The Flowers of Evil
How was Baudelaire influenced by the historical and cultural events of his time?
What are spleen and the ideal? Is one stronger than the other?
How does the poem "To a Passerby" unite Baudelaire's misogyny with his fear of death? What role does love play in this system?
Why were Baudelaire's poems condemned for immorality? What class did he accuse of hypocrisy in judging his work?
How do elements of horror and fantasy shape the poems? What aspects of Edgar Allen Poe's work inspired Baudelaire?
What does the Swan symbolize in "The Swan"? Can the swan remember the old Paris, as the speaker does? Why does it ask the sky to bring rain?
According to Baudelaire, is love possible or impossible? Which poems prove your point?
How does Baudelaire's poetry adhere to the rules of traditional French poetry while at the same time breaking them? What poems are examples of this? How does this affect each poem's form and structure?
Discuss the interaction of the themes of death and time in Baudelaire's poetry.
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