Presentation on theme: "THE VICTORIAN AGE TESTI PROF. MARGHERITA UCCELLINI GRAFICA PROF. TERESA MARTELLINI."— Presentation transcript:
THE VICTORIAN AGE TESTI PROF. MARGHERITA UCCELLINI GRAFICA PROF. TERESA MARTELLINI
The long period known as the Victorian Age is named after Queen Victoria, who reigned from 1839 to 1901 and was related to many royal families of Europe, so that she was called “the grandmother of Europe”. Because of the length of this age, the changing attitudes also affected literature which, by voicing the conflicts and the ferments of the period, became a compromise between old and new models. There is hardly any other English literary period so complex and difficult to define as the Victorian one. Upset, as it was, by contradictions and revolutionary ideas, it became the ideal ground for the development of different literary movements, or rather literary attitudes. For convenience sake, Victorian literature is sometimes divided into two stages, which are usually applied to prose in particular: EARLY VICTORIANS: (1832 – 1870), grouping those writers who mostly identified themselves with their age; LATER VICTORIANS: (1870 – 1901), in whose works the sense of dissatisfaction and rebellion prevailed.
THE INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT
The Victorian Era was a period of great industrial development, of extraordinary financial expansion, and of the creation of the immense British empire. By the 1850s England was referred to as “the workshop of the world”, and her grandeur in the fields of scientific, technical and industrial development was exhibited for all to see at the Great Exhibition at Crystal Palace in As time progressed, England’s prosperity continued to increase. Also science and c hemistry made progress in this century: in 1856 the chemist William Perkin discovered how to produce colour in factories, especially mauve, which became very fashionable in Victorian Britain and which is very near to the colour used in this work.
THE EXPANSION OF THE EMPIRE
By the end of the 19th century Britain had so many colonies that they were called collectively “an empire where the sun never sets”. Although Britain had lost her American colonies in the American War of Independence, the country continued to gain others and to strengthen her hold on those still in her possession. As a consequence of this a new idea developed concerning England’s role in these areas. It was defined as “the white man’s burden”, a concept put forward by Rudyard Kipling.
THE WHITE MAN’S BURDEN
THE WHITE MAN’S BURDEN BY RUDYARD KIPLING Take up the White Man’s burden, Send forth the best ye breed, Go bind your sons to exile To serve your captive’s need; To wait in heavy harness On fluttered folk and wild- Your new-caught, sullen peoples, Half devil and half child.
Britain’s role in the colonies was not seen so much as that of the exploiter –exploitation being a question that Victorian society was becoming very sensitive to in view of the social problems at home– but rather that of server. England was prompted by a sense of duty to “serve” the colonies and to benefit them of all western progress as well as to prepare them for democratic life. Kipling was the spokesman of this theory: according to him, who had a mystic view of imperialism, the colonies were a burden, albeit a profitable one. He saw the Anglo-Saxons as the elected race whose job it was to civilize the underdeveloped populations (the white man’s burden) whether they liked it or not. Behind all the events quoted above there was the enterprising Victorian middle class with its neopuritan ethic and the lower classes which were more and more exploited and poorer.
THE LITERARY DEVELOPMENT
LATE ROMANTICISM: which was a continuation of the previous Romantic movement and still looked to the Middle Ages as a source of inspiration; REALISM: which stated that art has to reproduce outer reality faithfully, without idealizing it (as the Romantics had done); NATURALISM: which shared the same “realistic” conception of art, but advocated total objectivity and a scientific approach to literature; AESTHETICISM: which, in rejecting the view of the artist as a moral spokesman and avoiding the issues of the time, proposed a doctrine of “art for art’s sake”; DECADENTISM: which held that art is superior to nature and that the finest beauty was that of dying an decaying things.