Victorian Poetry C essay

He had a buoyancy of mind. With the onward rush of the tide of his belief, all the sawflies would be floating away. He had a temperamental optimism. His optimism includes both the microcosmic world (I. E. This world) and microcosmic world (I. E. After-world). In his ‘Far Lippy Lippie’ Lippy asserts: “This world is no blot for us, Nor blank ?-it means intensely, and means good. ” Browning never questioned the propriety and goodness of creation and the justice of divine plan. For him, all pain as well as joy is right; all combine in life.

He thinks, one should only remember that man is a cup molded by God and He will drink ‘new wine’ from it: ‘Thou, heaven’s consummate cup, what needs thou with earth’s wheel? ‘ Browning believes not because there is problem in two beliefs but because disbelief is a like a serpent. The more the serpent coils, the more its head stands erect. Browning thinks that the more there are doubts, the more firmly a man should stick to his faith. Disbelief is a kind of challenge and man should face, not fear or compromise with that challenge.

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For him optimism is such when one derives away pessimism: – Welcome each rebuff That turns earth’s smoothness rough; Learn, nor account the pang; dare, never grudge the throe. ” Browning thinks, man is struggling to achieve the ideal. He always sees life as a joyful battle, the imperfections of this world, being remedied, under the dispensations of an all-loving God, by the perfection of the next. In fact, Browning faith and hope in the triumph of goodness was genuine and unflinching. His optimism is very powerful and unshaken: “Held we fall to rise, are baffled to fight better, Sleep to wake. Browning had a strong faith in God and his benevolence. He attained an impossible thing by his faith. His wife Elizabeth Barrett had become invalid. But Browning courageously went away with her to Italy, and later, she was cured of her disease. This reinforced his faith in God. He believed in the immortality of soul. For him, death was the entrance to a new life. And this philosophy formed the foundation of Browning optimism. Question: Comment on Arnold’s spiritual quest in his poetry. Answer: In his poetry, Arnold makes a strong spiritual quest. Because. He luminous world around him was a waste land, sprawling in all its hideousness. To Arnold, for the superficial progress and outward show, every man became crippled and incomplete, groping in the darkness of the night, crying for light and hope. They need to restore their spiritual faith: The sea of faith Was once, too at the full, and round earth’s shore Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled. ” But that sea of faith has now been withdrawn owing to the unfavorable atmosphere of the skepticism that has engulfed the world. “But now I only hear Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar. Arnold’s spiritual quest becomes more expressive in his poem “The Scholar Gipsy. ” The Scholar Gipsy had an ideal life of deep contemplation in the pursuit of truth. The Victorians had a fickle life of enjoyment. While the Victorians had been caught in fatigue, doubts, uncertainties and aimlessness, he scholar gipsy had a serene, resourceful mind, While the Victorians suffered from frustration, and despair for their “sick hurry’ and “its divided aims”, he was always cheerful and thoughtful as well. The Victorians ran after diverse objects and suffer from numerous frustrations.

In grief and despair man leads his life, without ever the glow or joy of life, the peace of mind. Actually, in ‘The Scholar Gipsy’ the tragedy and pathos of man’s life in the universe is pathetically depicted: “For whom each year we see Breeds new beginnings, disappointments new; Who hesitate and falter life away, And lose tomorrow the ground won today. ” The minds of the modern people are so much oppressed and burdened with the feverish hurry and confused aims that the poet calls upon the scholar gipsy to avoid coming into contact with the people Of the present generation.

Unlike the Victorians, the scholar gipsy never deviated from spiritual quest which was his only one aim: “Thou heads one aim, one business, one desire. ” Thou whitest for the spark from heaven. ” In his poem, “Thirsty” also, we find Arnold’s spiritual quest. The poem ends with Arnold’s hope of gaining spiritual illumination and he invites his friend, Slough to roam on and on: “Why faintest thou? I wandered till I died. Roam on! The light we sought is shining still. Thus we see that Arnold was more concerned with spiritual thoughts and values in life.

To him, an ideal life is the life of spiritual quest. To solve the religious crisis of Victorian people, he made an intense spiritual quest. Question: Discuss Tennyson as the most representative poet of the Victorian age in the light of Victorian Compromise. Answer:—- Tennyson is a scintillating star in the literary sky of the Victorian era. He is the typical Victorian poet voicing in his poetry the hopes and aspirations, the doubts and skepticism, the refined culture and the religious liberalism of the age. The Victorian age was essentially an age of peace and prosperity.

The old fire of revolutionary enthusiasm had been quenched and the Victorian people longed for a life settled order, stability and peace. Tennyson in his poem “Lockstep Hall” expresses the ideas of the liberals of his time who proposed to spread the gospel of peace: “Till, the war-drum throbbed no longer and the battle-flags were furled In the Parliament of man, the Federation of the world. ” The poem also expresses the Victorian spirit of democracy when the poet says, Men, my brothers, men the workers, ever reaping something new. Again, the poem depicts the Victorian craze for science and scientific achievements of future time: “For tip into the future, far as human eye could see, Saw the vision of the world and all the wonder that would be. ” Politically the Victorian was striking a compromise between aristocracy and democracy. Tennyson presents this compromising spirit of the age in his poetry. Again, the Victorians took pride in their nation and national glories. In Tennyson poetry the sense of national pride and glory is well sounded when e says in “Lockstep Hall”, “Better fifty years of Europe than a cycle of Catchy. In the Victorian age there was a conflict between science and religion. Tennyson sought a compromise between this two to revive the frustrating spirit of the Victorians. He welcomed the scientific advances and at the same time did not deny the necessity of religion. In “The Lotus-Eaters”, we find that the Victorians are in great despair and are trying to evade their social responsibility. The Victorians ask, “Death is the end Of life; ay why Should life all labor be? ” Tennyson tries to soothe the bleeding heart of the Victorians and revive their active spirit in his “Ulysses. Ulysses’ thirst for knowledge and experience shows that he is a Victorian— “l can not rest from travel; I’ll drink Life to the lees. ” Ulysses thinks it is very ‘dull to pause, and make an end. ” He wants “To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield. ” In fine, we can say that Tennyson is the mouthpiece of the Victorians. His poetry contains all the essential features of Victorian life and his curious sensitiveness to the tendencies Of his age makes him the organ voice Of his age. Question—Discuss Tennyson as a poet of nature. Or, Discuss Tennyson retirement of imagery/pictorial quality in his poems.

Answer:-? Tennyson is not a poet of nature, but no poem of his is without a natural background. He does not worship nature devotionally but he loves it physically, he utilizes nature his best. Tennyson is somewhat like Keats for his pictorial quality but is much different because he can not rest content with sensuous beauties of nature only. Nature in Tennyson poetry serves as the background for human action. There is no communication between the two, but nature comes inevitably when he deals with human affairs. In “The Lotto Eaters”, the lotto-land exactly rallies the mental landscape of the mariners as well as of the poet.

The scenes and surroundings of the mythical land are made to symbolize the inner feelings of the companions of Ulysses, ?a land In which it seemed always afternoon All round the coast the languid air did swoon Breathing like one that hath a weary dream. ” It is a land where the temper of life, the motions of things have been slowed down, here the sun lingers in the west, the energy and vitality of the waves are diminished, the snow does not melt away; here ‘all things always seemed the same’, as if they had eaten like the people, Dittos like narcotics which caused their drowsiness and languor.

Tennyson had a scientific perception of nature. His observation of nature lacks imagination; he describes it with minute precision and exactness of a scientist. The starry heavens are arched over his poetic consciousness. Frequent are the references to the constellations and none is more beautiful than in “Lockstep Hall”: “Many a night from yonder ivied casement, ere I went to rest, Did look on great Orion sloping slowly to the west. Many a night saw the Pleiades, rising thro’ the mellow shade, Glitter like a swarm of fire-flies tangled in a silver braid. ”

In Tennyson poetry nature reflects human sentiments and emotions and that she rejoices or is sorrow-stricken in accordance with the mood Of a joyous or sorrowful man. Tennyson nature descriptions are quite in accord with the trend of the time he lived in. The Victorians did not believe so much in the flight of fancy or imagination as in ‘recognition’. Tennyson is usually vivid, precise and interesting in his natural portrayals. But he does not soar high like Wordsmith. In conclusion, we can say that Tennyson, in spite of the agitation and the crisis of the Victorian era, had keen eyes and ear open to nature.

He unfolds and upholds the glories of nature. In Tennyson, nature generates a deep poetic sensibility which makes him a distinguished poet of nature. Question:— Write a note on Browning attitude to art and life as revealed in his poems. Or, Write a short essay on Browning philosophy of life. : In almost all the poems of Browning, there is the touch of Answer – Renaissance spirit and following the Renaissance, art has taken a vital place in his poems. His concept of art is mixed with his Concept of life.

Browning was greatly concerned with the artist’s life -?his problems, his relation to the oral and society, and his concern with ethics and religion. Some poems of Browning are called “art poems” and they are “My Last Duchess”, “Andrea Del Sartor” and “Far Lippy Lippie. ” “Andrea Del Sartor” is, in one aspect, ” a discussion of what constitutes failure in art. ” Andrea is rather a feeble creature. He is fully aware of his wife’s making love with her cousin to whom she frequently gives money to enable him to pay off his debts. But this awareness does not dampen his passion for her.

His life and art match the grey twilight which slivers the landscape outside the window, “A common grayness silvers everything- All in a јlight. Andresen’s art is deprived of positive greatness because it lacks the spiritual power that comes from striving in art as in life. He realizes the basic drawback in himself. He has no lofty aim to strive for. It is only noble aspiration that inspires one to spiritual exaltation: “Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, Or what’s Heaven for? ” Andresen’s art has no divine passion like Rafael.

He is faultless in execution, but devoid of noble purpose in life or in art. So he cries out— “But all the play, the insight and the stretch Out of me! Out of me! ” Browning own view on art and life is explicit in his “Far Lippy Lippie. Lippy disagreed with the prior’s view of art that the artists work has not to be merely realistic, but should depict ‘soul’ and that the body was to be painted only to the extent to which it helped in showing the soul. The prior instructed Far Lippy Lippie? “Paint the soul, never mind the legs and arms! But Borrowing’s conception is that an artist should paint the realities of nature and bring to the people’s attention things which often go unnoticed. Art is meant to heighten our interest in the beauty of things. Thus the painters vision helps others to appreciate everything created by God. Even he says hat nobler things painted realistically would be more effective than the priors sermons in making people conscious of God. The world has a deep meaning and it is right to enjoy it, because God has created it: “This world’s no blot for us Nor blank —-it means intensely and means good. Far Lippy Lippies aim in life is to understand the significance of this world and present it in his paintings. In conclusion, Browning holds the artist in high esteem, as they symbolize mankind and are the voice of humanity. Browning even portrays artists as the conscience of an age. Question: Discuss Arnold as a Victorian poet or a poet of Victorian Crisis/ Victorian unrest/Victorian conflict. Answer:—Arnold, a poet of Victorian conflict, is regarded one of the leading representative poets of the Victorian age. What Arnold felt was that, as civilization advanced, culture declined.

The luminous world around him was a waste land, sprawling in all its hideousness. To Arnold, for the superficial progress and outward show, every man became crippled and incomplete, groping in the darkness of the night, crying for light and hope. People living in the darkness of ignorance struggle and fight aimlessly : “And we are here on a darling plain Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight, Where ignorant armies clash by night”. (Dover Beach) Actually, the poem “Dover Beach” represents the vision of the tragic and alienated condition Of man. It records the loss Of religious faith in the Victorian age.

Arnold focuses the fact that there had been a time when faith like a sea flooded the human world with living spirit. The poet says, “The sea of faith Lay like the folds of a bright girdle fur I’d. ” Here land is human life which is barren and naked shingles signify doubts and skepticism tormenting the Victorian life. The poet also hears the eternal note f sadness in the sea which he thinks the sadness of human life. Similarly Arnold’s “The Scholar Gipsy’ had an ideal life of deep contemplation in the pursuit of truth. The Victorians had a fickle life of enjoyment.

While the the scholar gipsy had a serene, resourceful mind. While the Victorians suffered from frustration, and despair for their “sick hurry/’ and “its divided aims”, he was always cheerful and thoughtful as well. Actually, in “The Scholar Gipsy’ the tragedy and pathos of man’s life in the universe is pathetically depicted: unlike the Victorians, the scholar gipsy never deviated from spiritual quest aloes in life. To him, an ideal life is the life of spiritual quest. Arnold sees the spiritual crisis in Victorian life, which clearly shows his position as a poet of Victorian conflict.

Question:— Discuss Tennyson use of myths and legends to express the problem and ideas Of his own age. Answer:– A close survey of the poetry of Tennyson will reveal the fact that the source of his many poems have been taken from Greek mythology. Indeed like Keats, he was fond of writing poetry on Greek legends. But while Keats turned to Greek legends for their beauty mainly, Tennyson turned to them for their moral implication. Lotus Eater is based on ancient myth showing the despair found in the minds of the Victorian people.

In their homeward journey from Troy, Ulysses and his sailors came to a strange land. It was the land of lotus eaters. Here the inhabitants gave Ulysses and his comrades lotus to eat and those who tasted it forgot their homes and wished to remain there for ever. Considering the end of human life and some other natural phenomenon their apathy for work became stronger. They thought that if death is the inevitable end of life where lies the fun of living and striving— “Death is the end of life; ah, why Should life all labor be?