Monday, May 18, 2009

1600 to 1699: Iphigenie en Aulide to Venice Preserved....

Chronology of World, British and American Literature.

Racine. French. 1679. Play. Iphigenie en Aulide. Attempt by woman who loves Achilles to foil Iphigenie’s escape results in herself being sacrificed. Seems her name had been Iphigenie at birth. Character invented by Racine. Loosely based on Euripides.

Andrew Marvell. British. 1681. Poetry. “The Garden.” Contrast between the innocence, peace and beauty of the garden and the stress and trouble of the outside world.

Andrew Marvell. British. 1681. Poetry. “The Definition of Love.” Deals with exalted passion and the impossibility of its fulfillment.

Dryden. British. 1681. Poetry. Absalom and Achitophel. Heroic couplets. Attacks Puritan attempts to exclude the legitimate heir from the throne because he is Catholic.

Thomas Otway. British. 1682. Play. Venice Preserved, or a Plot Discovered. Venetian gentleman in reduced circumstances marries Belvidera, daughter of a Senator. The Senator, her father, disowns her. The husband becomes involved in a plot to overthrow the Venetian government. He warns the Senate of the plot, is condemned anyhow, and, on the gallows, stabs his fellow conspirator to spare him an ignoble death. He commits suicide himself. Belvidera goes mad and dies.

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