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Aristocratic family – father died when he was three Inherited his great uncle’s noble title, baron At 17, attended trinity College at Cambridge College life – made friends, played sports, spent money . . . . Pet bear?

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george gordon lord byron

Aristocratic family – father died when he was three

Inherited his great uncle’s noble title, baron

At 17, attended trinity College at Cambridge

College life – made friends, played sports, spent money . . . . Pet bear?

After graduating, Byron traveled to out-of-the-way corners of Europe and the Middle East. He returned home bearing two sections of a book-length poem entitled Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, which depicted a young hero not unlike himself—moody, sensitive, and reckless.

George Gordon, Lord Byron

george gordon lord byron1

The work was well received, and Byron became an overnight sensation. “I awoke one morning and found myself famous,” he observed.

For a time, Byron was the darling of London society

“Mad, bad, and dangerous to know” was Lady Caroline Lamb’s famous description of Lord Byron.

Because of his dark, brooding persona, or adopted personality, readers throughout the nineteenth century saw Byron as the quintessential Romantic poet.

Byron continued his travels through Europe, often accompanied by the poet Percy Shelley.

George Gordon, Lord Byron

george gordon lord byron2

While living in Italy, however, tragedy struck: One of his daughters died, and Shelley drowned in a sailing accident.

In 1823, Byron, a champion of liberty, joined a group of revolutionaries seeking to free Greece from Turkish rule.

Soon after, while training Greek rebel troops, Byron died of a rheumatic fever. Reports at the time tell of a late, poignant gesture: Dazed with fever, Byron called out in broken English and Italian, “Forward—forward—courage! Follow my example—don’t be afraid!”

To this day he is revered in Greece as a national hero.

George Gordon, Lord Byron

she walks in beauty

She walks in beauty, like the night

  •  Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
  • What is Byron’s poetic comparison her?
    • Using a simile, he compares the woman to a perfect cloudless, starry night.

“She Walks in beauty”

she walks in beauty1

One shade the more, one ray the less,

  •  Had half impaired the nameless grace
  •  Which waves in every raven tress,
  • Or softly lightens o’er her face;
  • What is Byron’s suggesting about her beauty?
    • It is exact . . . One slight deviation would change everything.

“She Walks in beauty”

she walks in beauty2

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,

  •  So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
  • The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
  •  But tell of days in goodness spent,
  •  A mind at peace with all below,
  •  A heart whose love is innocent!
  • What is Byron’s final characterization of her?
    • softness, calmness, eloquence, goodness, peaceful, innocent.

“She Walks in beauty”

she walks in beauty questions page 7631

2. (a) Recall: To what does the speaker compare the lady’s beauty?

  • cloudless, starry night
  • (b) Interpret: What might “that tender light” in line 5 be?
  • moon and stars

“She Walks in beauty”Questions, page 763

she walks in beauty questions page 7632

3. (a) Recall: What would have “half impaired” the lady’s grace?

  • any slight addition of brightness or darkness
  • (b) Interpret: What does this claim suggest about the lady’s beauty?
  • It is exact and perfect

“She Walks in beauty”Questions, page 763

she walks in beauty questions page 7633

4. In lines 11–18, what is the woman’s appearance said to reveal about her character?

  • sweet thoughts, virtuous activity, and innocence
  • (b) How is the focus of the last six lines different from the focus of the opening lines?
    • Woman’s character – not physical
  • (c) Does Byron’s portrayal emphasize the spiritual or the physical aspect of the lady?
  • Both - equally

“She Walks in beauty”Questions, page 763

she walks in beauty questions page 7634

5. (a) Do you agree that goodness is an inherent part of beauty?

  • evil- immorality is hopefully unattractive
  • (b) Do you think people today put too much emphasis on physical beauty?
  • Probably – everywhere in media it’s all about physical beauty

“She Walks in beauty”Questions, page 763

percy bysshe shelley

Percy Bysshe Shelley died in a boating accident at 29

  • At once modest and intense, Shelley was a passionate reformer who believed that his time had betrayed the ideal of a perfect society
  • Born into the British upper classes, Shelley attended the finest schools, including the prestigious boarding school Eton and Oxford University.
  • Shelley’s rebellious nature produced the radical tract The Necessity of Atheism, and he was expelled from the university.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

percy bysshe shelley1

The expulsion estranged Shelley from his father. Instead of going home, Shelley headed for London.

  • He met and married Harriet Westbrook. The two traveled to Ireland, where Shelley tried unsuccessfully to “deliver the Irish people from tyranny.”
  • In 1813, he had completed “Queen Mab,” his first important poem.
  • The work explored ideas of social justice that Shelley had encountered in the philosopher William Godwin’s Political Justice - government and other institutions should be reshaped to conform to the will of the people.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

percy bysshe shelley2

Percy Bysshe Shelley

  • Shelley’s marriage, meanwhile, was in trouble. Harriet felt that she could not keep up with her husband, and she had come to question his political ideals.
  • Meanwhile, continuing his travels in radical intellectual circles, Shelley fell in love with Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, daughter of William Godwin and the feminist Mary Wollstonecraft.
  • After Harriet’s tragic death in 1816, Shelley and his beloved Mary Godwin married.
percy bysshe shelley3

Percy Bysshe Shelley

  • His radical politics, his tract about atheism, his separation from his first wife, his elopement—all helped make Shelley an outcast from his homeland.
  • He and Mary eventually settled in Italy, where Byron, another famous exile, also lived. The friendship nourished the literary ambitions of all three.
  • It was during a storytelling session with Shelley, Byron, and another friend that Mary Shelley was inspired to begin work on her famous novel Frankenstein.
  • Shelley never lived to see whether his dreams of social progress came true. Today, he is often referred to as the perfect poet of the Romantic Era.
percy bysshe shelley4

Percy Bysshe Shelley

  • _____ is descriptive language that re-creates sensory experience. It has these characteristics:
  • It appeals to any or all of the five senses.
  • It often creates patterns supporting a poem’s theme.
percy bysshe shelley5

Percy Bysshe Shelley

  • ___Imagery__ is descriptive language that re-creates sensory experience. It has these characteristics:
  • It appeals to any or all of the five senses.
  • It often creates patterns supporting a poem’s theme.
  • In “Ode to the West Wind,” for example, Shelley uses wind images that appeal to sight, sound, and touch.
slide18

O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn’s being,

  •  Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
  •  Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing,
  •  Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red,
  • Pestilence-stricken multitudes:
  • How is nature personified?
    • “breath of Autumn” and the leaves die and are driven like ghosts
  • What is the Imagery here?
    • How the wind feels and the color of the dying leaves
slide19

O thou,

  •  Who chariotest to their dark and wintry bed
  •  The wingèd seeds, where they lie cold and low,
  •  Each like a corpse within its grave, until
  •  Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow
  • Her clarion o’er the dreaming earth, and fill
  •  (Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air)
  •  With loving hues and odors plain and hill:
  • To what is winter compared?
    • “a dark bed . . . . A grave”
  • What is the personification of the Spring??
    • The West Wind’s sister blows her trumpet to call Nature to life again.
slide20

Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere;

  •  Destroyer and preserver; hear, oh, hear!
  • What is the paradox here
    • the “wild spirit” of the wind is both destroyer and preserver.
  • How is this a Romantic idea?
    • The fusion of opposites (unity in polarity)
slide21

Angels of rain and lightning: there are spread

  •  On the blue surface of thine aery surge,
  • Like the bright hair uplifted from the head
  •  Of some fierce Maenad,even from the dim verge
  •  Of the horizon to the zenith’s height,
  •  The locks of the approaching storm.
  • To what senses does the Imagery of this passage most appeal to?
    • The sight of the aery (airy/lofty) surge of the ocean
    • The power sound of the ocean surging
slide22

Thou dirge

  •  Of the dying year, to which this closing night
  • Will be the dome of a vast sepulcher,
  •  Vaulted with all thy congregated might
  •  Of vapors, from whose solid atmosphere
  •  Black rain, and fire, and hail will burst: oh, hear!
  • The sound imagery here suggests that the west wind is a metaphor for . . . .
    • A funeral hymn marking the end/death of the “dying year”
slide23

Thou who didst waken from his summer dreams

  • The blue Mediterranean, where he lay,
  •  Lulled by the coil of his crystalline streams,
  •  Beside a pumice isle in Baiae’s bay
  • What is personified here?
    • The wind and the Mediterranean as the wind wakes it from its sleep.
slide24

Thou

  •  For whose path the Atlantic’s level powers
  •  Cleave themselves into chasms, while far below
  •  The sea-blooms and the oozy woods which wear
  • The sapless foliage of the ocean, know
  •  Thy voice, and suddenly grow gray with fear,
  •  And tremble and despoil themselves: oh, hear!
  • Within the imagery of the personified west wind, how does the rest of nature react to the wind?
    • Nature trembles in fear of the wind and its power.
slide25

If I were a dead leaf thou mightest bear;

  •  If I were a swift cloud to fly with thee;
  • A wave to pant beneath thy power, and share
  •  The impulse of thy strength, only less free
  •  Than thou, O uncontrollable!
  • What romantic notion does the poet suggest here?
    • Oh – if he could be that wind blown leaf, or a swift cloud, or a surging wave and feel nature’s power of the west wind . . . . The Romantic ideal of being one with nature
slide26

If even

  •  I were as in my boyhood, and could be
  •  The comrade of thy wanderings over Heaven,
  • As then, when to outstrip thy skyey speed
  •  Scarce seemed a vision;
  • Again, what romantic notion does the poet suggest here?
    • If I could return to my childhood and commune with you, west wind, like I did as a boy . . . . A return to the more simple days of the past.
slide27

Oh, lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud!

  •  I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!
  • A heavy weight of hours has chained and bowed
  •  One too like thee: tameless, and swift, and proud.
  • How does the poet relate to the west wind??
    • Like the wind, the Romantic Poet is tameless, and swift, and proud
slide28

Make me thy lyre, even as the forest is:

  •  What if my leaves are falling like its own!
  •  The tumult of thy mighty harmonies
  • Will take from both a deep, autumnal tone,
  •  Sweet though in sadness.
  • What does the poet wish to be in the imagery of these lines?
    • He wishes to be like the wind blowing through the trees – a song like that of a lyre (harp) singing nature’s praises.
slide29

Be thou, Spirit fierce,

  •  My spirit! Be thou me, impetuous one!
  •  Drive my dead thought over the universe
  •  Like withered leaves to quicken a new birth!
  • What does the poet wish to be in the imagery of these lines?
    • One with the wind
slide30

And, by the incantation of this verse,

  •  Scatter, as from an unextinguished hearth
  •  Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind!
  •  Be through my lips to unawakened earth
  •  The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind,
  • If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?
  • What does the poet wish his poem/verse to accomplish?
    • To awaken mankind and bring rebirth to man’s appreciation of Nature.
slide31

Review Questions

Page 780

  • (a) Recall: What season does the poet associate with the West Wind?
      • Autumn
  • (b) Interpret: What feelings does Shelley create around the West Wind in sections II and III?
      • Destruction - frenzy – decay - fear
slide32

Review Questions

Page 780

  • 2. (a) Recall: What does the speaker ask of the wind in section IV?
      • To lift him up as a wave, leaf, or cloud and carry him.
  • (b) Infer: What change in his life prompts this question?
      • He says he is oppressed by a “heavy weight of hours.” (line 55)
slide33

Review Questions

Page 780

  • 3. (a) Interpret: In section V, what is the “new birth” for which the speaker asks?
    • A new era of freedom and liberty sparked by his words….possibly a politically and spiritual renewal of humanity.
  • (b) Interpret: Why is the West Wind a suitable force to call on for this “new birth”?
    • The wind marks a change of seasons in nature as autumn turns to winter (and the old world dies), only then to be replaced with the rebirth of spring (where a new world emerges).
slide34

Review Questions

Page 780

  • 4. (a) Interpret: What is the meaning of the famous final line (70) of the poem?
    • Even the bleakest situations are followed by times of renewal and hope.
  • (b) Analyze: How does it tie together the poem?
    • It sums up the poems theme of hope for a new beginning.
john keats

Although he died at age twenty-five, Keats left his indelible mark on literature, and this makes us wonder what more he might have accomplished had he lived longer.

  • Unlike his contemporaries Byron and Shelley, John Keats was not an aristocrat. Instead, he was born to working-class Londoners.

1795-1821

John Keats

  • In 1815, Keats began studying medicine at a London hospital.
  • In 1818, he published his first major work, Endymion, a long poem that the critics panned.
john keats1

Despite the critical rejection, Keats did not swerve from his new career. Instead, he began writing the second of his long poems, Hyperion, a work he was never to complete.

  • The year 1818 was significant for Keats in other ways as well. He lost his brother Tom to tuberculosis, but he also met the light of his life, Fanny Brawne, to whom he became engaged.

1795-1821

  • The next year, 1819, was a period of feverish creativity.
  • In just nine months, fired by grief, new-found love, and his own encroaching illness, Keats wrote the poems for which he is most famous, including “The Eve of St. Agnes,” “La Belle Dame sans Merci,” and his odes.
  • Each is recognized as a masterpiece.

John Keats

john keats2

Recognizing that like his brother, he had tuberculosis, Keats moved to Italy, hoping that the warmer climate would reverse the disease.

  • Sadly, that hope proved false, and, in 1821, his battle with tuberculosis ended with his death.
  • Keats wrote his own epitaph, which stresses the brevity of his life: “Here lies one whose name was writ in water.”
  • Despite his early death and the fact that he composed his most important works in the space of just two years, John Keats remains one of the major influences in English poetry.

1795-1821

  • Although he knew Percy Bysshe Shelley, he did not share Shelley’s rebellious spirit, nor did he believe in using poetry for political statements. Keats worked as a pure artist who labored under the banner of beauty. He found in beauty the highest value our imperfect world could offer, and he put its pursuit at the center of his poetry. In masterful verse, he explored the beauty he found in the most ordinary circumstances.

John Keats

john keats3

Although his best-remembered line is “‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,’” the poem in which it appears, “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” implicitly contrasts the frozen world of a painted scene with the world of change and decay in which we live.

  • For Keats, striving after what can never be attained was perhaps the true poetic task.

1795-1821

John Keats

the ode

An ode is a lyric poem, characterized by heightened emotion, that pays respect to a person or thing, usually directly addressed by the speaker.]

  • The Pindaric ode (named for the ancient Greek poet Pindar) falls in groups of three stanzas, one of which differs in form from the other two. Pindar’s odes celebrated victors at the Olympic Games.
  • Roman poets later developed the Horatian ode (also called homostrophic), which contains only one type of stanza.
      • The irregular ode has no set pattern.

The Ode

the keats ode

Keats created his own form of the ode, using ten-line stanzas of iambic pentameter (lines containing ten beats with a repeated pattern of weak-strong).

  • Often those stanzas begin with a heroic quatrain (four lines rhymed abab) followed by a sestet (six lines rhymed in various ways).

The “Keats Ode”

slide41

Thou still unravished bride of quietness

Thou foster child of silence and slow time,

Sylvan historian, who canst thus express

A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:

  • As the speaker stands before an ancient Grecian urn and addresses it, what is he preoccupied with ?
  • How its picture can capture moments frozen in time.
      • It is the “still unravish’d bride of quietness,” the “foster-child of silence and slow time.” He also describes the urn as a “historian” that can tell a story.
slide42

What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape

Of deities or mortals, or of both,

In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?

What men or gods are these? What maidens loath?

What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?

What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?

  • What is he wondering as he looks at the pictures on the urn?
  • What legend they depict and from where they come. . . . These men pursuing a group of women and wonders what their story could be: “What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape? / What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?”
slide43

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard

Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;

Not to the sensual ear, but, more endeared,

Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:

Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave

Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;

  • As he looks at another picture on the urn, he sees a young man playing a pipe, lying with his lover beneath a glade of trees. How are the piper’s “unheard” melodies sweeter than mortal melodies?
  • Because they are unaffected by time as immortalized art.
slide44

Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,

Though winning near the goal—yet, do not grieve;

She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,

Forever wilt thou love, and she be fair!

  • He tells the youth that, although he can never kiss his lover because he is frozen in time, he should not grieve, because . . .
  • Because her beauty will never fade..
slide45

Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed

Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;

And, happy melodist, unwearied,

Forever piping songs forever new;

More happy love! more happy, happy love!

Forever warm and still to be enjoyed,

Forever panting, and forever young;

All breathing human passion far above,

That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloyed,

A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.

  • For what things is the poet happy for here?
    • Trees will never shed their leaves…Piper because his songs will be “for ever new,” ….love of the boy and the girl will last forever.
slide46

Who are these coming to the sacrifice?

To what green altar, O mysterious priest,

Lead’st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,

And all her silken flanks with garlands dressed?

  • What are the group of villagers doing here?
    • Leading a heifer to be sacrificed at an altar.
slide47

What little town by river or seashore,

Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,

Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn?

And, little town, thy streets forevermore

Will silent be; and not a soul to tell

Why thou art desolate, can e’er return.

  • What does the poet imagine and what does he tell its citizens?
    • It will “for evermore” be silent, for those who have left it, frozen on the urn, will never return.
slide48

O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede

Of marble men and maidens overwrought,

With forest branches and the trodden weed;

Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought

  • At a final gaze at the urn, what does the poet reflect upon?
    • The urn, like Eternity, “doth tease us out of thought.” . . . It makes us think/reflect about time and art.
slide49

O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede

Of marble men and maidens overwrought,

With forest branches and the trodden weed;

Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought

  • At a final gaze at the urn, what does the poet reflect upon?
    • The urn, like Eternity, “doth tease us out of thought.” . . . It makes us think/reflect about time and art.
slide50

O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede

Of marble men and maidens overwrought,

With forest branches and the trodden weed;

Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought

  • At a final gaze at the urn, what does the poet reflect upon?
    • The urn, like Eternity, “doth tease us out of thought.” . . . It makes us think/reflect about time and art.
slide51

When old age shall this generation waste,

Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe

Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st,

“Beauty is truth, truth beauty,”—that is all

Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

  • What is the poet’s final thought??
    • He thinks that when his generation is long dead, the urn will remain, telling future generations its enigmatic lesson: “Beauty is truth, truth beauty.” The speaker says that that is the only thing the urn knows and the only thing it needs to know.
slide52

Questions

Page 800

2. (a) Describe the scenes in stanzas I and II.

  • youth pursuing his love, and a sacrificing of an animal to the gods

(b) Why might the lover in stanza II grieve?

  • He can never kiss his love .

(c) Why does the speaker advise him not to grieve?

  • She will never grow old and always love him
slide53

Questions

Page 800

3. (a) Which items are called “happy” in stanza III?

  • Trees will never shed their leaves…Piper because his songs will be “for ever new,” ….love of the boy and the girl will last forever.

(b) What is the reason for their happiness?

  • Because of Art’s ability to immortalize something or someone.
slide54

Questions

Page 800

4. Draw Conclusions: What do the speaker’s comments on these painted scenes indirectly suggest about real life?

  • Life is temporal and fleeting . . . But Art lives forever
slide55

Questions

Page 800

5. (a) In line 49, what is the “‘truth’” represented by the scenes on the urn?

    • Truth and beauty as imperishable and eternal as Art lives forever
  • (b) How is this truth connected to the fact that the urn will remain after “old age shall this generation waste”?
    • The Urn’s beauty is unending / immortal which isn’t true of the real world
  • (c) Make a Judgment: Is the truth of the urn the “whole truth”? Explain.
    • Possibly only partly true as it doesn’t reflect issues of mortality like aging, suffering, and death – which are all a part of the full spectrum of life.