Tuesday, April 14, 2009

1600 to 1699: Chapman, Bussy D'Ambois to Bacon, The Advancement of Learning

George Chapman. British. 1604. Play. Bussy D’Ambois. Poor countryman rivals a noble for a lady’s affections. He succeeds, but is lured to his death.

Shakespeare. British. 1604. Play. Measure for Measure. Tyrant who rules by the letter of the law is caught breaking the law himself.

Thomas Dekker. British. 1604/5. Play. The Honest Whore, Parts I and II. When his lover is sent to a convent, Hippolito is taken to Bellafont, a courtesan whose advances he resists. She reforms, but he is reunited with his lover. Subplot: Candido, a linen draper perturbed by nothing, is put into an institution by his wife. In Part II, the characters change personalities. The husband of Bellafonte tries to force her into prostitution and Hippolito tries to force his attentions on the now honest whore Bellafonte.

Shakespeare. British. 1605. Play. King Lear. Lear divides his kingdom between his daughters Goneril and Regan who profess their love for him. Cordelia who is honest in saying she loves him simply because he is her father he disowns. Goneril and Regan reduce Lear to madness. Cordelia, who truly loves him, is reunited with him, but she is executed. Lear dies soon after. He was blind to the false love of Goneril and Regan and to the true love of Cordelia.

Francis Bacon. British. 1605. Nonfiction. The Advancement of Learning. Extols the pursuit of learning. Critically surveys the existing state of knowledge.

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