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Victorian Literature. Victorian Period Period of Queen Victoria’s reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901 It was a long period of peace,

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Presentation on theme: "Victorian Literature. Victorian Period Period of Queen Victoria’s reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901 It was a long period of peace,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Victorian Literature

2 Victorian Period Period of Queen Victoria’s reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901 It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self- confidence for Britain

3 She had the longest reign in British history Became queen at the age of 18 She also had a gift for drawing and painting She maintained a sense of dignity and decorum that restored the average person’s high opinion of the monarchy after a series of horrible, ineffective leaders Victoria married a German prince, Albert, who became not king, but Prince -consort After he died in 1861, she sank into a deep depression and wore black every day for the rest of her life

4 Impact on Victorian Literature: The Victorian era is characterized by English imperialism. England was rapidly expanding. Queen Victoria was named Empress of India The Victorian era is also thought to be a time of rigid morals and repressed sexuality. Reading became a new past time because some theatre was regarded as “immoral” Homosexual behavior was regarded as a criminal offense and several writers were sentenced to hard labor for engaging in “homosexual activities”

5 Victorian Novel Dominant form in Victorian literature Seek to represent a large and comprehensive social world, with a variety of classes. Victorian novels are realistic Major theme: Place of the individual in society, the aspiration of the hero or heroine for love or social position The protagonist’s search for fulfillment is emblematic of the human condition. Was a principal form of entertainment

6 Children’s Literature The Victorians are credited with starting literature for children Because several laws were enacted which ended child labor, and began required education, more children were able to read Several authors wrote for children, and had an adult following as well, including Lewis Carrol (Alice in Wonderland)

7 Gothic Literature Gothic literature is an example of “fantastic fiction” Often the characters were larger than life, like Sherlock Holmes, and had exotic enemies to defeat Other Gothic characters include Dracula and The Invisible Man Combines romance and horror in an attempt to thrill and terrify and the reader

8 Victorian Poetry Developed in the context of the novel. Poets sought new ways of telling stories in verse Show the strong influence of the Romantics, but they cannot sustain the confidence the Romantics felt in the power of the imagination. Victorian poets often rewrite Romantic poems with a sense of belatedness Dramatic monologue –great achievement of Victorian poetry Victorian poetry is pictorial; poets use detail to construct visual images that represent the emotion or situation the poem concerns Conflict between private poetic self and public social role


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