Appunti/Scheme sulla Metaphysical poetry, life of John Milton and his masterpiece: Paradise lost
Mary Shelley's life; Frankenstein: the plot; the modern Prometheus; the influence of science; the structure; the characters; the themes
Riassunti/schemi su: Charles I, The English Civil War, The puritans, The Commonwealth, The restoration, The reign of Queen Anne, and the Scientific Revolution.
The Gothic Novel: the origin of the name; the influences; the sublime; the settings; the characters.
-Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience -London -The Lamb -The Tyger
- The industrial revolution: causes and inventions; the industrial society; - The American War of Independence: causes, consequences, Patriots and Loyalists, Treaty of Versailles.
William Blake —> LIFE: William Blake was born in London in 1757. His origins were humble and he remained poor all his life. He had a vision of complementary opposites". good and evil, male and female, reason and imagination. For him contrary state are simultaneous and coexist in the human being and in the figure of the Creator, who can be the God of love and innocence and the God of violence at the same time. He died in London in 1827. -> SONGS OF INNOCENCE AND SONGS OF EXPERIENCE: (Songs of Innocence was produced before the French Revolution. The narrator is a shepherd who receives inspiration from a child in a cloud. Its symbols are lambs, flowers and children. The poems deal with childhood and innocence and the language is simple and musical. Songs of experience was produced during the period of the Terror in France. A more pessimistic view of life emerges in these songs which are intended to be read together with the Songs of Innocence. Experience is identified with adulthood, coexist with and completes Innocence. Blake considered imagination for divine visions, who means "see into the life of things"), as the means through which man could know the world. The poet becomes a sort of prophet. Blake's poems have a simple structure. He...
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used a central group of symbols: the child, the father and Christ, representing the states of innocence, experience and a higher innocence. His verse is linear and rhythmical and is characterised by the frequent use of repetition. —> THE LAMB: This poem contains 20 lines and 2 stanzas. The rhyme scheme is AA BB CC DD AA. The poem opens with a question. The poet contemplates a lamb, shown free and happy, and wonders who created it. The lamb's innocence make the poet ask: who made "thee"? He finds the answer to his question in stanza 2, where the identification of the lamb with Christ is confirmed by the voice of the child in line 17. Both the child and the lamb are united in God's name. The poem ends with the blessing of the lamb in God's name. -> THE TIGER: This poem has 24 lines and 6 stanzas. The rhyme scheme is AA BB with a deviation in lines 3-4, 23-24. The poetry is building around questions. The poet is wondering about who created the tiger and if it was the same creator of the lamb (that is God). The animal is frightening yet fascinating. There is a contrast between the darkness of the nights and the forest and flames and fire. As often in Blake, the poem ends with a question. This two poems are often read together because of their complementarity. They both deal with the problem of creation: how could it be possible that the same God created the peaceful lamb and the fearful tiger? William Wordsworth -> LIFE: Wordsworth was born in the English Lake District in 1770. He supported the ideals of the French revolution. In France he fell in love with Annette Vallon, who bore him a daughter, Caroline. The developments of the revolution brought him to a nervous breakdown. Then he moved to Dorset with his sister Dorothy and finally he married a childhood friend, Mary, and they had five children. Wordsworth died in 1850. For Wordsworth, "imagination" was the power to see into the life of things. He belonged to the first generation of Romantic poets and wrote the "Lyrical Ballads" with Coleridge. The famous "Preface" has become the Manifesto of English Romanticism. For Worthsword the object of Romantic poetry should be events from everyday life, because in that condition the passions are more spontaneous, and the subjects are humble, rustic people. He claims that poetry has its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity. In a state of calm the poet is able to re-live a past emotion giving life to a similar emotion. The language should be simple. He thought that the poet is not a man in a ivory tower, but a man among men, a man speaks to men. -> DAFFODILS: In the first stanza the poet is wondering alone in the countryside. He compares himself to a cloud and suddenly he saw a crowd of golden daffodils, who are near the lake, under the trees and they are dancing in the breeze with the waves. The poet associates the flowers to the stars of Milky way. The poem is about Wordsworth remembering the daffodils lied on his sofa, not the moment. With this memory he feels the same pleasure, the same calm. In fact, he believed that man and nature are inseparable and the nature is a source of pleasure and joy.