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Novel of Blah

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  • Jan. 15, 2013
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Poetry isn't just rhyming couplets. Many styles of writing covering various themes, and originating from many historical periods, can be classified as poetry. The thematic content and stylistic characteristics of Cavalier poetry and metaphysical poetry often cause comparison between the two styles. However, similarities like their thematic concern with love and their prominence during the 17th century are outnumbered by their differences. Other People Are Reading

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History
During the 17th century, England faced a period of political turmoil. A civil war broke out. Supporters of the reigning king, Charles I, were known as Cavaliers, and fought supporters of parliament. After Charles I was executed, his supporters began writing poetry to exalt what they felt as their refined beliefs and sophisticated attitudes. Around the same time, metaphysical poetry arose out of an admiration for John Donne, England's first poet laureate, whose poems focused on philosophical and spiritual concerns. Following in Donne's footsteps, metaphysical poets focused on philosophy rather than courtly and political matters.

Themes
Cavalier poetry's main thematic concern is pleasure. Many poems advocate living in the moment and often are quite erotic in nature. In addition, because many Cavalier poets were aristocrats, Cavalier poetry focuses on the refined, cultured life that the aristocracy led. Metaphysical poetry is more spiritual than Cavalier poetry. Metaphysical poems often have religious themes. In addition, they focus on love as a union of souls rather than a strictly erotic pursuit.

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Rhetorical Devices
Cavalier poetry tends to use simple, straightforward language and meter to create graceful language. Metaphysical poetry uses metaphors, puns, paradoxes and...