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Romantic Literature

Romantic Literature

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Romantic Literature

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  1. Romantic Literature

  2. What do you know about the Romantic Period?

  3. Goals • To know the characteristics of the Romantic art movement • To recognize these characteristics in literature • To place various poets and their work in the Romantic context • To read a novel from this period and be able to interpret it.

  4. Blake • Innocence vs. Experience • Symbols of innocence • Symbols of experience • Rebel against society and religion

  5. Tyger! Tyger! + The Lamb • What does evil tell us about the nature of God? • What is the relation between form and contents of these poems? • Themes: Innocence of the child/nature of God/ questioning God’s goodness/ presence of evil in the world/ beauty vs. horror (in creation)

  6. Songs of Innocence: • Infant joy • I happy am • The Lamb • Who made thee? • He became a little child • The Chimney Sweeper • The winter’s snow/notes of woe • Heaven of our misery

  7. Songs of Experience: • The Clod and the Pebble • Love seeketh only Self to please • Tyger! Tyger! • What immortal hand or eye/ Could frame thy fearful symmetry • The Chimney Sweeper • And by came an Angel who had a bright key…

  8. Was Blake a Christian?

  9. Caspar David Friedrich. The Wanderer, ca. 1817

  10. John Constable. The Haywain, ca. 1812.

  11. J.M.W.Turner. Snowstorm, ca. 1812.

  12. Beginnings • 18th-19th Century • A reaction to the rationalization of nature and society, due to • Industrial Revolution and Enlightenment • Ideals: • freedom, equality, abolition of class distinction

  13. Characteristics • Imagination (instead of reason) • Spontaneity, emotion, intuition  aesthetic experience • Power of nature, love for the country • Anti-intellectual attitude • An escape in time and place • Heroes • Dark side of the human mind (Mary Shelley)

  14. Poets • William Wordsworth • Samuel Taylor Coleridge • Lord Byron • Percy Bysse Shelley • John Keats

  15. Fathers of romantic literature • Coleridge and Wordworth • Lyrical Ballads 1789 • Simplistic • imagination

  16. In the ‘Preface to the Lyrical Ballads’, William Wordsworth has revolted against the poetic principles of the eighteenth century saying that the life of a poor man can serve as a fit material for the poetry • The diction should be drawn from everyday speech and he wants to through a colouring of imagination over the simple material chosen for treatment in poetry. • “all good poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings. It takes its origin from emotions recollected in tranquility.” (I wandered…)

  17. Utensils • Rhyme and Reason • Reader • Handout ‘romantic poetry’ • One of four novels

  18. Homework • Read R&R, pages 74-78.

  19. Alexander Pope about the RomanticPeriod: “Whatoft was thought but never so well expressed”

  20. "The best portion of a good man's life, his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love."

  21. "poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility“ - Wordsworth

  22. “It was the aim of the poet to give the charm of novelty to things of everyday life” - Wordsworth

  23. Samuel Taylor Coleridge • To write about ‘persons and characters supernatural’ • Fear and gruesomeness

  24. “The Poem of my Friend has indeed great defects; first, that the principal person has no distinct character, either in his profession of Mariner, or as a human being who having been long under the control of supernatural impressions might be supposed himself to partake of something supernatural; secondly, that he does not act, but is continually acted upon; thirdly, that the events having no necessary connection do not produce each other; and lastly, that the imagery is somewhat too laboriously accumulated…

  25. Yet the Poem contains many delicate touches of passion, and indeed the passion is every where true to nature, a great number of the stanzas present beautiful images, and are expressed with unusual felicity of language; and the versification, though the metre is itself unfit for long poems, is harmonious and artfully varied, exhibiting the utmost powers of that metre, and every variety of which it is capable. It therefore appeared to me that these several merits (the first of which, namely that of the passion, is of the highest kind) gave to the Poem a value which is not often possessed by better Poems.” (Wordsworth)

  26. The Victorian Era

  27. Queen Victoria’s reign 1837-1901 • A long period of • Peace • Prosperity • Cultural changes/revival

  28. Transition away form rationalism to romanticism and mysticism in religion/art/social values

  29. Anglo-Saxon period (927–1066) Norman period (1066–1154) Plantagenet period (1154–1485) Tudor period (1485–1603) Elizabethan era (1558–1603) Stuart period (1603–1714) Jacobean era (1603–1625) Caroline era (1625–1649) The Interregnum (1649–1660) Restoration era (1660–1685) Georgian era (1714–1830) Victorian era (1837–1901) Edwardian era (1901–1910) World War I (1914–1918) Interwar Period (1918–1939) World War II (1939–1945) Modern England (1945–Present)

  30. Population • Almost doubled due to • Healthier environment (drinking water) • Higher living standards • Lower mortality rate • More marriages/children Also: 15 million emigrants to US/Canada?Australia

  31. Cultural developments • Gothic art/literature/architecture • photography

  32. A few events • New Zealand colonized in 1840 • 1845 famine in Ireland • 1857 end of East India Company; beginning of the British Raj. • 1865 Alice in Wonderland • 1888 Jack the Ripper

  33. The other side • Industrialisation • Low wages • Child labour in factories and mines • Prostitution • N.B. Charles Dickens worked in a sewage factory at the age of 12 while his parents were in debtors’ prison.

  34. Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist

  35. Victorian novels tend to be idealized portraits of difficult lives in which hard work, perseverance, love and luck win out in the end; virtue would be rewarded and wrongdoers are suitably punished. They tended to be of an improving nature with a central moral lesson at heart. While this formula was the basis for much of earlier Victorian fiction, the situation became more complex as the century progressed.

  36. Gothic novel • A type of fiction popular in the eighteenth and early nineteenth century • Concentrates on macabre and gloomy events, often occasioned by characters in an abnormal psychological state