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A sonnet is a type of poem consisting of one single fourteen-line stanza. It was perfected by Italian poets in the 13th century and introduced to England in the early 16th century.
English sonnets, in terms of structure, largely fall into two classes: the Petrarchan or Italian form and the Shakespearean or English form. The former divides its fourteen lines of iambic pentameter into two parts: one octave and one sestet. The latter consists of three quatrains and a final couplet. The three quatrains develop the subject and the couplet condenses the whole poem into an epigram.
The term metaphysical poetry is commonly used to name the works of the 17th century poets who wrote under the influence of John Donne, leader of the school, Andrew Marvell, George Herbert, Richard Crashaw, and Henry Vaughan. The metaphysical poets tried to break away from the conventional fashion of Elizabethan love poetry. The diction is simple as compared with that of the Elizabethan or Neoclassic periods, and echoes the words and cadences of common speech. The imagery is drawn from actual life. The form is frequently that of an argument with the poet’s beloved, with God or with himself.
This term refers to a great cultural movement in Europe which began in the 14th century and continued to the mid-17th century. It started in Italy and then spread all over Europe. Originally, the term means “rebirth” or “revival.” It was a rebirth or revival of ancient Greek and Roman ideals caused by a series of historical events, such as new discoveries in geology and astrology, religious reformation and economic expansion. The Renaissance, therefore, in essence, is a historical period in which humanist European thinkers and scholars reject the feudalism of Medieval Europe, to introduce new ideas that express the power of the individual, and the purity of the early church.
2007-04-19 14:32:07 補充：
The Enlightenment thinkers celebrated reason or rationality, equality and science. They held that rationality or reason should be the only final cause of any human thought or activity. They called for a reference to order, reason and rules.
2007-04-19 14:32:30 補充：
They believed that when reason served as the yardstick for the measurement of all-human activities and relations, all superstition, injustice, and oppression would yield place to “eternal truth,” “eternal justice,” and “natural equality.”
2007-04-19 14:32:45 補充：
They advocated universal education. On the condition that people were well educated, there would be a greater chance for a democratic and humane society. In fact, literature was heavily didactic and moralizing, which was a very popular style of public education at that time.參考資料： , 英美文學精要問答