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Letteratura inglese I

Letteratura inglese I

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Letteratura inglese I

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  1. Letteratura inglese I Romanticismo

  2. Some pre-romanticpoets • Edward Young, Night Thoughts on Life, Death, and Immortality(1742-46), a religiouspoem in ninebooks. • Whysignificant? Cemeteries, ruins, tombs, night birds, etc. (cf. Brontesisters) • The ‘I’ of the poet on display • William Collins • Thomas Gray (“sepulchralschool”), ElegyWritten in a CountryChurchyard (1750)

  3. Thomas Gray • 128 lines. About a rural community. Loneliness. Melancholia. • 1 The curfew tolls the knell of parting day, • 2 The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea, • 3 The ploughman homeward plods his weary way, • 4 And leaves the world to darkness and to me. • 29 Let not Ambition mock their useful toil, • 30 Their homely joys, and destiny obscure; • 31 Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile, • 32 The short and simple annals of the poor.

  4. Gray (2) • A Milton, a Crownwellmaybethere (in a “storied urn or animated bust”). Against urban landscape and Aristocrats who live in the city. • 73 Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife, • 74 Their sober wishes never learned to stray; • 75 Along the cool sequestered vale of life • 76 They kept the noiseless tenor of their way. • [and ends with an ‘Epitaph’)

  5. Macpherson, Works of Ossian(1765) • Pretends to beancientpoetry, folk tradition, the poetry of the people [Sturm und Drang in Germany]. Circulateswidely in Europe. • Simplelines, moderncivilisationascorrupting “primitive man” (Rousseau)

  6. Gaelic Literature • Robert Burns (poet-peasant). The medievalpast, ignored and supersedbyEnlightenment (or the rationality of 18° centurypoetry). • Poetrydedicated to beggars, even to a mouse • RecallsLyricalBallads(13 yearslater)

  7. William Blake • Beyondattempts to categorizehim? • Rebellion (French and American Revolution) • Nature, yes, butwithsymbolicmeanings • PoeticalSketches(1783) • Songs of Innocence(1789) • Songs of Experience(1794) • Before and after the Fall, Good and Evil, Love and Hate. • Childas pure (and the deleteriouseffect of ‘civilization’, institutions)

  8. Blake (2) • The vitalenergy of ‘evil’ (cf. sublime) (cf. Milton’s ParadiseLost)

  9. The Tyger • Tyger! Tyger! burning bright In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye Could frame thy fearful symmetry? In what distant deeps or skies Burnt the fire of thine eyes? On what wings dare he aspire? What the hand dare sieze the fire?  • And what shoulder, & what art. Could twist the sinews of thy heart? And when thy heart began to beat, What dread hand? & what dread feet?  • What the hammer? what the chain? In what furnace was thy brain? What the anvil? what dread grasp Dare its deadly terrors clasp?  • When the stars threw down their spears, And watered heaven with their tears, Did he smile his work to see? Did he who made the Lamb make thee?  • Tyger! Tyger! burning bright In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye Dare frame thy fearful symmetry? 

  10. Edmund Burke, PhilosophicalInquiryinto the Origin of the Sublime (1756) • WHATEVER is fitted in any sort to excite the ideas of pain and danger, that is to say, whatever is in any sort terrible, or is conversant about terrible objects, or operates in a manner analogous to terror, is a source of the sublime; that is, it is productive of the strongest emotion which the mind is capable of feeling. I say the strongest emotion, because I am satisfied the ideas of pain are much more powerful than those which enter on the part of pleasure. Without all doubt, the torments which we may be made to suffer are much greater in their effect on the body and mind, than any pleasure which the most learned voluptuary could suggest, or than the liveliest imagination, and the most sound and exquisitely sensible body, could enjoy. Nay, I am in great doubt whether any man could be found, who would earn a life of the most perfect satisfaction, at the price of ending it in the torments, which justice inflicted in a few hours on the late unfortunate regicide in France. But as pain is stronger in its operation than pleasure, so death is in general a much more affecting idea than pain; because there are very few pains, however exquisite, which are not preferred to death: nay, what generally makes pain itself, if I may say so, more painful, is, that it is considered as an emissary of this king of terrors. When danger or pain press too nearly, they are incapable of giving any delight, and are simply terrible; but at certain distances, and with certain modifications, they may be, and they are, delightful, as we every day experience.

  11. Worsdworth, Coleridge, LyricalBallads • Radicalism (Tom Pain, William Godwin, Mary Wollstonecraft, William Cobbet) • 1819: the massacre of Peterloo (Manchester, reform of Parlamentaryrepresentation) • 1832 ReformAct (extendingfranchise, butnotmuch) • 1838 ChartistMovement (universalsuffrage, workingclassmovement)

  12. LyricalBallads • 1798- LyricalBallads(‘Advertisement’; withPreface 1800) • Fromradicalism to conservatorism • Cardinal points: “sympathy”. The beauty of the world surroundingus, but a world weapproachwith the “film of familiarity”, Habit. • The “reality” of supernaturalforces, the ‘asif’ (Coleridge, Rime of AncientMariner; voyage, redemption, repetition) • “ordinary life” with the “charm of novelty (Wordsworth)

  13. Rime • It is an ancient Mariner, • And he stoppeth one of three. • 'By thy long grey beard and glittering eye, • Now wherefore stopp'st thou me? • The Bridegroom's doors are opened wide, • And I am next of kin; • The guests are met, the feast is set: • May'st hear the merry din.' • He holds him with his skinny hand, • 'There was a ship,' quoth he. • 'Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!' • Eftsoons his hand dropt he. • He holds him with his glittering eye— • The Wedding-Guest stood still, • And listens like a three years' child: • The Mariner hath his will. • The Wedding-Guest sat on a stone: • He cannot choose but hear; • And thus spake on that ancient man, • The bright-eyed Mariner.

  14. Themes (thorn, the idiot boy; a forsakenindian woman, sexton,etc. • Language (‘low’) • Nature: the study of; ethicalfunction • Coleridge: Imagination (‘organicwhole’; symbolic ensemble); Fancy (mechanicalassociation)

  15. “Preface” (1800, 1802; 1850) • Experiment; reallanguage of men in a state of vividsensation. • The sharedness withColeridge • Attack on “the public taste of thiscountry” • Make “the incidents of common life interestingbytracing in them … the primarylaws of ournature…howwe associate ideas in a state of excitement” • In rustic life “the essentialpassions of the soul findbettersoil”; • They communicatewith nature, and thisis “a philosophicallanguage”

  16. Poetics • “the spontaneousoverflow of feelings” (butthese are modifiedbyourthoughts (representatives of ourpastfeelings); buttakesitsoriginsfrom “emotionrecollected in tranquillity” • A number of eventsblunting the discriminatingpowers of the mind: “the increasingaccumulation of men in cities, where the uniformity of theiroccupationproduces a craving for the extraordinaryincident” • No “poeticdiction’; poetry and prose notessentiallydistinguishedfromoneanother; metreisnotenough

  17. TinternAbbey • FIVE years have past; five summers, with the length Of five long winters! and again I hear These waters, rolling from their mountain-springs With a soft inland murmur.--Once again Do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs, That on a wild secluded scene impress Thoughts of more deep seclusion; ….

  18. TinternAbbey(2) • [These beauteous forms] • But oft, in lonely rooms, and 'mid the din Of towns and cities, I have owed to them In hours of weariness, sensations sweet, Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart; And passing even into my purer mind, With tranquil restoration:- • [poetics of recollection]

  19. Lucy Gray • OFT I had heard of Lucy Gray: And, when I crossed the wild, I chanced to see at break of day The solitary child. No mate, no comrade Lucy knew; She dwelt on a wide moor, --The sweetest thing that ever grew Beside a human door! You yet may spy the fawn at play, The hare upon the green; But the sweet face of Lucy Gray Will never more be seen. "To-night will be a stormy night-- You to the town must go; And take a lantern, Child, to light Your mother through the snow."