Overview of Poetry Through the Ages Rev

Topics: Poetry, Poetic form, Sonnet Pages: 5 (1408 words) Published: May 18, 2013
Renaissance 1500-1600s * Dominant literary forms: Drama; sonnets and iambic pentameter (plus trochaic metre) * Journeys of discovery of New World; scientific discoveries * Rise of Humanism – focus on humans and start of decline of religion * In the two poems below the first one sees that we age and die (no mention of God), while the second holds on to the idea of a God and serving God| |

1. When I do count the clock that tells the time - William Shakespeare| Content| Form/structure| Techniques| Themes|
With time all ages and dies; all we can do is ‘breed’| Shakespearean sonnet with 3 quatrains and a rhyming couplet| Use of images to show the things that decline. Notice how each quatrain has its own tone and theme| Time passes; we age; things change; mortality| 2. On His Blindness - John Milton|

Content| Form/structure| Techniques| Themes|
The speaker considers if he can still serve God having lost his sight half way through life; then he realises he can be serving God patiently| Italian/ Petrarchan sonnet: octave then sestet; set rhyme scheme; iambic pentametre| Personification; allusion to parable of the talents| Loss; God’s will; finding meaning in suffering|

Age of Reason/The Enlightenment 1650s to 1750s * Emphasis on logic, science and reason * Continued rise of industrialisation * No poems from this era|

Romanticism * 1750s to 1850 * Reaction against Industrial Revolution, science and rationalism. * Revolt against social and political hierarchies (French Revolution) * Rediscovery of the mythology, folk stories and occult * Prizing of emotion over reason * Artist is god-like * Rebellion and non-conformity * Finding beauty and inspiration in nature * Good and evil two sides of same coin – both embraced * Below, poems 3 and 5 are typically Romantic. 3 sees that God/artist creates both the tiger and the lamb. 5 finds comfort in nature. | |

3. The Tyger - William Blake|
Content| Form/structure| Techniques| Themes|
The artist, blacksmith, God create things both gentle (lamb) and violent (tiger)| Strong use of trochaic metre; 4-line stanzas; lines 1 and 2, 3 and 4 rhyme; quite regular syllables (7-8)| Rhetorical questions| The role of the artist and God; the origin of violence; embrace of the dark and the light side of life as one source| 4. Ozymandias of Egypt - Percy Bysshe Shelley|

Content| Form/structure| Techniques| Themes|
The speaker tells the story of a traveller who saw the a statue of Ozy, who ordered and built mighty works but those works have now disappeared into the desert| Petrarchan or Italian sonnet| Alliteration; irony of great works no longer visible| Change and time; power and powerlessness; arrogance| 5. Ode to Autumn - John Keats|

content| Form/structure| Techniques| Themes|
The abundance of autumn| An ode; three-stanza; variable rhyme scheme; stanzas are eleven lines long; iambic pentameter| Personification of autumn; sound devices; look out for long vowel sounds evoking gentle mellowness| Beauty and comfort of nature|

Victorian and Gothic PoemsVictorian * During reign of Queen Victoria 1837-1901 * Reaction against Romanticism? * Increase of industrialisation and urbanisation * Emphasis on nationalism, clear cut right and wrong * World is governed by God’s will * Moral absolutism: right is right and wrong is wrong; there are savages and civilised peopleGothic [a sub-category within Victorian period] * Mid-1800s * medieval or medieval-type setting * gloomy landscape and * woman in distress needing to be rescued * Evil, dominating, lustful * Supernatural events and omens and nightmares * Below, 7 and 8 are by poets going against the Victorian absolutism: about loss: loss of faith in 7 and loss of nature in 8. Both pessimistic and critical of Victorian ideas. * 6 is a Gothic poem. How do...
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