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EN 216 Weeks 6&7

by: Rhiannon Hein

EN 216 Weeks 6&7 EN 216

Rhiannon Hein
GPA 3.886

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These notes cover weeks 6&7 in Dr. Smith's class, or weeks of 2/21 and 2/29.
Honors English Literature II
Dr. Abraham Smith
Class Notes
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Rhiannon Hein on Thursday March 3, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to EN 216 at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa taught by Dr. Abraham Smith in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 16 views. For similar materials see Honors English Literature II in Foreign Language at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa.

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Date Created: 03/03/16
Tennyson Notes I. Victorian Era Intro a. Victorian poetry as a transition between Romanticism and Modernism b. Development of women writers c. Serialization of the novel II. “Ulysses” a. Ulysses decides not to just rest on his own laurels, but to leave. i. He’s bored. The poem makes some people angry because his drive to get  back to his wife motivates all of The Odyssey, and in this poem he gets  back, only mentions her once, and happily leaves her again. b. Old people don’t just sit around, they are living. c. Pathos—emotional payoff of the monologue through writing i. “to strive, to seek, to find” d. Ulysses isn’t dead yet! e. Heroes being forever changed by their journey, can be blame Ulysses for wanting  more for the rest of his life? f. The drive that keeps him going. i. He feels like he’s getting “rusty” III. “The Lady of Shalott” a. While the arc of the tale is found elsewhere, the details are Tennyson’s. b. Repetition of “Lady of Shalott” c. The woman is stuck in a room, it’s sad. i. Melancholy laced throughout the poem. d. Opposition is truest friendship: i. The wedding and the funeral are mashed together (part 2) e. “I am half sick of shadows” i. She’s tired of living a part from society, of seeing its echoes without  participating. f. Contradiction of “delight” with her loneliness i. It feels good for her to weave. It’s her identity and she’s exerting it. g. Part 3 i. rammed together something small with something huge 1. Using astral imagery to describe his armor. h. Repetition of “she” in part 4 i. She’s finally taking control of her life. ii. She’s choosing to seek out Lancelot even at the cost of her life. iii. She’s exerting her life in a new way. iv. She gives herself her name on her boat. She self authors. 1. Is this an example of taking agency? 2. Perhaps she’s trying to prove to everyone that she did exist. 3. Perhaps she wants people to know that she has a corporeal body  and not just a voice. i. OR, perhaps it shows that she’s robotically acting i. Not really thinking, just acting. j. Why did you choose to leave and see this guy even though you would incur this  curse? i. Did she choose to see the man, to incur the curse, or could she simply not  help herself? k. The crowd hears her as she sings herself to death. i. She freezes as she sings her songs. ii. Her identity is her funeral. l. The acknowledgment that she had a beautiful face is an acknowledgment of her  corporeal form, that she is alive and not just some wraith who sings. i. Perhaps he plays on the role of male and female? Female falls for male  while male remains relatively indifferent? ii. Beautiful recognition of beauty in the world! m. Contractual obligation: “to look is to die” Robert Browning Notes 1. Robert Browning a. Known as his wife’s husband, wasn’t until later in life that he had a following. b. Made use of the dramatic monologue c. Master of evil 2. “My Last Duchess” a. Great poem of rhetorical flourish b. The Duke is saying that she was too equal, everything was equal in her sight. i. She loved everyone the same, which he didn’t like. c. The duke wants to control what she sees and how she perceives it and he  can’t. i. However, he would never tell her how to behave because he would  never stoop to that level. d. He’s jealous and controlling but can’t act upon it because he doesn’t want to  be that person. i. There’s nothing worse than control. e. Yet, he kills her when he eventually cannot manipulate her and get what he  wants. f. He’s talking to the count who’s organizing his next marriage. g. What do we think of the ending? i. He’s very flippant about the situation. ii. Perhaps the ending echoes the story. 1. Perhaps cyclical, the same thing is going to happen again to the next woman. iii. Reiteration, same version of the same old deal. 3. “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came” a. The speaker arrives at a crossroads and encounters a disgusting, ancient  cripple. b. He feels like the cripple is tricking him, but it doesn’t quite make sense  because everyone agrees that this is the way of the dark tower. i. Why is he agitated, the old man is simply confirming the general  consensus? c. General air of paranoia d. Stanzas 5&6 i. Describes a posthumous existence ii. People are celebrating his funeral as if he’s already dead. 1. He hopes he can die so he doesn’t disappoint his friends. e. Stanzas 8­14 i. He realizes he’s caught up in plains, in a wasteland. 1. “Nothing throve” ii. He believes the area he walks in has been cursed by holy fires. 1. It feels apocalyptic, “Last Judgment” f. Horse has a “rusty mane” i. Speaker assumes the worst, that he must’ve deserved such pain. ii. Very mechanical imagery iii. “I never saw a brute I hated so” 1. This guy is very grumpy. g. He decides to think of his old pals to get him out of this place. i. Then he remembers the bad things about his friends and decides that  this is not very comforting. ii. Is this the price of nostalgia? Do we drift toward the negative in our  old pals? iii. “Alas, one night’s disgrace” h. The stanza just builds up and continues to add to the festering, wounded  sense. i. On stanza 27 a blackbird arrives and he thinks it’s a guide. i. Then, in stanza 28, he sees mountains, but they were ugly. 1. He realizes that he’s no longer in the great plains, he’s now in  the mountains. a. He’s trapped “inside the den” j.  He realizes he’s completely missed the tower and it’s been in front of him the entire time. i. He’s been spending his entire life training to see this dark tower and  preparing for it and journeying all life, and he didn’t see it. 1. He can’t believe he’s so dumb that he didn’t notice it right  away. a. Then he starts to make excuses for himself, he tries to  realize why he didn’t notice it beforehand. k. Why does Browning end the poem on this note? i. The context of the poem—this quote is from a good man who’s hiding  his identity for survival. ii. 2/22/16 Keats Odes Day Two Notes I. Ode to a Nightingale Continued a. stanza six i. “I have been half in love with easeful Death” 1. He’s in such ecstasy he could die right now. ii. Death is quiet and easy, no pain involved. b. Stanza seven i. The bird is timeless 1. Even back in biblical times, they heard the same song. 2. He tracks the bird’s song back through time. ii. What happens at the end of this stanza? 1. Negative capability, where beauty obliterates all consideration. 2. He goes deeply into his imagination and travels against vast lands. iii. Bird offers a perspective that he didn’t have access to, gives him  imagination. 1. The bird and him become fused together. c. Stanza eight i. “Forlorn” takes him back to himself 1. He is pulled apart from the bird as he remembers human suffering. ii. Suffering pulls him back to himself and the vision disappears. 1. He’s upset that his imagination has cheated him, that he cannot  stay there forever. 2. He believes that the imagination is deceiving. iii. “Fled is that music:­­Do I wake or sleep?” 1. Why can’t he live in his imagination? 2. The music was so beautiful and now that he is pulled back to  himself, he is wondering if it was really even real. 3. “Do I wake or sleep”—perhaps when he lives in his imagination,  he really lives, and his return to himself pulls him back to a state of numbness and being. II. Ode on a Grecian Urn a. Because the figures have been painted on this urn, they will stay fixed forever. i. This highlights how we as humans cannot do anything about change, time  continues on and change is forced upon us. b. It isn’t an actual urn, he is imagining it. i. This is a representation of ekphrastic writing. c. He’s mad at the pastoral image for getting to remain forever while he withers  away. d. Overwrought maidens i. The condition of young love is the condition of overwroughtness ii. Perhaps, as the footnote argues, they are overwrought in their description. e. “Beauty is truth, truth is beauty” i. This is the hypocritical condition of the Urn, for it is beautiful and so it  seems to tell onlookers that all one needs to understand is beauty. ii. They are like the happy friend who cannot empathize with someone who  is sad. iii. They are thumbing their nose at the onlooker, it’s easy for the urn to say  because beauty is all they know. 1. But perhaps, if you acknowledge that there is beauty in suffering,  then there is beauty and everything, and perhaps there is a point. 2. Beauty could be the seed of truth in every thing, positive or  negative. III. Ode on Melancholy a. Don’t give up when you feel sad because there needs to be opposition in order to  sustain the soul, meaning that you’ll never be happy all of the time. b. Allow melancholy to do its best because there is beauty in it, it’s going to foster  things (which he compares to flora and fauna). Take happiness in the things it  fosters (in this case, a morning rose or a rainbow). i. Melancholy is not a waste land here, it’s a symbol of fertility, and one  should take pleasure in all that it produces. c. Melancholy is inseparable from Beauty and Joy, you can’t have one without the  other. i. Melancholy is veiled within delight d. Comparison of melancholy to a god in a temple. i. She has her own section in the temple of Delight. Those who can see that  behind the curtain of ecstasy sits melancholy upon the throne are the  people who can be possessed by melancholy. 1. It’s the person who can really feel delight and thus really feel  sorrow.


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