Fading Faith: An Analysis Of The Victorian Period

2381 words - 10 pages

The Victorian period began with the accession of Queen Victoria; when she gained power in the throne. The era can be separated into three sections: the early Victorians, the Pre-Raphaelites, and the late Victorians. Some early Victorian writers include Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Lord Tennyson Alfred, and Robert Browning. Also, the idealism of this time was utilitarian. Nature was viewed as cruel and harsh, which is the complete opposite from the Romantic period. Some key themes included evolution can lead to a crisis of faith and intellectual and spiritual doubt. The Victorian Trinity is three notions: religion, science, and morality. Economically, Britain was the first big industrialized nation. The Victorian era finally came to an end with the death of Queen Victoria in 1901 (Cope 16-17). The majority of the poems in this essay are from the Mid-Victorian period, with the exception of “The Windhover.” Dante Gabriel Rossetti was born in 1828. He wrote “The Blessed Damozel” and it was published in 1846. In the poem, the speaker is talking to his dead soon to be wife, but it is too hard for him to get over her. Also, in 1877 Gerard Manley Hopkins created his work “The Windhover.” This poem is mainly about speaker comparing the bird he saw to Christ. Christina Rossetti made the poem “Goblin Market”, which was made in 1859. The poem is about two sisters and one of them get very ill and needs more fruit from the market. The other one is abducted by the “goblins” because she is trying to help out her sister. Lastly, there is “Dover Beach” and it was written by Matthew Arnold in 1851. The speaker talks about the sea and the waves. Also, he mentions faith and he compares it to the waves. During the Victorian period there was the concept of losing religion and hope, which influenced the poems “The Blessed Damozel”, “The Windhover”, “Goblin Market”, and “Dover Beach.” Firstly, Dante Gabriel Rossetti speaks about afterlife and Christ in his poem “The Blessed Damozel.”
Dante Gabriel Rossetti mentions religion and spirituality in his poem “The Blessed Damozel.” The woman the speaker loves has passed away and he could still feel her presence though her soul and the “damozel” misses the man as well. In the article Love, Unity, and Desire in the Poetry of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, the author explains, “The heart of the poem is the ironic conflict between the speaker’s very earthly bodily desire… and the tradition that heaven is a place of heavenly, disembodied souls… emphasized by the speaker’s religious language” (Spector 435). The man desperately wants to be with the lady he loves, but he can only settle with the memories and her essence. The women talks with the speaker from heaven and she wants to be with him, but there is no way for them to be together; they only have the love through prayer and spirituality. Rossetti contrasts the physical and spiritual love he has for his once future wife. The woman in the poem “The Blessed Damozel” finally speaks,

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