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Poetry of the late 16th Century

Lyric Poetry
o accompanied by a lyric
o undefined speaker
o highly personal
o emotional
o contemplative
o 14 lines
o iambic pentameter
o 2 types:
o Italian Petarchian
named after Petrarch
best sonnet writer
octave set up in pattern: abbaabba
sestet different direction: cdecde
always feature unrequited love
Petrarchs love is Lara
blond, blue eyes, beautiful, chaste = ideal women
Astrophelenes Stella
o English Shakespearean
3 quatrains: set up situation
couplet: resolution
sequence written, but may stand alone or fit together


Born in 1564 April 23rd or 24th?

in Stratford on Avon
appears in London is 1581
Lord Chamberlains Men
1599 Globe Theater build
o became actor, playwright, owner, and writer
o Chronicle History Plays (1592-1598)
like Richard II, III, Henry IV, ect.
social warning of consequences of war
o Tragedies (1592-1598)
Romeo and Juliet

o Comedies (1592-1598)
Comedy of Errors
o Romantic Comedies (1598-1602)
Much Ado About Nothing
o Great Tragedies (1602-1610)
Hamlet, Macbeth, ect.
o Romances (Tragic Comedy) (1610)
o First Folio
published after death
very popular playwright, so he never published works b/c of stealing
some felt he would be lost if not published, so employees/actors published first
o Sonnets
1-126: Young Man unknown person
127-154: Dark Lady degrading object of desires
One Basic Metaphor
third quatrain, first quatrain, then second quatrain
key to understand poem is unlocking meaning
every sonnet = different metaphor
Beginning Tool
Imperative, Proverbial Statement, Reminiscence
helps reader understand
monkey wrench
ideal of eternal love shaken by age
power of love
power of friendship
permanence of poetry


prince of Denmark
mid 20s
fathers funeral Hamlet Sr.
mom marries uncle Claudius
Hamlet was close to his mother
becomes very depressed
encounters ghost of father
o ghosts tells Hamlet that Claudius kills him
o also tells Hamlet to avenge his death
if this is true: Hamlet cant tell anyone
he quickly killed off Hamlet Sr., what could stop him from weak little Hamlet Jr.
We need to:
o examine roll of the Ghost
o examine Horatio
o examine Ophelia
Topics to be discussed:
o Heroic code vs. Christian code
heroic code = kill uncle
Christian code = forgive 7 times 77
socially acceptable behavior?
kill him and take over vs. turn the other cheek and forgive
o man of action vs. man of intellect
o dysfunctional family roles
see book for annotations

important parts
o Fortinbras threat and not even considered half the time
o Is the ghost real?
yes: why doesnt mom see it?
no: then why even mention it?
o Hamlet doesnt like fact that mom and Claudius are fornicating so often
o principle: do your job, if not, should be overthrown
o Hamlets character flaw: cant make up his mind
o Fortinbras = Hamlets foil
o Is Gertrude good/bad?
does exactly what she is expected to do (job) = good
o Ophelias death
o Act 5 Scene 1