Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Victorian Poetry: A Brief Synopsis


Three factors are of great importance in the Victorian Age: the advance of democratic ideals, the industrial progress, and the growth of scientific spirit. It was essentially an age of compromise. The age is remarkable for its extreme deference to Convention and Authority.
In spite of its partial reversion to the spirit of the eighteenth century, the Victorian Age may be considered as the continuation of the age of Romantic Revival.

Tennyson, the most representative poet of the age, combines the profusion and variety of Romantics with the finish and discipline of the classicists. His genius was essentially lyrical, but his desire to become the prophet of his age proved a disaster.
Browning was just the antithesis of Tennyson. His forte was dramatic monologue. His poetry is characterised by profundity of thought, carelessness for form and style, use of grotesque rhymes, psychological insight into character, cosmopolitanism and an optimistic concept of life.

The growth of scientific spirit shattered all faith and belief and created an atmosphere of doubt and despair which is reflected in the poetry of Clough, Thompson, Fitzerald, and Arnold. Mathew Arnold's poetry is marked by a deep elegiac note, a spirit of stoical resignation, reticence and restraint in style and passion.

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