The Early Seventeenth Century (Literary Developments (Theatre (Comedy,…
The Early Seventeenth Century
In his Novum Organum (1620) he outlines a new
that will lead to mastery over nature: all hypotheses must be tested in experiments rather than deduced from general principles.
: the theory that all knowledge is based on experience.
Father of Metaphisical poetry
Songs and Sonnets
his poems are dramatic lyric poems - the thoughts evolve from one line to the next
rhythm: reflects speech patterns - colloquial style, direct mode of address, jagged rhythms
inward focus on speaker: self-reflexive
uses religious imagery in love poetry and erotic language in his religious verse
startling, often shocking images
references that range from theology to alchemy to cosmology
founder of social contract theory
Hobbes: Leviathan (1651)
sovereignty was based on the people’s consent: the sovereign was an authorised representative of the people. It was not the king who possesses sovereignty [authority], but the state! The state is an artificial body representing the people
At the heart of Hobbes’ thought: a theory of
The sovereign lives and dies, but the state endures. Still today: treaties and debts continue, irrespective of the rule who signs the contract.
A change in literary fashion: long allegorical epics, sonnet sequences, and pastoral poems fell out of fashion.
New genres: elegies, satire, epigram, religious lyric, verse epistles, the country house poem
Key Literary Movements
group of 17th century poets who expanded the scope of poetry by incorporating ideas and terminology from disciplines such as
philosophy, astronomy, medicine, and theology.
Donne, Herbert, Marvel
They explore complex metaphysical themes (life, death, identity, time, space) in original images, wit, puns, paradox, and metaphysical conceits.
the poems are often organized in the form of a dialectical argument
a colloquial style
references to the new sciences and geographical discoveries
Challenge to the poetry of an earlier generation: Sidney, Spenser
Rejection of Petrarchism
: the unattainable Petrarchan lady is demystified, as is the idealization of love – often cynical attitude to sexual relations
rejection of Petrarchism
rejection of the pastoral
The idealised Petrarchan lady is demystified - a focus on sex and male control: a love that included sexuality.
Commemorates a private moment as of universal significance, the lovers as above political authority, their private world as superior to the public world