19 Exam 1 explication responses

19 Exam 1 explication responses - A larger allowance of...

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“A larger allowance of prose,” comes from Jane Austen’s Persuasion. In this scene, Anne is talking to Captain Beckwith, who suffers from the loss of his wife, and consoles himself and stimulates his passions by reading poetry. They talk for some time of the current poets and the “richness of the present age,” before Anne realizes that Captain Beckwith has been reading too much poetry. Anne believes it is “the misfortune of poetry to be seldom safely enjoyed by those who enjoyed it completely,” and that poetry should be “taste[d] but sparingly.” She recommends reading the works of England’s “best moralists,” such as Samuel Johnson. One must note that the poetry of the Romantic age, in which Persuasion was written, was highly centered on emotion. Wordsworth espoused “emotion recollected in tranquility,” while Byron focused on passion. These studies in emotion would have been unfavorable to Victorian thinkers and those who espoused reason over emotion. Anne is a particularly interesting character to make this comment, because her personality tends toward reason so much that she was actually persuaded out of marrying the man she loved. The tension in the story is centered on her struggle to learn the romance of youth in adulthood. Her recommendation of more prose tells us a great deal about Anne and allows us to understand why she is in her current position. This conflict between Romanticism and Victorianism reflects the opposing attitudes of the time period in which Austen wrote and is a central theme of the novel. (Trent Leinenbach) This quote starts the first canto of Don Juan. I want a hero, in this case, means the narrator lacks a hero. He is seeking for one. This is an interesting way to start off the poem, because it is also started out in the fashion of a classical epic. In epics, there was a very distinguished kind of hero, who had a tragic flaw, was extremely brave and cunning, and who usually had some sort of noble or godly blood. But this narrator, who is extremely self-aware ( I want a hero), and not at all unbiased (he knows too many details, is discriminatory, long-winded, self-serving, etc), is setting up a new norm of what the word “hero” means. This want is “uncommon,” because everyone else knows what a hero is. Everyone else has a hero, and they can find them in places such as The Odessey or The Iliad. But the reason this “want” for the narrator is both uncommon and significant is because Byron himself created a new kind of hero. A brooding, dangerous, guilty-of some-hidden-transgression man who has a natural animal magnetism about him (like Batman or Edward Cullin). This new Byronic hero can be understood by the life of Byron himself, who was deeply passionate, mysterious, gloomy, and superior to common humanity (Norton 608). This is an interesting thing to think about in context of “Don Juan,” however. In this particular poem, Byron takes a notorious womanizer, and turns him into a naive victim of
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2011 for the course ENG 292 taught by Professor Jamiehorrocks during the Winter '11 term at BYU.

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19 Exam 1 explication responses - A larger allowance of...

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