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Poetry Styles Of The Victorian Period

1185 words - 5 pages

The Victorian Period (1833-1901) brought about the expansion of Britain's booming economy. In Britain, around the beginning of the Victorian Period, the consequence of industrialism brought much unrest across the land. The factories were notorious for their horrible working conditions, and the common workers' housing was atrocious. Victorians were struggling with religious, philosophical, and social ramifications (854-856). The complex background to what was happening in Britain at the time led to a new and interesting literature period. There happened to be three influential types of literature during the Victorian Period. The first of these types was Realism. "When Victorian writers confronted the rapid technological and social changes amidst which they lived . . ." (857) realism evolved. Realism centered on "ordinary people facing the day-to-day problems of life, and an emphasis that reflected the trend toward democracy and the growing middle-class audience for literature" (857). The second type of literature that began to show up in the Victorian Period was Naturalism. Naturalism "sought to put the spirit of scientific observation to literary use" (857) by including lots of details into literary works. This literature type appeared to contradict Romanticism and painted "nature as harsh and indifferent to the human suffering it caused" (857). Thirdly, the Victorian Period brought about the Pre-Raphaelites literature. Pre-Raphaelites didn't accept "real" life and instead found spiritual inspiration in "medieval Italian art, . . . before the time of the painter Raphael (1483-1520)" (858). The Victorian Period of literature brought about many poets and poems. The poetry of the Victorian Period mostly dealt with Realism and Naturalism. Prominant poets of the time period, whose works reflected these two genres, included Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Robert and Elizabeth Browning, Thomas Hardy and many others. Their poems showed many of the characteristics of Realism and Naturalism. One poem, The Lady of Shalott, by Alfred, Lord Tennyson leans toward the side of Naturalism but has evidence of lingering Romanticism. In the poem, there was a lady who had been cursed to live in a fortress above Camelot. From the title of the poem we derive that they called her the Lady of Shalott. We don't know why she had been cursed to live there but we know that she could not look down on Camelot. The only way she saw people was through a mirror. She saw shadows of the people and weaved them into her webs. One day a shining knight passed by her mirror, and he was too much for the Lady of Shalott to resist. She turned around and looked down on him. She automatically knew that she must now die. Her corpse floated to Camelot where no one really minded that she was dead lying in a boat. I think that this poem is an example of Naturalism because it had many details and invokes images in the reader's mind. "Four gray walls, and four gray towers, Overlook a space of flowers, and...

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