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The Victorian Era Poetry. Queen Victoria Queen at age 18 –Graceful and self-assured –Longest reign in British history Married German prince, Albert of.

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Presentation on theme: "The Victorian Era Poetry. Queen Victoria Queen at age 18 –Graceful and self-assured –Longest reign in British history Married German prince, Albert of."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Victorian Era Poetry

2 Queen Victoria Queen at age 18 –Graceful and self-assured –Longest reign in British history Married German prince, Albert of Saxe- Coburg –Had nine children, modest family life provided model of respectability Her reign brought great change to Britain

3 Growth of the British Empire –British Empire included Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa, Kenya, and India. –By the mid-1800s, Great Britain was the largest exporter and importer of goods in the world. It was the primary manufacturer of goods and the wealthiest country in the world.

4 An Era of Change Industrial Revolution –Factory system emerged –Huge population increase From country side to city life Brought poverty, sickness (lack of sanitation), further emergence of social classes Technological Advancements –Steam hammers, railroads and railways, steam ships, telegraph, telephone, photography, geology, astronomy

5 The Industrial Revolution

6 These Changes Brought Economic Progress Britain became the greatest economical power in the world 1 st in manufacturing Created a strong sense of nationalism –Go Britain! COLONIZE!

7 But this all came with a price Excessive pollution Lack of hygienic conditions –Overcrowded houses –Miserable conditions –Shared water supplies Epidemics “The Great Stink” –Cholera, thyphoid = high mortality rates –Smells were awful (from decaying matter)

8 Another Important Influence Charles Darwin –Theory of Natural Selection –Evolution Caused Victorians to question their religion/faith –Ongoing struggle with science and faith

9 The Victorians Great moralizers –supported: Personal duty Hard work Decorum Respectability Chastity

10 Victorian = Prude Extreme repression –Even furniture legs had to be concealed under heavy cloth not to be suggestive. Middle-class –Obsessed with gentility –Respectability distinguished the middle from the lower class

11 Decorum Private lives were dominated by an authoritarian father. Women were subject to male authority. –Marry –Make the home a “refuge” for husbands

12 So…What has “Victorian” come to mean? Improved standards of morality and decency The prosperity of the nation as a whole Immense industrial and scientific development An attitude of proper behavior (and lack of humor) Unquestioning acceptance of authority and “proper” behavior

13 What about the poets? –Through their poetry… Confirmed what Victorians valued Pointed out problems in their society Implicitly critiqued / exposed society’s problems or misdirections

14 Major Themes Role of Women –Struggle for independence Religion –Uncertain faith / search for inner peace and reconciliation with God and Man in the modern world Spiritual peace in an industrial world Restraint / respectability Isolation / alienation / despair

15 Alfred, Lord Tennyson Most popular Victorian poet Narrative poems Extensive use of classical and medieval legends Favorite of Queen Victoria Most quoted writer in everyday English speech.

16 Robert Browning Raised DRAMATIC MONOLOGUES to new heights –Made it a vehicle for deep psychological study People from historical past reveal their thoughts/loves as if they are speaking aloud Tells of a key moment in the life of a person Poems show dislike of anyone who wastes life instead of working hard

17 Elizabeth Barrett Browning Married to Robert Browning –Poetry was much more popular than his –At the time: “Finest woman poet in English Literature” Wrote love sonnets –Valued for their lyric beauty Interesting Fact: Her father never wanted her (or any of his children) to marry. Robert wrote her a letter stating how much he loved her poetry, and they finally eloped together after many exchanges. They lived a happy marriage.

18 Gerard Manley Hopkins Most complex New style: “sprung rhythm” (natural rhythms in which people speak) –Work was never published in his lifetime –Did not make an impact until many years later


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