BA-Romanticism,_2nd_generation.doc - ROMANTICISM THE SECOND GENERATION GEORGE GORDON LORD BYRON(1788-1824 PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY(1792-1822 JOHN

BA-Romanticism,_2nd_generation.doc - ROMANTICISM THE SECOND...

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ROMANTICISM: THE SECOND GENERATIONGEORGE GORDON, LORD BYRON (1788-1824)PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY (1792-1822)JOHN KEATS (1795-1822)History of English Literature (by the French critic, Hyppolite Taine, 1863) only a few pages on Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley and Keats but a long chapter onLord Byron, ”the greatest and most English of these artists; he is so great and so English that from him alone we shall learn more truths of his country and of his age than from all the rest together.” Immense European reputation (Goethe, Balzac, Stendhal, Pushkin, Dostoevsky, Melville, Delacroix, Beethoven, Berlioz) but (after his early appeal) acknowledged by very few in England (most notably by Shelley)„Second generation” (1810s): retrospectively we see the overlaps in their poetic style (rich poetic language; elaborate forms, metaphors; classical allusions; fascination with Greece and the Mediterranean; cosmopolitan,European context)„Satanic School”: Byron and Shelley„Cockney School”: KeatsGEORGE GORDON BYRON(1788-1824) LIBERTY; DETESTATION OF CANTByron is „mad, bad and dangerous to know” (Lady Caroline Lamb)Trinity College, Cambridge (1805-1808) extravagant lifeCAREER:I.1807-1812Hours of Idleness(1807) conventional verses, pastime activity of a young aristocrat („It is highly improbable, from my situation and pursuits hereafter, that I should ever obtrude myselfa second time on the public”)very harsh criticism from The Edinburgh Review („so much stagnant water”): provoked the writing of his first important poem:English Bards and ScotchReviewers(1809) : uncompromising satire on contemporary literary life in the couplet style of Pope; tactlessly ridiculing the famous contemporaries (incl. Scott, Wordsworth and Coleridge)Crucial to Byron’s aesthetics; neoclassical tradition represents true poetry; the Lake Poets rejected entirely It is the fashion of the day to lay great stress upon what they call „imagination” and „invention”, the two commonest of qualities: an Irish peasant with a little whiskey in hishead will imagine and invent more that would furnish forth a modern poem.” (from Lettersand Journals,1819)1809-1811: “Grand Tour” Portugal, Spain, Gibraltar, Malta, Albania and Greece II.1812-1816Childe Harold’s PilgrimageCantos I and II: the travels and experiences of a pilgrim, who, sated with his past life of sin and pleasure, finds distraction in his travels through Portugal, Spain, Greece and Albania.dramatis persona: the Byronic heroByronic hero: Alien, mysterious, gloomy spirit, superior in his passions and powers to the common run of humanity, whom he regards with disdain. He harbours the torturing memory of an enormous, nameless gilt that drives him toward an inevitable doom. Isolated, self-reliant, pursuing his own ends according to his self-generated moral code against any opposition, human or supernatural. Archrebel in a non-political form with a strong erotic interest.

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