British Literature 1616-1780
Oct. 13: Review, essay exam preparation
Reading Assignment: REVIEW previous readings
This class will be your opportunity to review the materials we have covered so far in class
in preparation for the midterm. We will also conduct a workshop on writing essays for exams.
This will give you insight on what to expect on the exam, how to prepare, and how to get a good
For your posts due today, please answer one of the review questions below the Writing Workshop (section
2 of the notes).
Reading Notes and Discussion Questions:
1. Essay Exam Writing Workshop
Linked to this website, you will find a Writing
Worshop: Writing Good Answers to Essay Questions. Please review
this before class. You should focus on the essay questions and answers
dealing with Paradise Lost, which are the last ones. We will discuss these in class.
I think our best plan will be for half the class to do exercise A and
half to do C.
2. Review questions
1. What makes Donne "metaphysical" and Jonson "classical"?
2. Compare and contrast the representation of Cromwell in the poetry of Milton and Marvell.
3. What is a carpe diem poem? Explain one example.
4. For Milton's Paradise Lost describe the subject and purpose. How does Milton create a style
to support these things?
5. What is a mock-epic? Why is MacFlecknoe a good example?
6. What is heroic poetry? Compare and contrast the heroic poetry of Absalom and Achitophel with
7. Describe the literary achievement of the following Puritan / Republican writers: Marvell, Milton, Bunyan. In
what sense is their literature an expression of their political and/or religious beliefs?
8. What is an allegory? Compare and contrast the use of allegory in Absalom and Achitophel and
9. Compare and contrast the representation of slavery in Behn's Oroonoko and Equiano's Interesting
Narrative. What do they share in common? What are some of the differences?
10. Analyze the heroic nature of Oroonoko. Is his character comparable to other heroes we have read about (i.e. Adam,
David, Satan, Achitophel)?
11. What is the role of truth/innocence in Oroonoko? How does this compare with representations of truth/
innocence in Paradise Lost?
12. What other issues remain to be discussed? What other questions do you have?
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