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Formative Essay 2017

Please write an essay of 1500 words in response to one of the following questions. Your essay should be submitted in seminars on Monday of Week 7 (13th November).

1) ‘…thou art a figurative, a metaphorical God’ (John Donne, Expostulation 19).

Write an essay about the relationship between metaphor and religion in the works of Donne or Herbert.

2) ‘…the two discourses that Herbert wishes to separate – the courtly and the religious – share similar motives and a common rhetoric’ (Michael Schoenfeldt).

With reference to the poetry of either Donne or Herbert, write an essay about the relationship between religious poetry and court culture in the early 17th century.

3) Discuss the relationship between social and natural order in the Country House poetry of Jonson and / or Lanyer.

4) Do you think Jonson’s Jacobean court masques are successful at dispensing advice as well as praise to the court?

5) ‘there’s nothing so holy but money will corrupt and putrify it, like victual under the line.


You are happy in England, my lord; here they sell justice with those weights they press men to death with.’ (Webster, The White Devil, Act III, scene iii).

How does Webster use contrast in setting to make political comment?