Victorian literature critical essays

After receiving a Classics degree from Oxford and spending a brief spell in Paris, Arnold spent most of his life working as a schools inspector.

Victorian literature critical essays

The Old English period Poetry The Angles, Saxons, and Jutes who invaded Britain in the 5th and 6th centuries brought with them the common Germanic metre ; but of their earliest oral poetry, probably used for panegyricmagic, and short narrative, little or none survives.

For nearly a century after the conversion of King Aethelberht I of Kent to Christianity aboutthere is no evidence that the English wrote poetry in their own language.

Caedmon legitimized the native verse form by adapting it to Christian themes. Others, following his example, gave England a body of vernacular poetry unparalleled in Europe before the end of the 1st millennium.

Alliterative verse Virtually all Old English poetry is written in a single metre, a four-stress line with a syntactical break, or caesura, between the second and third stresses, and with alliteration linking the two halves of the line; this pattern is occasionally varied by six-stress lines.

The poetry is formulaic, drawing on a common set of stock phrases and phrase patterns, applying standard epithets to various classes of characters, and depicting scenery with such recurring images as the eagle and the wolf, which wait during battles to feast on carrion, and ice and snow, which appear in the landscape to signal sorrow.

In the best poems such formulas, far from being tedious, give a strong impression of the richness of the cultural fund from which poets could draw.

JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary sources. The complex human reaction to incest and its prohibition have taken a central position in psychological and sociological scholarship from these disciplines' early twentieth-century beginnings up. Introduction. Matthew Arnold (b. –d. ) is one of the most influential writers of the Victorian age. After receiving a Classics degree from Oxford and spending a brief spell in Paris, Arnold spent most of his life working as a schools inspector.

Other standard devices of this poetry are the kenninga figurative name for a thing, usually expressed in a compound noun e.

That these verse techniques changed little during years of literary production suggests the extreme conservatism of Anglo-Saxon culture. The major manuscripts Most Old English poetry is preserved in four manuscripts of the late 10th and early 11th centuries.

But in the absence of such indications, Old English poems are hard to date, and the scholarly consensus that most were composed in the Midlands and the North in the 8th and 9th centuries gave way to uncertainty during the last two decades of the 20th century.

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For most poems, there is no scholarly consensus beyond the belief that they were written between the 8th and the 11th centuries. Religious verse If few poems can be dated accurately, still fewer can be attributed to particular poets.

The most important author from whom a considerable body of work survives is Cynewulfwho wove his runic signature into the epilogues of four poems. Aside from his name, little is known of him; he probably lived in the 9th century in Mercia or Northumbria.

Several poems not by Cynewulf are associated with him because of their subject matter. These include two lives of St. Guthlac and Andreas; the latter, the apocryphal story of how St. Andrew fell into the hands of the cannibalistic and presumably mythical Mermedonians, has stylistic affinities with Beowulf.

Of these, Exodus is remarkable for its intricate diction and bold imagery. The fragmentary Judith of the Beowulf Manuscript stirringly embellishes the story from the Apocrypha of the heroine who led the Jews to victory over the Assyrians.

Elegiac and heroic verse The term elegy is used of Old English poems that lament the loss of worldly goods, glory, or human companionship.

Introduction

The account contains some of the best elegiac verse in the language, and, by setting marvelous tales against a historical background in which victory is always temporary and strife is always renewed, the poet gives the whole an elegiac cast.

Other heroic narratives are fragmentary. But the best historical poem is not from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.

Victorian literature critical essays

Page 1 of Samuel Butler (), Victorian satirist, critic, and visual artist, possessed one of the most original and inquiring imaginations of his age. Welcome to The Literature Network! We offer searchable online literature for the student, educator, or enthusiast.

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The Victorian Age - The Victorian Age of Literature “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair” (Dickens n.

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