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101 Terms



  • 14 lines

  • Single stanza

  • Iambic pentameter

  • Love

  • Volta (turn)

  • Oxymorons

  • Hunting, martial, and ship metaphors

  • english/shakespearean vs italian/petrarchan

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  • A transition in time that took place late 14th - early 17th century, which referred to a rebirth and renewal of culture and ideas - beginning of modernism

  • An era of development in terms of scientific progress, exploration, and travel.

  • A newfound focus on humanism (the idea that humans are at the center of the world) and reformation (break up of the christian church)

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iambic pentameter

A meter of poetry where there are 5 unstressed 5 stressed syllables per line going in a pattern of unstressed stressed… Shakespeare uses it a lot

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coterie audience

A literary group, set, or circle, sometimes exclusive, joined by friendship and common interest

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Shakespearean / English Sonnet

  • Composed of 14 lines

  • iambic pentmeter

  • 3 quatrains and a couplet

  • Abab cdcd efef gg OR

  • Abba cddc effe gg

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Metaphysical Poets

  • surprise, pun, paradox

  • wit

  • dexterous use of colloquial speech

  • flexibility of rhythm and meter

  • Dunne, Herbert, Marvell

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Literally, “dawn”; a genre that is a morning song, a lamentation of how lovers must part once the new day is upon them. This new day is signaled through the sun rising or birds chirping, letting the lovers know they must awaken and say goodbye.

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Pattern Poems

  • Play with shape of the poem

  • Lines of the poem represent the shape of the subject of the poem, often by implying motion

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A genre of poetry that is fantasizing about country life and shepherds, often written by high born or non-rural authors.

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  • long verse narrative

  • serious subject

  • formal and elevated style

  • hero quest with high stakes

  • heroes usually have tragic flaw

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Blank verse

Poem written in unrhymed iambic pentameter

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The part of theology that is concerned with defending the goodness and omnipotence of God in the face of suffering and evil in the world. It is a defense of God’s justice that is meant to prove how his goodness and omnipotence can coexist with evil.

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Free Will Defense

Evil in the world is entirely due to the bad, free choices made by humans. God isn’t responsible for the evils of the world; it was good God created free beings, but bad they misuse their freedom.

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Ptolemaic Model

earth is at the center of the universe

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Over the top devotion to ones wife, simp, fatal flaw of Adam in Paradise Lost

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The promise concerning the seed of the woman in the curse upon the serpent regarded as the earliest intimation of the gospel—basically when it says that one day the seed of Eve will stamp upon the serpent's head it could be literal but also metaphorically mean that a child of hers (Jesus) will defeat Satan

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  • Courtly world

  • Quest by knight to win lady

  • Chivalry: courage, loyalty, honor, good manners

  • Set far away

  • High-born characters

  • Subtype of/predecessor to the novel?

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1. A small tale, generally of love

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whoso list to hunt, i know where is an hind, A

But as for me, alas, i may no more. B

The vain travail hath wearied me so sore, B

I am of them that farthest cometh behind. A

Uyet may I, by no means, my wearied mind A

Draw from the deer, but as she fleeth afore, B

Fainting I follow. I leave off, therefore, B

Since in a net I seek to hold the wind. A

Who list her hunt, I put him out of doubt,C

As well as i, may spend his time in vain D

And graven with diamonds in letters plain D

There is written, her fair neck round about, C

Noli me trangere, for caesar’s i am, E

And wild for to hold, though I seem tame.

“Whoso list to hunt” - Sir Thomas Wyatt the Elder


  • Wyatt is in love with a woman who doesn’t love him back, using hunting metaphors to describe his attempt to conquer her.

  • states that if you want to hunt, that he is an expert and then narrows that the hunt is targeting a specific deer/woman

  • Obsession - even though wyatt is unsuccessful in chasing her, he can’t stop

    • doing obsessive courtly love

  • describing a woman that is wild and that needs to be tamed by a man - problematic

  • The deer is dangerous - making the hunter into the hunted

    • he’s pursuing her, but he can’t have her and therefore he becomes haunted

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They flee from me that sometime did me seek

With naked foot, stalking in my chamber.

I have seen them gentle, tame, and meek,

That now are wild and do not remember

That sometime they put themself in danger

To take bread at my hand; and now they range,

Busily seeking with a continual change.

Thanked be fortune it hath been otherwise

Twenty times better; but once in special,

In thin array after a pleasant guise,

When her loose gown from her shoulders did fall,

And she me caught in her arms long and small;

Therewithall sweetly did me kiss

And softly said, “Dear heart, how like you this?”

It was no dream: I lay broad waking.

But all is turned thorough my gentleness

Into a strange fashion of forsaking;

And I have leave to go of her goodness,

And she also, to use newfangleness.

But since that I so kindly am served

I would fain know what she hath deserved.

“They flee from me” - Sir Thomas Wyatt the elder


  • equating women to animal

    • problematic and weird

  • in the past, the speaker enjoyed recieving female vistors - he is in control of these actions and them - calling them gentle and meek

  • but then, the roles are subverted - the hunted becomes the hunter - which upsests the speaker

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One day I wrote her name upon the strand,

But came the waves and washed it away:

Again I wrote it with a second hand,

But came the tide, and made my pains his prey.

"Vain man," said she, "that dost in vain assay,

A mortal thing so to immortalize;

For I myself shall like to this decay,

And eke my name be wiped out likewise."

"Not so," (quod I) "let baser things devise

To die in dust, but you shall live by fame:

My verse your vertues rare shall eternize,

And in the heavens write your glorious name:

Where whenas death shall all the world subdue,

Our love shall live, and later life renew."

Amoretti - Edmund Spenser


  • woman says that he is a fool and that his writing is foolish and writing her name is foolish because all writing will be destroyed just like the writing in the sand; trying to remember any mortal human and trying to preserve their memory is futile because all humans are moral and will die

  • spenser argues against this saying that poetry can immortalize a mortal thing - outlasting time

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Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show,

That she, dear she, might take some pleasure of my pain,—

Pleasure might cause her read, reading might make her know,

Knowledge might pity win, and pity grace obtain,—

I sought fit words to paint the blackest face of woe;

Studying inventions fine her wits to entertain,

Oft turning others' leaves, to see if thence would flow

Some fresh and fruitful showers upon my sunburn'd brain.

But words came halting forth, wanting invention's stay;

Invention, Nature's child, fled step-dame Study's blows;

And others' feet still seem'd but strangers in my way.

Thus great with child to speak and helpless in my throes,

Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite,

"Fool," said my Muse to me, "look in thy heart, and write."

Astrophila and Stella - Sir Phillip Sidney


  • he hopes stella will take pity on him and win the grace of her attention

  • courtly love - “that she, dear she, might take some pleasure of my pain”

  • concern with his own writing

    • last two lines suggest that there is a divine influence that the lyrical voice finds while writing and that the lyrical voice constructs hiw own poetic and literary consciousness towards his own writings and those of others

    • how he has to come to learn poetry and where to find that inspritation - he has to find it wihtin himself

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Not at first sight, nor with a dribbèd shot,

Love gave the wound which while I breathe will bleed:

But known worth did in mine of time proceed,

Till by degrees it had full conquest got.

I saw, and liked; I liked, but lovèd not;

I loved, but straight did not what love decreed:

At length to love’s decrees I, forced, agreed,

Yet with repining at so partial lot.

Now even that footstep of lost liberty

Is gone, and now like slave-born Muscovite

I call it praise to suffer tyranny;

And now employ the remnant of my wit

To make myself believe that all is well,

While with a feeling skill I paint my hell.

Astrophila and Stella - Sir Phillip Sidney

  • “not at first sight” - his love is different - rejecting the conventions of love which is still a convention in its self - he had to be persuaded

  • “i saw, and liked; i liked, but loved not”

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O joy too high for my low style to show! \n O bliss fit for a nobler state than me! \n Envy, put out thine eyes, lest thou do see \n What oceans of delight in me do flow! \n My friend, that oft saw through all masks my woe, \n Come, come, and let me pour myself on thee. \n Gone is the winter of my misery! \n My spring appears, O, see what here doth grow: \n For Stella hath, with words where faith doth shine, \n Of her high heart giv'n me the monarchy; \n I, I, oh I, may say that she is mine! \n And though she give but thus conditionly \n This realm of bliss, while virtuous course I take, \n No kings be crown'd but they some covenants make.

Astrophila and Stella - Sir Philip Sidney


  • a moment of happiness where he claims stellas has returned his advances

  • but he has to remain virtious “and though she give but thus conditional this relam of bliss, while virtous course i take”

    • must follow the conventions of courtly love

    • takes it on the end - barely notices the condition for her love

  • frames himself as a conqueror or a king - owning stella in a way

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From fairest creatures we desire increase,

That thereby beauty’s rose might never die,

But as the riper should by time decease,

His tender heir might bear his memory;

But thou, contracted to thine own bright eyes,

Feed’st thy light’s flame with self-substantial fuel,

Making a famine where abundance lies,

Thyself thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel

Thou that art now the world’s fresh ornament,

And only herald to the gaudy spring,

Within thine own bud buriest thy content

And, tender churl, mak’st waste in niggarding.

Pity the world, or else this glutton be,

To eat the world’s due, by the grave and thee

william shakespeare sonnet


  • speaker declares we want beautiful peopel to make babies so that beauty will last in the world - it is beautiful people’s duty to reproduce

  • “madking a famine where abudnacne lies”

    • you’re not going out making babies because you’re paying attention only to yourself, wasting your beauty

  • you’re beautiful and decorative, you’re like springtime, but you’re hiding it all to yourself

  • have sex and have babies

  • share yourself and your beauty with the world

  • you mgith die but your memory will liveo n in your children

    • achieve immortality

  • going against courtly love

    • Don’t value your virginity over the possibility of reproduction

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A woman’s face with nature’s own hand painted

Hast thou, the master mistress of my passion;

A woman’s gentle heart but not acquainted

With shifting change as is false women’s fashion;

An eye more bright than theirs, less false in rolling,

Gilding the object whereupon it gazeth;

A man in hue all hues in his controlling,

Which steals men’s eyes and women's souls amazeth

And for a woman wert thou first created,

Till nature as she wrought thee fell a-doting

And by addition me of thee defeated

By adding one thing to my purpose nothing

But since she pricked thee out for women’s pleasure

Mine be thy love, and thy love’s use their treasure

william’s shakespeare sonnet


  • Oxymoron

    • You have the face of a woman , but then he calls the person master mistress (both female and male)

    • Not only do you look like a woman, you have the internal characteristics of a woman too but better

    • Third quatrain

      • Nature fell in love with you

      • And added something to you that defeated me that’s not to my purpose

    • Couplet

      • Since she gave you a penis for women's pleasure “pricked thee out”

      • You and i still can have a love but women will still have sex with you

    • Anti woman sentiment

      • This character is superior to all woman

      • Women are inconstant, fickle, obscure themselves with makeup and clothing

    • Exploring the paradox of the beautiful man

      • Literary hypothesis

      • How far can you take that paradox

    • A male speaker imaigngin erotic posiblity with another man

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My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;

Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;

If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;

If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.

I have seen roses damask’d, red and white,

But no such roses see I in her cheeks;

And in some perfumes is there more delight

Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks

I love to hear her speak, yet well i know

Music hath a far more pleasing sound;

I grant i never saw a goddess go;

My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground.

And yet, by heaven, i think my love as rare

As any she belied with false compare

william shakespeare sonnet


  • making fun of other poets

  • Radical honesty

  • I still love her

  • These conventioan metaphors for beauty are not realistic

    • Cliche, lazy, but also if real horrifying and sitrubing

  • Anxiety about women wearing makeup

  • Reissiting literary conventions

  • What does it mean to take poetry as truth?

  • Does art have to be truthful?

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Busy old fool, unruly sun

Why dost thou thus,

Through windows, and through curtains call on us?

Must to thy motins lovers’ seasons run?

Saucy pedantic wretch, go chide

Late school obys and sour prentices,

Go tell court huntsmen that the king will ride,

Call coutnry ants to harvext offices,

Love, all alike, no season knows nor clime,

Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time

The Sun Rising - John Donne


  • The speaker is quite aggressive in his qualms with the sun

    • Tells it to bother other people (farmers, school children, etc.)

    • Lots of mono-syllables

      • Can be read as somewhat harsh

  • This is a pseudo-aubade, which is typically a poem that alerts lovers they have to part, as it is the dawn of a new day

    • But the speaker has very intense feelings about the sun itself

    • Against typical conventions of the sun

  • Seems as though the speakers are not bound by the laws of time; love does not know time’s rules

    • Calls hours/seasons the “rags” of time (negative connotation)

  • Most of the poem is spent addressing the sun rather than talking about his love and his lover

  • challneges the sun’s authority - elevting the importance and power of love above work, duty, and eve nthe natural rhytms of the day itself

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She's all states, and all princes I,

Nothing else is.

Princes do but play us; compared to this,

All honor's mimic, all wealth alchemy.

Thou, sun, art half as happy as we,

In that the world's contracted thus.

Thine age asks ease, and

since thy duties be

To warm the world, that's done in warming us.

Shine here to us, and thou art everywhere;

This bed thy center is, these walls, thy sphere

The Sun Rising - John Donne


  • their love is so important to the universe that kings and princes simply copy it

  • the world is contained within their bedroom

  • speaker is bending the rules of the universe

  • reverse of power - speaker diverts the sun from everyone else, demanding that it shine only them

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For God's sake hold your tongue, and let me love,

Or chide my palsy, or my gout,

My five gray hairs, or ruined fortune flout,

With wealth your state, your mind with arts improve,

Take you a course, get you a place,

Observe his honor, or his grace,

Or the king's real, or his stampèd face

Contemplate; what you will, approve,

So you will let me love.

the canonization - john donne

  • love is a serious, lasting, and even holing force

  • love can make people into saints

  • love overcomes age

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Call us what you will, we are made such by love;

Call her one, me another fly, \n We're tapers too, and at our own cost die, \n And we in us find the eagle and the dove. \n The phœnix riddle hath more wit \n By us: we two being one, are it. \n So, to one neutral thing both sexes fit. \n We die and rise the same, and prove \n Mysterious by this love.

the canonization - john donne

  • They’re so deeply in love that they seem to become one

    These images are passionate, but they’re also sacred. Both the idea of fusing with a beloved and the idea of death and resurrection fit right into Donne’s Christianity: the first image echoes the biblical notion that Christ literally becomes part of Christians, and the second echoes the tale of Christ’s death and resurrection. By adoring each other so completely, then, the lovers play out the Christian story in their own lives, mirroring what the passionately religious Donne saw as the order of the universe itself. In fact, they become holy through their love, treating each other’s very bodies as “hermitage[s]” (that is, private chapels for solitary holy men).

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Lord, who createdst man in wealth and store, A

Though foolishly he lost the same, B

Decaying more and more A

Till he became B

Most part A

With thee C

O let me rise D

As larks, harmoniously, C

And sing this day by victories: D

Then shall the fall further the light in me C

My tender age in sorrow did begin

And still with sickness and shame

Thou didst so punish sin

That i became

most thin

With thee

Let me combine,

and feel this day thy victory:

for, if i limp my wing on thine,

Affliction shall advance the flight in me

Easter Wings - George Herbert

  • mimics the shape of bird wings

  • each line is two syllables shoter than the last

  • human kind sins in the garden of eden and falls wants to rise again

  • speker meditates on how one’s relationship to god offers relief from pain, nd how that pain is what allows for spiritual redemption in the first place

    • through devotion to god, one can overcome suffering and find spiritual freedom and redemption

  • just as adam fell from gace, the spear has falle on hard times

  • without falling so low, the speaker wouldn’t be able to rise up so high upon god’s metaphorical wings

  • easter wings connects to easter sunday where christ rose from the dead

    • i want to rise like a bird, but also like the resurrected christ

  • this idea of rising

  • suffering is terrible but leads to good things

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Who says that fictions only and false hair

Become a verse? Is there in truth no beauty?

Is all good structure in a winding stair?

May no lines pass, except they do their duty

Not to a true, but painted chair?

Is it no verse, except enchanted groves

And sudden arbors shadow coarse-spun lines?

Must purling streams refresh a lover's love?

Must all be veiled, while he that reads, divines,

Catching the sense at two removes?

Shepherds are honest people: let them sing;

Riddle who list, for me, and pull for prime:

I envy no man’s nightingale or spring;

Nor let them punish me with loss of rhyme,

Who plainly say, My God, My King

Jordan (1) - George Herbert

  • call for true and honest poetry

  • shames pastoral poetry - often an idealized version of the coutnry side

  • goes against the poetic convention

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How vainly men themselves amaze

To win the palm, the oak, or bays,

And their uncessant labours see

Crowned from some single herbo r tree,

Whose short and narrow verged shade

Does prudent their toils upbraid;

While all flowers and all trees do close

To weave the garlands of repose

The Garden - Marvell


  • Retreat from the world

  • How foolishly or without success , how they do this out of pride

  • People confuse themselves to win even win honor, military, civic, poetric

  • Plants are criticizing humans for striving so hard just to get a little crown

  • Why work so hard for this little crown when you hang out with garden

    • True peace true happiness can be found in the garlands

  • The natural world, in this poem, offers the end-all and be-all of earthly pleasures, providing everything a person could possibly need—and in a perfectly wholesome and innocent form, unlike the often corrupt or dangerous wider world. Sitting alone in a garden is as close to heaven as this speaker can imagine getting on earth.

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What wondrous life is this i lead!

Ripe apples drop about my head;

The luscious clusters of the vine

Upon my mouth do crush their wine;

The nectarine and ciroc peach

Into my hands themselves do reach;

Stumbling on melons as i pass,

ensnared with flowers, i fall on grass

Meanwhile the mind, from pleasure less,

Withdraws into its happiness;

The mind, that ocean where each kind

Does straight its own resemblance find,

Yet it creates, transcending these,

Far other worlds, and other seas,

Annihilating all that’s made

To a green thought in a green shade

Such was that happy garden-state,

While man there walked with a mate;

After a palace so pure and sweet,

What other help could yet be met!

But ‘twas beyond a mortal’s share

To wander solitary there:

Two paradises ‘twere in one

To live in paradise alone

The Garden - Marvell


  • the speaker can enjoy the sensuality of sweet, abundant fruits and cool shade without worrying about sex, sin, and heartache. Pleasure, in the garden, comes without pain.

  • phyiscal, mental, and psiritual pleasures the garden offers are all innocent and enduring, as human civlization rarely is

  • speaker suggests public life is a corrupt nd foolish endeavor

  • prefers nature over women

    • danger of female sexuality

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To sing of wars, of captains, and of kings,

Of cities founded, commonwealths begun,

For my mean pen are too superior things:

Or how they all, or each their dates have run

Let poets and historians set these forth,

My obscure lines shall not so dim their worth.”

Prologue - Anne Bradstreet

  • Opens by naming the topics that are suitable to epic

    • Unsuited to her

    • Wars, heroes, leaders, kings, founding of cities, founding of nations

  • Humility topos

    • Traditional

    • I’m not myself a poet or a good enough poet

  • Undermines that as she’s saying that

  • She’s not qualified, but in the very first line she is echoing one of the great epics, Aeneid

    • Arma virumque cano virgil, aeneid, line 1)

    • She knows the tradition

    • Formal in their construction

    • Neat meter and rhyme scene

    • Mimicking virgil

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“I Am obnoxious to each carping tongue

Who says my hand a needle better fits,

A poet’s pen all scorn I should thus wrong,

For such despite they cast on female wits:

If what i do prove well, it won’t advance,

They’ll say it’s stol’n, or else it was by chance.”

Prologue - Anne Bradstreet

  • Undoes her humility topos

  • Last two lines

    • If my poetry is good, people still won’t like it

    • They’ll say it’s stolen or luck

    • Implies her poetry could be good

  • Is it different from a woman to use a humility topos?

  • Trying to find to work within the poetic tradition as a female writer

  • Signaling she is just as good as the male writers who falsely use that topos

  • Other scholars say that this is female modesty

    • Women are trained to be modest

    • This isn’t a performance for her, she truly is humble

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“Let Greeks be Greeks, and women what they are.

Men have precedency and still excel,

It is but vain unjustly to wage war;

Men can do best, and women know it well

Preeminence in all and each is yours;

Yet grant some small acknowledgment of ours

And oh ye high flown quills that soar the skies,

And ever with you prey still catch your praise,

If e’er you deign these lowly lines your eyes

Give thyme or parsley wreath, I ask no bays.

This mean and unrefined ore of mine

Will make your glist’ring gold but more to shine

Prologue - Anne Bradstreet

  • Refusing to the bays for the award of the best poetry

  • Carval rejects striving for the bays

    • Does something similar But she says that she don't want this artificial

      • She wants herbs

  • Stanza 7

    • Leave women alone

    • Give women a little credit

  • Stanza 8

    • If you happen to look at her poetry, i’m not asking for a lot, but give me some small acknowledgement like thyme or parsley

  • Hard to know how to interpret the tone of this

  • 7

    • Us vs. them

    • Women are different

    • Men are still in charge, still have all the power

    • What does she mean?

    • What are women? What should women be allowed to be?

    • Whose war is unjust?

      • Is it men supressing women? Or is it women trying to fight for a little acknowledgment?

        • Ambiguous

    • Men still have the power so it is foolish to wage an unjust war

    • Men are foolish to fight against women who don’t have power

  • “Go native”

    • Might go uncivilized if you leave civilization

    • Bradstreet’s poetry - can still live in the colonies and still be english

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“Thou ill-formed offspring of my feeble brain,

Who after birth dist by my side remain,

Till snatched from thence by friends, less wise than true

Who thee abroad, exposed to public view,

Made thee in rags, halting to th’ press to trudge,

Where errors were not lessened (all may judge).

At thy return my blushing was not small,

My rambling brat (in print) should mother call,

I cast thee by as one unfit for light,

Thy visage was so irksome in my sight;”

The Author to Her Book - Anne Bradstreet

  • Common conceit that the author is like a mother and the poem is like their child

  • Textual production comapred to biological/sexual reproduction

  • Usually males use this metaphor

  • How is it different for a female author to do this who has actually given birth?

  • Humulitiy topos

    • Poetry comes out but it’s ill-formed, it;s wearing rags, it’s full of errors

  • Special fears

    • Fear of a monstrous birth

    • Child with birth defects

    • Idea that if a child was born with birth defects, it was the fault of the mother who used her imagination to think about inappropriate things when the child was being conceived

    • No father here

  • Rags

    • Essential to production of paper

    • She’s aware of how paper was produced

    • Book being amde from rags - she knows rags depend on women’s domestic labor

    • Print industry depends on women’s household labor

    • Women are always present in the paper itself even if they don’t get to write on the paper

    • Even though it seems like she’s using this humility topos , she is asserting that women are already apt of the industry, they hsould be allowed to write

    • Inherent ot the print industry

    • “Because print required women’s domestic labor with rags for its material existence, wormn were always already present in print and therfore belong as writers too”

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“Yet mine own, at length affection would

Thy blemishes amend, if so i could:

I washed thy face, but more defects I saw,

And rubbing off a spot, still madea flaw

I stretch thy joints to make thee even feet,

Yet still thou runn'st more hobbling than is meet;

In better dress to trim thee was my mind,

But nought save home-spun cloth, i’ th’ house i find.

In this array ‘mongst vulgars mayst thou roam

In critic’s hands beware thou dost not come,

And take thy way where yet thou art not known;

If for thy father asked, say, thou hadst none;

And for thy mother, she alas is poor,

which caused her thus to send thee out of door.”

The Author to Her Book - Anne Bradstreet

  • My childrens were born with legs of different lenghtsn ad i tried to mainpuate my child’s body to

    • Reference to feet in poetry

  • You can go among commoners

  • 22 - bastard child

  • If there’s no father, then what kind of reproduction is this

  • Both sexual and textual

  • Diaswoving a father being involved sexually and disavoing a father being innolved in the inspiration for the poem

  • Shame to not have a father in this time period

  • Reisst that binary

  • Iti s about women but it’s not necessarily a full turn away from being suverisve

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No sooner come, but gone, and fal’n afleep,

Acquaintance short, yet parting caus’d us weep,

Three flowers, two scarcely blown, the last i’ th’ bud,

Cropt by th’ Almighty’s  hand; yet is He good,

With dreadful awe before him let’s be mute,

Such was His will, but why, let’s not dispute,

With humble hearts and mouths put in the dust.

Let’s say he’s merciful as well as just;.

He will return, and make up all our losses,

And smile again, after our bitter crosses.

Go pretty babe, go rest with sisters twain;

Among the blessed; in endless joys remain.


  • Precision in the title

  • Uncertainty and doubt in poem vs. concrete known of the title

  • What is the speaker saying?

    • In the beginning, they have all died so young but it’s god's decision and he remains good and merciful

      • Even though these terrible losses occurred

      • We should be silent and not complain

    • Don’t question it , let it happen

  • Implication of doubt

    • Let’s be or let’s say

      • Repetition

    • Let’s pretend let’s be mute let’s not dispute let’s say

      • Very different from line 4 saying He is good

    • Let’s say this rather than we believe this, this is absolutely true

  • Is he actually good? Or are we just saying that?

  • How can god be all powerful and a good god yet allow terrible things to happen in the world?

    • Question in paradise lost

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Of man’s first disobedience, and the fruit

Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste

Brought death into the world, and all our woe,

With loss of Eden, till one greater Man

Restore us, and regain the blissful seat,

Sing Heav’nly Muse, that on the secret top

Of Oreb, or of Sinai, dist inspire

That Shepherd, who first taught the chosen seed,

In the beginning how the heav’ns and earth

Rose out of Chaos: or if Sion hill

Delight thee more, and Siloa’s brook that flowed

Fast by the oracle of god; I thence

Invoke thy aid to my advent’rous song,

That with no middle flight intends to soar

Above th’ Aonian mount, while it pursues

Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme

Paradise Lost - John Milton

  • Invocation - ask for help to be a better poet

  • Similar to general prologue of canterbury tales - long sentence - showy

  • Humility topos - generally occurs with innovations

    • Not this

    • My song is so good and it’s going to do something you’ve never done before

  • I don’t have to obey commands

  • My poem will fly high

  • They could obey or not obey

  • Leaves it open

  • Royalist could read it as pro-king

  • Implication is that the greater man is christ

    • Who becomes man

    • Who is better than any human

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And chiefly thou O spirit, that dost prefer

Before all temples th’ upright heart and pure, instruct me, for thou know’st ; thou from the first Wast present, and with might wings outspread

Dove-like stat’st brooding on the vast Abyss

Ad mad’st it pregnant: what in me is dark

Illumine, what is low raise and support;

That to the height of this great argument

I may assert eternal providence,

And justify the ways of god to men

Paradise Lost - John Milton

  • He needs the divine muse to teach him about that

  • He can’t know that on his own

  • Instruct me

  • Covered with education and knowledge

  • Some knowledge is deadly - if you eat from the tree of knowledge you will die

  • He doesn't want take the moderate path, he wants to soar to the highest heights

  • Illumine - imitates the bible “let there be light” - opening of genesis

  • One one hand, milton seems humble

    • Needs your insight

    • I am low, i need you to raise me

  • But he says that imitating god

  • He asks the same thing god asks his creations

  • More bold - he wants to ask for eternal providence and show god is just

    • Not humble

  • Please help me so i can defend God - to show his actions or just

    • Bold thing to claim that you’re poem can do this

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So stretched out huge in length the Arch-fiend lay

Chain’d on the burning Lake, nor ever theme

Had ris’n or heaved his head, but that the will

And high permission of all-ruling Heaven

Left him at large to his own dark designs,

That with reiterated crimes he might

Heap on himself damnation, while he sought

Evil to others, and enraged might see

how all his malice served but to bring forth

Infinite goodness, grace and mercy shown

On man by him seduced , but on himself

Treble confusion, wrath and vengeance poured.

paradise lost - john milton

  • Same paradox before with herbert

    • The fall is necessary because the fall brings all the good things that christ does to forgive and redeem mankind

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Him God beholding from his prospect high,

Wherein past, present, future he beholds,

Thus to his only Son foreseeing spake.

.so will fall

He and his faithless progeny: whose fault?

Whose but his own? Ingrate, he had of me

All he could have; i made him just and right,

Sufficient to have stop, through free to fall

Such i create all the’ ethereal Powers

And Spirits, both them who stood and them who failed;

Freely they stood who stood, and fell who fell

paradise lost - john milton

  • God knows they’re going to fall

  • Thereating , less merciful

    • More focused on justice

  • Bad things happen but because of humankind

  • I created humans and angels with the power to stand , the power to obey , to be good, to do right

    • But i made them free to fall

  • He’s saying don’t blame me, i didn’t cause this

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They therefore as to right belonged,

So were created nor can justly accused

Their maker, or their making , or their fate,

As if predestination overruled

Their will, disposed by absolute decree

Or high foreknowledge; they themselves creed

Their own revolt, not I: if I foreknew,

Foreknowledge had no influence on their fault,

Which had no less proved certain foreknown

So without least impulse or shadow of fate,

Or aught by me immutably foreseen,

They trespass, authors to themselves in all

Both what they judge and what they choose; for os

I formed them free, and free they must remain,

Till they enthrall themselves: i else must change

Their nature, and revoke the high decree

Unchangeable, eternal, which ordained

Their freedom, they themselves ordained their fall.

paradise lost - john milton

  • If god knows they're going to fall, does that mean he caused their fall/

    • God says no

  • God’s experience of the future is like humankind’s experience of the past

    • He can know they’re going to fall, but he did n’t make it happen

  • They od this - creating the problems they have

  • He knows is going to happen and he made them all free so knowing it’s going to happen that angels will rebel and humankind would eat the apple

    • He says he could have changed it, he could have prevented it, but in order to prevent it, he would have to change the nature of humans and angels

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Man shall not quite be lost, but saved who will,

Yet not of will in him,but grace in me

Freely vouchsafed

paradise lost - john milton

  • Not all humans will be lost because god will grant some of them grace

  • Free will leaves humankind to make bad choices but god’s grace will be given to all and some will be saved

  • God is framed and having his own free will

  • Are we supposed to compare stan and god as leaders of hell and heaven in book 1 and book 2 as figures for rule and what kind of justice exists in the world

  • The son, christ also is just getting god to say what god already wanted from the first just like stan’s parliament gets the decision they wanted in the first place

  • Unlike the fallen angels, christ makes his voice out of disobedience

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His words here ended, but his meek aspect

Silent yet spake, and breathed immortal love

To mortal men, above which only sone

Filial obedience: as a sacrifice

Glad to be offered, he attends the wil

Of his great father.

paradise lost - john milton

  • How do you reckon free will and choice?

  • The point here is that we all have the choice to obey or not

  • The son chooses to sacrifice himself for humankind

    • He chooses obedience to his father

  • His loyalty is meaningful because it is a true choice

  • This obedience to his father, this leader figure

    • Nto a tyrannical monarchy

  • Sets god apart from stan or human kings

  • Book 3 offers the explanation or justification for the existence of evil in the world

    • Its humankind's fault or satan's fault that god is all powerful and good and that because of that he gave humankind free will, and it’s our fault if evil happens

    • Not because it’s predetermined or god determined it to happen or he wouldn't intervene, he chooses not to, he chooses not to take away free will

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…horror and doubt distract

His troubled thoughts, and from the bottom stir

The hell within him; for within him hell

He brings, and round about him, nor from hell

One step no more than from himself can fly

By change of place: now conscience wakes despair

That slumbered, wakes the bitter memory

Do what he was, what is, and what must be

Worse; of worse deeds worse sufferings must ensue

paradise lost - john milton

  • Hell is physical and psychological

  • Satan brings hell with him

  • He can’t escape hell anymore he can’t escape himself

  • Even if he could get all he wanted, he would never truly escape hell

    • Which he said was one of its goals

    • He wants to get out of hell

    • But it’s impossible

  • He is hell or his mind is hell

  • Echoes of god’s eternal presences near the end of this section

    • Remembers what he used to be and what the future will be

    • He also sees his past, present, and future just like God could in book 3

  • Suggests satan might have a conscience

    • Through all of his speeches in the early books, he doesn’t remember what happened when he was in heaven as an angel before the rebellion

  • Satan may not seem heroic

  • One of the challenges

  • Why would Milton create sympathy for the devil?

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Ah, wherefore! He deserved no such return

From me, whom he created what i was

In that bright eminence, and with his good

Upbraided none; or was his service hard

paradise lost - john milton

  • Satan hates the sun because it reminds him of what he lost

  • He has regret

    • Why did I rebel against God in the first place?

  • Acknowledges God created him

  • Obedience wasn’t so  ad

  • Resonates differently if you think about this being said during the context of the english war

    • Should you rebel against your king?

  • Even satan knows god was right

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Hadst thou the same free will and power to stand?

Thou hadst: whom hast thou then or what to accuse,

But heav’n’s free love dealt equally to all?


Nay cursed be thou

paradise lost - john milton

  • He blamed his free will

  • God gave us all equal chance to not rebel

  • Why did I rebel?

  • He curses himself

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But say i could repent, and could obtain,

By act of grace, my former state; how soon

Would height recall high thoughts, how soon unsay

What feigned submission swore: ease would recant

Vows made in pain, as violent and void

For never can true reconcilement grow

Where wounds of deadly hate have pierced so deep:

Which would but lead me to a worse relapse,

And heavier fall: so should i purchase dear

Short intermission bought with double smart.

This knows my punisher, therefore as far

From granting he, as i from begging, peace

paradise lost - john milton

  • Conditionals

  • I can’t repent because it would be shameful

  • Even if i could repent, it still wouldn't’ work out

  • He’s saying he would be faking it

    • He wouldn’t really want to repent or

  • If i was removed from my suffering, i would take back my repentance

  • Referring to god as a punisher

  • Now he’s blaming god

  • Because if i repent, will fall again

    • It’s not worth it to beg for mercy from God

  • God is just willing to grant mercy as satan is to ask for it

  • Why does Satan assume he will fall again?

    • He doesn’t truly know if he will fall again or what god will do

    • He assumes

  • It might trick us into believing it or stan into believing it

  • But we should be suspicious

  • The rest of the poem offers the possibility that humankind after they fall will choose differently

    • They will ask for God’s mercy and god will give it

    • Maybe satan is wrong

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All hope exluded thus, behold, instead

Of us outcast, exiled, his new delight,

Makind created, and for him this world

So farewell hope, and, with hope, farewell fear,

Farewell remorse: all good to me is lost;

Evil be thou mygood; by thee at least

Divided empire with heav’n’s king i hold

By thee, and more than half perhaps will reign

paradise lost - john milton

  • Goodbye hope

  • By giving iup hope, he gives up fear and remorse

  • Only hope gives you desire, wishes, and expectations

  • Satan doesn't want those wishes to go unfilled

  • He is truly evil

  • If i can’t have good, i’ll have evil

  • And i can still hold divided emprie with god by ruling hell and by trying to cnquer humankind and earth

  • He threatens to rule even mroe than his half

  • What does it mean to say “evil be thou my good”

    • Does it suggest that the boudnary between an evil and good is porous , it can be crossed easily

    • Is the boundary arbitrary

    • Who determines what is evila nd what is good

  • Is this a turning point?

  • Do you think he was evil and hopless all alnog?

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When I behold this goodly frame,* this world

Of heav'n and earth consisting, and compute

Their magnitudes, this earth a spot, a grain,

An atom, with the firmament compared

And all her numbered stars, that seem to roll

Spaces incomprehensible (for such

Their distance argues and their swift return

Diurnal*) merely to officiate* light

Round this opacous* Earth, this punctual* spot

One day and night; in all their vast survey

Useless besides, reasoning I oft admire,

How Nature wise and frugal could commit

Such disproportions

paradise lost - john milton

  • adams desire for knowlege groves over the course of this single conversation, as his appeitite increases and leans towards knoweldge above his station

  • asks raphael instead of god

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But whether thus these things, or whether not,

Whether the sun predominant in heav'n

Rise on the earth, or earth rise on the sun...

Solicit* not thy thoughts with matters hid,

Leave them to God above, him serve and fear;

Of other creatures, as him pleases best,

Wherever placed, let him dispose: joy thou

In what he gives to thee, this Paradise

And thy faire Eve; heav'n is for thee too high

To know what passes there; be lowly wise:

Think only what concerns thee and thy being;

Dream not of other worlds, what creatures there

Live, in what state, condition or degree,

Contented that thus far hath been revealed

Not of earth only but of highest Heav'n

paradise lost - john milton

  • such broad questions often have no possible answers, becausse god does not intend human beings to comphrehend everything about his creation

    • hierarchy

  • raphael warns adam that she should be satifisied with the knowledge that god has made avaialble and to ressit the urge to gain further understanding outside of the limits he has set

  • even in paradise, there are still limitations to freedom

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Two of far nobler shape erect and tall, \n Godlike erect, with native honor clad \n In naked majesty seemed lords of all, \n And worthy seemed, for in their looks \n divine \n The image of their glorious Maker shone, \n Truth, wisdom, sanctitude severe and pure, \n Severe, but in true filial freedom placed, \n Whence true authority in men; though both \n Not equal, as their sex not equal seemed; \n For contemplation he and valor formed, \n For softness she and sweet attractive grace; \n He for God only, she for God in him.

paradise lost - john milton

  • nakedness ws the proper and holy state of humans before they were corrupted by lust and shame

  • even in paradise, women is subordinate to man

    • man is strong , while owman is soft - gender norms

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As I bent down to look, just opposite, \n A shape within the wat'ry gleam appeared, \n Bending to look on me, I started back, \n It started back, but pleased I soon returned, \n Pleased it returned as soon with answering looks \n Of sympathy and love; there I had fixed \n Mine eyes till now, and pined with vain desire, \n Had not a voice thus warned me: 'What thou seest, \n What there thou seest, fair creature is thyself: \n With thee it came and goes: but follow me, \n And I will bring thee where no shadow stays \n Thy coming, and thy soft embraces, he \n Whose image thou art.... \n what could I do \n But follow straight, invisibly thus led?

paradise lost - john milton

  • eve becomes entranced by her reflection

  • she is easly distrcted by vain surfaces, and also that she herself is a reflection of adam - adam was made in god’s image, while eve was made in adam’s image

  • eve immidiately obeys an invisible voice, foreshadowing how she wil be lster swayed by satan’s sugestions

  • e

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Till I espied thee, fair indeed and tall,

Under a platan, yet methought less fair, [plane tree]

Less winning soft, less amiably mild,

Than that smooth wat'ry image; back I turned,

Thou following cried'st aloud, 'Return, fair Eve,

Whom fli’st thou? Whom thou fli’st, of him thou art,

His flesh, his bone; to give thee being I lent

Out of my side to thee, nearest my heart

Substantial life, to have thee by my side

Henceforth an individual solace dear;

Part of my soul I seek thee, and thee claim

My other half:' with that thy gentle hand

Seized mine, I yielded, and from that time see

How beauty is excelled by manly grace

And wisdom, which alone is truly fair.

paradise lost - john milton

  • eve is created out of adam’s rib, and is therefore less close to god than adam is

  • eve reflects miltons misogynsitic sentiments by addmitting that she is inferior to adam and sbumitting to his call

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I now see

Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, my self

Before me; woman is her name, of man

Extracted; for this cause he shall forgo

Father and mother, and to his wife adhere;

And they shall be one flesh, one heart, one soul

paradise lost - john milton

  • adam immideately falls in love with eve

    • his weakness concerining her beauty

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As new-waked from soundest sleep

Soft on the flow’ry herb I found me laid

In balmy sweat, which with his beams the sun Soon dried, and on the reeking* moisture fed. [steaming]

Straight toward heav'n my wond’ring eyes I turned,

And gazed a while the ample sky

paradise lost - john milton

  • adam’s cretion story is different from eve’s, showing how he is both superior and closer to god

  • he wakes up in the sunlight instead of the shade, and he immediately knows hte true names of htings, instead of being distracted by reflections like eve was

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That day I oft remember, when from sleep \n I first awaked, and found my self reposed \n Under a shade on flowers, much wond’ring where \n And what I was, whence thither brought, and how. \n Not distant far from thence a murmuring sound \n Of waters issued from a cave and spread \n Into a liquid plain, then stood unmoved \n Pure as th' expanse of Heav'n; I thither went \n With unexperienced thought, and laid me down \n On the green bank, to look into the clear \n Smooth lake, that to me seemed another sky

paradise lost - john milton

  • women are inherently inferior to men and should ‘submit to them’

  • eve awakens in the shade, separated from God’s light, and she imediately becomes entranced by her reflection

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Sad task, yet argument

Not less but more heroic than the wrath

Of stern achilles on his foe pursued

Thrice fugitive about troy wall

paradise lost - john milton

  • Who is the hero?

  • 1st book - satan tries to be the hero

  • Adam consistently represents the figure of the epic

  • Unlike heroes, adam doesn’t beat up satan

  • Milton criques the romantic knight, the tiltin (jousting)

    • Adam is in some ways more heroic than achilles

  • Adam has a sense of virtue and right which makes him a hero

    • He has a tragic flaw

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So saying, through eahc thicket dank or dry,

Like a black mist low creeping, he held on

His midnight search, where soonest he might ifnd

The serpent: him fast sleeping soon he found

In labyrinth of many a round self-rolled,

His head the midst, well stored with subtle wiles:

Not yet in horrid shade or dismal den,

Nor nocent yet, but on the grassy herb

Fearless unfeared

he slept: in at his Mouth \n The Devil entered, and his brutal sense, \n In heart or head, possessing soon inspired \n With act intelligential; but his sleep [ 190 ] \n Disturbed not, waiting close [hidden] th' approach of \n Morn

paradise lost - john milton

  • satan has totally devolvedi n his transformations now

  • image of a maze returns as a negative image of forbidden knowledge, which leads one to become lost

  • the snake'‘s labrythine body thus becomes a living symbol of devlish complexity

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If this be our condition, thus to dwell

In narrow circuit straitened by a foe,

Subtle or violent ,we not endured

Single with like defense, wherever met,

How are we happy, still in fear of harm?

So spake the patriarch of mankind, but eve

Persisted, yet submiss, thought last, replied…

paradise lost - john milton

  • How can eve be happy if she is in fear

  • Satan - more about pride

  • Eve shares a kind of kinship of a satan

    • She is a copy of copy

    • Subservient to adam

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Fairest resemblance of thy maker fair,

Thee all things living gaze on, all things thine

By gift, and thy celestial beauty adore

With ravishment beheld, there best beheld

Where universally admired; but here

In this enclosure wild, these beasts among,

Beholders rude, and shallow to discern

Half what in theei s fair, one man except,

Who sees thee (and what is one ?) who shoudst be seen

A goddess among gods , adored and served

By angels numberless, thy daily train

paradise lost - john milton

  • Satan’s mental heal

  • He tell us that literal hell is greater than servitude because he can play hn his own imagination

  • Eve has to be subservient

    • She is below adam

    • A copy of a copy

  • Satan beings his plot by flattering her

    • Pretends to be a servant

    • Uses her vanity

  • Goddess among gods

    • Displacses th singularity of gods

    • Elevates eve

  • He uses this kind of petarchan language to woo her

  • Something sexual about it

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Those righid threats of death; ye shall not die:

How should ye? By the fruit? It gives you life

To knowledge. By the treat’ner? Look on me,

Me who have touched and tasted, yet both live,

And life more perfect have attained than fate

Meant me, by ben’tring higher than my lot

Shall that be shut to man, which to the beast

Is open? Or will god increase his re

For such a petty trespass, and not praise

Rather your dauntless virtue [courage], whom the pain

Of death denounced, whatever thing death be,

Deterred not from achieving what might lead

To happier life, knowledge of good and evil;

Of good, how just? Of evil, if what is evil

Be real, why not known, since easier shunned?

God therefore cannot hurt ye, and be just;

Not just, not God; not feared then nor obeyed.

paradise lost - john milton

  • satan is trying to convince eve to eat the fruit

  • eve is rightfully a goddess, and she should not have to submit to god simply based on his arbitrry commandement

  • he uses earlier flattery nd barrge of arguemnts, which wins her over

  • falliacious argument

    • forbidding knoweldge of good and evil is unjsut

    • god must be just

    • Therefore he would be unjust, and not God

    • Threat of death should not be feared then. Since being unjust would mean he was not God, and being just means he would not punish her

    • Of course... all assumed on the predicate thatforbidding knowledge is unjust

  • is forbiding knowledge unjust?

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But if death \n Bind us with after-bands, what profits then \n Our inward freedom? In the day we eat \n Of this fair fruit, our doom is, we shall die. \n How dies the serpent? He hath eat’n and lives, \n And knows, and speaks, and reasons, and discerns, \n Irrational till then. For us alone \n Was death invented? Or to us denied \n This intellectual food, for beasts reserved? \n For beasts it seems: yet that one beast which first \n Hath tasted, envies not, but brings with joy \n The good befall’n him, author unsuspect, \n Friendly to man, far from deceit or guile. \n What fear I then, rather what know to fear \n Under this ignorance of good and evil, \n Of God or death, of law or penalty? \n Here grows the cure of all, this fruit divine, \n Fair to the eye, inviting to the taste, \n Of virtue to make wise: what hinders then \n To reach, and feed at once both body and mind?

paradise lost - john milton

  • Eve’s desires an inward freedom but fears death

  • She starts to sound like satan

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Shall I to him make known \n As yet my change, and give him to partake \n Full happiness with me, or rather not, \n But keep the odds of knowledge in my power \n Without copartner? so to add what wants [lacks] \n In female sex, the more to draw his love \n And render me more equal, and perhaps, \n A thing not undesirable, sometime \n Superior; for inferior who is free?

paradise lost - john milton

  • Goes from equal to superior - similar to what satan does

  • Wants adam to join her

  • She wants him so he goes to cinvince him

  • She becomes a mini satan

  • The enemy can’t convince him but eve can convince him

  • She ends up turning against adam

  • Adam is not without his own faults

  • Unlike satan, her desire seems more geniuine

    • She has a genuine love

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How can i live without thee, how forgo

Thy sweet converse and love so dearly joined,

To live agin inthese wild woods forlorn?

Should god create naother even, and i

another rib afford, yet loss of thee

Would never from my heart; no no, i feel

The link o f nature draw me: flesh of flesh

Bone of my bone thou art, and from thy state

Mine never shall be parted, lbiss or woe

paradise lost - john milton

  • Oneness in them

  • He values this more than staying in paradise

  • adam’s weakness - uxiourness

  • placing his love for eve above his love for god, which upsets god’s proper order

  • innocent flaws - these flaws can lead to fully-fledged sin in the right situation

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He [satan] ended, and his words replet with guile

Into her heart too easy entrance won:

Fixed on the fruit she gazed, which t obehiold

Might tempt alone, and in her ears the sound

Yet rung of his persuasive words, impregned

Wit reason, to her seeming ,ad iwth truth

paradise lost - john milton

  • Satan is part of the fall, integral to why this occurred

  • He’s almost liek a forceo fnature

  • All of his designs fit within god’s plan

  • The poem tell us for eve that satans

  • Already has these conerns beforehead, she wants to believe

  • Although it was easy she still was deceived

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She gave him of that fair enticing fruit

With liberal hand: he scrupled not to eat

Against his better knowledge, not decieved,

But fondly overcome with female charm

paradise lost - john milton

  • adams’s fall as a hero

  • he willing disobeys god, aware that what he is doing is wrong

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“Was I to have never parted from thy side? \n As good have grown there still a lifeless rib. \n Being as I am, why didst not thou the head \n Command me absolutely not to go, \n Going into such danger as thou saidst? \n Too facile then thou didst not much gainsay [oppose], \n Nay didst permit, approve, and fair dismiss. \n Hadst thou been firm and fixed in thy dissent, \n Neither had I transgressed, nor thou with me.”

paradise lost - john milton

  • blaming each other

  • the eve milton portrays is a weak woman who brings harms to others and then blames them for it

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“I also erred in overmuch admiring \n What seemed in thee so perfect, that I thought \n No evil durst attempt thee, but I rue \n That error now, which is become my crime, \n And thou th’ accuser. Thus it shall befall \n Him who to worth in women overtrusting \n Lets her will rule; restraint she will not brook [accept], \n And left to herself, if evil thence ensue, \n She first his weak indulgence will accuse.”

  • mysognisitic

  • blmes eve entierely even though adam knows that eating the fruit would lead to their fall

  • his flaw was seeing that eve was perfect but she is not

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Upon thy belly groveling thou shalt go,

And dust shalt eat all the days of thy life

Between thee and the woman i will put

Enmity, and between thine and her seed:

Her seed shall bruise thy head, thou bruise his heel

paradise lost - john milton

  • God's punishment for the serpent is to crawl on the ground

  • You and humankind will have this dislike of each other and you can both punish each other

    • Snakes can bite humans, but humans can step on snakes

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…though all by me is lost,

Such favor i unworthy am vouchsafed,

By me the promised seed shall all restore

paradise lost - john milton

  • Such an unworthy person am promised this wonderful reward

  • She realizes that the seed won't be just people stepping on serpents but christ defeating satan and death

  • But it is through women, that humankind will be redeemed

    • It is through childbirth which is a curse but through miraculous pregnancy to come that humankind is ultimately redeemed

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“Did i request thee, maker, from my clay

to mold me man?”

paradise lost - john milton

  • Adam is questioning everything and his existence

  • Why did god make him if he knew it would be like this

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“Out of my sight, thou serpent…

But for thee

I had persisted happy”

paradise lost - john milton

  • Adam calls eve a serpent and blames her directly for their suffering

  • If it weren’t for

  • He laments that god made women

  • Adam knew what he was doing when he ate the apple

  • Adam needs eve to her to pull him out of this cycle of despair

    • Without eve, adam would turn like satan

  • It is eve who snaps adams out

  • And convinces him to work together and ask god for mercy

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She ended weeping, and her lowly plight

Immovable till peace obtained from fault

Acknowledged and deplored, in adam wrought

Commiseration; soon his heart relented

Towards her, his life so late and sole delight,

Now at his feet submissive in duress,

Creature so fair his reconcilement seeking

His counsel whom she had displeased, his aid

As one disarmed, his anger all he lost

paradise lost - john milton

  • He moved to pity eve because she is submissive

  • Misogynistic

  • He is moved because she positions him as superior

  • She has to see his forgiveness, his advice, his aid

  • That ‘s what makes him lose her anger

  • She is modeling for adam what they both need to do to God

  • She is a copy of a copy

    • She has to throw herself at adam and humiliate herself so he can moved to pity her as a model for both humans should have to go to God and be submissive god, seek god's advice, move him to lose all his anger

  • It is eve who makes humankind fall but it is also eve who redeems adam , who pulls him out of this suicidal lament

    • By part by being submissive but also in part wanting to be reunited

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...then wilt thou not be lath

To leave this paradise, but shalt possess

A paradise within thee, happier far

paradise lost - john milton

  • If you live well, you can have paradise inside you

  • Contrast satan who can’t flee from hell because he brings it psychologically

  • Adam and eve can bring paradise wherever they go

    • Paradise is an inner being or a psychological state

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Henceforth i learn, that to obey is best

And love with fear the only God..

And on him sole depend,

Merciful over all his works, with good

Still overcoming evil

paradise lost - john milton

  • He’s saying he figured out his problem was uxiourness

    • Depend on god, not eve

  • Has Milton achieved his promise for his first sentence of book 1?

    • Has he justified the ways of God to men?

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The world was all before them, where to choose

Their place of rest, and Providence their guide:

They hand in hand with wand’ring steps and slow,

Through Eden took their solitary way

paradise lost - john milton

  • Satan is attempting to colonize earth

  • In this case, adam and eve would be innocent

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There oft the Indian hersman shunning heat

Shelters in cool, and tends his pasturing herds

At loopholes cut through thickest shade: those leaves

They gathered, broad as amazonian target,

And with what skill they had, together sewed,

To gird their waist, vain covering if to hide

their guilt and dreaded shame. O how unlike

To that first naked glory. Such of late

columbus found the american so gift

With feathered picture, naked else and wild

Among the trees on isles and woody shores

paradise lost - john milton

  • Adam and eve are dressed like native peoples

  • In one view, imperial associated with satan

  • Also possible to argue adam and eve are the lords of this new world

  • Even if we look in milton’s other writing, it’s hard to say how he feels about conquest

  • Complicated image

  • Hints In paradise lost that miton is thinking about england and its place to the larger world specifically colonialism and conquest

  • By the time milton is writing, it is a cliche to say americas is like a new eden

    • People in england talking about americas like a new world and that new world is a place of great abundance and prosperity , with no people (problematic) that they can come and conquer and take advantage of

    • But the fear is - will there be another fall?

  • Set up to imagine eden as a new world and therefore it can be linked to americas as the new world

  • Hard to figure out what exactly milton’s attitude is to this

  • Adam and eve are like conquer figures - they could go anywhere they want

  • He’s all for england conquering ireland, but anti spanish conquest of the americas

    • Because he’s not catholic

  • He equates adam and eve to native people at their moment of shame and most vulnerability

    • Problematic to frame native people as innocent, uncivilized, untouched by western europe as adam and eve are presented as pure, perfect

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“I do not pretend, in giving you the

history of this royal slave, to entertain

My reader with adventures of a feigned

Hero, whose life and fortunes fancy

may manage at the poet’s pleasure; nor in

Relating the truth, design to adorn it with

Any accidents but such as arrived in

Earnest to him. And it shall come simply

Into the world, recommended by its own

Proper merits and natural intrigues;

There benign enough of reality to support

It, and to render it diverting, without the addition of invention”

oroonoko - aphra behn

  • She asserts the story is entertaining enough that she doesn't have to lie

  • She insists that this is true

  • She’s changed nothing, she’s made nothing

    • You can trust me as a narrator

  • Diversion

    • What does it mean for a story to be diverting?

    • What are we being diverted from?

  • She’s rejecting some of the ornamentation and language of 16th century poetry

  • It begins with the first person pronoun

  • How can you be royal and a slave?

    • Class and hierarchy are really important to this story

  • Oronooko maintains his status as royal matters even when he is enslaved

    • He is different from the other enslaved africans because he is royal

    • He thinks this matters

    • Turns out to be a false belief to remain royal while enslaved

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“I was myself an eyewitness to a great part

Of what you will find here set down, and

What i could not be witness of, I received

Form the mouth of the chief actor in this

History, the hero himself, who gave us the

Whole transactions of his youth; and

Though i shall omit for brevity’s sake, a

Thousand little accidents of his life which,

However pleasant to us, where history was

Scarce and adventures very rare, yet might

Prove tedious and heavy to my reader, in a

World where he finds diversions for every

Minute, new and strange. But we who

Were perfectly charmed with the character

Of this great man were curious to gather

Every circumstance of his life.”

oroonoko - aphra behn

  • Exert narrative control to tell certain details and to not tell other details

  • Still talking I, but using WE and US

    • Us and we imply a separate they

  • She repeats that truth claim

    • But then admits, she’s exerting narrative control

    • She’s leaving things out pleasant because there wasn’t a lot of history and adventures

    • Who gets to make this decision? What is entertaining and what isn’t?

      • What other kinds of narrative control and decisions the narrator is making about what to include and what to leave out?

  • Diversions - appears again

    • Pleasure, entertainment, things that can divert you from your boredom

    • In other places, diversions will become dangerous

      • They will divert people from the truth

  • Narrator isn’t identifying with her readers but with the world of suriname

  • New and strange

    • Is England the new world? Collecting all this entertainment? And South America isn’t?

  • She keeps on representing herself as a collector

    • She collects stories

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“But before i give you the story of this gallant slave, ‘tis fit i tell you

The manner of bringing them to these new colonies, for those they

make use of there are not natives of the place; for those we live

With in perfect amity, without daring to command ‘em, but on the

Contrary caress ‘em with all the brotherly and friendly affection in

The world, trading with ‘em for their fish, venison, buffaloes, skins,

And little rarities; as marmosets, a sort of monkey as big as a rat or

Weasel but of marvelous and delicate shape, and has face and

Hands like a human creature…for skins of prodigious snakes, of

Which there are some threescore yards in length; as is the skin of

one that may be seen at his majesty's antiquaries’; where are also

Some rare flies of amazing forms and colors, presented to ‘em by

Myself, some as big as my fist, some less, and all of various

Excellencies, such as art cannot imitate. Then we trade for

Feathers, which they order into all shapes, make themselves little

Short habits of’em and glorious wreaths for their heads, necks,

Arms, and legs, whose tinctures are unsaveable. “

oroonoko - aphra bhen

  • She is diverting herself from her own story by going on this digression

  • She tells us the exchange of the trade with the native peoples of south america

  • The description is commodified

    • It’s about exchange value

    • It’s about the goods they think are valuable

    • Everything has a value or not

  • Shifts in the catalog

    • Supposed to tell us about enslaved people, but tells us animals instead

  • Exotic animals takes over the story of human beings

  • She emphasizes the things in suriname are so beautiful and wondrous that they can’t be imagined or imitated fully by art

    • The insects, feathers, cannot be represented by art although she tries

  • She makes clear to us that she is in complicit in the acquisition of goods in south america and importing them to england

    • Says it's for science

    • But what else is she collecting?

    • Is she imaging oroonoko as a specimen to be put on display in england

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“The royal slave i had the honor to know in my travels to

The other world; and though i had none above me in that

Country, yet i wanted power to preserve this great man”

  • She couldn’t save him for death

  • She refers to herself as a collector of him and his story

    • Making him something like an object rather than a full human being

  • even in death, she is still exerting control over him

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“The beads they weave into aprons bout a quarter of an ell

Long, and of the same breadth; working them very prettily in

flowers of several colors; which apron they wear just before

‘Em, as Adam and Eve did the fig leaves… And these people

represented to me an absolute idea of the first state of

innocence, before man knew how to sin. And ‘tis msot

evident and plain that simple nature is the most harmless,

Inoffensive, and virtuous mistress. ‘This she alone, if she were

Perimmitted,, that better instructs the world than all the

Inventions of man. Religion would here but destroy that

Tranquility they possess by ignorance; and laws would but

teach’em to know offense, of which now they have no notion.”

oroonoko - aphra behn

  • Compares native people directly to adam and eve

  • Linking the clothing of native people to adam and eve’s fig leaves (first clothing)

  • Idealized the indigenous people

    • Represent humankind before the fall

    • Before they could even sin or know how to

  • Noble savage

    • They should be left alone, should not be corrupted by english idea

  • A state of innocence exists here

  • Don’t teach them things they don’t need to know

  • Is it better to be religious on accident to live well than potentially corrupted by empty christianity

  • Is a fall always necessary?

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I entertained him with the lives of the Romans, and great

men, which charmed him to my company; and her, with

teaching her all the pretty works that I was mistress of, and

telling her stories of nuns, and endeavoring to bring her

to the knowledge of the true God. but of all discourse Caesar

Liked that the worst, and would never be reconciled to our

Notions of the Trinity, of which he ever made a jest; it was a

Riddle, he said, would turn his brain to conceive, and one

Could not make him understand what faith was. However,

These conversations failed not altogether so well to divert

Him that he liked the company of us women much above

The men, for he could not drink, and he is but an ill

Companion in that country that cannot. Os that obliging him

To love us very well, we had all the liberty of speech with

Him, especially myself, who he called his great mistress,

And indeed my word would go a great way with him

oroonoko - aphra behn

  • Most striking feature of oroonoko is he is incapable of mistrust

    • Tragic flaw being too trustworthy

    • Too often he believes someone who is lying to him

      • Or trusts whatever people say

  • Connects that to religion

  • Tells oroonoko that he will be treated differently from other enslaved Black people

  • Tells him story so that he won’t rebel

    • Gets biography of great men

  • Innuendo She gets domestic labor and religion

  • He likes hanging with the girls because he doesn’t drink

  • Gendered division of stories

  • Implies a form of chastity

    • Fear among many of the people on the plantation that innuendo might have sex

    • The white men might rape her is a thing oroonoko fear and the other white men fear of each other

    • That her sexuality needs to be contained , they need to be protected from it

    • She is already pregnant - they know she’s had sex but she’s tempting all the men

  • Is the chaisty meant to protect them from her? Or her from them?

  • Misunderstanding / category confusion

    • The narrator seems to conflate faith and religion as institution

    • Just because he’s not christian doesn’t mean he has a lack of faith

      • In fact, oroonoko has too much faith

        • He just doesn’t have christian faith

        • So the narrator cannot recognize oroonoko's moral code as faith

  • The narrator admits she’s complicit in diverting him from actions that the white people don’t want him to take

    • “I entertain” “he preferred “great mistress”

    • Also diverting us the audience

    • We are also captive listeners of her story

  • Petrarchan love object

    • Doesn’t imply that she has total power over oroonoko

      • Her power is that she is an object of attraction

    • However, he is supposed to be in love with imoinda

    • Contest between the narrator and imoinda in

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They fed him from day to day with promises,

And delayed him till the lord governor should

Come; so that he began to suspect them of

Falsehood, and that they would delay him till

The time of his wife’s delivery, and make a

Slave of that too, for all the breed is theirs to

Whom the parents belong

oroonoko - aphra behn

  • Comes because imoinda is pregnant

  • Reason this matters to oroonoko goes back to ideas on 16th centuries

  • If the child is born on the plantation would be the property of the plantation owners

  • He thinks he is in a royal slave so the child will belong to him

  • “Breed”

    • Narrator describes them more as animals

  • Oroonoko is not entirely innocent

    • In africa, oroonoko was also a slave trader

    • His objection to being enslaved is not necessarily to all slavery or to the enslavement of africans, but to his OWN enslavement

      • Parlty class-based

      • He is nobel therefore he shouldn’t be enslaved

    • Some see narrator as complicit in the

  • Narrator essentially wins even though she doesn’t preserve oroonoko in the ways she hoped to

  • She does paint african people in a more favorable light but she does not give us a good female character

    • Imoinda stays silent and is a boring character

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I ought to tell you that the christains never buy an slaves but they

Give ‘em some name of their own, their native ones being liekly

Ery barbarous and hard to pronounce; so that Mr. Trefry gae

Oroonoko that of Caesar, whic hname wil live in that country as

Long as that (scarce more) glorious one of the great Roman: for

‘Tis most evident he wanted no party of the personal courage of

that Caesar, and acted things as memorable, had they been done

in some part of the world replensihed with people nad historians

that might have given him his due. But his misfortune was to fall

in an obscure world, that afforded only a female pen to celebrate

his fame; though i doubt not but it had lived from others’

endeavors if the Dutch, who immiedaitely after his time took that

country, had not killed, banished, and dispersed all those that

were capable of giving the world

oroonoko - aphra behn

  • Oroonooko was worthy writing about, but he only has a woman to write about his story

  • humility topos

  • He is like Caesar

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His face was not of that brown, rusty black whic most of that naiton

are, butt a perfect ebony, or polished jet. His eyes were the most

awful that could be seen, and very piercing; the white of ‘em begin

like snow, as were his teeth. His nose was rising and Roman, isntead

of African and flat; his mouth the ifnest shaped that could be seen,

Far from those great turnedlips whic hare so natural to the rest of

the negories. The whole proportion and air of his face was so noble

and exactly formed that, bating his color, there could be nothing in

nature more beautiful, agreeable, and handsome… nor did the

peorctions of his mind come short of those of his pearson; for his

discourse was admirable upon almost nay subject: and whoever had

heard him speak would have been convinced of their eerrors, that all

fine wit is confined to the white men, especially to those of

Christendom; and would have confessed that Oroonoko was as

capable even of reiginin well, and governing as wisely, had as

great a soul, as politic madims, and was as sensible of power, as any

prince civilized in the most refined schools of humanity and learning

or the most illustrious courts

oroonoko - aphra behn

  • He’s the best Black you could be but he’s still Black

  • She reads his body as a mrker of his class

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and though from her being carved in fine flowers and \n birds all over her body, we took her to be of quality \n before, yet when we knew Clemene was Imoinda, we \n could not enough admire her. \n I had forgot to tell you that those who are nobly \n born of that country are so delicately cut and rased all \n over the forepart of the trunk of their bodies, that it \n looks as if it were japanned, the works being raised like \n high point round the edges of the flowers. Some are only \n carved with a little flower or bird at the sides of the \n temples, as was Caesar; and those who are so carved \n over the body resemble our ancient Picts that are \n figured in the chronicles, but these carvings are more

oroonoko - aphra behn

  • reading imoinda’s body as a work of art

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“Look ye, ye faithless crew,” said he,

“Tis not life I seek, nor am i afraid of

Dying,” and at that word, cut a piece

Of flesh from his own thorat, and

Threw it at ‘em; “yet still i would live

If i could, till i had perfected my

Revenge. But oh! It cannot be; i feel

Life gliding from my eyes and heart;

And if i make not haste, i shall fall a

Victim to the shameful whip.” a that,

He ripped up his own belly, and took

His bowels and pulled ‘em out, with

What strength he could; while some,

On their knees imploring, besought

Him to hold his hand

oroonoko - aphra behn

  • He can’t rebel anymore, he’s too weak

  • But he can assert agency in two

    • Over his body

    • And over the plantation men

  • Symbolic mutilation

    • He cuts his throat and then his belly

    • When he killedi moinda - he cut her throat and her belly

  • Symbolically association with the people of surendom

  • When the narrator saw the people of surnedom do that as bodies replacing words

  • Heroic tragedy

  • “Faithles crew”

    • Same thing the narrator said of oroonoko earlier

    • He is asserting he has the superior idea of waht faith truly is

    • Not a christian instituion, but keeping your word

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He had learned to take tobacco; and when he was assured he

Should die, he desisred they would give him a pipe in hsi mouth,

ready lighted, which they did; and the executioner came,

and first cut off his member, and threw them into the fire; after

That, with an ill-favored knife, they cut his ears, and his nose,

And burned them, he still smoked on, as if nothing had touched him. Then they hacked off one of his arms, and still he

Bore up, and held his pipe; but at the cutting off the other arm,

His head sunk, and his pipe dropped, ad he gave up the ghost,

Without a goran or a reproach. My mother and siter were by

Him all the while, but not suffered to save him, so rude and

Wild were the rabble, and so inhuman were the jsutices, who

Sotod by to see the exwecutrion, who after paid dealry enough

For their insolence

oroonoko - aphra behn

  • Can’t even let him die by him killing himself

  • They have a executioner come and reasseert control over oroonoko’s body

    • His member gets cut first - he is castrated

    • His ability to preroduce

  • She disavows responsiblity for what’s happened

  • “I wasn’t even there” and even if i was i couldn’t have stopped them

  • Yet, this whole story has been about diverting us

  • Scholars argued that ending this story from tragedy diverts the story the political

  • Ends in personal tragedy

  • A kidn of fantasy, romance , fiction , rather than the reality of Black people rebelling against white plantation owenrs

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“For, i am not covetous, but as ambitious

as ever any of my sex was, is, or can be; which is

The cause, that though i cannot be Henry the

Fifth, or charles the second, yet, i endeavor to

be margaret the first; and, although i have

neither power, time nor occasion to conquer

the world as Alexander and Caesar did; yet

rather than not be mistress of one, since

fortune and the fates would give me none, I

have made one of my own”

the blazing world - cavendish

  • I don’t want wealth, I want power

  • I can’t conquer the physical world, so i am going to create my own world that i can rule

  • Royalist - not discredit the place of kings

    • She’s fine with the existence of kings, she wishes to have empresses and queens

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“And as for the ordinary sort of men in that part of the world where the emperor resided,

they were of several complexions; not white, black, tawny, olive or ash-colored, but some

appeared of an azure, some of a deep purple, some of a grass-green, osme of a scarlet,

some of an orange-color, etc. which colors and complexions, whether they were amde by the

bare relection of light, wihtout the assistance of small particles; or by the help of well-ranged

And ordered atomsl or by a continual agitation of little globules; or by some pressing and re-

Acting motion, i am not able to determine. The rest of the inhabitants of that world, were

Men of serveral different sorts, shapes, figures, dispositions, and humors as i have already

Made mention, heretofore; some where bear-men, some worm-men, some fish- or mear-

Men, otherwise called sirens; some bird-men, some ant-men, some geese-

Men, some spider-men, some lic-emen, some fox-men, some ape-men, some jackdaw-men

Some magpie-men, some parrot-men, some satyrs, some gaints, and many more, which i

Cannot all remember; and of these several sorts of men, each followed such a profession as

Was most proper for the nature of their species, which the empress encourage them in,

Especially those that had applied thesmelves to the study of several srts and sciences,  for they were as ingenious and witty in the invention of profitable and useful arts, as we are in

Our world, nay, more; and to that end she erected schools, and founded several socieities”

the blazing world - cavendish

  • Many type of exotic beings that could be

  • Skin color - mocking the scientific theory of racial difference

  • They do have sicence, governme,t, knowledge, royalism

  • It seems like cavendish is at least imaginging a noneuropean world that has knowledge, skills, things that europeans might value

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“My ambition isn ot only to be empress, but authoress of a whole

world … which creation was mroe easily and suddenly effected, than

the conquests of the two famous monarchs of the world, alexander

And caesar: neither have i amde such disturbances, and caused so

many dissolutions of particulars, otherwise naemd deaths, as they

did.. And if any hsould like the world i have made, and be willing to be

my subejcts, they may imaingine themselves such, and they are such, I

Mean in their minds, fancies or imaginations; but if they cannot

Endure to be subjects, they may create worlds of their won, and

govern themsekves as they please: but yet let them have a care, not to

prove unjust usurpers, and to rob me of mine”

the blazing world - cavendish

  • You can be my subject or can rule your own world

  • Maintains a hierarchy of gender and race

  • As much as theres a fantasy of women and people of color ruling and being smart, she still maintains a hierarhcy

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