“To Lucasta Going to the Wars” p. 527Context and Timeline • Richard Lovelace was a strong supporter of the English monarchy at a time when it was terribly unpopular. • Lovelace is considered a Cavalier Poet • Cavalier, which originally meant a soldier mounted on horseback (hear the similarity to “cavalry”?) was originally an insulting term used for supporters of King Charles I, though they themselves adopted it and used it proudly. • Cavalier poets are concerned with ideals of love, beauty, honor, and elegance. Unlike their contemporaries, the metaphysical poets (who were concerned with elaborate metaphors), Cavalier poetry is straightforward and to the point.
Historical Context for “Lucasta” cont. • “To Lucasta, Going to the Wars” was written in 1649, and it reflects Lovelace’s experiences during a military campaign for Charles I that would eventually lead to the English Civil War. • English Civil War began in October of 1642, and continued off and on for the next seven years. • Charles was executed in January of 1649. He is the first and only king of England to be executed by order of Parliament.
Some portraits of Cavalier style Charles I, King of England, from Three Angles. Another van Dyck portrait. Richard Lovelace, circa 1650 What observations can we make about these “contemporary artifacts”? What might they tell you about the Lucasta poem? How do our own contemporary ideas about clothing, honor, and masculinity color our readings of these paintings and the poem? Lord John Stuart and his brother Lord Bernard painted by Anthony van Dyck, 1638
Further Questions for “Lucasta” • Describe the author’s attitude toward war. How does it connect with his attitude toward love? How are the two related? • What 17th century cultural assumptions about war, love, and honor are evident in this poem? • Based on what we know about the historical context of this poem, what do you think the original audience would have found most important in this poem? • What reaction do you as a modern reader have to this poem? What cultural contexts account for the difference between your reaction and the original audience’s?
“Dulce et Decorum Est” p. 642Historical Context • Wilfred Owen wrote what is widely considered to be some of the finest war poetry in English about his experiences in the First World War. • Owen joined the armed forces 1915 out of a sense of patriotic obligation and very quickly underwent a transformation from patriotic, high-spirited young man to a disillusioned, war weary soldier. • Owen survived most of the war, but was killed on November 4, 1918 at the age of 25, seven days before the Armistice agreement that signaled the end of the fighting.
A Video on Wilfred Owen and “Dulce et Decorum Est” • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c49tRplMh-Y
Further context for “Dulce et Decoum Est” • World War I saw the first use of such developments in modern warfare as the machine gun, airplanes, and chemical warfare (mustard gas and other nerve agents). • An estimated 8.5 million soldiers died in the fighting, and that number does not include wounded and civilian deaths. The world had never seen anything like this in terms of the number of dead, and it earned WWI the title “The War to End All Wars.”
Questions for “Dulce et Decorum Est” • Compare Owen’s attitude toward war to Lovelace’s. What traditionally held ideas about war and honor is Owen responding to? • What is the significance of the quote that is used for the title and for the last two lines of the poem? • What images in this poem are particularly striking to you? How might they have appeared to a public faced with modern warfare for the first time? • p. 527 and p.642
“Dulce Et Decorum Est” (poem) vs “The Things They Carried” (short story) • “Dulce Et Decorum Est” seeks to shock its readers by portraying the horrors of war and eliciting an emotional reaction. • Compare this with the flat, unemotional tone of “The Things They Carried.” • What does each author accomplish by using the particular tone he chose? • Is the time gap between the poems a significant factor in the choice of tone? • Why did Wilfred Owen want to shock his contemporary readers and make them upset? • Why would an unemotional tone reach contemporaries of (author of Things Carried) better than an emotional one?
“The End and The Beginning”p. 648 • What is this speaker’s attitude toward war? • What is the significance of line 20? • How is it related to the “other side of war” that this poem discusses? The side that no one wants to talk about? • No glory • No horrific enough • Drudgery • Sometimes seen as “women’s part in war” • What is the significance of the final image?
In Class Writing: War Stories • This week we read a variety of short stories and poems dealing with different facets of war and the soldier’s experience. • Which one of these works had the most effect on you? • Positive or negative… you might pick a work you liked for its imagery, but you also might pick one that disturbed you or made you angry/sad/thoughtful. • Pick one work that you feel speaks most directly to your own sentiments about the topic of war and explain why it is particularly effective.
Using Quotes to Support Your Claim • In earlier classes, you probably learned that when you write an essay, you make a claim and support it with evidence. • The same is true for essays about literature. The difference is, the claim you are making is about the literature, and the evidence you support it with comes from the literature itself, along with your explanation of the evidence you chose.
When Quoting Poetry…. • You can quote several lines together, a single line, or a few words, whichever suits your purpose best. • HOWEVER, you need to make sure that you do not pull quotes out of context. • Example of a quote out of context: • Matthew Arnold is celebrating the beauty of creation when he writes in “Dover Beach” that the world is “So various, so beautiful, so new” (line 32). • What is wrong with the quote use above? • Let’s take a look at the original context.
MLA Format for Quotes from Poems • If all of the words in your quote come from a single line, MLA format requires that you follow the quotation with the word “line” and the line number in parentheses after the quote the first time you use it, and just the line numbers each time after that. • Example of using quotes from a single line: • In “Ozymandias,” Shelley creates irony by placing words with connotations of grandeur and words with connotations of destruction near one another. The statue’s legs are both “vast and trunkless” (line 2), and near the end of the poem it is described as a “colossal wreck” (14).
MLA Format for Quotes from Poems • Example of using two or three lines: • The speaker of “Traveling through the Dark” shows an almost uncomfortable awareness of his place in the natural world when he says, “I stood in the glare of the warm exhaust turning red; / around our group I could hear the wilderness listen” (lines 15-16). • See p. 50 for textbook example of in-text citation. • See p. 55 for textbook example of works cited for a poem in an anthology.