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ENL 3230
British Literature 1616-1780


Class 2

    Sep 7: Post #2 Due - Group B


Reading Assignment for 8/31- 9/14:

    NAEL volume B, The Early Seventeenth Century 1603-1660 (1235-1259)
    NAEL volume B, Literary Terminology (A41-A62)

    NAEL volume B, John Donne (1260-1263) and esp. "The Flea" (1263), "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning" (1275), "The Ecstasy" (1276), "I am a Little World Made Cunningly" (1295)
    NAEL volume B, Katherine Philips (1690-1695), and esp. "Upon the Double Murder of King Charles" (1691), "To Mrs. M. A. at Parting" (1693), "On the Death of My First and Dearest Child" (1695)
    NAEL Volume B, Andrew Marvell (1695-1697), and esp. "A Dialogue Between the Soul and Body" (1681), "To His Coy Mistress" (1703), "The Garden" (1710)

    Jonathan Sawday, The Body Emblazoned Chapter 1 and 2 (see Blackboard Course Documents)

    History Timeline: Prelude, Civil Wars and Interregnum


    Class Objectives:

  • To begin discussing Katherine Philips' poetry
  • To analyze paradox and hyperbole

    In preparation for class, please read all of Katherine Philips' poems, with special attention to "To Mrs. M. A. at Parting" (1693). Also review the definitions of paradox and hyperbole so that you can answer the questions relating to them below.


    Notes and Discussion Questions:

    1. Katherine Philips' "To Mrs. M. A. at Parting"

    Begin by paraphrasing the poem, including a statement for each stanza. This is the denotative level of meaning.

    Address the same set of questions we brought to Donne's poem: what does it say? Who is the speaker? What is the occasion? What is the purpose? How does it achieve the purpose?

    Note the central paradox of the poem: that although the friends part they are still together. In what ways does the poem represent this unity despite separation?

    What role does hyperbole play in the final stanza? What is the effect? What historical conditions (political) might make the image relevant to her audience?

    Discussion question: What does the poem suggest about female friendship? Why is this an appropriate subject for poetry?

    Discussion question: How does this valediction compare with Donne's "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning"? What similarities can you find? What differences?

    Discussion question: Like Donne's poetry, Philips' poems did not appear in print (legitimately) until after her death. What might be the reasons for publishing this poem in manuscript? How can you explain the fame Philips achieved in her lifetime?

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