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Week 6, ENGL 231: British Authors > 1800

by: Marshall DeFor

Week 6, ENGL 231: British Authors > 1800 ENGL 231

Marketplace > University of Nebraska Lincoln > Education > ENGL 231 > Week 6 ENGL 231 British Authors 1800
Marshall DeFor
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This week, we discussed Percy Shelley and Lord George Byron.
English Authors > 1800
White, Laura
Class Notes
english, poetry
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Marshall DeFor on Sunday October 2, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ENGL 231 at University of Nebraska Lincoln taught by White, Laura in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 4 views. For similar materials see English Authors > 1800 in Education at University of Nebraska Lincoln.


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Date Created: 10/02/16
ENGL 231: British Authors > 1800: Week 6 Week 6 Recap Hello, fellow students! Once again, it’s me, Marshall DeFor. This week, we discussed the poetry of Percy Shelley and Lord George Byron. I wrote all of the following material, unless it is otherwise cited. Life gets crazy, so hopefully, this takes some of the pressure off of missing a day or missing a section of notes or reading! Table of Contents: Lecture Notes Monday Wednesday Friday Lecture Notes Please keep in mind that this is supplemental material only. I am a human, and I make mistakes. I cannot write down everything that is said or presented. These notes should provide you with a large amount of what was presented but may not include all of the material that you need to know. The main goal of these lecture notes are to help you remember the major points of each lecture, as well as provide some background information on each key point. Monday I. Intro to Percy Shelley A. He treated women very badly, yet his work doesn’t reflect this. B. He met Mary when she was fifteen; Mary’s mother died in childbirth. Mary used to go to her mother’s grave. Percy found out that she went there and seduced her at her mother’s grave. C. He was privileged and rich, but he was often beat up. At Oxford, he refused to do schoolwork and spent his days reading in the library. He then wrote a pamphlet called “The Necessity of Atheism.” He mailed it out to all of the bishops in the country. That expelled him. He could have been reinstated if he recanted, but he would not. He then became a wanderer around Europe because he was “too radical” for England. D. He had a wife and a child, and he left them for Mary. The wife then killed herself, so then Percy married Mary. After marrying Mary, he had multiple affairs with other women and would often bring them along on their travels. Nonetheless, Mary adored him, and after he died of drowning, she made it her life’s work to make his name last forever. E. Doppelganger: double. 1. Omen: If you ever come across someone who looks like you, then you are going to die. 2. Percy recorded that he saw his doppelganger the day before he went on a boat that capsized, and that killed him. (The “West Wind” kills him.) F. He was burnt on a funeral pyre. For some reason, his heart didn’t burn, so they sent it back to Mary. ENGL 231: British Authors > 1800: Week 6 G. Percy often identified as Prometheus, the Titan in Greek mythology who gave fire to humans. He was punished for this by being tied to a mountain in Tartarus and having an eagle eat his liver out every day. 1. He hated George III and all tyrants. 2. He was an atheist and believed that he was victimized for bringing knowledge to the world. II. “Ode to the West Wind” ​A. The rhyme scheme in this piece is called t​ erza rima: ABA, BCB, CDC, DED, EE. 1. Dante used this style. 2. Much harder to do in English than Italian. 3. Shelley is setting himself up as a parallel to Dante B. He begins with addressing the West Wind. C. The cantos had to do with the elements: the first is about earth, the second is about air, the third is about water and the sea, and… fire is not invoked directly. 1. Canto 1: This poem is set at the turn from summer to autumn, and showing the rejuvenation of the earth in spring. 2. Canto 2: This canto describes the way that a storm conjures the clouds, rain, and lightning from the sky. Because at the time of the poem, the earth is dying, Shelley references how the sky is a dome around the earth. 3. Canto 3: Describes the Mediterranean and the Atlantic civilization under the sea, with flowers all over the ruins. This is the poignant idea that beauty reclaims tragic loss. 4. Canto 4: What he wants the wind to listen to: He wants to take on the wind’s capabilities. “Dead leaf” refers to first canto, “swift cloud” refers to the second, and “wave” refers to the third. He complains that he can’t appreciate nature the way that he could as a boy. Uniquely, however, he puts himself in competition with nature and wants to win against the wind. Shelley identifies himself with Christlike suffering. (This is pretty blasphemous; Shelley could be implicating that Christ was just a great man, like Shelley) 5. Canto 5: Shelley asks to be the lyre of the wind. He wants the power of the wind to spread his poetry--and more importantly, his politics--all over the world. The “fire” appears as Shelley’s words in “Ashes and sparks,” which will set the world on fire. He uses terms of Christian faith to suit his own purpose. (“Be through my lips [...]/ The trumpet of a prophecy!”) D. The reference to the Maenad, which is an allusion to a group with fertility rites, sparks the theme of fertility within his poem. He wants to spread “new life” through the world with his poetry. III. “Ozymandias” A. In the first line, he meets a traveller, who says the entire rest of the sonnet. This is a distancing device. B. Message of sculptures’ size as a direct correlation to power. C. Shelley uses “King of Kings” on the Ozymandias (Ramses II) statue, once again as an allusion to Christ. D. He talks about the decay of this amazing statue, which seems like a clear indictment of Ramses II’s egoism. The “tyrants” (like King George III) end up destroyed. However, Shelley sees himself as this larger-than-life figure, and Shelley also has this egoism, so it also seems to be a reflective self-indictment. The call to the wind by Shelley isn’t too far from the proclamation of Ozymandias. ENGL 231: British Authors > 1800: Week 6 IV. All the poetry that we’ve read is alien to us in the modern day: it rarely has irony, it’s full of idealism, and it’s filled with literary, sensual beauty. That’s not the aim of contemporary poetry. It wants to pack an emotional punch, but not by enticing the ear with scenes of beauty. Wednesday ● Lord Byron ○ Died young, at 36; lived the life of a Romantic hero ○ He was very tender about his title and liked people to use it. He was definitely not a democrat and didn’t like it when people forgot his title. ○ He had a clubfoot, which is a genetic abnormality that caused his muscles to always be clenched in one foot. Because of this, he took up swimming. ○ Went to cambridge to make himself famous ■ This was before the notion of celebrity was common. ■ He did this by doing things that caught people’s attention; for example, he kept a bear in his dorm room. ○ Graduated and started writing poetry ○ International bestseller, literary superstar ○ Everyone wanted to know him (he had an aristocratic mien) ○ “Manfred” ■ Poem about a man who did a bad thing ■ Goes to the mountains to kill himself ■ Meets an old man who tries to convince him not to do it ■ Jumps off a cliff and goes to hell ○ “Giore” ■ Poem with an exotic, orientalist nature; violent sexual tale of pirate ■ Woman captured, to be put in a harem ○ Byron was writing over-the-top stuff that the people of the time craved ○ One of his lovers called him “Mad, bad, and dangerous to know.” ○ Caroline Lamb was very in love with him. She had herself delivered naked to his door on a plate. ○ Had an affair with his half-sister; when this came out, he had to leave England. ○ Didn’t speak to his wife on his wedding carriage, ravished her on his sofa, and then sent her away so she couldn’t see his foot. ○ He was very Anti-George and Prince Regent, pro-Napoleon at Waterloo ○ Fell in love with the concept of Greek independence (break-off from Ottoman Empire) ● Napoleon Bonaparte ○ Also Byronic hero ○ Came from merchant class, not really from France ○ By the time he was done, he had conquered a lot of Europe and much of Africa ○ People depicted him as the Byronic hero in paintings. ● Beethoven ○ Consummate romantic behavior ○ Byronic ○ Rude behavior, but attractive ○ Romantic walks ○ Music full of feeling ○ Was originally going to dedicate “Eroica” to Bonaparte ■ Bonaparte went from democracy to totalitarianism by declaring himself emperor ■ After this, Beethoven tore the title page in half ■ Retitled it Eroica, “Symphony for Heroes” ● Modern phenomena: people tell us how to feel ENGL 231: British Authors > 1800: Week 6 ○ Conductors, such as Bernstein of “Eroica” ○ This phenomena also occurs in “Lime Tree Bower My Prison” ○ In real life, no one want anything to do with the Byronic hero, (except for when they do.) This is the phenomena of “Women still flock to ’mad, bad, dangerous’ men who play out negative behaviors, while ‘Nice guys finish last.’” ○ The ultimate Byronic hero of this period was Satan. ■ Many said that the hero of Milton’s “Paradise Lost” is Satan. ■ Milton would have been appalled because in his time, the hero was meant to be Christ! ■ The Romantics saw Satan’s emotional anguish. Friday Test day. No lecture, no notes.


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