and he promises a "good tribute."Smooth pillows, a comfortable bed, and a dark, quiet room are all that he desires, if only he can persuadeSleep to come. Finally, Sidney comes up with a way to convince Sleep to come to him. When he is asleep,he argues, the image of Stella will appear in his dreams, and Sleep will be able to watch. This is the greatesttribute that he can pay.7In the 108 sonnets of the sequence, Sidney uses forms of the word "wit" 42 times. Historically, the term witmeant "to know." In Philip Sidneys time, wit referred to mental ability and intelligence.8 The irony in this sonnet is very interesting. Sidney begs for Sleep to come and rescue him from his loveand suffering for Stella. Yet, at the same time, an image of Stella will automatically come to his head while heis asleep. Whether he is asleep or awake, Stella is always in his mind. He prefers the Stella in his dreamsbecause he does not have to face the reality that she is not his own.
❖ He was born in East Smithﬁeld, London. ❖ He was from a common family, and as a young boy, he was educated in London at the Merchant Taylors’ School and matriculated as a sizer at Pembroke College, Cambridge. ❖ The language of his poetry is purposely archaic, reminiscent of earlier works such as The Canterbury Tales of Geoffrey Chaucer and II Canzoniere of Francesco Petrarca, whom Spenser greatly admired. ❖Spenser used a distinctive verse form, called the Spenserian stanza, in several works, including The Faerie Queene. The stanzas main meter is iambic pentameter with a ﬁnal line in iambic hexameter (having six feet or stresses, known as an Alexandrine), and the rhyme scheme is ababbcbcc. It is similar toIV. OUTSTANDING FIGURES AND THEIR CONTRIBUTION the Shakespearean sonnet in the sense that its set up is based 2. Edmund Spenser (1552 - 1599) more on the 3 quatrains and a couplet, a system set up by Shakespeare; however it is more like the Petrarchan tradition in the fact that the conclusion follows from the argument or issue set up in the earlier quatrains. ❖ Spensers Epithalamion is the most admired of its type in the English language. It was written for his wedding to his young bride, Elizabeth Boyle. The poem consists of 365 long lines, corresponding to the days of the year; 68 short lines, representing the sum of the 52 weeks, 12 months, and 4 seasons of the annual cycle; and 24 stanzas, corresponding to the diurnal and sidereal hours. ❖ Spenser was the ﬁrst signiﬁcant English poet deliberately to use print to advertise his talents. ❖ Spenser was called a Poets Poet and was admired by many poets. ❖ Spenser died in London in distressed circumstances (according to legend), aged forty-six. It was arranged for his cofﬁn to be carried by other poets, upon which they threw many pens and pieces of poetry into his grave with many tears.
FORMAMORETTI 9, SONNET 75 10 Rhyme scheme: abab bcbc cdcd ee1.One day I wrote her name upon the strand, Sonnet: Petrarchan, 3 quatrains + 1 couplet2.But came the waves and washed it away 11: Meter: iambic pentameter3.Again I write it with a second hand, Scan: One day/ I wrote/ her name/ upon/4.But came the tide, and made my pains his prey12. the strand5.Vain man, said she, that doest in vain assay, Theme: comparing eternal of love and death to the brevity of life and humanity.6.A mortal thing so to immortalize, Structure: The ﬁrst quatrain is a realistic7.For I myself shall like to this decay, narration in which the lines 3 & 4 are the ﬁrst conﬂict. The second quatrain is a dialogue8.And eek my name be wiped out likewise. by a female, most probably the beloved which is the second conﬂict. The third9.Not so, (quod I) let baser things devise quatrain is an answer to the dialogue again in a conversation because of the use of10.To die in dust, but you shall live by fame: “quoth I.” And its last line is an idealistic central image. The couplet at the end gives11.My verse, your virtues rare shall eternize, the conclusion like a fact because it uses the present participle tense.12.And in the heavens write your glorious name13 . Title: The name Amoretti itself means “little13.Where whenas death shall all the world subdue, notes” or “little cupids.”14.Our love shall live, and later life renew.CONTENT9 Aim: This poem is said to have been written on Spenser’s love affair and eventual marriage to ElizabethBoyle, his second wife. Sonnet 75 centers on the immortality of spiritual love and the temporality of physicallove. The poet has dexterously presented a contrast between the earthly and the celestial ideas and things.While in the ﬁrst half of the poem, time and nature destroy the poet’s writing and attempts to immortalize it; inthe second half the poet immortalizes his eternal, spiritual love through his writings.10Sonnet 75 is taken from Edmund Spenser’s poem Amoretti which was published in 1595. The poem hasbeen fragmented into 89 short sonnets that combined make up the whole of the poem.11One of the indirect implications of the typical ﬁfteenth century women being docile and subservient can befound in the waves being given a masculine quality. Normally, nature is associated with the female entitybecause both are responsible for giving and sustaining life. Here, however, the author’s reason for giving amasculine identity to nature must be because of the malignant role it is playing.12Personiﬁcation :The sea or waves are given human qualities. It “washed,” and “made my paynes his pray.”Washing and preying or inﬂicting pain upon someone are human qualities. The lover’s writing on the sandcan be a reference to man’s inherent desire to eternalize his being to be remembered forever. The waveshere signify time. The erasing of the name by water signiﬁes the transient nature of human life. It pointstowards the futility of man’s aspirations for immortality, especially poets who wish to be eternalized throughtheir works. However, irrespective of how many times he may try to make his life meaningful, it is pointless.Everything is transitory and will eventually be destroyed.13 while the ﬁrst three evoke negative images, the last one paints a beautiful, fantastical picture in the mind.
❖ He was born at Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire. ❖ He was the third of eight children (four girls and four boys) of John Shakespeare and Mary Arden Shakespeare, who married in 1557. John Shakespeare, a native of nearby Snitterﬁeld, crafted gloves, lent money, and traded in wool, barley, timber, and leather goods in a shop next to his Henley Street home. In 1567, he became the mayor of Stratford. ❖ William Shakespeare may have enrolled at a preschool, comparable to the modern kindergarten, to study catechism and the basics of reading and writing. Between ages seven and thirteen, he probably attended a local grammar school, the Kings New School, to study classical history, religion, ethics, logic, rhetoric, public speaking, Roman poetry and drama, the natural sciences, and other subjects taught in Latin by well- trained teachers from Oxford University. It is likely he alsoIV. OUTSTANDING FIGURES AND THEIR CONTRIBUTION studied the New Testament of the Bible in Greek. Because of 3. William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616) the broadness and excellence of their education at the Stratford school, its graduates developed a strong grasp of the liberal arts. Most important, though, he had a knowledge of people and the everyday life that surrounded him. ❖ In 1582, when he was 17 William Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, 26, the daughter of a thriving farmer in the village of Shottery, about a mile from Stratford. Hathaway was pregnant at the time of the marriage. In May 1583, they had a daughter, Susanna, and in 1585, twins—a boy named Hamnet and a girl named Judith. Hamnet died 11 years later. ❖ In 1594 he was not only an actor but one of eight harers in the Lord Chamberlains men, which meant that he was a part-owner of that company of actors (which was formed in 1598) receiving a share of its proﬁts. The patron was the Lord Chamberlain, one of the Royal Households main ofﬁcials. ❖ He wrote one hundred ﬁfty-four sonnets. The topic of most sonnets written in Shakespeares time is love–or a theme related to love. Also he adopted the latter scheme in his sonnets .The Shakespearean sonnet has three four-line stanzas (quatrains) and a two-line unit called a couplet. A couplet is always indented; both lines rhyme at the end. The meter of Shakespeares sonnets is iambic pentameter (except in Sonnet 145). The rhyme scheme is always abab cdcd efef gg. ❖ Shakespeare retired from the theatre in 1610 and returned to Stratford. Six years later, in 1616, he died on the same date on which he was believed to have been born, April 23. The cause of his death is the subject of conjecture.
Shall I compare thee to a summers day? 14 FORM Rhyme scheme: abab cdcd efef gg1.Shall I compare thee to a summers day? Sonnet: Shakespearean, 3 quatrains + couplet.2.Thou art more lovely and more temperate. Meter: iambic pentameter.3.Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May 15, Scan: Shall I/ compare/ thee to/4.And summers lease hath all too short a date. a su/mmers day.5.Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, Theme: ravages of time.6.And often is his gold complexion dimmed; Structure: Notice that Shakespeare introduces the main point of the sonnet in7.And every fair from fair sometime declines, the ﬁrst two lines of Stanza 1: that the young mans radiance is greater than the8.By chance, or natures changing course, untrimmed; suns. He then devotes the second two lines of Stanza 1 and all of Stanza 2 to the9.But thy eternal summer shall not fade, inferior qualities of the sun. In Stanza 3, he says the young mans brilliance will10.Nor lose possession of that fair thou owst, never fade because Sonnet XVIII will keep it alive. He then sums up his thoughts in11.Nor shall death brag thou wandrest in his shade, the ending couplet.12.When in eternal lines to Time thou growst16. Title: the title is a rhetorical question that is asked in order to make a point and13.So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see, without the expectation of a reply. Tone: This poem is almost certainly14.So long lives this, and this gives life to thee. addressed to a young man who was Shakespeares patron. Therefore it cannot be considered to be love poem in the usual sense. The tone should be respectful, not seductive.CONTENT14 Aim: the poet attempts to compare it to a summers day, but shows that there can be no such comparison,since the fair lords timeless beauty far surpasses that of the ﬂeeting, inconstant season.15note that May was an early summer month in Shakespeares time, because England did not adopt theGregorian calendar until 1752.16In line 12 we ﬁnd the poets solution - how he intends to eternalize the fair lords beauty despite his refusalto have a child. The poet plans to capture the fair lords beauty in his verse ("eternal lines"), which hebelieves will withstand the ravages of time. Thereby the fair lords "eternal summer shall not fade," and thepoet will have gotten his wish. Here we see the poets use of "summer" as a metaphor for youth, or perhapsbeauty, or perhaps the beauty of youth.