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THE POLITICAL BACKGROUND:
revolution and Reaction
ROMANTIC PERIOD the span between 1785 and. 1830. • The midpoint of the decade in which Samuel Johnson died and Blake and Burns published their first poems. This was a turbulent period during which England experienced the ordeal of change from primarily agriculture society to a modern industrial nation. However, English sympathizers dropped off as the Revolution followed its increasingly grim and violent course: 1.the accession to power by Jacobin extremists. 2.the ‘September Masacres’ of the imprisoned and heplless nobility in 1792 3,followed by the execution of the royal family. 4.the French Republic of the Rhineland and Netherlends 5.French offer of armed assistance to all countries desiring to overthrow their governments, which brought England into the war against France. 6.the guillotining of thousands in the reign of Terror under Robespierre. 7.after execution in their turn of the man who had directed the Terror. 8.the emergence of Napoleon first as dictator and then as emperor of France
The early period of the French revolution, marked by the declaration of the Rights of man and the storming of the Bastille and release imprisoned offenders, evoked enthusiastic support from English liberals and radical. Two influential book: 1.Tom Pain’s Rights of man (justified the French revolution)against 2.Edmund Bruke’s Reflections on the revolution in France.(advocated for England a democratic republic) more important as an influence on Wordsworth, Shelly, and other poets was William Godwin’s inquiry concerning political justice.(which foretold an inevitable but peaceful evolution in which all property would be equally distributed and all government would wither away. in England this period was one of harsh repressive measures. 1.public meeting were prohibited. 2.habeas corpus was suspended for the first time in over hundred years. 3.advocate of even moderate political changes were charged with high treason in time of war. 4.the outlook of the Napoleonic wars put an end to reform and to almost all genuine political life in England, for nearly three decades
THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION- the shift in manufacturing that resulted from the invention of power-driven • machinery to replace hand labor James Watt perfected the steam engine in 1765. • Oliver Goldsmith lamented in THE deserted village as early as 1770 •
Oliver Goldsmith lamented in THE deserted village as early as 1770 • Meanwhile, the population was becoming increasingly polarized into the Disraeli later called the ‘TWO • NATION’ the two classes of capital and labor liberal reformers were dominated by the social philosophy of laissez-faire. • this theory of ‘LET ALONE’ holds that the general welfare can be ensured only by the free operation of • economic laws
in 1815 the conclusion of the French war • the workers had no vote and were prevented by law from unionizing • after one such outbreak the HOUSE OF LORDS-despite Lord Byron’s eloquent protest –passed a bill making • death the penalty for destroying the frames and used for weaving in the stocking industry. In August of that year, a huge but orderly assembly at ST . peter’s fields, Manchester, was wantonly charged • by troops, who killed nine and severely injured hundreds more; this was the notorious ‘Peterloo Masssecre’ so named with ironic reference of the Battle of Waterloo
The spirit of the age
Writers of working in that times did not think of themselves as ‘’Romantic’’. Critics and reviews treated them as independent individual into separate schools: 1.’’The lake school’’: Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Robert Southey 2.’’The cockney school’’ a derogatory term for Londoners Hunt, Hazlitt, John Keats 3.’’The satanic school’’: Byron, Shelley and their followers. In his Defence of poetry Shelly explained this literary spirit as an accompaniment of political and social revolution and other agree. William Hazlitt who published a book of essay called ‘’the spirit of the age’’ that was a time of promise, renewal of world-and of letters. The imagination of many romantic ,indeed, preoccupied with the fact and ideal revolution. Every writer except Edmund Bruke were in sympathy with French revolution. Wordsworth and Coleridge in excited daily communion revolutionized on grounds analogous politics democracy the theory and practice of peotry .Lyrical Ballads
poetic theory and poetic Practice
1.The concept of poetry and the poet 2. Poetic Spontaneity and freedom
5. The supernatural and ‘’Strangeness in Beauty’’
4.The Glorification of the commonplace
3. Romantic ‘Nature poetry’
Poetic theory and poetic practice
Wordsworth defined good poetry as ‘’the spontaneos overflow’’ of feelings. Keats listed as an ’’axiom’’. Blake insisted that he wrote from ‘’inspiration and vision’’ . Shelley also maintained that they are the products of an unconsious creativity. ‘’the definition of genius’’ Hazlitt remarked ‘’is that it acts unconscously. The manuscript of Romantic period show that they worked and reworked their texts no less arduously-if perhaps more immediately under the impetus of fist conception- than the poets of early age. Deep thinking’ Coleridge wrote is attainable only by a man of deep feelings
1.Poetry as primarily an ‘’imitation of human life. Other romantic theories, however diverse in other aspects. concurred on referring primarily to the mind ,emotions. And imagination of the poet, instead of to the outer world as perceived by the sense, for the origin content ,and defining attributes of a poem. Lyric poem written in the first person, earlier regarded as minor kind. and romantic forms was often described as the most essentially poetic of al genres. The Prelude is an instance of a central literary form. European Romanticism. Blake’s Milton, Shelley’s Promentheus Unbound and keat’s the fall of Hyperion.
2.poetic spontaneity and freedom
1.The concept of poetry and the poet
in two lecture on Wordsworth , Hazlitt declared that the school of poetry founded by Wordsworth was literary equivalent of French revolution, translating political changes into political experience. The paradox (these poets) set out with was that all things are by nature that equally fit subjects for poetry; or that if there is any preference to be given, those that are the meanest and most unpromising are the best. Lyrical ballads was to choose incidents and situations from common life, which the source and model is’ humble and rustic life. Words like ‘common’ ,’ordinary’ ,’everyday’ ,’humble’ to people. His aim throughout is to shatter the lethargy of custom so as to refresh our sense of wonder—indeed, of divinity –in the everyday, the commonplace, the trivial, and the lowly. The great power of the imagination, according to romantic writers, s that it makes the old world new again.
Because of the prominence of landscape in this period ‘’Romantic poetry’’ has to the popular mind become almost synonymouse with ‘’nature poetry’’ The aim of this poetry was description for its own sake. While many of the great Romantic lyrics-Wordsworth’s Tintern Abbey, ode: intimations of immortality, Coleridge’s Frost at Midnight , Dejection, shelley’s ode to the west ,Keat’s Nightingale-begin with an aspect or change of aspect in the natural scene. ‘’nature poems’’ are in fact meditative poems, emotional problems or personal crisis. Romantic poems habitually endow the landscape with human life passion. Romantic poets it was matters of immediate experience to response to the outer universe.
4.The Glorification of the commonplace
3.Romantic ‘Nature Poetry’
The familiar essay
Two fiction novels
Gothic novels: Inaugurated in 1764 by Horace Walpole’s Castel of Otranto. Setting of these tales in a gloomy caste of middle age. Novel of purpose:
These mode popular at the turn of the century.
Often written to propagate the new social and political theories. William Godwin, Gothic terror. Caleb Williams(1794) Mary Shelley wrote a thematic novel of terror which not only is literary classic but become a popular myth. Frankenstein(1817)
These novels opened up to later fiction the dark and irrational side of human nature.
The Mysteries of Italian(1797), The )Udolpho(1794), monk(1797)
( jane austen (1775-1817)
She is one of the greatest of English novelists She is the only important author who seems to be untouched by the political , intellectual, and artistic revolutions of her age Austen deliberately work within the circumference- the life of provincial English gentlefolk.
Sense and sensibility and Northanger abbey gently ridicule
1813-1818 Mansfield park,
persuations, pride and prejudice and Emma all about the marrige.
Sir walter scott (1771-1832)
He was contemporary with Jane Austen, but his work in fiction was at an extreme from hers. In 1714 with the anonymous Waverley, he turned from narrative verse. His great series of Scottish novels, including Guy
Mannering, The Antiquary, old Mortality, Rob Roy, Heart of Midlothian are
rooted in historical events.
Ivanhoe is set in 13th.England and Kenilworth in the age of Elizabeth: andQuentin Dunward the best of his
continental romances. Scott’s had an immense international vogue, equalling that Byron and Goethe and become the acknowledge master of the greatest 19th. Novelists, including Balzac and Tolstoy. On the other hand, Jane Austen during her lifetime was admired only by a limited group. Scott’s combination of casualness in design and prodigality in details puts off many readers who have formed their sensibilities on the well –made novel. But even after the achievements of such masters in form as Henry James, Jane Austen remains the sovereign of the intricate, spare and ironic art of the novels of mannaer.
what William Blake called his ‘’Spiritual life’’ was as varied, free, and dramatic as his ‘’Corporeal life’’ was simple, limited ,and unadventurous. At 10 he dropped school At 14 he served as apprentice for 7 years to engraving James Basire. At 24 he married Catherine Boucher as an ideal wife for an unorthodox and impecunious genius. In 1800 when the demand for his work slackened he moved to cottage at Felpham. At Felpham in 1803 occurred an event that left a permanent mark on Blake’s mind and art. he had an altercation with a soldier
After 3years he moved to London determined to follow his ‘’Divine Vision’’ thought it meant a life of isolation. When he was in his 60 did he finally attract by small group painters. He died in his 70. Blake ‘s first book of poems, Poetical Sketches , showed his dissatisfaction with the reigning poetic tradition. For lyric models he turned back to the Elizabethan and early 17th .poets. He also experiment with partial rhymes and novel rhythms and employed bold figures of speech that at times approximate symbols. He published Songs of Innocence (1789) then added supplementary poems and printed Songs of Innocence and of Experience. The best song of experience such as The Tyger and London. First of Blake’s ‘’minor prophecies’’ completed by 1795.and then the major prophetic books until 1820: The Four Zoas, Milton, Jerusalem. In the mid 19th. He acquired a group of admires among the Pre- Raphalites. In The French Revolution, America, A Prophecy, Europe, a prophacy and the trenchant prophetic satire The Marriage of Heaven and Hell which Blake wrote in the early 1790.
a favorite myth of late 18th. Was that there exist natural poets, who warble their native woodnotes wild. Robert Burns his first volume of Poems in 1786. He rather enjoyed playing the role of the poets by instinct. although he was a well-read. Two earlier traditions for his models: 1.The Scottish oral traditions of folklore and folk song 2.developed Scottish literary tradition, which goes back to the late Middle age He died as heart trouble 37. His education in literature , theology ,politics, and, philosophy came mainly from his own reading.
At ate age 15 he fell in love, and was inspired by that event to write his first song. He reached maturity, he cultivated assiduously both (love and poetry)propensities. The Kilmarnock volume is one of the most extraordinary first volumes by any British poet. He was an out spoken admirer of the republican revolutions in America and France. In 1788 Burns was given a commission as excise officer. In 1787 James Johnson, an engraver had enlisted Burns Aid in collecting Scottish folk songs for an anthology called The Scots musical museum. Almost all of his creative work, during the last 12 years of his ljfe, went into writing of songs for the Musical Museum and for George Thomson’s Select collection of original Scottish Airs. Burn’s best poetry was written in scotts. He is often considered a ‘’pre Romantic’’ The reputation is based primarily on his song. The include brilliant satire in a variety of modes, a number of fine verse epistle to friends ,and one masterpiece mock-heroic narrative Tom O’ Shanter.
was a major English Romantic poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped to launch the Romantic Age in English literature with the 1798 joint publication Lyrical Ballads. Wordsworth's magnum opus is generally considered to be The Prelude, a semiautobiographical poem of his early years which he revised and expanded a number of times. It was posthumously titled and published, prior to which it was generally known as the poem "to Coleridge". Wordsworth was Britain's Poet Laureate from 1843 until his death in 1850.
first published poetry with the collections An Evening Walk his "Preface to Lyrical Coleridge's name as author. One of Wordsworth's most famous poems, "Tintern Abbey", was published in the work, along with Coleridge's Ballads", which is called the "manifesto" of English Romantic criticism, Wordsworth calls his poems "experimental." The year 1793 saw Wordsworth's and Descriptive Sketches. That year, he met Samuel Taylor Coleridge in Somerset. The two poets quickly developed a close friendship. In 1797, Wordsworth and Coleridge produced Lyrical Ballads (1798), an important work in the English Romantic movement. The volume gave neither Wordsworth's nor "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner". The second edition, published in 1800, had only Wordsworth listed as the author, and included a preface to the poems, which was augmented significantly in the 1802 edition. This Preface to Lyrical Ballads is considered a central work of Romantic literary theory. In it, Wordsworth gives his famous definition of poetry as "the spontaneous overflow of powerful emotions recollected in tranquility: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility." A fourth and final edition of Lyrical Ballads was published in 1805. From 1795 to 1797, he wrote his only play, The Borderers, a verse tragedy set during the reign of King Henry III of England when Englishmen of the north country were in conflict with Scottish rovers. Wordsworth attempted to get the play staged in November 1797, but it was rejected by Thomas Harris
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