By Jerome Kennedy,2014-04-12 04:03
12 views 0



    History and Anthology of English Literature

     (Book 2)

    Week Contents

     1 The Romantic Period

    William Wordsworth

     2 George Gordon, Lord Byron

     3 Percy Bysshe Shelley

     4 John Keats;Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Southey

     5 Walter Scott


     6 Jane Austen

    Pride and Prejudice

     7 Charles Lamb

     8 The Victorian Age

    Critical Realism in England

     9 Charles Dickens

    David Copperfield & Oliver Twist

     10 William Makepeace Thackeray

    Vanity Fair

     11 George Eliot

    Adam Bede

     12 Charlotte Bronte & Emily Bronte

    Jane Eyre & Wuthering Heights

     13 Thomas Hood, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Robert Browning & Elizabeth

    Barrett Browning

     14 Twentieth-Century Literature

    Thomas Hardy, John Galsworthy and Oscar Wilde

    Tess of the D’Urbervilles, The Forsyte Saga & The Picture of Dorian


     15 George Bernard Shaw & D. H. Lawrence

    Mrs. Wrren’s Profession & Sons and Lovers

     16 Virginia Woolf & James Joyce

    Mrs. Dalloway & Araby

     17 Review and Final Examination

The meaning of Romanticism:

    1. The romantic movement was marked, and is always marked, by a strong reaction and protest against the bondage of rule and custom, which, in science and theology, as well as in literature, generally tend to fetter the free human spirit.

    2. Romanticism returned to nature and to plain humanity for its material, and so is in marked contrast to Classicism.

    3. It brought again the dream of a golden age in which the stern realities of life were forgotten and the ideals of youth were established as the only permanent realities.

    4. Romanticism was marked by intense human sympathy, and by a consequent understanding of the human heart. Not to intellect or to science does the heart unlock its treasures, but rather to the touch of a sympathetic nature; and things that are hidden from the wise and prudent are revealed unto children.

    5. The romantic movement was the expression of individual genius rather than of established rules. In consequence, the literature of the revival is as varied as the characters and moods of the different writers.

    6The romantic movement, while it followed its own genius, was not altogether unguided.

    The Age of Romanticism (1800-1850/1798-1832)

    thThe first half of the 19 century records the triumph of Romanticism in literature and of

    democracy in government. The chief subject of romantic literature was the essential nobleness of common men and the value of the individual. The Declaration of Independence (1776), the French Revolution (1789-99), the Reform Bill (1832). For the French Revolution and the American commonwealth, as well as the establishment of a true democracy in England by the Reform Bill, were the inevitable results of ideas which literature had spread rapidly through the civilized world. Liberty is fundamentally an ideal. All asserted the doctrine of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. By her inventions in steel and machinery, and by her monopoly of the carrying trade, England had become “the workshop of the world”.

    Literary Characteristics of the Age: Literature at first reflected the political turmoil of the age; and then, when the turmoil was over and England began her mighty work of reform; literature suddenly developed a new creative spirit, which shows itself in the poetry of Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, Keats, and in the prose of Scott, Jane Austen, Lamb, and De Quincey whose patriotic enthusiasm suggests the Elizabethan days and whose genius has caused their age to be known as the second creative period of English literature.

    1. The essence of Romanticism was that literature must reflect all that is spontaneous and

    unaffected in nature and in man, and be free to follow its own fancy in its own way.

    2. The second characteristic of this age is that it is emphatically an age of poetry.

    The pre-romanticists: Blake and Burns. The whole temper of Blake’s genius was essentially opposed to the classical tradition of that age. His lyric poetry displays the characteristics of the romantic spirit, according to which natural sentiment and individual originality are essential to literary creation. There is strong likeness between Shelley and Blake: the imagery and symbolism as well as the underlying spirit of Shelley’s revolutionary epics. His works: Poetical Sketches, Songs of Innocence, Songs of Experience, Prophecies, etc. Burns is the national poet of Scotland. His songs of Scotch dialect are Scottish to the core. As a poet of the peasants, Burns had a special superiority over other poets. His great success was also largely due to his comprehensive knowledge and excellent mastery of old song tradition. His peasant origin and environment specially aided him in mastering the happy simplicity, humor, directness and optimism. The best-known of his poems are: John Anderson, My Jo, Auld Lang Syne, A Red, Red Rose, Coming Thro’ the Rye, Highland Mary, and many others.

    The passive romanticists (the trio of so-called Lake Poets):

     Passive romanticism endeavors to reconcile man with his life by embellishing that life, or to distract him from the things around him by means of a barren introspection into his inner world, into thoughts of life's insoluble problems, such as love, death and other imponderables.

    Wordsworth: We Are Seven; Lines Written in Early Spring; To the Cuckoo; I Wondered Lonely as a Cloud; The Solitary Reaper; Lucy, etc.

    Coleridge: A Day Dream; The Devil's Thoughts; The Suicide's Argument; Kubla Khan; The Rime of the Ancient Mariner; Christabel; etc.

    Southey: Thalaba, a tale of Arabian enchantment; The Curse of Kehama, a medley of Hindoo mythology; Madoc, a legend of a Welsh prince who discovered the western world; Roderick, a tale of the last of the Goths; The Scholar, etc.

    The active romanticists:

     Active romanticism strives to strengthen man's will to live and raise him up against the life around him, against any yoke it would impose.

    Byron: When We Two Parted; She Walks in Beauty; Don Juan; etc.

    Shelley: Ozymandias; Ode to the West Wind; The Cloud; To a Sky-Lark; etc.

    Keats: Ode to a Nightingale; Ode on a Grecian Urn; To Autumn; Bright Star; etc. 3. The creation of the historical novel by Scott: Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, etc.

    4. The first appearance of women novelists, such as Mrs Anne Radcliffe, Jane Porter, and Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice; Sense and Sensibility; Emma; Mansfield Park; Persuasion; Northanger Abbey.

    5. The development of literary criticism, in the work of Lamb, De Quincey, Coleridge, and Hazlitt.

    6. The practical and economic bent (interest) of philosophy, as shown in the work of Malthus, James Mill and Adam Smith.

    7. The establishment of great literary magazines, like the Edinburgh Review, the Quarterly, Blackwood’s, and the Athenaum.

Report this document

For any questions or suggestions please email