Romantic Period Late 18 th century movement Framed by American and French revolutions End marked by an era of reform in Britain – Voting rights extended Beginning of modern industrial state Abolition of slave trade in Britain Radical break with traditions
Romantic Period 1790s – France offers to support revolution in many countries. 1799 – Napoleon seizes power and declares himself Emperor in 1804. Some in Britain were unified against Napoleon. Napoleon is defeated in 1815 at Waterloo.
Romantic Period Britain was a paradise in peril. Poverty – Two class society High infant mortality rate Prior to the Romantic period, there was an emphasis on reason and being rational. – Little emphasis on feeling and emotion – The highest compliment a person could receive was to be considered reasonable.
Romantic Period People’s disillusionment with the state of English life led artists to put these feelings into their works. – Enter the British Romantic writers! Earlier Neoclassical writers favored reason, wit, and outward elegance.
Traits of British Romantic Writing Simplicity and directness of language The expression of spontaneous, intensified feelings Profound responses to nature, in which nature appears to reflect the soul and contemplation of nature leads to a deeper awareness of self Movement away from reason, wit, and elegance
British Romantic Writing Emphasis on the soul and what it means to truly have feeling Connection between what you feel and what you think Interest in relationship between feeling and thought – Men use reason, women use emotion – Views change; can’t view people’s thought process so narrowly
Themes of British Romantic Writing Celebration of common people Love of nature Admiration for the French Revolution and the idea of revolting against the norm in general Loss of faith in reason – Greater emphasis on feeling
Homework Read Wordsworth’s “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey,” “The Prelude,” “The World Is Too Much with Us,” and “London 1802” beginning on Page 666 of your textbook and answer corresponding questions.
Do Now In the poems you read last night, Wordsworth has emotional responses to several different places and events. Have you ever been moved by visiting a place or by some world event? Did you feel as strongly as Wordsworth appears to in these poems? Explain.
Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey In line 36 of the poem, the poet mentions “another gift” that his contact with this rural scene bestowed upon him. Briefly describe this gift. Explain the difference in the poet’s attitude on his first and on his second visit to Tintern Abbey.
Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey Wordsworth is speaking to his sister Dorothy about his profound joy in returning to Tintern Abbey after a five year absence. The poem explores the soothing and uplifting effect the memory of his first visit has had during his absence. Heart and landscape are united in immediate and spontaneous joy
The Prelude With what phrase does the speaker describe the early days of the French Revolution? What role did reason seem to play in the Revolution? Do you think Wordsworth has given up political hopes too easily? Explain.
The Prelude Wordsworth’s lament over the failure of the French Revolution to live up to its early possibilities Discusses the original excitement stirred up by the original promise of the Revolution, the eventual corruption of the ideals, and the struggle to deal with the horrors committed
The World Is Too Much with Us In “The World is Too Much With Us,” what activities cause people to exhaust their “powers”? What does the speaker mean by the “world”? According to the speaker, with what are we “out of tune”? Why is being out of tune with these experiences such a loss?
The World Is Too Much with Us Laments the preoccupation with materialism and business that has blinded people to the wonder of being In contrast, Wordsworth points out pagan societies, which viewed nature not as resources to be used up, but as gifts from the gods.
London, 1802 According to the poem, what is England like? What lacks or missing qualities have caused this condition? How would Milton’s return help? Do Wordsworth’s criticisms of England also apply to modern America? Explain.
London, 1802 Wordsworth wrote this poem after a brief visit to France. Viewed life in London as being full of vanity and falsehood Contrasted this with the desolation of France after the revolution Viewed the English as fake and self- absorbed
Lyric Poetry The lyric is a poem in which a single speaker expressed personal emotions and observations. Wordsworth used this form frequently and it was well-suited to his vision.
William Wordsworth Wordsworth believed in nature as a healer and teacher. Born in the Lake District of England and spent his childhood roaming the countryside – Developed his love of nature Most famous work is Lyrical Ballads, which he published with his friend Samuel Taylor Coleridge Wordsworth is the father of British Romanticism.
Homework Read Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” on Page 686 of your textbook and answer corresponding questions.
Do Now What do you make of guilt? Has your view of guilt or feelings of guilt changed as you’ve gotten older?
Do Now In poetry, poets use certain methods and means to get their points across. What are some of these devices that they use? What have you encountered in other reading you’ve done?
Poetic Sound Devices Coleridge achieves emotional effect and beauty through poetic sound devices – Alliteration: repetition of a consonant sound “The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew.” – Consonance: the repetition of final consonant sounds “… a frightful fiend/Doth close behind…” – Assonance: the repetition of a vowel sound with dissimilar consonant sounds “The western wave was all aflame.” – Internal rhyme: the use of rhymes within a poetic line “With heavy thump, a lifeless lump…”
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner How did your reaction to the ancient Mariner change as his story went on? Explain. On what occasion does the Mariner tell his story? Why do you think Coleridge chose this occasion for the poem? What happens to the Mariner’s shipmates after the appearance of the Specter Woman and her Death-mate? What might this symbolize about the effect of guilt on an individual’s perceptions of and relations with others? Why does the Albatross finally fall from the Mariner’s neck? What do you think the Albatross symbolizes? Find evidence to support your answer. What larger lesson about human life might the Mariner’s story suggest?
Samuel Taylor Coleridge Published Lyrical Ballads with Wordsworth in 1798 – While Wordsworth focused on common people in natural settings, Coleridge focused on the strange and exotic. Suffered from illness, grew addicted to painkillers – Marriage collapsed, as well as his friendship with Wordsworth His legacy is one of making the unreal seem compellingly real and an insight into the imagination.
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner This poem describes the torment that guilt can create and the horror of complete isolation from society. The central character, the ancient Mariner, recounts the tale of his crime against life – the killing of an albatross – and the physical and emotional punishments his actions set into motion.
Homework Read Byron’s “She Walks in Beauty,” “Apostrophe to the Ocean,” and “Don Juan” beginning on Page 718 of your textbook and answer corresponding questions.
Do Now What stereotypes are usually associated with artists, namely writers? Describe.
Lord Byron Byron was known for being an irresponsible and handsome aristocrat. Writers are often looked at as moody and unconventional. – Byron fit this stereotype nearly two centuries ago by setting the standard of the restless, rebellious artist.
She Walks in Beauty Do you think the speaker idealizes the subject of the poem? – The sonnet vividly describes a woman’s beauty, capturing its power and linking it to universal images. – The poem reflects the speaker’s wonder at the woman’s beauty. What might the “tender light” in line 5 be? How can you tell that the speaker admires both the woman’s inner and outer beauty?
Apostrophe to the Ocean What feelings does the ocean inspire in Byron? – Comfort – Excitement – Humility What attitude toward nature do his descriptions reveal?
Don Juan Do you find the speaker of Don Juan amusing? How would you describe the mood of the speaker’s reflections? – The narrator, at 30 years of age, finds himself exhausted, disappointed in himself, and somewhat disillusioned by the world around him. What advice does he offer his readers? – Be grateful things didn’t turn out worse. – Read the Bible. – Watch out for pickpockets.
Figurative Language Byron uses figurative language to express the sublime – a sense of power in nature that escapes human understanding. – Similes – Metaphors – Personification
Homework Read Shelley’s “Ozymandias,” “Ode to the West Wind,” and “To a Skylark” beginning of Page 732 of your textbook and answer corresponding questions.
Do Now The best artists make their viewers, readers, or listeners feel as if they are actually experiencing what they’re taking in. How have artists made their movies, books, and music affect you? What methods have they used to make their art meaningful to you?
Imagery Imagery is descriptive language that re- creates sensory experience. Writers use imagery to create metaphors and other figures of speech. Poetic imagery appeals to any or all of the five senses. It often creates patterns supporting a poem’s theme.
Ozymandias What attitude is conveyed by the words on the pedestal of the statue? What is the message of this poem? – While people may be mighty in life, nature and time will still take its toll on all. – Nothing and no one can last forever, despite how heroic or powerful they may be in life.
Ode to the West Wind What feelings does Shelley create around the West Wind in sections II and III? What is the meaning of the last line of the poem: “If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind”? – Even the worst situations are followed by better times. Shelley calls on the wind to lift him up, ravage him, and cleanse him. Decay will lead to new life in spring
To a Skylark What point is Shelley making in the first stanza of the poem? In lines 36-55, what quality or power does each comparison suggest the bird’s song has? The unending joy of the skylark’s song is contrasted with human experiences of limitation and the contradictions of joy and suffering.
Percy Bysshe Shelley Published a radical text, The Necessity of Atheism, and was expelled from Oxford University Concerned with social injustice and the plight of the poor Married Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin – Mary Shelley – Wrote Frankenstein Shelley often writes about nature’s extravagant effects. – Devotes entire poems to an aspect of nature Shelley died at the age of 29 in a boating accident.
Homework Read Keats’s “When I Have Fears That I May Cease to Be,” “Ode to a Nightingale,” and “Ode on a Grecian Urn” beginning on Page 748 of your textbook and answer corresponding questions.
Do Now There are certain fleeting moments in life that seem to be permanently burned into our memory. Keats discusses these moments in his works. What moments in your life do you seem to remember very vividly, even though they may seem insignificant to others or have occurred very long ago?
John Keats Not an aristocrat, as Byron and Shelley were Began studying medicine, but abandoned it for the literary world Keats valued beauty and found it in fleeting moments Keatsian ode – A quatrain rhymed abab, followed by a sestet rhymed in various ways.
British Romanticism At the time the British Romantic writers were writing, much change was occurring in the world. – Darwin was working and making numerous discoveries. Origin of Species – Revolutions all over the world
When I Have Fears That I May Cease To Be In lines 5-12, what is the speaker concerned about missing? Do the last lines offer a convincing resolution to such fears? Why or why not? The speaker expresses fears he will not live to fulfill his potential. – This is especially poignant because Keats died less than three years after he wrote this poem.
Ode to a Nightingale What does the speaker find appealing about the nightingale? What similarity between death and immortality does the speaker imply in stanza VI? In this poem, the nightingale’s song helps the speaker transcend the pain of the mortal world.
Ode on a Grecian Urn What do the speaker’s comments on these painted scenes indirectly suggest about real life? Keats contemplates truth and beauty. The beauty on the urn will last forever, just as was true hundreds of years ago will still be true today.
Ideal world Real world A. Beginning B. Middle A. End Theme of change Structure of the Ode Speaker moves from the real to the ideal, back to the real at the end.
Homework Read Tennyson’s “In Memoriam, A.H.H.” and “Ulysses” beginning on Page 818 of your textbook and answer corresponding questions.
Do Now Often in life, we have to deal with events or situations that are uncomfortable or unpleasant. As you get older, these occurrences happen more frequently. How do you deal with these situations? Do you face them head on or try to avoid them?
Alfred, Lord Tennyson Studied at Cambridge University – Met his closest friend there: Arthur Henry Hallam – After Hallam died, Tennyson began working on a series of poems that considered questions of death, religious faith, and immortality. Appointed poet laureate of England Considered the poetic voice of the Victorian Age Unlike many of the poets we’ve studied, Tennyson lived into his eighties.
In Memoriam, A.H.H. Written as a tribute to his friend Arthur Henry Hallam, who died at the age of 22. What do you learn about the speaker in Lines 21-24? In Lines 29-44, what does the poet suggest about the consolations of faith and philosophy? What feelings does Tennyson convey in these stanzas?
In Memoriam, A.H.H. What is the paradox put forth in Line 57? How does Section 130 answer the speaker’s one reason for anger in Section 82? The poem is a diary of Tennyson’s emotional journey as he overcame despair, doubt, and anger over his friend’s death.
Ulysses What is Ulysses feeling the urge to do? What is Ulysses’s attitude toward his previous experiences? What are Ulysses’s feelings about aging? About his life in general?
Ulysses In this poem, the speaker is restless with wanderlust and wants to get back out on the seas. His return home has not turned out as he expected, and this leaves him feeling conflicted. Does Tennyson intend Ulysses to be a heroic character, eternally fighting death? Or does the poet’s portrayal suggest that Ulysses is a selfish character, who is simply bored and wants to abandon an aging wife and unpleasant job? Use examples from the poem in your answer.
Homework Read Robert Browning’s “My Last Duchess,” “Life in a Love,” and “Love Among the Ruins” and Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s “Sonnet 43” beginning on Page 836 of your textbook and answer corresponding questions.
Do Now There are many ways to express your feelings for a person. Many of you have said you find overly romantic expressions of love trite and somewhat nauseating. How do you express your feelings? How do you like people to show their affection for you?
Dramatic Monologue Chaucer and Shakespeare use versions of dramatic monologue in their writing. The Brownings’ monologues contain: – A speaker who indirectly reveals his or her situation and character – A silent listener addressed by the speaker and implied in what the speaker says
Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning Elizabeth was in poor health due to a spinal injury and lived life as a recluse. – But her poetry attracted attention, including that of Robert Browning, who wrote her a letter of appreciation. – After five months of correspondence, she and Browning met and fell in love.
Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning Robert’s fame was overshadowed by Elizabeth’s during their lifetime. Robert’s work is on par with Tennyson’s and he is considered one of the great Victorian poets. The Brownings were very much in love and wrote many poems that handle love and the questions that accompany it.
My Last Duchess In Lines 15-31, how does the duke indirectly suggest his own deeply jealous nature? In Lines 43-47, how rational is the speaker being? How irrational are his underlying feelings?
Life in a Love Is the speaker’s “love” truly love? Do you find the speaker’s persistence charming and amusing? Or slightly scary and sad?
Love Among the Ruins What do the words in line 25 suggest about the speaker’s feelings about the current state of the land? In lines 65-72, how does the speaker feel about the girl? How can you tell?
Sonnet 43 Do you find the speaker’s description of the depth of her love moving? In what way does the kind of love expressed by the speaker in Sonnet 43 draw on all parts of her life and being?