dal regno di charles I a john donne



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During Charles I’s reign there was a continuous clash between king and parliament because both wanted power. Puritans, that was a religious, political and social movement, wanted balance between king and parliament
The king wanted people to give him money for foreign policy and his home. So parliament passed the petition of rights (1628). This document imposed taxes or forced loans; king couldn’t imprison his subjects without trial; and king couldn’t introduce martial law in peace time.
King closed parliament because he didn’t agree with the petition and he decided that all towns had to pay taxes.
King opened again parliament (shot parliament) for submit a religious rebellion in Scotland, but then he closed it because it didn’t agree with the proposal of the king.
King opened it again (long parliament). It limited the divine right of the king and it stated that parliament had to meet every 3 years…………
Charles refused it and there was a crisis. The civil war started in 1642.
There were 2 forces: cavaliers or royalists who supported king; and round heads who supported parliament. Thanks to Oliver Cromwell, leader of round heads, parliament won and king was made prisoner. Rump parliament (it was composed of members of parliament loyal to Cromwell) voted for the execution of the king, and for the first time, king was beheaded in the 1649.
After Charles I’s execution, the monarchy was abolished and the country was ruled as a republic, known as the commonwealth. But quickly it became a dictation ship.
Cromwell was appointed “lord protector of England”.
When Cromwell died, there wasn’t anyone that could replace him so monarchy was restored (1660).
In the ‘700 in great Britain there wasn’t a revolution because after commonwealth there was a gradual (because it was based on series of laws) process towards democracy.
PURITANS (austerity): =radical protestant. They were more important inside parliament and more radical. They closed theatre because it was a sin.
LITERATURE: during the puritan age there was: prose: is composed of pamphlets (short political essays, they were in support of Cromwell) and religious essays (they were I support of puritans). Poetry: metaphysical and religious poetry.
METAPHYSICAL POETRY: John Donne was the first and most important of the metaphysical poets.
It reflected the intellectual and spiritual crisis of their age, the difficult transition from the renaissance to the modern age. The poet was expected to be a man of “wit”, using not only his sensitivity, but also his knowledge. Wit was the ability to make up unusual metaphors and images. Usually there was a finally surprise. In the metaphysical poetry there was: thought, rationality, emotion, sensitivity, love, passion and all concepts taken from all fields of knowledge.
The language was more difficult. It was elevated, elaborated and it included Latinisms and words coming from all fields of knowledge. The language could present different registers: formal or not formal; sometimes more registers could be used in a single poem (register juxtaposition) Conceit was the starting idea, that was eclectic, bizarre. It was the central idea of poem and usually used metaphors. In “the flea” the poet want woman to make love with him.
Poem could contain paradoxes, that was a contrary sentences; it could be an exaggeration or an absurd situation. The themes of metaphysical poetry was love for woman and love for god.
Usually it was a dramatic monolog (when poet talked with someone and something happened).
JOHN DONNE: he is a catholic, he studied law. He made an expedition against Spain. He become private secretary to sir Thomas Egerton. He married secretly to Ann more so he lost job. He converted to Anglicanism (1615). He become a preacher. Often mixed love for god and love for woman.
BATTER MY HEART: it’s a petrarcan sonnet because it’s 2 quatrain and 2 tercet. It’s an invocation to god to do something for him, help him in some way. He want god to destroy him and make him new without sin. He use imperative because he want to force god. He use alliteration (a sort of hammering rhythm) =is a repetition of the same sound.
He use metaphor of city subjected by sin. Reason and god can help poet to defend him from sin.
Yet= turning point (something changing). Use language of marriage; often use metaphor of marriage.
Use paradoxes: imprison me so I will be free; if you ravish me, I will be chaste.
ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA: Antony was a triumvirate of Rome and he was married to Fulvia, even if he was in love with Cleopatra, the Queen of Egypt. Caesar was angry with Antony and calls him back to Rome when Fulvia dies. In Rome, antonym married to Caesar’s sister, Octavia, and they make peace. Cleopatra is furious, so antonym returns with Cleopatra and Caesar attacks Egypt. Soon antonym was defeated. Antonym asks his friend Eros to kill him, but he couldn’t do it and killed himself. Antonym killed himself and Cleopatra when….. kills herself with a poisonous snake.
THEMES: the main theme of the play is the passion of antonym for Cleopatra and his obsession for her. Another theme is the necessity of choosing between Rome that represents prudence, discipline expressed through Caesar; and Egypt that represents pleasure and love as Cleopatra.



  1. giovanna giacci

    sto cercando dei riassunti in inglese su john donne.