ENG303H1 Lecture Notes - Pathetic Fallacy, Bier, Elegy

23 views3 pages
Published on 22 Jan 2013
School
Department
Course
Professor
Page:
of 3
Protestant Work Ethic anxiety (election?) -> labour (sign?) -> consolation (grace, if
you’re chosen…) beginning and end converge
Sonnet 7: octavo (unripe) -> sestet (in strictest measure) -> couplet (if I have grace)
Beginning and end converge
sola fide, sola gratia (faith alone, grace alone), faith, not works, Calvinist predestination
Theme of exact fulfillment, divine predestined lot mimicked and fulfilled in sonnet form,
“strictest measure even”
Discipline of sonnet form help him work through constellation, comfort
Vocation, election and salvation
Consoling self through using scripture
Parable of the Talents and Parable of Workers in the Vineyard
Sonnet 7 and reference to great Taskmasters -> Talents/Vineyard… Time leads me and
the will of Heaven, if I have grace to use it so…
Milton mobilizing talents, needs to justify that has a gift of God, sin to waste it
Third servant who got cast out into darkness, teeth gnashing…
Can’t help but identify with third servant (only given 1 talent, not risking it…)
Workers -> assurance that whenever one comes to salvation, will be saved
Church and Government
God requires work (anxiety) vs consoling (anxiety again)
Both parables converge with anxieties
Milton inherent qualities in all vs elitist
Doesn’t matter when he produces/works, will be rewarded with strictest measure,
accepted by God
“will” in parable and Milton (servants have will to do something, Milton has will of
heaven)
cycle of vanity -> realizing vanity -> vanity… reflection on being taskmaster himself?
Punning and playing, cycle
Taskmaster God?
Tension, eye of God always watching, intimidating
Letter to a Friend
Sonnet 7 enclosed in this letter 1633
Anonymous friend, most likely clergyman, context of recent encounter in which friend
criticized Milton for not doing anything in his life/delay in taking orders of becoming
minister
Lengths Milton goes to explain himself
Obscure and unserviceable to mankind… going to give an account of tardy moving
Acknowledge chosen path may not be natural
Nature would usually draw man to other things (get a house, marry) or draw him to
fame (hasten to publish and make mark on world)
Talks of studying as poor, regardless sin of curiosity… cuts self from action and become
helpless creature… acknowledge not ideal or natural path but chose for himself
Start with one parable reference to the other (talents -> vineyard)
Has talent, but waits with religious advisement how best to undergo, not worrying it’s
late, using advantage to be more fit… holding off on meaning of parable of talents,
thinking through -> don’t have to invest talent right away, have to think through plan
Evoking parable in certain way but not giving it justice, fitting more to other parable,
forgetting about the past one
Faith alone, grace alone -> also important to get out of the intermediary pretenses, have
copy of bible in original and vernacular… act of reading is Protestant gesture, like
writing poem (reading and working through scripture self)
Lessons of parable being negotiated to his advantage
Lycidas
Addressing plants (Laurels, Myrtles, Ivy…)
Laurels represent poets, Patrarch crowned with all 3
Middle of traditions, suggestion of calling on Laurels -> referencing back to past poets,
doing it again… referencing pastoral poetry from before
Lycidas common Greek pastoral name
Conventionalized mode by Milton’s time
Pastorals about shepherds but not really… idealizing rural life
Different tones of “Yet once more” opening -> dramatic, melancholy, ironic, sad,
resigned, exhausted, unwilling… ambivalence and multiplicity
Berries harsh and crude, not ripe yet… urgency to start soon but not ready (vs friend
who has been plucked in untimely death)
Forced fingers rude -> obliged to write when rather not, fingers forcing act of writing
Shatter your leaves -> violence, could reference to papers… scatter pastoral poetry,
break mold and make earth-shattering poem to end all pastoral… destruction and
expansion
Intervention into writing
Taking conventions and expectations of pastoral and changing them
Pastoral should have many voices, singing, dialogues… but Milton squeezing this into
mono
Frustration, impatience
Virgil Eclogues
Virgil provides model to get started -> Georgic -> Epic
Declaration of intent (have to start here but would rather write epic)
After opening lines -> subject, celebration and funeral for drowned Lycidas who has no
body, can’t let him float on watery bier (coffin), unwept
Some melodious tear -> pastoral elegy, serious/formal poem, loss of dead friend
Echoing Virgil “Who would not sing for Lycidas?” (Gallus) -> Eclogue
Apathetic effect and repetition, pathos and intensity but conventional name, devalues
overused name (like reference to Virgil... fitting into mold rather than emotional)
Sincerity in lament or fake/both?
Different tone found in different point in life/time
Moving to reflect on himself… honour him and his urn with same praise and
commemoration… about King and Milton
Lucky words favour my destined urn
Nursed together at Cambridge Hill -> self-same hill… identification together, fed same
flock, shade… make music, on lawns caring for sheep… beautiful verses of remembrance
Change to “O the heavy change… never must return” lament heavy change
Analogous to loss of shepherd’s ear, thou art -> pun… art gone, him gone, lost poetic
inspiration
After catalogue of pathetic fallacy
Questioning of where nymphs, bards were doing (nature and power)
Fondly dream foolishly dream
Reference to muse of Orpheus (Eurydice -> Orpheus laments her loss after turning
around, losing her forever -> lives with animals to sing, so beautiful that move nature)
Reflecting on power of poetry and song, on losing the ability
What’s the point of writing poetry when it won’t bring back dead
Sexual/sensual lines without saying overt -> loves women’s hair, erotic for Milton…
tangles of Neaera’s hair… point when he declared chastity for epic vocation… -> what is
the point of all of this, maybe should just do whatever
What is the point of the reward we hope to find if blind Fury/Fate slits thin spun life
Play on “s” sound makes it more devastating

Document Summary

> consolation (grace, if you"re chosen ) beginning and end converge. Sonnet 7: octavo (unripe) -> sestet (in strictest measure) -> couplet (if i have grace) Sola fide, sola gratia (faith alone, grace alone), faith, not works, calvinist predestination. Theme of exact fulfillment, divine predestined lot mimicked and fulfilled in sonnet form, Discipline of sonnet form help him work through constellation, comfort. Parable of the talents and parable of workers in the vineyard. Sonnet 7 and reference to great taskmasters -> talents/vineyard time leads me and the will of heaven, if i have grace to use it so . Milton mobilizing talents, needs to justify that has a gift of god, sin to waste it. Third servant who got cast out into darkness, teeth gnashing . Can"t help but identify with third servant (only given 1 talent, not risking it ) Workers -> assurance that whenever one comes to salvation, will be saved.