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Chapter All

ENG150Y1 Chapter Notes - Chapter All: Indentured Servant, Lyric Poetry, Blank Verse

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Mary Nyquist

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English Notes
Poetry: Narrative (Epic), Dramatic, and Lyric
Much ancient literature is poetry of some sort, i.e. it makes use of metre or rhythm
and other forms of patterning. The Hebraic Scriptures and the Qur’an resemble or
could be said to be poetry
Classical Greece divides literary forms, assumed to be poetic, into narrative,
dramatic, and lyric.
Of the texts we have done so far, only Arabian Nights and Don Quixote are not
narrative poetry. They are narrative prose. But they both contain many inset
Lyric poetry usually has narrative features but is a single, sustained utterance that
is often closer to music. Remember the lyre. We will return to lyric later this term.
The Tempest as Dramatic Poetry
Shakespeare’s Dramas are written primarily in “blank verse,” i.e., poetry in
iambic pentameter (5 stresses or beats per line but without rhyme).
Iam: u/
Pentameter: 5 iams or stresses
Different from Sonnets, which are also in iambic pentameter but have rhyme
Shakespeare’s lower-class, comic characters usually speak in prose
Critical Debates on The Tempest
Prospero as Shakespeare the Artist or as Euro colonial tyrant? Key factors:
- Our view of Prospero’s magic is his “art” a figure for modern technology or
for print culture, theatre, etc
- Our view of his purpose in raising the tempest, etc
- Our view of Shakespeare’s representation of Caliban. See especially the
exchange among Prospero, Miranda, and Caliban in 1.2, where issues are
raised regarding “natural law,” “natural reason,” “natural slavery.”
Prospero’s introductory speech to Miranda: exposition regarding past rule and
present interaction with Miranda
Euro-Colonialism: Prospero, Miranda, and Caliban raise questions regarding
natural law, natural reason, and natural slavery
Rightful Rule VS Misrule
Prospero’s neglect of his official position as Duke of Milan leads to his brother’s
usurpation of his dukedom
Caliban accuses Prospero of usurping his original rule over the island
Forms of Servitude
Ariel: time-limited servitude = a form of indentured servitude. His/her service is
related to magic. Air, fire are the “higher” elements. Formerly imprisoned by
Caliban: apparently without limit = resembles chattel slavery. His service
involves what Prospero and Miranda don’t want to do, i.e., degraded labor. Water,
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