The Metaphysical Passion: Seven Modern American Poets and the Seventeenth-Century Tradition

By Sona Raiziss | Go to book overview

6 SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY CONFLICTS

THE CULTURE of the seventeenth century was stimulated and modified by political and religious struggles. Politics was then as intricately involved with religion as it is today with socioeconomics. The social or class problem became a factor in the tug of war between Parliament and King. The major issue was not class privilege so much as the divine right of kings in a last stand against political liberty. Simultaneously the Anglican church and the Puritans were in deadly combat, both meanwhile relentlessly persecuting the Catholics. Where religion was concerned, science entered the lists. It is thus scarcely possible to examine seventeenth-century politics without touching theology, science, philosophy--all threading through social and military events. The tangled situation is paralleled in our own age. Today the contention between theoretical science and religion is subordinated as an issue to the practical application of science in peace and in war; the public religious problem is the persecution of minority groups and the suppression of churches by certain nations. Otherwise the seventeenth and twentieth centuries are kin as eras of enormous unrest, considerable speculation, and universal revolution.

Most of the struggles culminating in the seventeenth century originated in the disorders of the late sixteenth century. Spain and England exchanged shocks in Elizabeth's reign. The Rebellion in England had repercussions in other lands. On the continent the Thirty Years' War eventually involved most of western Europe--Germany, where it began, and subsequently France, Sweden, Denmark, Austria--a débâcle greater than any until

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The Metaphysical Passion: Seven Modern American Poets and the Seventeenth-Century Tradition
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction xi
  • Part One The Temper Of Metaphysical Poetry 1
  • 1- Definitions 3
  • 2- The Poets and Their Subjects 11
  • 3- Methods, Manner, and Mood 21
  • 4- Wit and the Objective Equivalent 35
  • Part Two Sources of The Metaphysical Impulse 57
  • 5- Time of Transition 59
  • 6- Seventeenth-Century Conflicts 79
  • 7- Analogies 103
  • 8- Twentieth-Century Tensions 114
  • 9- Phases of the Modern Crisis 133
  • Part Three Seven Poets: Text and Context 165
  • 10- T. S. Eliot 167
  • 11- The Fugitives 184
  • 12- Macleish-Wylie-Crane 212
  • Notes 242
  • Partial Bibliography Of Critical Works from 1900 293
  • Index of Names 319
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