power in the renaissance era metaphysical poetry n.
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Power in the Renaissance Era Metaphysical Poetry. Characteristics of Metaphysical Poetry. Simple, conversational diction : written in manner of everyday speech Complex sentence patterns: words are easy to understand, but ideas are more difficult to grasp

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characteristics of metaphysical poetry
Characteristics of Metaphysical Poetry
  • Simple, conversational diction: written in manner of everyday speech
  • Complex sentence patterns:words are easy to understand, but ideas are more difficult to grasp
  • Experiment with language in witty and imaginative ways
    • Metaphysical conceit: extended metaphor; makes surprising connection between two dissimilar things
    • Paradox:A statement that seems contradictory, but suggests a truth
characteristics of metaphysical poetry1
Characteristics of Metaphysical Poetry
  • Metaphysical Conceit “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning”
    • 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.
  • Paradox “A Fever”
  • Oh do not die, for I shall hate
  • All women so when thou art gone,
  • That thee I shall not celebrate
  • When I remember, thou wast one.
characteristics of metaphysical poetry2
Characteristics of Metaphysical Poetry

Philosophical themes: down-to-earth philosophical approach

Disrupt poetic meter (regular pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables)

Contain unusual imagery

the renaissance
The Renaissance



the renaissance1
The Renaissance
  • World view shifts from focus on religion/after life to stressing human life on earthwhich led to focus on art & literature, worldly indulgences because life is short
  • Popular themes of literature include: development of human potential and explorations of many aspects of love (unrequited, constant, timeless, courtly, subject to change)
the renaissance2
The Renaissance
  • Popular literary forms: Shakespearean sonnets, drama, pastoral poetry, metaphysical poetry (poetry & drama)
  • Reaction to metaphysical poetry: not all middle-class embraced abstract thoughts, found metaphysical poets pretentious; more admired by upper class
  • Political, Religious, and Social Turmoil: Catholics in England were persecuted minority
john donne 1572 1631
John Donne1572-1631
  • Founder of metaphysical poetry movement
  • As a young man: wrote passionate love poems(lyrics, erotic verse, sacred poems) and admired many women
  • Brother imprisoned for sheltering Jesuit (Catholic) priest & died in prison
john donne
John Donne
  • Public career:
  • At age 25, became personal secretaryfor Sir Thomas Egerton, royal court official
  • Recruited by close friend King James Ito write poems praising Protestantism
  • At age 43, became an Anglican priest; named dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London 6 years later (served until death)
john donne1
John Donne
  • Private Life:
  • Born into Catholic family, but converted to Anglicanism later in life
  • Studied at Oxford & Cambridge but no degrees due to religious requirements
  • Secretly married Egerton’s niece, Ann More; lost his job and lived in poverty
    • Fathered 12 children
    • Buried at St. Paul’s Cathedral