Thursday, March 5, 2020

Cavalier Poets

The cavalier poets was a school of English poets of the 17th century, that came from the classes that supported King Charles I during the English Civil War (1642–1651). Charles, a connoisseur of the fine arts, supported poets who created the art he craved. These poets in turn grouped themselves with the King and his service, thus becoming Cavalier Poets.[1]

A cavalier was traditionally a mounted soldier or knight, but when the term was applied to those who supported Charles, it was meant to portray them as roistering gallants.[2] The term was thus meant to belittle and insult. They were separate in their lifestyle and divided on religion from the Roundheads, who supported Parliament, consisting often of Puritans (either Presbyterians or Independents).

The best known of the cavalier poets are Robert HerrickRichard LovelaceThomas Carew, and Sir John Suckling. Most of the cavalier poets were courtiers, with notable exceptions. For example, Robert Herrick was not a courtier, but his style marks him as a cavalier poet.

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