Victorian poem overview

  • Created by: izzyclare
  • Created on: 16-06-19 07:10

Illustrating the conventions of ________, the poet _____ arguably utilises the poem _______ to explore the concept of _____ , in terms of its impact/ significance on society/ the individual.

As the Victorian era was a known period of social change, the impact of ______ is arguably explored by ______, through the use of ______. 




•Rejection of Enlightenment (philosophical movement emphasizing reason, individualism, skepticism, and science)

•Focus on realism- presenting unconventional/ scandalous ideologies realisatically 

•Interest in female beauty, Medieval, supernatural, subconscious mind 

•Sensuous detail 


•Rejection of knowledge/ reason

•Opposed to industrialism, social conventions, science 

•Accentuating beauty and power of nature 

•Exploring emotions and subconscious mind 


•Exploring the sublime

•Highlighting power of emotions and subconscious mind through nature/ weather 

•Elements of romance and supernatural 

•Decaying settings, common themes of death 


•Challenging traditional social and religious beliefs through intellect and experimentation 

•Accentuating power of knowledge and individualism 

•Heavy use of symbolism 




Alfred Tennyson:

•‘In Memoriam’ documenting grieving process following best friend Arthur Hallam’s death 

•Surrounded by mental health problems and illness in family- epilepsy, addiction, abuse 

•‘Maud’ inspired by (upper class) Rosa Baring who rejected Tennyson for belief that his love was motivated by money/ social stability- Tennyson believed to have been attracted to her dark beauty and sexuality 


•Science versus religion- Theory of Evolution diminishing mans stature 

•Death and loss 

•Conditions of afterlife/ supernatural 

•Corruption of society over nature/ beauty of England

•Nature versus culture 

•Limitations of romance/sexuality- boundaries of social/ gender conventions 

Elizabeth Browning:

•Restricted by physical illness throughout life

•Unsettled childhood with death of mother and instability of father’s business

•Devote Christian 

•Moved to Torquay where brother died in boating accident; EBB plagued by guilt for persuading him to stay 

•Moved to Italy to marry Robert Browning, as father strongly opposed relationship, whereby she gave birth to son nicknamed ‘Pen’

Common themes: ROMANTICISM 

•Grief / mourning 

•Negative impacts of industrialisation, slavery, political leadership, religious controversy, female oppression

•Power of love/romance 

•Power of nature 

Robert Browning:

•Opposed family wealth from slave economy; desiring career in art/literature 

•Apparently atheist 

•Potentially jealous of wife’s highly successful career 

•Inspired by emotions evoked by relationship with Elizabeth- moved to Italy to marry where RB became home-sick and returned to England after EBBs death 

Common themes: MODERNISM 

•Death, violence and conflict

•Morality of human actions/ motives 

•Nature versus culture

•Gender roles 


•Renaissance ideologies- humanism, scepticism 

Bronte sisters: 

•Surrounded by death/illness 

•Suffered limitations of gender roles/ female oppression- patriarchal literary cannon 

•Unhappy feminine careers of teachers (both) and governess (Charlotte)


•Practised Anglicanism 

•Initially rejected proposal of Arthur Bell for fathers opposition to his poor financial status- later accepted and married happily 


•Emily shared unconventional religious beliefs/ opposed to Anglican aunt 

•Strong connections with nature- raised on Yorkshire Moors


•Power of nature 

•Power of emotions/ subconscious 

•Desire for social rebellion 

•Death/ supernatural


•Female/class oppression 

Christina Rossetti:

•Devote Anglican / religious obsession 

•Suffered nervous breakdown


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