Do Now
• What do you think of when you hear the
word “romantic”?
British Romanticism
Romantic Period
• Late 18th century movement
• Framed by American and French
• End marked by an era of reform in Britain
– Voting rights extended
• Beginning of modern industrial state
• Abolition of slave trade in Britain
• Radical break with traditions
Romantic Period
• 1790s – France offers to support
revolution in many countries.
• 1799 – Napoleon seizes power and
declares himself Emperor in 1804.
• Some in Britain were unified against
• Napoleon is defeated in 1815 at Waterloo.
Romantic Period
• Britain was a paradise in peril.
• Poverty
– Two class society
• High infant mortality rate
• Prior to the Romantic period, there was an
emphasis on reason and being rational.
– Little emphasis on feeling and emotion
– The highest compliment a person could
receive was to be considered reasonable.
Romantic Period
• People’s disillusionment with the state of
English life led artists to put these feelings
into their works.
– Enter the British Romantic writers!
• Earlier Neoclassical writers favored
reason, wit, and outward elegance.
Traits of British Romantic Writing
• Simplicity and directness of language
• The expression of spontaneous, intensified
• Profound responses to nature, in which
nature appears to reflect the soul and
contemplation of nature leads to a deeper
awareness of self
• Movement away from reason, wit, and
British Romantic Writing
• Emphasis on the soul and what it means to
truly have feeling
• Connection between what you feel and
what you think
• Interest in relationship between feeling
and thought
– Men use reason, women use emotion
– Views change; can’t view people’s thought
process so narrowly
Themes of British Romantic
• Celebration of common people
• Love of nature
• Admiration for the French Revolution and
the idea of revolting against the norm in
• Loss of faith in reason
– Greater emphasis on feeling
• Read Wordsworth’s “Lines Composed a
Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey,” “The
Prelude,” “The World Is Too Much with
Us,” and “London 1802” beginning on
Page 666 of your textbook and answer
corresponding questions.
Do Now
• In the poems you read last night,
Wordsworth has emotional responses to
several different places and events. Have
you ever been moved by visiting a place or
by some world event? Did you feel as
strongly as Wordsworth appears to in
these poems? Explain.
Lines Composed a Few Miles Above
Tintern Abbey
• In line 36 of the poem, the poet mentions
“another gift” that his contact with this
rural scene bestowed upon him. Briefly
describe this gift.
• Explain the difference in the poet’s
attitude on his first and on his second visit
to Tintern Abbey.
Lines Composed a Few Miles
Above Tintern Abbey
• Wordsworth is speaking to his sister
Dorothy about his profound joy in
returning to Tintern Abbey after a five year
• The poem explores the soothing and
uplifting effect the memory of his first visit
has had during his absence.
• Heart and landscape are united in
immediate and spontaneous joy
The Prelude
• With what phrase does the speaker
describe the early days of the French
• What role did reason seem to play in the
• Do you think Wordsworth has given up
political hopes too easily? Explain.
The Prelude
• Wordsworth’s lament over the failure of
the French Revolution to live up to its
early possibilities
• Discusses the original excitement stirred
up by the original promise of the
Revolution, the eventual corruption of the
ideals, and the struggle to deal with the
horrors committed
The World Is Too Much with Us
• In “The World is Too Much With Us,” what
activities cause people to exhaust their
“powers”? What does the speaker mean by the
• According to the speaker, with what are we “out
of tune”? Why is being out of tune with these
experiences such a loss?
The World Is Too Much with Us
• Laments the preoccupation with
materialism and business that has blinded
people to the wonder of being
• In contrast, Wordsworth points out pagan
societies, which viewed nature not as
resources to be used up, but as gifts from
the gods.
London, 1802
• According to the poem, what is England
like? What lacks or missing qualities have
caused this condition?
• How would Milton’s return help?
• Do Wordsworth’s criticisms of England
also apply to modern America? Explain.
London, 1802
• Wordsworth wrote this poem after a brief
visit to France.
• Viewed life in London as being full of
vanity and falsehood
• Contrasted this with the desolation of
France after the revolution
• Viewed the English as fake and selfabsorbed
Lyric Poetry
• The lyric is a poem in which a single
speaker expressed personal emotions and
• Wordsworth used this form frequently and
it was well-suited to his vision.
William Wordsworth
• Wordsworth believed in nature as a healer
and teacher.
• Born in the Lake District of England and
spent his childhood roaming the countryside
– Developed his love of nature
• Most famous work is Lyrical Ballads, which
he published with his friend Samuel Taylor
• Wordsworth is the father of British
• Read Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient
Mariner” on Page 686 of your textbook
and answer corresponding questions.
Do Now
• What do you make of guilt? Has your view
of guilt or feelings of guilt changed as
you’ve gotten older?
Do Now
• In poetry, poets use certain methods and
means to get their points across. What are
some of these devices that they use? What
have you encountered in other reading
you’ve done?
Poetic Sound Devices
• Coleridge achieves emotional effect and beauty
through poetic sound devices
– Alliteration: repetition of a consonant sound
• “The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew.”
– Consonance: the repetition of final consonant sounds
• “… a frightful fiend/Doth close behind…”
– Assonance: the repetition of a vowel sound with
dissimilar consonant sounds
• “The western wave was all aflame.”
– Internal rhyme: the use of rhymes within a poetic line
• “With heavy thump, a lifeless lump…”
The Rime of the Ancient
• How did your reaction to the ancient Mariner change as his
story went on? Explain.
• On what occasion does the Mariner tell his story? Why do you
think Coleridge chose this occasion for the poem?
• What happens to the Mariner’s shipmates after the
appearance of the Specter Woman and her Death-mate?
What might this symbolize about the effect of guilt on an
individual’s perceptions of and relations with others?
• Why does the Albatross finally fall from the Mariner’s neck?
What do you think the Albatross symbolizes? Find evidence
to support your answer.
• What larger lesson about human life might the Mariner’s story
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
• Published Lyrical Ballads with Wordsworth in
– While Wordsworth focused on common people in
natural settings, Coleridge focused on the strange and
• Suffered from illness, grew addicted to painkillers
– Marriage collapsed, as well as his friendship with
• His legacy is one of making the unreal seem
compellingly real and an insight into the
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
• This poem describes the torment that guilt
can create and the horror of complete
isolation from society.
• The central character, the ancient Mariner,
recounts the tale of his crime against life –
the killing of an albatross – and the
physical and emotional punishments his
actions set into motion.
• Complete classwork worksheet.
• Read Byron’s “She Walks in Beauty,”
“Apostrophe to the Ocean,” and “Don
Juan” beginning on Page 718 of your
textbook and answer corresponding
Do Now
• What stereotypes are usually associated
with artists, namely writers? Describe.
Lord Byron
• Byron was known for being an
irresponsible and handsome aristocrat.
• Writers are often looked at as moody and
– Byron fit this stereotype nearly two centuries
ago by setting the standard of the restless,
rebellious artist.
She Walks in Beauty
• Do you think the speaker idealizes the subject of
the poem?
– The sonnet vividly describes a woman’s beauty,
capturing its power and linking it to universal images.
– The poem reflects the speaker’s wonder at the
woman’s beauty.
• What might the “tender light” in line 5 be?
• How can you tell that the speaker admires both
the woman’s inner and outer beauty?
Apostrophe to the Ocean
• What feelings does the ocean inspire in
– Comfort
– Excitement
– Humility
• What attitude toward nature do his
descriptions reveal?
Don Juan
• Do you find the speaker of Don Juan amusing?
• How would you describe the mood of the speaker’s
– The narrator, at 30 years of age, finds himself exhausted,
disappointed in himself, and somewhat disillusioned by the
world around him.
• What advice does he offer his readers?
– Be grateful things didn’t turn out worse.
– Read the Bible.
– Watch out for pickpockets.
Figurative Language
• Byron uses figurative language to express
the sublime – a sense of power in nature
that escapes human understanding.
– Similes
– Metaphors
– Personification
• Complete classwork worksheet.
• Read Shelley’s “Ozymandias,” “Ode to the
West Wind,” and “To a Skylark” beginning
of Page 732 of your textbook and answer
corresponding questions.
Do Now
• The best artists make their viewers,
readers, or listeners feel as if they are
actually experiencing what they’re taking
in. How have artists made their movies,
books, and music affect you? What
methods have they used to make their art
meaningful to you?
• Imagery is descriptive language that recreates sensory experience. Writers use
imagery to create metaphors and other
figures of speech.
• Poetic imagery appeals to any or all of the
five senses.
• It often creates patterns supporting a
poem’s theme.
• What attitude is conveyed by the words on
the pedestal of the statue?
• What is the message of this poem?
– While people may be mighty in life, nature
and time will still take its toll on all.
– Nothing and no one can last forever, despite
how heroic or powerful they may be in life.
Ode to the West Wind
• What feelings does Shelley create around the
West Wind in sections II and III?
• What is the meaning of the last line of the poem:
“If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind”?
– Even the worst situations are followed by better times.
• Shelley calls on the wind to lift him up, ravage
him, and cleanse him.
• Decay will lead to new life in spring
To a Skylark
• What point is Shelley making in the first
stanza of the poem?
• In lines 36-55, what quality or power does
each comparison suggest the bird’s song
• The unending joy of the skylark’s song is
contrasted with human experiences of
limitation and the contradictions of joy
and suffering.
Percy Bysshe Shelley
• Published a radical text, The Necessity of Atheism, and was
expelled from Oxford University
• Concerned with social injustice and the plight of the poor
• Married Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin
– Mary Shelley – Wrote Frankenstein
• Shelley often writes about nature’s extravagant effects.
– Devotes entire poems to an aspect of nature
• Shelley died at the age of 29 in a boating accident.
• Complete classwork worksheet.
• Read Keats’s “When I Have Fears That I
May Cease to Be,” “Ode to a Nightingale,”
and “Ode on a Grecian Urn” beginning on
Page 748 of your textbook and answer
corresponding questions.
Do Now
• There are certain fleeting moments in life
that seem to be permanently burned into
our memory. Keats discusses these
moments in his works. What moments in
your life do you seem to remember very
vividly, even though they may seem
insignificant to others or have occurred
very long ago?
John Keats
• Not an aristocrat, as Byron and Shelley
• Began studying medicine, but abandoned
it for the literary world
• Keats valued beauty and found it in
fleeting moments
• Keatsian ode
– A quatrain rhymed abab, followed by a sestet
rhymed in various ways.
British Romanticism
• At the time the British Romantic writers
were writing, much change was occurring
in the world.
– Darwin was working and making numerous
• Origin of Species
– Revolutions all over the world
When I Have Fears That I May
Cease To Be
• In lines 5-12, what is the speaker
concerned about missing?
• Do the last lines offer a convincing
resolution to such fears? Why or why not?
• The speaker expresses fears he will not live
to fulfill his potential.
– This is especially poignant because Keats died
less than three years after he wrote this poem.
Ode to a Nightingale
• What does the speaker find appealing
about the nightingale?
• What similarity between death and
immortality does the speaker imply in
stanza VI?
• In this poem, the nightingale’s song helps
the speaker transcend the pain of the
mortal world.
Ode on a Grecian Urn
• What do the speaker’s comments on these
painted scenes indirectly suggest about
real life?
• Keats contemplates truth and beauty.
• The beauty on the urn will last forever, just
as was true hundreds of years ago will still
be true today.
Structure of the Ode
B. Middle
Theme of change
Ideal world
Real world
A. Beginning
A. End
Speaker moves from the real to the ideal, back to the real at the
• Complete classwork worksheet.
• Read Tennyson’s “In Memoriam, A.H.H.”
and “Ulysses” beginning on Page 818 of
your textbook and answer corresponding
Do Now
• Often in life, we have to deal with events
or situations that are uncomfortable or
unpleasant. As you get older, these
occurrences happen more frequently.
How do you deal with these situations?
Do you face them head on or try to avoid
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
• Studied at Cambridge University
– Met his closest friend there: Arthur Henry Hallam
– After Hallam died, Tennyson began working on a series of
poems that considered questions of death, religious faith,
and immortality.
• Appointed poet laureate of England
• Considered the poetic voice of the Victorian Age
• Unlike many of the poets we’ve studied,
Tennyson lived into his eighties.
In Memoriam, A.H.H.
• Written as a tribute to his friend Arthur
Henry Hallam, who died at the age of 22.
• What do you learn about the speaker in
Lines 21-24?
• In Lines 29-44, what does the poet suggest
about the consolations of faith and
• What feelings does Tennyson convey in
these stanzas?
In Memoriam, A.H.H.
• What is the paradox put forth in Line 57?
• How does Section 130 answer the
speaker’s one reason for anger in Section
• The poem is a diary of Tennyson’s
emotional journey as he overcame despair,
doubt, and anger over his friend’s death.
• What is Ulysses feeling the urge to do?
• What is Ulysses’s attitude toward his
previous experiences?
• What are Ulysses’s feelings about aging?
About his life in general?
• In this poem, the speaker is restless with
wanderlust and wants to get back out on the
seas. His return home has not turned out as he
expected, and this leaves him feeling conflicted.
• Does Tennyson intend Ulysses to be a heroic
character, eternally fighting death? Or does the
poet’s portrayal suggest that Ulysses is a selfish
character, who is simply bored and wants to
abandon an aging wife and unpleasant job? Use
examples from the poem in your answer.
• Complete classwork worksheet.
• Read Robert Browning’s “My Last
Duchess,” “Life in a Love,” and “Love
Among the Ruins” and Elizabeth Barrett
Browning’s “Sonnet 43” beginning on Page
836 of your textbook and answer
corresponding questions.
Do Now
• There are many ways to express your
feelings for a person. Many of you have
said you find overly romantic expressions
of love trite and somewhat nauseating.
How do you express your feelings? How
do you like people to show their affection
for you?
Dramatic Monologue
• Chaucer and Shakespeare use versions of
dramatic monologue in their writing.
• The Brownings’ monologues contain:
– A speaker who indirectly reveals his or her
situation and character
– A silent listener addressed by the speaker and
implied in what the speaker says
Robert Browning and
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
• Elizabeth was in poor health due to a
spinal injury and lived life as a recluse.
– But her poetry attracted attention, including
that of Robert Browning, who wrote her a
letter of appreciation.
– After five months of correspondence, she and
Browning met and fell in love.
Robert Browning and
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
• Robert’s fame was overshadowed by
Elizabeth’s during their lifetime.
• Robert’s work is on par with Tennyson’s
and he is considered one of the great
Victorian poets.
• The Brownings were very much in love
and wrote many poems that handle love
and the questions that accompany it.
My Last Duchess
• In Lines 15-31, how does the duke
indirectly suggest his own deeply jealous
• In Lines 43-47, how rational is the speaker
being? How irrational are his underlying
Life in a Love
• Is the speaker’s “love” truly love?
• Do you find the speaker’s persistence
charming and amusing? Or slightly scary
and sad?
Love Among the Ruins
• What do the words in line 25 suggest
about the speaker’s feelings about the
current state of the land?
• In lines 65-72, how does the speaker feel
about the girl? How can you tell?
Sonnet 43
• Do you find the speaker’s description of
the depth of her love moving?
• In what way does the kind of love
expressed by the speaker in Sonnet 43
draw on all parts of her life and being?
• Complete classwork worksheet.
• Study for test.
Wordsworth – Lyric poetry
Coleridge – Poetic sound devices
Byron – Figurative language
Shelley – Imagery
Keats – The ode
Tennyson – Use of the speaker in poetry
Brownings – Dramatic monologue

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