(Mr. Martin Alleyne)

Answer TWO questions in all: ONE question from each section.  Remember to base answers on analysis of poetic technique, and – where necessary– to contextualize the works you discuss in terms of historical, political and literary background.

SECTION A: Renaissance Poetry: the Seventeenth Century:

1. “Despite the diversity of their poetry, there is a commonality binding them as metaphysical poets.” In the light of this observation, and with specific reference to any two of the following poets: Donne, Herbert and Marvell, discuss what they have in common that makes them metaphysical.

2. “Donne’s poems expressed a strong and independent spirit. For all their indebtedness to literary traditions and conventions, they took a sceptical stance toward many received ideas and seemed written in a ‘new made idiome’”(Achsah Guibbory). Referring to at least two poems, how does Donne’s poetry justify this observation?

3. “Herbert’s poetry illustrates the complex relations between man and God.” With reference to at least two of his poems, discuss how Herbert’s poetry achieves this.

3. “Marvell’s pastoral poems reveal a man desiring an unattainable pre-lapsarian world.” Do you agree with this view of the pastoral poems? Reference must be made to any two pastoral poems studied.

4. How does Milton’s characterisation of Eve in Paradise Lost Book IX either support or refute the discursive construction of femininity that existed in Renaissance England.

SECTION B: Neo-Classical Poetry / Alternative Voices:

5. “A satire on the superficial values of fashionable society in the reign of Queen Anne” (Ellen Pollak). In the light of this view, discuss Pope’s use of the mock-heroic in The Rape of the Lock.

6. “Despite the masculine conventions of the time, some Renaissance women writers managed to articulate alternative female values in their poetry.” To what extent is this applicable to the poetry of either Mary Sidney or Lady Mary Wroth?

7. “Eighteenth Century women writers used their poetry to confront and resist their gender and social repression.” How does the poetry of either Lady Mary Montagu or Phyllis Wheatley support or refute this claim?

(Mr. Sam Soyer)



Answer TWO (2) questions in all. In their answers, students should draw on the poetry covered in Modules Two and Three, that is, Seventeenth Century and Neo-Classical poetry.

1. With reference to the work of TWO (2) so-called ‘Metaphysical poets,’ discuss what is specifically 'Metaphysical' about their poetry.

2. Discuss the tension between the secular and the sacred discernible in the work of TWO (2) poets studied.

3. Examine the influence of either Christian or Classical models on the work of TWO (2) poets studied.

4. "Whatever the obvious meaning of these poems (love, theology, etc.), critics take great delight in reading other subtle and much more politicised meanings into them." Discuss the manifest and latent levels of signification of the work of TWO (2) poets studied.

5. "Early European encounters with the so-called ‘New World’ provoked a whole host of intriguing literary responses." Discuss the work of TWO (2) poets studied in the light of this claim.

6. Discuss the construction of femininity in the work of TWO poets studied in the light of this claim.

7. Discuss the 'anxiety of authorship' which afflicted Renaissance women poets such as Lady Mary Wroth in their effort to ‘find a voice’ within a patriarchal society.





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