A critical study of the poetry of Thomas Carew



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Since the seventeenth century Thomas Carew has been variously labelled as a court trifler, a trivial writer, and a libertine, and his poetry has generally been regarded as mere froth. However, that estimation of Carew is a patently unfair one, since he reveals a poetry of many themes and voices. In his private voices he creates numerous dramatic situations through which he is able to present a variety of attitudes toward love, and in his public voices he writes numerous occasional poems for the court society of Charles I. Contrary to his reputation, Carew is not a simplistic poet who is to be read merely as an example of Cavalier libertinism. Like many other Stuart lyricists, he presents a kaleidoscopic vision of human relationships through multiple voices and themes.