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The Symbolists. By Kyle Danan Mar Sarmiento Emmanuel Millan. Symbolism. Era after Romanticism and before Modernism Originated with French poets in 19 th century Decadent Took “yearning for transcendence” from Romantic poets, made it more sensual, gave it to Modernists

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the symbolists

The Symbolists

By Kyle Danan

Mar Sarmiento

Emmanuel Millan

  • Era after Romanticism and before Modernism
  • Originated with French poets in 19th century
  • Decadent
  • Took “yearning for transcendence” from Romantic poets, made it more sensual, gave it to Modernists
  • Art over “real” (Emotion over Reason)
  • Associated with “art for art’s-sake” movement
  • Opposition to Naturalism and Realism
  • “Darker side of human nature.”
    • Inspired by Edgar Allen Poe
  • Evoke feelings rather than describing
symbolist poets
Symbolist Poets
  • Charles Baudelaire
  • Arthur Rimbaud
  • Oscar Wilde
  • Arthur Symons
  • William Butler Yeats
symbolist techniques and themes
Symbolist Techniques and Themes
  • Symbolism
  • Metaphors
  • Imagery
  • Crepuscules (waking and sleeping); Dreams
  • Synesthesia
  • Mellifluous tones (musical)
william butler yeats

William Butler Yeats

June 13, 1865 – January 28, 1939

  • Irish poet and a playwright
  • Born in Dublin
  • Educated in Dublin and London
  • Awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature
  • Served as an Irish senator for 2 years
  • Allusive imagery and symbolic structures.
  • Chooses words and assemble them in addition to his own abstract meaning.
  • Symbols: usually something physical that is both itself and a suggestion of other.
  • Modernist that is a master of traditional forms other than experimenting with free verse.
  • Poetry and plays are written in a more personal vein.
  • When You Are Old
  • A Crazed Girl
  • He Wishes For The Clothes Of Heaven
  • Sailing To Byzantium
  • A Drinking Song
  • A Dream Of Death
  • A Coat
  • A Dialogue Of Self And Soul
  • A Faery Song
  • A Bronze Head
arthur symons
Arthur Symons

February 28, 1865 – January 22, 1954

  • Born in Wales
  • Greatly influenced by the work of Paul Verlaine
  • First volume of verse, Days and Nights (1889), consisted of dramatic monologues
  • Schooled privately, spending much of his time in France and Italy
  • Uses symbolism
  • Influenced by William Butler Yeats, T.S. Eliot, and Paul Verlaine.
  • Disillusionment of feelings appears many times in his poetry.
  • As A Perfume
  • An Ending
  • A Brother Of The Battuti
  • A Winter’s Night
oscar wilde
Oscar Wilde

Oct 16, 1854 - Nov 30, 1900

  • Mother’s English translation of Sidonia the Sorceress deeply influenced writings
  • Published first collection of poems in 1881
  • Met Walt Whitman while giving a lecture tour in America
  • Established self as leader of aesthetic movement
  • May 1895, sentenced to two years in Reading Gaol for “gross indecency”
  • Chanson
  • Impression du Matin
  • Ravenna
  • Poems (A collection of poems)
  • The Ballad of Reading Gaol


ap questions

Study the painting in the following link and explain how the symbols in the painting relay the theme of the painting.

ap questions1

Go, little book,To him who, on a lute with horns of pearl,Sang of the white feet of the Golden Girl:And bid him lookInto thy pages: it may hap that heMay find that golden maidens dance through thee.

Read the poem by Oscar Wilde above and write an essay identifying how the figurative language relates to the theme of the poem.

ap questions2

The yellow leaves begin to fadeAnd flutter from the Temple elms,And at my feet the pale green ThamesLies like a rod of rippled jade.

Read the excerpt of a poem above, then write an essay in which you explain how the literary devices used creates a vague and mysterious mood.

  • (French Symbolists)