Modern Texts

T.S. Eliot

– The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Virginia Woolf

          A Room of One’s Own

          The Mark on the Wall

James Joyce


John Agard

          Listen Mr. Oxford Don

Seamus Heaney


Dylan Thomas

          Fern Hill


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Modern Period

          keywords: fragmentation, alienation, atomization

          imagism: celebrates and emphasizes concision, clarity , concrete

o   captures complex condensed moment in time, precise images

          random, quick images

          enjambment, irony, moral chaos (unable to see stable truth) makes speakers and narrators unreliable

          modernists try to repudiate rational unified cogito

o   cogito: no conflicts, clarity in perceptions

          modernists wanted to show the obscurities; people aren’t aware of what’s going on

          “herd mentality” follow as sheep leads to mediocrity; offers critiques of mass culture

          aspects of time and multiple identities

          modernists felt the were being realists

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Victorian Texts

Matthew Arnold

          Dover Beach

Anthony Hecht

          Dover Bitch

Alfred Tennyson

          The Lady of Shallott

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

          Sonnets from the Portuguese

Robert Browning

          My Last Duchess

Christina Rossetti

          Goblin Market

Dante Gabriel Rossetti


Gerard Manly Hopkins

          God’s Grandeur

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Victorian Period

          keywords: insecurity, turmoil, religious crisis

          conflict between imaginative apprehension and realism

          issues of industrialization and utilitarianism; problems of the social world

o   the domestic sphere for women

          favoured less autobiographical forms: narrative, dramatic monologue, domestic fiction (novel)

          escape from self?

          religious doubt (Darwin)

          PARADOX: an idolization and idealization, while demeaning women (consigned and restricted)

          love of past (medieval times)

          Britain centre of Empire

          desire to be easily understood

          debates romanticism and feminism

          mirror: reflects

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Romantic Texts

William Blake

          Holy Thursday (2 versions)

          The Sick Rose


William Wordsworth

          Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood

          Sonnet: Composed upon Westminster Bridge

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

          Dejection: An Ode

John Keats

          Ode on a Grecian Urn

          Ode on Melancholy

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Romantic Period

          keywords: imagination, nature, feeling, author

          expressive modes (feminine)

          focus on thoughts, feelings and creative processes of the author

          marriage of contradictions: they can coexist (sublime invoking awe…holy dread)

          react against classical ideas of rationality, order and self-control

          emphasis on imaginative, intuitive, emotional powers of the individual

          celebration of the natural human being unimpeded by distorting social institutions

          symbiosis between nature and self

          natural human being to evolve regardless of social institutions (lamp: illuminates)

          pet a man with lively sensibility more enthusiasm and tenderness

          simple people living close to the land (French Revolution: liberty of the individual)

          celebration of the natural world and an interest in the effects of nature on the human mind

          the poet as the her/ conscience of his society

          use odes a lot

o   an odes is a lyric poem in elevated, or high style often addressed to a natural force, a person or an abstract quality; consists of thesis, antithesis and conclusion


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