Pastoral Poems (1300-1800) Notes and Key quotes

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  • Created by: MJ
  • Created on: 02-06-13 18:11

The Garden – Andrew Marvell

CONTEXT: Andrew Marvell wrote during the 17th century during a time of religious conflict in England. The conflict, in basic terms, was between the monarchy and Parliamentarians, who were mainly Puritans (Protestants who wanted to “purify” the church of England, with a lack of Catholicism, decoration, they even cancelled Christmas etc). Catholicism could be seen to be infiltrating a protestant England with the previous marriage of Charles I to a Roman Catholic and the anti-Puritan bishop Laud was previously in control of London. Marvell was in alliance (to an extent) with the Parliamentarians as he wrote in praise of Cromwell (the leader of the Puritans) and was a friend and assistant to John Milton, who was a civil servant for Cromwell.  I can’t seem to pinpoint an exact date on Marvell’s publications, but it seems likely Marvell published his pastoral poems after the beheading of Charles I, so during the rule of Cromwell and Puritanism.

SUMMARY: The Garden compares “rude” society with the beauty of nature and how the natural world is equally intelligent and more beauteous, tranquil and idyllic; we should spend more of our time there.

FORM: Lyrical ballad

LANGUAGE:  8 syllable lines, heroic couplets, personification, metaphor, sexual imagery, light hearted tone.

STRUCTURE: 9 stanzas, “vainly men” begins the poem, “herbs and flowers!” ends the poem.

PASTORAL CONCERNS: The idyll, Eden, tranquillity, religion, corruption, innocence

KEY QUOTES: ‘How vainly men themselves amaze’, ‘Fair Quiet, have I found thee here/ And Innocence, thy sister dear!”, “Society is all but rude/To this delicious solitude”, “Fond lovers as cruel as their flame/Cut in trees their mistresses’ name.”, “What wondrous life is this I lead!/ Ripe apples drop about my head;”, “Casting the body’s vest aside/ My soul into the boughs does glide:”

The Mower, Against Gardens – Andrew Marvell

CONTEXT:  Andrew Marvell wrote during the 17th century during a time of religious conflict in England. The conflict, in basic terms, was between the monarchy and Parliamentarians, who were mainly Puritans (Protestants who wanted to “purify” the church of England, with a lack of Catholicism, decoration, they even cancelled Christmas etc). Catholicism could be seen to be infiltrating a protestant England with the previous marriage of Charles I to a Roman Catholic and the anti-Puritan bishop Laud was previously in control of London. Marvell was in alliance (to an extent) with the Parliamentarians as he wrote in praise of Cromwell (the leader of the Puritans) and was a friend and assistant to John Milton, who was a civil servant for Cromwell.  I can’t seem to pinpoint an exact date on Marvell’s publications, but it seems likely Marvell published his pastoral poems after the beheading of Charles I, so during the rule of Cromwell and Puritanism.

Hybridisation was being used in Biology in the 17th century.  English gardens saw the style of “jardin à la française”, or the “French formal garden” being introduced to the landscape. This saw symmetry and order constricting nature

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