Appreciating Poetry: Form

The form of a poem means the way in which it is structured, the number of lines  in a stanza or verse, the number of verses in the poem overall and so forth.  There are several aspects to bear in mind when considering the form of a poem.  The first one is to identify the form of a particular poem. The second is to  compare the form of the poem considered with the forms of other poems and the  third part is to consider whether the choice of form adds to the value and  pleasure of the poem and, if so, in which way.

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Poems of Milton: On Shakespeare

Milton wrote the lines On Shakespeare at about the same time he wrote his early masterpiece On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity. However, this short poem, although it has become very well-known and adorns many anthologies of Shakespeare’s works, is much slighter in nature, despite having its own strengths.
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Collaborations of Shakespeare: Double Falsehood

The recently published collection of Shakespeare’s plays from Arden includes the work ‘Double Falsehood,’ which can then be considered the newest entrant to the canon of the Bard’s works. The play was previously little known and, after being staged some 300 years ago by Lewis Theobald, it was dismissed as a forgery.

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Review of Kermode’s The Age of Shakespeare

Although the opposite is often assumed, it is surprising quite how much we know of the life of Shakespeare, not least how much we do not know. The limits of knowledge have been more or less fixed and such sophisticated measures as computer analysis of texts and manuscripts is employed to try to expand that knowledge (or reduce the gaps) in a systematic and reliable way.

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Critics of Shakespeare: Voltaire

Voltaire was the pen name used by the prolific French writer and philosopher François-Marie Arouet (1694-1778). Voltaire was a leading figure in the French Enlightenment movement and wrote trenchantly and cogently on the abuses of the Catholic Church, monarchy and establishment and in favour of Enlightenment values such as freedom of thought and of religion, free trade and reformed international relations.

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Critics of Shakespeare: George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) was an Irish writer, principally a dramatist, many of whose works have proven to be enduring favourites on the stage and to have translated well to the screen. His most famous works include Pygmalion (filmed as ‘My Fair Lady’), Arms and the Man and Man and Superman. He was awarded both the Nobel Prize for Literature and an Oscar.

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