sonnetlog - and Mary Queen of Scots Due in class 10/29(note...

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ENGL 205, Fall 2008, Reading Log on 16 th -century and 17 th -century poetry Background: In sixteenth-century England, sonnets become a phenomenon and the 1590s are characterized by what is called a “sonnet craze.” Sonnets are short, intense poems that the Italian poet Petrarch developed into a form for exploring the nature of love but also ideas of grace and Platonic ennoblement of the spirit. We are reading sonnets by Sir Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare and John Donne. Donne’s sonnets mark an important shift as their tone and purpose changes as he adapts the form to raise the question of a person’s relationship to the divine. He sets the stage for a mode of poetic creation in the seventeenth-century that takes the mysteries / complexities of religion as its focus. It is best epitomized for us in the writings of George Herbert. Alongside these male writers, long part of the canon, we will read a selection of poems and speeches by Elizabeth 1
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Unformatted text preview: and Mary Queen of Scots. Due in class 10/29 (note revised deadline) 1) What is the form of an English sonnet (meter, rhyme scheme, number of lines)? 2) What is the form of an Italian or Petrarchan sonnet? 3) What do the names Astrophil and Stella mean? Does this seem significant? If so how? 4) When were Shakespeare’s Sonnets published? 1 5) To whom are they dedicated? 6) Describe the images that occur in Sonnet 19 (pick them out; walk your reader through them; and say how they work to help build the argument of the poem) 7) What is the “conceit” of Donne’s “The Bait” or “The Flea” (walk your reader through how Donne develops the conceit in one of these poems)? 2 8) What kinds of significance do you see in the shape of George Herbert’s “The Altar” and “Easter Wings” (762-3). 3...
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