British Literature Exam Study Guide

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British Literature Exam Study Guide Semester 2
Romantic Poets
Burns- farmer/poet who preserved Scottish dialect; collected, edited, and rewrote Scottish folk songs; symbol of Scottish literature * Works
* To a Mouse- After a farmer plows up a mouse's nest, he apologizes to the tiny creature while assuring it that he means no harm. He also says he does not mind that the mouse occasionally steals an ear of corn. After all, the farmer reaps a bounty of food from the land; surely, he cannot begrudge the mouse a tiny harvest of its own. Finally, he tells the mouse that it is not alone in failing to build wisely for the future; men fail at that too.  Blake- the poet that lived a life that was “unromantic” in the poetic sense of the word b/c he lived a quiet uneventful life; organized Innocence which was a state where sense of divinity of humanity-coexist with oppressions and injustice; during his life his work received little attention and the attention it did was negative * Works

* Songs of Innocence- innocence in which everyone is born; childlike tone; the lamb symbolizes Jesus * Chimney Sweeper- Darkside; Innocence of believing that doing the right thing will lead to going to Heaven; amd all burdens are gone; all things will be taken care of in Heaven * Songs of Experience- can the same God who made the innocent lamb make the powerful tiger; did the tiger come from God or the Devil; did God allow the angels to rebel or why didn’t he stop it; more popular in the time b/c Satan seems powerful and dynamic; we are both good and bad; God lets us choose * The Chimney Sweeper- his parents sold him to sweep; blames parents, king, priest, b/c it’s not what God would want him to do; the representatives are not doing their jobs on Earth, but they go to pray and praise the king Wordsworth- the poet who came to be thought of as a “living monument”; with Coleridge, began the Romantic poetry movement with the publication of “Lyrical Ballads”; said he was of two consciousnesses; sickened by the war between France and England; took the little things in life and made the more; thought closeness to nature made him a better man * Works

* The Lucy Poems- eternizing conceits
* Strange Fits of Passion Have I Known- on his way to Lucy’s house on a country road and the moon is moving; moon drops and goes behind her house and he thinks it is an omen; daydreaming as he’s riding along and the moon goes behind the cottage and he starts thinking what if she died * She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways- compares her to a violet and says she is like a little tiny wildflower that is beautiful but not cultivated; didn’t live in town so she wasn’t praised by many people for her beauty; not many people knew when she died but it changed the world for him * A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal- when she died, it broke his heart; it had never occurred to him that she would die; she seemed immortal; she is now a part of the earth and somehow the world keeps going even though his world has changed * The World Is Too Much with Us- we find too much value in materialistic things and we shy away from nature; standing by the ocean looking at the foam saying it looks like the ocean is gathering flowers; we see none of this; “I’d rather be pagan and not have the technology and have the imagination George Gordon, Lord Byron- the poet who wrote in the neoclassical style, but was the epitome of Romanticism; wrote a self-centered “condolence” letter to another poet which actually criticized a recently-deceased fellow poet; close associate with Shelley; crazy life; same circle as Keats but didn’t like him or admire his style * Works

* She Walks in Beauty- about Lady Wilmot Horton who wore a black dress to mourn but she was still dolled up; “all that’s best of the night is reflected on her” b/c she has a beautiful mind and a beautiful face; her entire face tells you she is a good person...
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