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The Blessed Damozel, I Stanza

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13TH JULY 2011

13TH JULY 2011

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  • 1. Spic Seminar Hall 13 th July 2011 II Hour III BA Literature The Blessed Damozel by S. Nehru
  • 2. THE BLESSED DAMOZEL D. G. ROSSETTI
  • 3. D. G. ROSSETTI LIFE AND WORKS
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  • 14.  
  • 15. D. G. ROSSETTI
    • Rossetti was born in London
    • 12 th May 1828
    • Son of Gabrielle Rosetti
    • Three Siblings
    • All were artistic
    • His sister Christina became a poet
    • His brother William Michael was art critic
    • His sister Maria Francesca published a commentary on Dante
  • 16. D. G. ROSSETTI
    • Rossetti's name was Gabriel Charles Dante Rossetti
    • But he changed the order of his name to stress his Italian antecedents and his relationship to Dante
    • From the start Rossetti divided his time between painting and literature
  • 17. D. G. ROSSETTI
    • He showed an early talent for poetry winning acclaim for  The Blessed Damozel at eighteen
    • He was an admirer of William Blake and succeeded in buying one of Blake's sketchbooks with ten shillings borrowed from his brother
  • 18. D. G. ROSSETTI
    • After studying at Sass's drawing academy for four years, in 1846 Rossetti was enrolled at the Royal Academy Schools
    • However, he was impatient with the painstaking methods of the Academy and abandoned his studies there to work under Ford Madox Brown
    • In 1848 he met Holman Hunt, and they shared a studio together for a time
  • 19. D. G. ROSSETTI
    • In 1848 he, William Holman Hunt, and  John Everett Millais  began to call themselves the  Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood
    • Rosetti's range of talents and interests, combined with his energy and enthusiasm, made him a central figure in the the group
    • A commission to cover the walls of the Oxford Debating Union with Arthurian murals introduced Rossetti to William Morris, Edward Burne-Jones, and A.C. Swinburne in 1856
  • 20. D. G. ROSSETTI
    • Rosetti attracted the young Burne-Jones and William Morris to the Pre-Raphaelites
    • He exhibited his first major oil painting,  The Girlhood of the Virgin Mary  at the Free Exhibition in March 1849
    • In September and October of that year he visited Paris and Flanders with Holman Hunt
  • 21. D. G. ROSSETTI
    • He also met his future wife and frequent model  Elizabeth Siddall  late in 1849 and they married in 1860
    • In 1862 she died from an overdose of laudanum and Rosetti buried his poems in her grave
    • He was largely responsible for the Pre-Raphaelite magazine  The Germ , published in 1850
  • 22. D. G. ROSSETTI
    • In April 1850 he exhibited  Ecce Ancilla Domini!  at the National Institution
    • From 1854 he became friendly with John Ruskin who helped bring the Pre-Raphaelites to public attention, and in 1855 with the poet Robert Browning
    • In 1856 he was a contributor to Morris's Oxford and Cambridge Magazine
  • 23. D. G. Rossetti
    • In 1857 he met Jane Burden who married William Morris but she and Rossetti had an intimate relationship over a long period
    • In 1858 Rossetti founded the Hogarth Club, an exhibiting and social club, with Madox Brown and others
    • Around this time Fanny Cornforth became his primary model and mistress for the next decade
  • 24. D. G. Rossetti
    • Rossetti's translation of The Early Italian Poets was published in 1861
    • From 1861 Rossetti was also involved with Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. in their attempts to return to medieval craftesmanship
    •   Stained-glass windows became by far their most important product
  • 25. D. G. Rossetti
    • However, the firm was always in financial difficulties and was often subsidized by Morris
    • Rosetti's design for Christ Church Southgate is in the South West corner of the church on the West wall
    • The left hand figure of St James is the work of Burne Jones
    • The right hand figure of St Jude carrying a halberd is the work of Rosetti
  • 26. D. G. Rossetti
    • Both figures are surmounted by angels carrying shields 
    • From the mid-1860s Rosetti began suffering from eye trouble and insomnia, and showed signs of paranoia
    • In October 1869 he exhumed his wife's coffin to retrieve his Poems, which were published in 1870
  • 27. D. G. Rossetti
    • The book was a success but caused a controversy when it was reviewed in 1871 by Robert Buchanan in an essay called "The Fleshly School of Poetry"
    • Buchanan argued that Rosetti's book was full of indecencies and this started a series of further attacks, defenses and counterattacks
    • Rossetti wrote an essay of self- defense called "The Stealthy School of Criticism"
  • 28. D. G. Rossetti
    • Rosetti's health broke down in 1872 and he abandoned many of his old friendships
    • A new edition of Poems was published in 1881 together with Ballads and Sonnets
    • He died at Birchington-on-Sea, Kent on 9 th April 1882
  • 29. The blessed damozel lean'd out  From the gold bar of Heaven;  Her eyes were deeper than the depth  Of waters still'd at even;  She had three lilies in her hand,  And the stars in her hair were seven.
  • 30. The blessed Damozel
    • Blessed- heavenly, holy, sacred, bliss, happiness, joy, gifted, favoured with blessings, favoured by God
    • Damozel- a young unmarried woman or girl, maiden
  • 31. Why is she blessed?
    • She is favoured by God. So she is in heaven. Thus she is blessed
    • She is lucky to be in heaven
    • She is gifted with heaven
  • 32. Gold bar of heaven
    • It is balustrade or parapet wall
    • In the top there is a bar
    • The wall of the heaven is made of gold
    • So it is referred as gold bar
    • She is resting herself in the gold bar
  • 33. Eyes deeper than the depth
    • Deep eyes refer to sorrow
    • The intensity of the sorrow is presented in these lines
    • The figure of speech employed is hyperbole
  • 34. Of waters stilled at even
    • Her eyes deeper than the depth of still water
    • In the both eyes water is stilled [staying in the eyes]
  • 35. She had three lilies in her hand
    • Three lilies refers to purity and nearness to God
    • Lily signifying purity
    • The number three refers to triune [trinity: God as three persons- Father, Son and Holy Spirit]
  • 36. And the stars in her hair were seven
    • Refers to seven stars of heaven
    • In Greek mythology Atlas and Pleione had seven daughters
    • Those young girls were transformed into heavenly stars after their death
    • They are: Alcyone,Celaeno, Electra, Maia,Merope,Sterope and Taygette
    • They attended the Goddess of virginity, Artemis
  • 37. More Details
    • Why did she leaned out?
    • It suggests that her mind is not in heaven
    • Melancholy is suggested through the expression of deep eyes
    • Is she really blessed?
    • There is a conflict between joy and sorrow
  • 38. More Details
    • The expression leaned out is more vital to the first stanza. It sets the texture of the poem
    • It is more suggestive
    • She is not in heaven mentally
  • 39. Coming in the Next Class Second Stanza
  • 40. Her robe, ungirt from clasp to hem,  No wrought flowers did adorn,  But a white rose of Mary's gift,  For service meetly worn;  Her hair that lay along her back  Was yellow like ripe corn.
  • 41. THANK YOU