September 9


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  • The Fighting Temeraire JMW Turner
  • September 9

    1. 1. Write your answer below your answer from Wednesday.
    2. 2. Wordsworth Byron Blake Shelley Keats
    3. 3.  Fascination with the mysterious isolated figure  Mental state of the figure exiled from society, haunted by guilt over past transgressions, and defined by those crimes  Women poets engaging in the topic as exiled/isolated figures  Gothic/satire
    4. 4. Introduction
    5. 5. Readings listed on syllabus:  Coleridge Rime of the Ancient Mariner (pp. 443-459)  Feel free to watch the introduction to the epic  Byron Manfred (p. 638) (read the introduction and skim the dramatic poem)  Shelley “Introduction to The Last Man” (pp. 983-986) Turnitin assignment
    6. 6.  *Was Wordsworth’s “Preface to the Lyrical Ballads” condescending to the lower-class he claimed to be writing for?  *Wordsworth describes a poet as being knowledgeable of life, giving a poet more understanding than a non-poet; does everyone agree with this?  *Why didn’t Wordsworth want his friends’ opinions or help?  What does Wordsworth mean by “scenes taken from common life”? Where do we see that in the readings so far?  What does Wordsworth say is the appropriate language of poetry? Do you agree or disagree?  Coleridge later criticized Wordsworth’s claims for the language of poetry in that he disagrees that the language of rustics is the best language and that there is no difference between the language of poetry and prose. How do you feel about this debate? Main Menu
    7. 7.  **Byron opens his “epic” with the statement: “I want a hero.” What does this opening suggest about heroic poetry in the Romantic period? Why does he opt for Don Juan? What kind of hero is he?  *Don Juan was said to be comedy though it consists of great tragedy. What is it that pushes a tragedy over the edge to a comedy?  How is Byron teasing us with his language [i.e. “But this last simile is trite and stupid” (1.440)]? Main Menu
    8. 8.  How do the “Introduction” poems represent the practice of poetry? How are they different?  What does the lamb symbolize in “The Lamb”? How consistent is this symbolic meaning when the image appears in other poems?  How does your interpretation of “The Lamb” change after you read “The Tyger”?  *What made Blake single out a lamb and a tiger to question where they come from?  What do the Songs of Innocence, taken collectively, suggest about Blake’s use of the pastoral? Consider pastoral themes, such as the loss of innocence, the healing power of nature, the triumph of life over death.  *Do you think Blake’s poems shone a light on his criticisms toward the culture of selling children for work?  *Who do you think the child was? Main Menu
    9. 9.  What does it mean when Shelley calls Bacon and Plato poets? How does Shelley’s essay contribute to the disagreement between Wordsworth and Coleridge over the suitability of the language of prose in poetry?  In what sense is poetry a moral exercise for its readers?  What is the source of Shelley’s hope and idealism in the essay and in the poems? Does his hope have a practical basis?  *Is the whole point of the poem to express how he wants the world to appreciate his poetry as much as he appreciates the bird’s music? Main Menu
    10. 10.  How would you explain the poet’s relationship to the nightingale in the ode? How does it change from the beginning to the end?  What is it that the poet seeks to escape when he fades “far away” in the third stanza? What is the implication that Beauty will not keep her lustrous eyes,/Or new Love pine at them beyond tomorrow”? Compare this to the poet’s enthusiastic sympathy for lovers on the Grecian urn.  In his letters, Keats writes that “poetry should surprise by fine excess and not by Singularity…Its touches of Beauty should never be half way thereby making the reader breathless instead of content.” In another place he writes, “We hate poetry that has a palpable design upon us…Poetry should be great and unobtrusive, a thing which enters into one’s soul, and does not startle it or amaze it with itself but with its subject.” To what extent does Keats achieve these goals in his odes? How?  *How do Shelley and Keats use birds to illustrate their philosophies on life? Main Menu