The Blessed Damozel, I Stanza


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13TH JULY 2011

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The Blessed Damozel, I Stanza

  1. 1. Spic Seminar Hall 13 th July 2011 II Hour III BA Literature The Blessed Damozel by S. Nehru
  4. 15. D. G. ROSSETTI <ul><li>Rossetti was born in London </li></ul><ul><li>12 th May 1828 </li></ul><ul><li>Son of Gabrielle Rosetti </li></ul><ul><li>Three Siblings </li></ul><ul><li>All were artistic </li></ul><ul><li>His sister Christina became a poet </li></ul><ul><li>His brother William Michael was art critic </li></ul><ul><li>His sister Maria Francesca published a commentary on Dante </li></ul>
  5. 16. D. G. ROSSETTI <ul><li>Rossetti's name was Gabriel Charles Dante Rossetti </li></ul><ul><li>But he changed the order of his name to stress his Italian antecedents and his relationship to Dante </li></ul><ul><li>From the start Rossetti divided his time between painting and literature </li></ul>
  6. 17. D. G. ROSSETTI <ul><li>He showed an early talent for poetry winning acclaim for  The Blessed Damozel at eighteen </li></ul><ul><li>He was an admirer of William Blake and succeeded in buying one of Blake's sketchbooks with ten shillings borrowed from his brother </li></ul>
  7. 18. D. G. ROSSETTI <ul><li>After studying at Sass's drawing academy for four years, in 1846 Rossetti was enrolled at the Royal Academy Schools </li></ul><ul><li>However, he was impatient with the painstaking methods of the Academy and abandoned his studies there to work under Ford Madox Brown </li></ul><ul><li>In 1848 he met Holman Hunt, and they shared a studio together for a time </li></ul>
  8. 19. D. G. ROSSETTI <ul><li>In 1848 he, William Holman Hunt, and  John Everett Millais  began to call themselves the  Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood </li></ul><ul><li>Rosetti's range of talents and interests, combined with his energy and enthusiasm, made him a central figure in the the group </li></ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul>
  9. 20. D. G. ROSSETTI <ul><li>Rosetti attracted the young Burne-Jones and William Morris to the Pre-Raphaelites </li></ul><ul><li>He exhibited his first major oil painting,  The Girlhood of the Virgin Mary  at the Free Exhibition in March 1849 </li></ul><ul><li>In September and October of that year he visited Paris and Flanders with Holman Hunt </li></ul>
  10. 21. D. G. ROSSETTI <ul><li>He also met his future wife and frequent model  Elizabeth Siddall  late in 1849 and they married in 1860 </li></ul><ul><li>In 1862 she died from an overdose of laudanum and Rosetti buried his poems in her grave </li></ul><ul><li>He was largely responsible for the Pre-Raphaelite magazine  The Germ , published in 1850 </li></ul>
  11. 22. D. G. ROSSETTI <ul><li>In April 1850 he exhibited  Ecce Ancilla Domini!  at the National Institution </li></ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul><ul><li>In 1856 he was a contributor to Morris's Oxford and Cambridge Magazine </li></ul>
  12. 23. D. G. Rossetti <ul><li>In 1857 he met Jane Burden who married William Morris but she and Rossetti had an intimate relationship over a long period </li></ul><ul><li>In 1858 Rossetti founded the Hogarth Club, an exhibiting and social club, with Madox Brown and others </li></ul><ul><li>Around this time Fanny Cornforth became his primary model and mistress for the next decade </li></ul>
  13. 24. D. G. Rossetti <ul><li>Rossetti's translation of The Early Italian Poets was published in 1861 </li></ul><ul><li>From 1861 Rossetti was also involved with Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. in their attempts to return to medieval craftesmanship </li></ul><ul><li>  Stained-glass windows became by far their most important product </li></ul>
  14. 25. D. G. Rossetti <ul><li>However, the firm was always in financial difficulties and was often subsidized by Morris </li></ul><ul><li>Rosetti's design for Christ Church Southgate is in the South West corner of the church on the West wall </li></ul><ul><li>The left hand figure of St James is the work of Burne Jones </li></ul><ul><li>The right hand figure of St Jude carrying a halberd is the work of Rosetti </li></ul>
  15. 26. D. G. Rossetti <ul><li>Both figures are surmounted by angels carrying shields  </li></ul><ul><li>From the mid-1860s Rosetti began suffering from eye trouble and insomnia, and showed signs of paranoia </li></ul><ul><li>In October 1869 he exhumed his wife's coffin to retrieve his Poems, which were published in 1870 </li></ul>
  16. 27. D. G. Rossetti <ul><li>The book was a success but caused a controversy when it was reviewed in 1871 by Robert Buchanan in an essay called &quot;The Fleshly School of Poetry&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Buchanan argued that Rosetti's book was full of indecencies and this started a series of further attacks, defenses and counterattacks </li></ul><ul><li>Rossetti wrote an essay of self- defense called &quot;The Stealthy School of Criticism&quot; </li></ul>
  17. 28. D. G. Rossetti <ul><li>Rosetti's health broke down in 1872 and he abandoned many of his old friendships </li></ul><ul><li>A new edition of Poems was published in 1881 together with Ballads and Sonnets </li></ul><ul><li>He died at Birchington-on-Sea, Kent on 9 th April 1882 </li></ul>
  18. 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.
  19. 30. The blessed Damozel <ul><li>Blessed- heavenly, holy, sacred, bliss, happiness, joy, gifted, favoured with blessings, favoured by God </li></ul><ul><li>Damozel- a young unmarried woman or girl, maiden </li></ul>
  20. 31. Why is she blessed? <ul><li>She is favoured by God. So she is in heaven. Thus she is blessed </li></ul><ul><li>She is lucky to be in heaven </li></ul><ul><li>She is gifted with heaven </li></ul>
  21. 32. Gold bar of heaven <ul><li>It is balustrade or parapet wall </li></ul><ul><li>In the top there is a bar </li></ul><ul><li>The wall of the heaven is made of gold </li></ul><ul><li>So it is referred as gold bar </li></ul><ul><li>She is resting herself in the gold bar </li></ul>
  22. 33. Eyes deeper than the depth <ul><li>Deep eyes refer to sorrow </li></ul><ul><li>The intensity of the sorrow is presented in these lines </li></ul><ul><li>The figure of speech employed is hyperbole </li></ul>
  23. 34. Of waters stilled at even <ul><li>Her eyes deeper than the depth of still water </li></ul><ul><li>In the both eyes water is stilled [staying in the eyes] </li></ul>
  24. 35. She had three lilies in her hand <ul><li>Three lilies refers to purity and nearness to God </li></ul><ul><li>Lily signifying purity </li></ul><ul><li>The number three refers to triune [trinity: God as three persons- Father, Son and Holy Spirit] </li></ul>
  25. 36. And the stars in her hair were seven <ul><li>Refers to seven stars of heaven </li></ul><ul><li>In Greek mythology Atlas and Pleione had seven daughters </li></ul><ul><li>Those young girls were transformed into heavenly stars after their death </li></ul><ul><li>They are: Alcyone,Celaeno, Electra, Maia,Merope,Sterope and Taygette </li></ul><ul><li>They attended the Goddess of virginity, Artemis </li></ul>
  26. 37. More Details <ul><li>Why did she leaned out? </li></ul><ul><li>It suggests that her mind is not in heaven </li></ul><ul><li>Melancholy is suggested through the expression of deep eyes </li></ul><ul><li>Is she really blessed? </li></ul><ul><li>There is a conflict between joy and sorrow </li></ul>
  27. 38. More Details <ul><li>The expression leaned out is more vital to the first stanza. It sets the texture of the poem </li></ul><ul><li>It is more suggestive </li></ul><ul><li>She is not in heaven mentally </li></ul>
  28. 39. Coming in the Next Class Second Stanza
  29. 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.
  30. 41. THANK YOU