Century Literature Study Questions
(see pp. 598-9 for dates): Stuart Kings, Gunpowder plot, American colonies, Puritans, William
Laud, civil war, Interregnum, Oliver Cromwell, Restoration; “King James” Bible;
: conceit, metaphysical, metaphysical conceit, puns, paradoxes, carpe diem theme, blank verse,
epigram, epic machinery/conventions
: Metaphysical poets, Cavalier poets, Sons of Ben, Tribe of Ben, wit,
querelle des femmes
regicide, amanuensis, prelapsarian
Compare the diction and meter in these poems to the Elizabethan poems we have read.
Which is more appealing to modern tastes, and why?
Donne’s poems are at once spiritual and carnal.
How can these two sides be reconciled?
3. "The Flea"
How does the opportunistic speaker keep pace with the events he is describing?
seriously are we to take the sacred overtones of the poem--the references to the Trinity, etc.?
important is "honor" to the speaker?
"The Good Morrow"
What use does the speaker make of the public realms he mentions--court,
How is time's passage handled in this poem? What kind of temporality seems
to govern Donne's love poetry?
How does Donne's reference to the court here (and in other poems)
compare to Wyatt's?
"Song, Go and Catch a Falling Star"
What principle does "woman" stand for in this poem? The
speaker's view may or may not closely resemble Donne's own, but how does it square with the
compelling view of love relations we find in some of his sonnets?