Brit Lit

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The (long) 18th Century
Key Events
1649-1660: Trial and execution of Charles I; Republic declared; beginning of Commonwealth and Protectorate, known inclusively as the Interregnum. 1665 & 1666: The Great Plague & Great Fire

1660- 1685: End of the Protectorate; restoration of Charles II to throne (1660)
Milton, Paradise Lost, ten books (1667)
Milton, Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes (1671)
Milton, Paradise Lost, twelve books...Milton dies. (1674)
Marvell, Poems (published posthumously) (1681)

The Lady’s Dressing Room
Author: Jonathan Swift
Genre: Satire
Date: 1732
Key Points
Plot: Strephon explores his mistress’s empty dressing room; he begins to look through the contents of her room, encountering only objects that disgust him. He finds sweaty smocks, dirty combs, oily cloths, grimy towels, snot filled handkerchiefs, jars of spit, make up that’s from dog intestine, and more. Strephon is slapped in the face with the reality of Celia’s filth and becomes aware that she is not a goddess, but she is disgusting. Major Characters: Celia, Strephon

Significant Ideas:
The title of the poem itself suggests a touch of irony, as the descriptions of Celia’s untidy room and habits do not quite match the features of a classy and well mannered “lady”. Therefore, the poem can be understood as a satire.

Authors’ key contributions to literature:

Key Concepts
Empiricism:
Great chain of being:

Lit Terms & Techniques
Conflict: A struggle between opposing forces in a story or play, usually resolved by the end of the work. The conflict may occur within a character as well as between characters. Works that they apply to: The Tempest, Beowulf, Lanval, Paradise Lost, Sir Gawain and the green knight

Common Ideas/ Topics Discussed
Gender roles & relationships:
Works that apply are The Wife of Bath, Lanval
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