Review1. The time of Neoclassical Period.2. What is the Glorious Revolution, Great plague and Great London Fire?3. Who are the influential writers during the period? Tell about their writing features briefly.
Chapter 5 the 19thcentury Romantic period 1.The historical and cultural background 2. The influence of Romanticism 3. Romantic view about literature 4. Literary features of the period 5. Characteristic traits 特征 of this movement 6. Influential writers 7. The comparison of features of the 18th century enlightenment with those of 19th romanticism 8. Some terms and exercises
Time of the period • English Romanticism, as a historical phase阶段 of literature, is generally said to have begun in 1798 with the publication of Wordsworth & Coleridge‘s Lyrical Ballads & to have ended in 1832 with Sir Walter Scott’s death & the passage of the first Reform Bill 改革法案in the Parliament.
Historical and cultural background • During this period, England had experienced profound economic & social change. The biggest social change in English history was the transfer of large masses of the population from the countryside to the towns. As a result of the Enclosures & the agricultural mechanization机械化, the peasants were driven off their land; some emigrated to the colonies; some sank to the level of farm laborers & many others drifted to the industrial towns where there was a growing demand for labor. But the new industrial towns were no better than jungles, where the law was "the survival of the fittest." The cruel economic exploitation caused large-scale workers' disturbances in England.
Romanticism constitutes 建立 a change of direction from attention to the outer world of social civilization to the inner world of the human spirit. In essence 本质上it designates 指明 a literary & philosophical theory which tends to see the individual as the very center of all life & all experience. • It also places the individual at the center of art, making literature most valuable as an expression of his or her unique feelings & particular attitudes & valuing its accuracy in portraying the individual's experiences.
The Romantic views about literature • a. The Romantic period is an age of poetry. Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley & Keats are the major Romantic poets. They started a rebellion against the neoclassical literature, which was later regarded as the poetic revolution.
b. The Romantic period is also a great age of prose. The two major novelists of the Romantic period are Jane Austen & Walter Scott.c. Besides poetry & prose, there are quite a number of writers who have fried their hand at poetic dramas in this period .
The term Romanticism • It is applied to a European movement for a change of attitude or intellectual orientation in the late eighteenth to mid-nineteenth century. It can be seen as a reaction against the prescriptivism 规范主义of the prevailing盛行的 Classical and Neo-classical status and against the rationalism and physical materialism of the Enlightenment.
This change of attitude is to be found in a wide spectrum领域 of the arts, including painting, music, architecture and literature.Romanticism was a phenomenon which emphasized the individual and the subjective experience, the irrational and imaginative, spontaneity and emotion, the visionary, the transcendental超验主义的.
Characteristic traits of this movement 1. An increased appreciation of the beauty and power of nature; 2. A celebration of emotion and the senses rather than of reason and intellect; 3. Individual introspection反省 and self-examination as opposed to a search for universal truths;
4. An interest in the solitary individual or the tormented hero and his creative spirit and inner life; 5. An emphasis upon imagination as a means to attain transcendent experience and spiritual truth; 6. An interest in ethnic origins, the medieval period, mystery and monsters and the exotic;
Some influential writers • Pre-romanticists前浪漫主义诗人: William Blake and Robert Burns • Lake Poets自然诗人或湖畔派诗人: William Wordsworth, Coleridge and Robert SOuthey • Satanic Poets积极浪漫主义诗人: Byron, Shelley and Keats
Pre-romanticism poets • William Blake and Robert Burns
William Blake (1757-1827) • Biography: • English poet, artist, & philosopher, born in London, England, Nov 28, 1757, and died in London, Aug 12, 1827. • Blake had been both a poet and an engraver. And he also printed a few books of his own. He lived a life of seclusion and poverty. He was often misunderstood by other people, who would regard him as gifted but mad.
2. Points of View 1. Blake never tried to fit into the world; he was a rebel innocently and completely all his life. 2. He cherished great expectations and enthusiasm for the French Revolution, and regarded it as a necessary stage leading to the millennium （[宗教] 千喜年，太平盛世）predicted by the biblical prophets. 3. Literarily Blake was the first important Romantic poet, showing a contempt 轻视for the rule of reason, opposing the classical tradition of the 18th century, and treasuring the individual's imagination.
3. Major Works Poetical Sketches (1783) The Songs of Innocence (1809) His Songs of Experience (1794) Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790)
4. William Blake’s Style Blake writes his poems in plain and direct language. His poems often carry the lyric beauty with immense compression of meaning. He distrusts the abstractness and tends to embody his views with visual images. Symbolism in wide range is also a distinctive feature of his poetry.
Poem appreciation • Read the following poem, try to get its theme, form, structure and rhyme scheme.
The Tyger Tyger! Tyger! burning brightIn the forests of the night,What immortal hand or eyeCould frame thy fearful symmetry（匀称）?
In what distant deeps or skiesBurnt the fire of thine eyes?On what wings dare he aspire（上升，飞翔）?What the hand dare seize the fire? And what shoulder, & what art,Could twist the sinews of thy heart?（你的心肌）And when thy heart began to beat,What dread（可怕的） hand? & what dread feet?
What the hammer? what the chain?In what furnace was thy brain?What the anvil? what dread graspDare its deadly terrors clasp? When the stars threw down their spears, （星星的光芒）And water‘d （浸湿）heaven with their tears,Did he smile his work to see?Did he who made the Lamb make thee?
Tyger! Tyger! burning brightIn the forests of the night,What immortal hand or eyeDare frame thy fearful symmetry?
The Tiger Form: in ballad form(a 4-lined stanza) with 4 stresses, mostly 7 syllables; in trochee扬抑格, rhyming in couplet—very different from usual, elegant iambic pentameter. The trochaic meter is a powerful rhythm. This meter makes the poem sounds stronger.
The structure of the poems 1st stanza: ask who could create the tiger. 2nd stanza- 4th stanza : how those importance organs, such as the eyes, the heart, the brain were created. 5th stanza: imagine what the creator feel after the creation. 6th stanza: ask who dare create the tiger.
Theme: The poem seems to admire God, the Creator as a blacksmith who has the mystic power of creation.He created a meek lamb, a symbol of the innocence of the natural world, and also a symbol of the Son, but at the same time he also created the tiger, a symbol of the beauty and the horror of the natural world.
But the poem also contains a very complicated emotion here Blake identified God's creative process with the work of an artist. And it is art that brings creation to its fulfillment -- by showing the world as it is, by sharpening perception, by giving form to ideas. Blake himself as an artist might here praise the creative power of an artist.
Robert Burns (1759--- 1796) Robert Burns, the greatest of the 18th century Scots poets, was born into a tenant farmer's family in Ayreshire, Scotland.
His mother acquainted him with Scottish folk songs, legends, and proverbs. Burns did a great deal of reading in English literature and the Bible, and was familiar with the major English writers like Shakespeare, Milton, Dryden, and Pope.
2. Major Works: His first volume of poetry, Poems Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect 苏格兰方言诗集 Beginning in 1792 Burns wrote about 100 songs and some humorous verses for Select Collection of Original Scottish Airs, compiled by George Thomson. Among his songs in the two collections are such favorites as “Auld Lang Syne“(long ago昔日时光), ”Comin ‘Thro’ the Rye”, （走过麦田）. “Scots, Wha Hae“（苏格兰人）, ”A Red, Red Rose”, “The Banks o‘ Doon”, and “John Anderson, My Jo“（约翰.安德生，我的爱人）
The importance of Burns' poetry should firstly be evaluated in the Scottish cultural context. Burns owed much to the Scottish oral tradition of folklore and folk song in literary forms, subjects, and poetic diction; he was also much indebted to the highly developed Scottish literary tradition.
As a peasant poet, his personal experience of the harsh country life and his close contact with the simple country folk greatly enriched his understanding of the people, while those joys and sorrows, hopes and dreams that he shared with them deepened his sympathy for the poor. Most of his poems deal with Scotch drink, religion, and manners, suggesting a world often harsh, sordid肮脏的, limited but attractive.
The theme of Burns’ poems • His poems can be divided into several groups. • The first important group is about love and friendship. Burns himself had several love affairs during his life and wrote a number of wonderful love poems. His love songs are not of tragic parting but of mutual contented love, sometimes exquisitely敏锐地 blended with humor.
Another major group is about the rural life of the Scottish peasants. Burns is very sociable and enjoys great companies. • The third group shows the poet's attitude toward political liberty and social equality, especially those written under the influence of the French Revolution.
Burns’ Evaluation Burns' reputation lies chiefly in his songs, for he has touched with his own genius a variety of subjects, such as love, friendship, work, patriotism and bawdy（下贱）, and put into them the traditional elements of folk songs in Scotland--simplicity, pathos and humor. Thus, Burns has not only transmuted（使变化） them into great poetry, but also immortalized in them the Scottish countryside and humble farm life.
He is a keen and discerning（有眼力，有洞察力的） satirist who has reserved his sharpest barbs for sham（骗子）, hypocrisy and cruelty. His satirical verse, once little appreciated, has in resent decades been recognized widely as his finest work. He is also a master of the language and verse-narrative technique, as exemplified in “Tam O’Shanter”.
Poem analysis • Read the following poem, try to get its theme, structure.
A Red, Red Rose O my love is like a red, red rose That's newly sprung in June; O my love is like the melody That's sweetly played in tune. The beauty of my love can be compared with a red rose, and the sweet voice and shape of my love are like piece of soft music.
As fair art thou, my bonie lass, So deep in luve am I; And I will luve thee still, my dear, Till a' the seas gang dry. My graceful girl, you are very beautiful and I love you very much; my dear, I will love you firmly until all the seas go dry. The speaker expresses his fiery passion for his love and swears to love her forever.
Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear, And the rocks melt wi' the sun; O I will luve thee still, my dear While the sands o' life shall run. My dear, I will love you till all the seas go dry and the rocks melt with the sun. I will love you firmly so long there is a life keeping time or I will love you until the end of my life.
And fare-thee-weel, my only Luve! And fare-thee-weel awhile! And I will come again, my luve, Tho' 'twere ten thousand miles. Farewell to you, my only dear love, farewell to you only for a short time! I will come back back again even though it were ten thousand mile away, my dear!
A Red, Red Rose O, My love is like a red, red rose which has newly sprung in June; O, my love is like the melody(music) which has sweetly played harmoniously. My love is deep as you are beautiful, my pretty girl. I will love you until the sea dry,
my dear. Until the sea dry and the rock melt with the sun. O, I love you till the end of my life, my dear. Farewell to you, my only dear love, farewell to you only for a short time! I will come back back again even though it were ten thousand mile away, my dear! A summary:
Theme:to express strong affection to his love, swearing that he will love her for ever. • Structure: • Stanza 1: compare his sweet heart as a red rose and sweet music. • 2. Stanza 2-3 : swear that he will love her for ever, and assure that he will never change his heart. • 3. Stanza 4: assure his lover that he will leave
the lake poets • Wordsworth, Coleridge and Robert Southey were called lake poets, Wordsworth was called natural poets. • Wordsworth aimed at simplicity and purity of the language, fighting against the conventional forms of the 18th century poetry. In 1843, he was conferred the title of Poet Laureate(桂冠诗人). • Coleridge’s masterpiece was “the Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and “Kubla knan” Except the poems, he wrote Biographia literaria 《文学传记》(1817).
Main works • 1) LyricsLyrical Ballads • "Tintern Abbey" 2) The PreludeWordsworth is a poet in memory of the past. To him, life is a cyclical journey. Its beginning finally turns out to be its end. His philosophy of life is presented in his masterpiece The Prelude.
Wordsworth’s Point of View • Deliberate simplicity and refusal to decorate the truth of experience produced a kind of pure and profound poetry which no other poet has ever equaled. • His unconventional theory of poetry: the source of poetic truth is the direct experience of the senses. Poetry originates from “emotion recollected in tranquility”. • .
As the leading figure of the period, his voice is of comprehensive humanity, and inspires his audience to see the world freshly, sympathetically and naturally. • He started the modern poetry—the poetry of the growing inner self and changed the course of English poetry by using ordinary speech of the language and by advocating a return to nature.