19-Century Poetry (2): Art, Ambition and MortalityP. B. Shelley and Lord Alfred Tennyson Outline 19th Century Poetry: The Romantics and the Victorian Poetry Ozymandias The Poet Percy Bysshe Shelley Ulysses
The Poet Lord Alfred Tennyson The Lady of Shalott The Romantics: The Big Six William Blake (1757-18 27) Willliam Wordsworth (1 770-1850) Samuel Taylor Coleridg e (1772-1834)
John Keats (1795-182 1) -- died at the age of 25 Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) -- died at t he age of 29 Lord Byron (1788-1824) age 36 Mary Shelley 30 August 1797 1 February 1851) Art in the Romantic Age The First Generation: The emphasis on
1. Inspired by French Revolution 2. Nature and the Natural: 1. 2. correspondence between Nature and human nature (e.g. US Whitman, Dickinson) Democracy: Common and Rustic ( ) people Feelings (spontaneous overflow of powerful feelin g) Imagination and Vision (e.g. I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud) & Vision 3. 4.
Individualism & Quest so called Natural Supernaturalism Art in the Romantic Age The 2nd Generation: The emphasis on 1. Feelings Free Love 2. Art & Imagination (e.g. Ode on a Grecian Urn) & Vision Individualism & Quest for the remote (myth) 3. More Radical
Breaking down more boundaries (e.g. the sensual, the m oral); against authority (Ozymandias) Romantic or Satanic Hero ( Frankenstein) 4. (Lyrics) narrative poems Victorian Poetry More dramatic, less visionarysometimes sadder Influenced by the Romantics, but there is usually a c onflict between their need for conveying personal e motions and their sense of social responsibility (edu cational) esp in Tennyson. Influenced by the popularity of novels at the time dramatic monologue and narrative poems (e.g. Idyll
s of the KingsArthurian legends) Late Victorians the Pre-Raphaelites, Thomas Hard y and Matthew Arnold Ozymandias Starting Questi ons Main Idea and Ironies? How is Ozymandias described? The poems form?
an Italian sonnet (octave + sestet). Narrative frame: the use of the narrator Ozymandias (Rhyme: ABABACDCEDEFEF). I met a traveller from an antique land, Who said--"Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert....Near them, on the sand, Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed; And on the pedestal, these words appear: My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings,
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair! Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away." image The narrative framesthe effect of distantiation Survival Survival and and death: death: Lives: the other kings his heart and
the sculptors hand Ozymandias passions on the sculpture + lifeless sculpture sand traveler traveler I the Poem the one that survives Ozymandias: Historical Cont ext (1)
Its title: Ramesses the Great (i.e., Ramesses II), Pharaoh of the Nine teenth dynasty of ancient Egypt. O zymandias the Greek version of his throne name. The inscription on the pedestal of his statue: "King of Kings am I, Os ymandias. If anyone would know h ow great I am and where I lie, let h im surpass one of my works." (im age and info source) Shelleys reading: wrinkled lip Ramesses II
Front view of the temple of Ramesses II in Abu Simbel, Egypt Ozymandias: Historical Cont ext (2) The poem: Written in 1817, three years after the Waterloo in 1815 (which brought Napoleon's conqu est to a stop). (source) Shelleys other poem: Ode to the West Wind What inspired the poem: The 'You nger Memnon' statue of Ramesse
s II in the British Museum an e xample of British colonialism Percy Bysshe Shelley A radical thinker and pronounced athei st
Supporter of free love Eloped first with Harriet, and then with Mary Godwin Shelley (as well as her s tep-sister, when both were 16). Set up a radical community of friends who shared everything with one anoth er. Two family suicides (one of Harriet, th e other Marys half sister) 1816-- the completion of Frankenstein. 1821-- Percy Bysshe Shelley drowned at sea, aged 29. Ulysses 1. The who, where, when and why of the poem? The list eners? 2. Ulysses What does he think about his present life (ll. 1-5), his past experience (ll. 7-21), and future goals (ll.
22-32). Are there contradictions in his self-perception? 3. Ulysses vs. Telemachus: "He works his work, I mine." Do you find Ulysses irresponsible or a-social? 4. a) the rhythm (e.g. iambic pentameter), b) the arrange ment of explosive and mellifluous sounds in the poem. Ulysses It little profits that an idle king, By this still hearth, among these barren crags, Match'd with an aged wife, I mete and dole Unequal laws unto a savage race, That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me. I cannot rest from travel; I will drink Life to the lees. All times I have enjoy'd Greatly, have suffer'd greatly, both with those That loved me, and alone; on shore, and when The Hyades = sisters, Thro' scudding drifts the rainy Hyades daughters of Atlas, wh
Vext the dim sea. I am become a name; o were turned into a co For always roaming with a hungry heart nstellation of stars by Z Much have I seen and known,-- cities of men eus. They vexed, or tor And manners, climates, councils, governments, mented, the sea with bl owing sheets of rain ("s Myself not least, but honor'd of them all,-cudding drifts"), just as And drunk delight of battle with my peers, the constellation can in Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy. fluence the sea and we ather. Ulysses I am a part of all that I have met; Yet all experience is an arch wherethro'
Gleams that untravell'd world whose margin fades For ever and for ever when I move. How dull it is to pause, to make an end, To rust unburnish'd, not to shine in use! As tho' to breathe were life! Life piled on life Were all too little, and of one to me Little remains; but every hour is saved From that eternal silence, something more, A bringer of new things; and vile it were For some three suns to store and hoard myself, And this gray spirit yearning in desire To follow knowledge like a sinking star, Beyond the utmost bound of human thought. Ulysses Stanza 2 This is my son, mine own Telemachus, to whom I leave the sceptre and the isle,-Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfill This labor, by slow prudence to make mild
A rugged people, and thro' soft degrees Subdue them to the useful and the good. Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere Of common duties, decent not to fail In offices of tenderness, and pay Meet adoration to my household gods, When I am gone. He works his work, I mine. Ulysses Stanza 3 There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail; There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners, Souls that have toil'd, and wrought, and thought with me,-That ever with a frolic welcome took The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed Free hearts, free foreheads,-- you and I are old; Old age hath yet his honor and his toil. Death closes all; but something ere the end, Some work of noble note, may yet be done, Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks; The long day wanes; the slow moon climbs; the deep Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends. 'T is not too late to seek a newer world. Ulysses Stanza 3 Push off, and sitting well in order smite The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths Of all the western stars, until I die. It may be that the gulfs will wash us down; It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles, And see the great Achilles, whom we knew. Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho' We are not now that strength which in old days Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are,-One equal temper of heroic hearts, Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
Ulysses 1. Ulysses at an old agefirst speaking in his palace to no on e (the wife does not seem to listen) and then ("There lies th e port" ), to the mariners by the port. 2. Ulysses: a. present a boring life in barren crags with an aged wife and tedious duties (mete and dole; not known); past: -- seen the world, well known, a lot of experience; change action, to strive with god, to find something new. destiny dark broad sea death (Happy isle=Elysium) 3. Ulysses//mariners vs. his wife, people and Telemachus Is he irresponsible? (hoard, and sleep, and feed; offices of tend erness) 4. More question: Jerome H. Buckley asserts that the poem d oes not in fact convey a will to go forward . . . but a determined retreat, a yearning , behind allegedly tired rhythms, to join the great Achilles (o r possibly Arthur Hallam) in an Elysian retreat from life's ve
xations.  Do you agree? Ulysses with Three Desires and three possible readings 1. 2. 3. Desire: for meaningful living but not mere breathing; an eventf ul life, but not dull routine; to follow knowledge like a sinking st ar / Beyond the utmost bond of human thought; for being a her o as he was before; --one "braving the struggle of life." Desire: to be a wanderer and break away from the status quo (now known, or "I am become a name), in which he sees his w ife aged, his people savage (sleeping, eating and hoarding), and his son, Telemachus, who is soft (or "discerning," "prude nt," "soft," "good," "blameless," "centered," and "tender) --on
e dissatisfied with mundane life and thus irresponsible Desire: for "There gloom the dark, broad seas" and the Happy Isle. one yearning for rest. Ulysses: Historical Contexts In this poem Tennyson is elaborating upon a conviction he formed at Hallam's death "that li fe without faith leads to personal and social di slocation" (Chiasson 165). (source) In Memoriam (1850) Alfred Tennyson (1809As a twilight poet 1892) Worried about poverty and contracting epilepsy
(a family disease) a twilight poet Deeply saddened by the death of his friend Hall am. (1833) Shorted sighted and with keen interest in sound effects, he created his poems in his head, memo rizing lines and then creating their contexts. Many narrative poems about suspension and la nguidness; e.g. "The Lotos-Eaters" Mariana (a waiting woman); about dullness of immortality: d ramatic monologue: "Tithonus. As a a poet Laureate (1850)
a philosopher-poet, dealing with contemporary concerns with science vs. God: Nature, Red in tooth and claw a narrative poet catering to popular taste The Lady of Shalott Starting Q uestions 1. 2. 3. How is the Lady of Shalott presented? And how about Lancelo t? What do you think about the rhyme scheme AAAABCCCB, wit h the "B" always standing for "Camelot" in the fifth line and for "Shalott" in the ninth? Also, the rhymes either contain long vo
wels ([ei],[u]) or are feminine rhymes (early barley)except for some stanzas re. the people going to Camelot? What do you think the different elements of the poem means sy mbolically? For instance, the Lady under spell, weaving the im ages on a mirror, looking out of the window, Lancelots attractio n and the ending (two different ones in the two different version s)? Structure
Stanza 1 to stanza 4: setting and LS introduc ed Stanza 5 to stanza 8: what LS does vs. the o utside world Stanza 9 to stanza 12: Lancelot passes by Stanza 13 to stanza 17: LSs responses and death Stanza 18 to stanza 19: coda the others re sponses and Lancelots praise of LS. Setting: Camelot vs. the Isle
Note the inverted sentence structure, where the subj ect appears late and after the adverbial/prepositiona l phrase. An island on a river, surrounded by the barley and ry e fields On the island, LS is surrounded four grey walls, and four grey towers, by lilies, shivering breeze, whitene d willows and quivering aspens. People go to Camelot by barges and shallop, or on t he road running by, but when they look in another di rection, they see the isle. Lady of Shalott vs. the Mundane World LS
Introduced with questions; o nly heard by the reapers focused on weaving a magi c web with colours gay. Half sick when seeing funer al or wedded lovers passing by
Shadows of the world: the river eddy whirls, the surly village churls and the red cloaks of market girls troop of damsels, curly shepherd and knights all going down to Camelot a world of action and love Lancelot vs. Lady of Shalott Lancelot: Associated with the sun, ar mor and coats of arms ( a ctions)
His shieldlove With sounds and explosive sounds: bridle bells, glitter, silver bugle, bearded meteor His appearance described, song quoted: "Tirra lirra." LS 1 in action with self-awareness 2. Like a seer 3. self-assertion: writes her name, sings her last song until she dies. Persistent in her art creation. Ending and Different
Interpretations Respect is paid for LS, with the whole town in silence and fear, and Lancelot praising her. LS: a woman determined to seek her love and then she gets confirmed by the lover a devoted artist seeking to face reality, instead of staying in her ivory town, twice removed from reality.
The Lady of Shalott : 1833 vs . 1842 section 1: --a direct des cription of LS "A pearl garland winds he r head She leaneth on a velvet bed, /Fully royally appareled, The Lady of Shalott." Section 1: questions; seen or known passive But who hath seen her wave her hand? Or at the casement seen her stand?
Or is she known in all the land? The Lady of Shalott : 1833s vs. 1842s last stanzas They crossd themselves, their stars they blest, Knight, minstrel, abbot, squire, and guest. There lay a parchment on her breas t, That puzzled more than all the rest, The wellfed wits at Camelot. The web was woven curiously, The charm is broken utterly, Draw near and fear not,--this is I, The Lady of Shalott.
Who is this? And what is here? And in the lighted palace near Died the sound of royal cheer; And they crossed themselves f or fear, All the Knights at Camelot; But Lancelot mused a little spa ce He said, "She has a lovely fac e; God in his mercy lend her grac e, The Lady of Shalott." The Lady of Shalott
The Lady of S halott- 1888 The Tate Galle ry, John Willia m Waterhouse . Poem and ima ges The Lady of Shalott Ophelia, by Millais ( Elizabeth Siddal)
References Ozymandias http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ozymandias The Tennyson Page http://charon.sfsu.edu/TENNYSON/poems/in dex.shtml Chapter Three: Poems (1842) Tennyson's M ajor Poems: http://www.victorianweb.org/aut hors/tennyson/kincaid/ch3.html
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