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The Victorian Era & Victorian Poetry Brit Lit II Mr. Marcel.

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Presentation on theme: "The Victorian Era & Victorian Poetry Brit Lit II Mr. Marcel."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Victorian Era & Victorian Poetry Brit Lit II Mr. Marcel

2 The Victorian Era: Historical/Cultural Overview Queen Victoria – ascended the throne in 1837 and ruled for 64 years She worked hard for her people, delegated leadership well. England reached the height of its economic and political power. London swelled in population. While there were plenty of problems (poverty, disease, etc.), the nation’s ills were being ratified.

3 The Victorian Era: Historical/Cultural Overview The Reform Bill of 1832 –The number of voters quadrupled. Other legislation of the time further extended political democracy: –factory acts ( ; controlling child labor); –law abolishing slavery (1834); –Poor Law (1834-providing system of public relief); –10-hour day (1847); –Voting by ballot (1872).

4 The Victorian Era: Historical/Cultural Overview England had expanded from a tiny island into an empire. –sense of nationalism and self-satisfaction. England became more insular, complacent and wealthy. New conventionality and conservatism from growing middle class The middle class: becoming more serious, and materialistic. Puritanism again became popular, and moral bond tightened.

5 The Victorian Era: Literature Victorian lit. becomes more somber and factual, more realistic and classical. It reflects new scientific advances, the concern over social conditions. Victorian Literature is really an amalgam of neo-classical and romantic

6 The Victorian Era: Traits New issue: writing for popular demand (the rise of novel - which analyzed the problems of the middle class) In drama, the Victorians wanted light comedy and farce. Victorian poetry is very diverse: designed for 2 widely different levels: 1) the exotic, pagan, colorful, emotional 2) humanitarian, intellectual, didactic.

7 The Divisions of the Victorian Period A. EARLY VICTORIAN ( ): including writers who continue deep currents of romanticism as well as those opposed to excesses of Romanticism. –Novelists: Dickens, William Thackeray (Vanity Fair), Charlotte Bronte (Jane Eyre) & Emily Bronte (Wuthering Heights) –Poets: Lord Tennyson, Robert Browning

8 The Divisions of the Victorian Period B. MID-VICTORIAN ( ): period most characteristically Victorian; transition between the previous more aristocratic touch and the yet to come democratic/socialistic trends of later. –Poets: pre-Raphaelite group rejects artificial elements, what is natural is best; tendency to symbolism, heightening natural elements to create sensuous effects, great attention to minute detail. A growing opposition to the Victorian ethic Matthew Arnold –Essayists: Charles Darwin, Thomas Huxley –Novelists: Lewis Carroll

9 The Divisions of the Victorian Period C.LATE VICTORIANS AND “THE NEW REALITY” ( ): there are still writers continuing to argue for the complacent and prosperous middle class; AND, those who openly challenge the cherished ideals, the decorous restraint, and smugness. In actuality, England moved toward greater real democracy--more freedom for women, more defense of individual rights in court system. In politics, the problem of the Victorian Age was to seek compromise--in Literature, it was the same--compromise between flagrant romanticism and staid classicism. Novelists: Thomas Hardy, Samuel Butler, Oscar Wilde (novel/drama)

10 The Divisions of the Victorian Period Poets: –Impressionists--revolt against realistic detail, sought to reproduce impressions--hence, highly personal--escape the expression of commonplace details and express, instead, mood: William Butler Yeats –Symbolists--avoids direct expression, seeking by means of imagery and fancy to endow poetic materials with some hidden spiritual or intellectual significance. Many are Catholic writers, seeking aesthetic escape in a religious mysticism: Hopkins, Thompson

11 Impressionism Impression: soleil levant

12 Victorian Poetry Lord Tennyson’s “The Lady of Shallot,” “Ulysses,” “The Charge of the Light Brigade” Robert Browning's “My Last Duchess" Matthew Arnold's "Dover Beach" Gerard Manley Hopkins “The Windover,” “Pied Beauty,” “Spring”

13 John William Waterhouse’s The Lady of Shallot


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