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BRITISH LIT. II THE ROMANTIC PERIOD: 1785-1830. A PERIOD OF GREAT CHANGE FOR CENTURIES ENGLAND HAD BEEN AN AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY W/ A POWERFUL LANDHOLDING.

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Presentation on theme: "BRITISH LIT. II THE ROMANTIC PERIOD: 1785-1830. A PERIOD OF GREAT CHANGE FOR CENTURIES ENGLAND HAD BEEN AN AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY W/ A POWERFUL LANDHOLDING."— Presentation transcript:

1 BRITISH LIT. II THE ROMANTIC PERIOD:

2 A PERIOD OF GREAT CHANGE FOR CENTURIES ENGLAND HAD BEEN AN AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY W/ A POWERFUL LANDHOLDING ARISTOCRACY.

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7 PERIOD OF CHANGE (cont.)‏ NOW THE COUNTRY WAS BEING TRANSFORMED INTO A MODERN INDUSTRIAL NATION OF LARGE- SCALE EMPLOYERS & A GROWING, RESTLESS MIDDLE CLASS.

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10 THE POLITICAL CONTEXT THE AMERICAN & FRENCH REVOLU- TIONS ECONOMIC INFLATION & DEPRESSION THREATS TO THE EXISTING SOCIAL ORDER FROM NEW, REVOLUTIONARY IDEAS

11 THE FRENCH REVOLUTION AT FIRST WIDELY SUPPORTED BY ENGLISH LIBERALS & RADICALS, WHO ADVOCATED A DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC FOR ENGLAND THROUGH EITHER PEACEFUL EVOLUTION OR POPULAR REVOLUTION.

12 FRENCH REVOLUTION (cont.)‏ AS THE REVOLUTION BECAME IN- CREASINGLY BLOODY, HOWEVER (CULMINATING IN THE “REIGN OF TERROR”), ENGLISH SYMPATHY WANED.

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14 FRENCH REVOLUTION (cont.)‏ NAPOLEAN, THE CHAMPION OF THE REVOLUTION, HIMSELF BECAME A DESPOT WHO WAS ULTIMATELY DEFEATED BY OTHER REACTION- ARY TYRANTS.

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16 CONDITIONS IN ENGLAND A TIME OF HARSH POLITICAL RE- PRESSION, IN SPITE OF THE NEED FOR POLITICAL CHANGES BROUGHT ABOUT BY THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLU- TION.

17 PHYSICAL & SOCIAL CHANGES MILL TOWNS GREW. THE LANDSCAPE WAS INCREASINGLY SUBDIVIDED. FACTORIES SPEWED SMOKE & POL- LUTION OVER EVER-EXPANDING SLUMS. THE POPULATION WAS INCREASING- LY DIVIDED INTO RICH & POOR.

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20 LACK OF REFORM ECONOMIC & POLITICAL REFORMS WERE SLOW TO OCCUR BECAUSE OF THE PREVAILING LAISSEZ-FAIRE (“LET ALONE”) PHILOSOPHY.

21 LACK OF REFORM (cont.)‏ THE CONSEQUENCES WERE LOW WAGES FOR MOST WORKERS, HORRI- BLE WORKING CONDITIONS, & LARGE-SCALE EMPLOYMENT OF WOMEN & CHILDREN IN CRUSHING OCCUPATIONS (SUCH AS COAL MIN- ING).

22 LACK OF REFORM (cont.)‏ IN THE FACE OF ECONOMIC DEPRES- SION & TECHNOLOGICAL UNEM- PLOYMENT, WORKERS (WHO HAD NO VOTE) HAD TO RESORT TO PROTESTS & RIOTS, INCURRING FURTHER RE- PRESSION.

23 LACK OF REFORM (cont.)‏ WHILE THE POOR OF ENGLAND SUFFERED, HOWEVER, THE LEISURE CLASS PROSPERED.

24 ROMANTICISM A DIFFICULT TERM TO DEFINE B/C OF THE VARIETY OF LITERARY ACHIEVEMENTS, AND WRITERS OF THE PERIOD WERE ONLY LATER LABELED “ROMANTIC.”

25 ROMANTICISM (cont.)‏ BUT MANY HAD A SENSE OF THE “SPIRIT OF THE AGE”—THAT A GREAT RELEASE OF CREATIVE ENERGY WAS OCCURING AS AN ACCOMPANIMENT TO POLITICAL & SOCIAL CHANGE.

26 ROMANTICISM (cont.)‏ THE ROMANTIC PERIOD WAS SEEN BY MANY AS AN AGE OF NEW BEGIN- NINGS & UNLIMITED POSSIBILITIES.

27 POETIC THEORY & PRACTICE WILLIAM WORDSWORTH TRIED TO ARTICULATE THE SPIRIT OF THE NEW POETRY OF THE PERIOD IN THE PREFACE TO LYRICAL BALLADS (1800, 1802).

28 ROMANTIC POETRY THE ROMANTIC CONCEPTION OF POETRY WAS OF THE “SPONTANEOUS OVERFLOW OF POWERFUL FEEL- INGS.”

29 ROMANTIC POETRY (cont.)‏ THE ESSENCE OF POETIC CONTENT WAS SEEN AS THE MIND, EMOTIONS, & IMAGINATION OF THE POET (NOT THE OUTER WORLD).

30 ROMANTIC POETRY (cont.)‏ THE FIRST-PERSON LYRIC POEM BE- CAME THE MAJOR LITERARY FORM OF THE ERA, W/ THE “I” OF THE POEM OFTEN REFERRING DIRECTLY TO THE POET.

31 ROMANTIC POETRY (cont.)‏ IN KEEPING W/ THIS, POEMS ABOUT THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE SELF BECAME A MAJOR POETIC FORM.

32 ROMANTIC POETRY (cont.)‏ ROMANTICISM ALSO PLACES GREAT EMPHASIS ON THE CONCEPT OF POETIC SPONTANEITY & FREEDOM.

33 POETIC SPONTANEITY (cont.)‏ IN THE ROMANTIC VIEW, THE INI- TIAL ACT OF POETIC COMPOSITION MUST ARISE FROM IMPULSE, BE FREE FROM RULES INHERITED FROM THE PAST, & RELY ON INSTINCT, IN- TUITION, & FEELING.

34 ROMANTIC POETRY (cont.)‏ ROMANTIC POETS ALSO EMPHASIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF ACCURATELY OBSERVING & DESCRIBING NATURE, WHICH SERVES AS A STIMULUS TO THINKING & TO THE RESOLUTION OF PERSONAL PROBLEMS & CRISES.

35 ROLE OF NATURE (cont.) IN ROMANTIC POETRY THE LAND- SCAPE IS OFTEN GIVEN HUMAN QUALITIES OR SEEN AS A SYMBOL SYSTEM REVEALING THE NATURE OF THE DIVINE.

36 ROMANTIC POETRY (cont.)‏ ROMANTIC POETS ALSO FREQUENT- LY GLORIFY THE COMMONPLACE. IN THIS PERIOD, HUMBLE, RUSTIC SUBJECT MATTER & PLAIN STYLE BECAME THE PRINCIPAL SUBJECT & MEDIUM OF POETRY.

37 THE COMMONPLACE (cont.)‏ ROMANTIC POETS SOUGHT TO RE- FRESH READERS’ SENSE OF WONDER ABOUT THE ORDINARY THINGS OF LIFE, TO MAKE THE “OLD” SEEM NEW.

38 ROMANTIC POETRY (cont.)‏ IN SPITE OF THE ABOVE COMMENTS ABOUT GLORIFYING THE COMMON- PLACE, MANY ROMANTIC POEMS ALSO EXPLORE THE REALM OF MYSTERY & MAGIC, THE STRANGE & SUPERNATURAL.

39 THE STRANGE (cont.)‏ THESE KINDS OF POEMS OFTEN IN- CORPORATE MATERIAL FROM FOLK- LORE, SUPERSTITION, ETC. & ARE SET IN FARAWAY PLACES OR THE DISTANT PAST.

40 THE STRANGE (cont.)‏ ROMANTIC POETS OFTEN SHOWED AN INTEREST IN UNUSUAL MODES OF EXPERIENCE, SUCH AS VISIONARY STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS, HYPNO- TISM, DREAMS, DRUG-INDUCED STATES, & SO FORTH.

41 ROMANTIC POETRY (cont.)‏ ROMANTIC POETRY ALSO PLACES GREAT EMPHASIS ON THE CONCEPTS OF INDIVIDUALISM, NONCONFORM- ITY, & INFINITE STRIVING.

42 INFINITE STRIVING (cont.)‏ HUMAN BEINGS WERE SEEN AS POSSESSING GREAT POWER & POTENTIAL THAT HAD FORMERLY BEEN ASCRIBED ONLY TO GOD.

43 INIDIVIDUALISM (cont.)‏ MANY WRITERS DELIBERATELY ISOLATED THEMSELVES FROM SOCIETY IN ORDER TO FOCUS ON THEIR INDIVIDUAL VISION.

44 INIDIVIDUALISM (cont.)‏ THE THEME OF EXILE BECAME COM- MON IN ROMANTIC LITERATURE, W/ THE ROMANTIC NONCONFORMIST OFTEN PORTRAYED AS A GREAT SIN- NER OR OUTLAW.

45 THE NOVEL (cont.)‏ THE TWO MAJOR NOVELISTS OF THE PERIOD WERE SIR WALTER SCOTT & JANE AUSTEN (A VERY UNROMANTIC WRITER).

46 Wordsworth: The Lamb Little lamb, who made thee? Dost thou know who made thee, Gave thee life, and bid thee feed By the stream and o'er the mead; Gave thee clothing of delight, Softest clothing, woolly, bright; Gave thee such a tender voice, Making all the vales rejoice? Little lamb, who made thee? Dost thou know who made thee? Little lamb, I'll tell thee; Little lamb, I'll tell thee: He is called by thy name, For He calls Himself a Lamb. He is meek, and He is mild, He became a little child. I a child, and thou a lamb, We are called by His name. Little lamb, God bless thee!


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