The Romantic Period (1785-1830). The following short lecture on the romantic period serves as an introduction to the subject, but also involves the ideas and philosophy that can be associated with David Lurie, the main protagonist of J. M. Coertzee’s Disgrace .
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The following short lecture on the romantic period serves as an introduction to the subject, but also involves the ideas and philosophy that can be associated with David Lurie, the main protagonist of J. M. Coertzee’s Disgrace.
Samuel Taylor Colleridge,
Percy Bysshe Shelley
However, in Coetzee’s Disgrace, it is only the male poets who are referred or alluded to.
The French Revolution (1785) and the Declaration of the Rights of Man.
Urbanisation and enclosure
Industrialisation and invention
As the French Revolution turned violent, the idea of a peaceful development of society so that property would be equally distributed began to lose its supporters.
become Oppressors in their turn,
Frenchman had changed a war of self-defence
For one of Conquest, losing sight of all
Which they had struggled for….
Typical cottage: Mill town:
Steam train: Watt’s Steam Engine:
Long hours of work, harsh discipline and bad working conditions
The large-scale unemployment of women and children (the family worked together as a unit before).
Oppressive measures by the ruling class.
A Spinning Jenny:
These influences led to what was called ”The Spirit of the Age”
Wordsworth, for example, saw poetry as “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings,” thus reversing the previous ideas.
This change is a deliberate revolt against the 18th century scientific worldview and the dominant poetic tradition of the time.
’Peddlars,’ and ‘Boats,’ and ‘Wagons’! Oh! Ye shades
Of Pope and Drydon, are we come to this?
Alexander Pope (1688-1744) and John Dryden (1631-1700) belonged to the older poetic tradition.
When you have read Disgrace you will be aware that there are many references to Lord Byron (1788-1824) , in fact Durie is in the process of writing an opera about Byron.
What is the influence of Lord Byron on English literature and even further afield?
Lord Byron and his influence also extends to Emily and Charlotte Brontê.
[H]e is an alien, mysterious, and gloomy spirit, superior in his passions and powers to the common run of humanity, whom he regards with disdain. He harbors the torturing memory of an enormous, nameless guilt that drives him toward an inevitable doom. He is in his isolation absolutely self-reliant, pursuing his own ends according to his self-generated moral code against any opposition, human or supernatural. And he exerts an attraction on other characters that is the more compelling because it involves their terror at his obliviousness to ordinary human concerns and values. This figure, infusing the archrebel in a nonpolitical form with a strong erotic interest; was imitated in life as well as in art and helped shape the intellectual and the cultural history of the later nineteenth century (552).
I am sure you can.
The Norton Anthology of English Literature (7th ed., vol. 2), “The Romantic Period 1785-1830” (1-14) (552).