Don’t worry, only two left after today!
Today’s paper went much better than yesterday’s, I thought. You could say this was the wider spread of my prepared approaches; perhaps the generous nature of the exam paper. I like to think it was due to a little event that happened yesterday, as I was strolling around Oxford with my friend Mel. I was outside the Radcliffe Camera (a circular library thing, see Google-generated images here – very beautiful place to work) when a hoard of schoolchildren stopped me. They had a camera and a checksheet. Wherefore, pondered I. Turns out they had to take photographs of many different things throughout Oxford, on a sort of treasure hunt, and I fulfilled (pay attention here) ‘Take a photo of the cleverest person you see’. Me! Gosh. Now, I like to think this is due to an aura of knowledge and wisdom, rather than the fact that I was wearing glasses and tweed. But who’s to say. Was incredibly amusing – especially since I was holding a loaf of bread, and a carnation recently purchased from the florist. I love Oxford.
Anyway, this spurred me on to answer the following questions on the Renaissance period:
‘In a rising, mercantile, politically conscious, comparatively affluent society, there was a need for new visions of the good life, new paradises, new golden worlds, even new hells.’ Discuss some of the ways in which any one or more writers or playwrights of the period satisfied some of these expectations.
-I wrote on Utopias, and women in utopias, and woman as utopias. Enjoyed this one.
‘One of the distinctive features of Petrarchan poetry is it encouragement to readers to decode it in a variety of ways – as erotic self-evaluation, philosophical meditation, or moral debate’. (Gary Waller). Discuss, with reference to at least two writers of the period.
-Oo-er. Ignored the erotic bits, and wrote on Petrarchanism (and ambivalence to Petrarch) in the sonnet sequences of Spenser and Sidney. Love how I can do this without having read a word of Petrarch!
Do you agree that a good deal of Donne’s writing is self-advertisement?
-Wrote on Donne’s opinion of secular poetry, as these opinions appear in his sermons, and how it changed in relation to the site of preaching.
Back to normal book talk soon, promise! At least you have one of the finest literary products the twentieth-century saw, to illustrate this entry.