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.
Blake • Innocence vs. Experience • Symbols of innocence • Symbols of experience • Rebel against society and religion
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)
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
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…
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
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)
Poets • William Wordsworth • Samuel Taylor Coleridge • Lord Byron • Percy Bysse Shelley • John Keats
Fathers of romantic literature • Coleridge and Wordworth • Lyrical Ballads 1789 • Simplistic • imagination
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…)
Utensils • Rhyme and Reason • Reader • Handout ‘romantic poetry’ • One of four novels
Homework • Read R&R, pages 74-78.
Alexander Pope about the RomanticPeriod: “Whatoft was thought but never so well expressed”
"The best portion of a good man's life, his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love."
"poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility“ - Wordsworth
“It was the aim of the poet to give the charm of novelty to things of everyday life” - Wordsworth
Samuel Taylor Coleridge • To write about ‘persons and characters supernatural’ • Fear and gruesomeness
“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…
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)
Queen Victoria’s reign 1837-1901 • A long period of • Peace • Prosperity • Cultural changes/revival
Transition away form rationalism to romanticism and mysticism in religion/art/social values
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)
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
Cultural developments • Gothic art/literature/architecture • photography
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
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.
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.
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