· Revival of Romantic features in Shelley and Byron.The Romantic age: -
Assignment Paper No:-6
Topic:- Revival of Romantic Feature
Sumitted to:- Mr. Jay sir
Dept of English
Romanticism largely began as a reaction against the prevailing Enlightenment ideals of the day. Indeed, the term “Romanticism” did not arise until the Victorian period.
Romanticism in British literature developed in a different form slightly later, mostly associated with the poets William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, whose co-authored book Lyrical Ballads (1798) .The poets William Blake ,Lord Byron, Percy By she Shelley, Mary Shelley and John Keats constitute another phase of Romanticism in Britain.
Female writer like Mary Shelley, Anna Leticia Barb auld, Charlotte Turner Smith, Mary Robinson, Hannah More and Joanna Baillie.
Influence of War on Romantic WritingsThe Romantic Era is a time in history that was surrounded by war. The Seven Years' War (1756–1763), as well as the French and Indian War (1754–1763), and the American Revolution (1775–1783), which directly preceded the French Revolution (1789–1799).
Lord Byron, 1788-1824.
Byron (George Gordon Byron) expresses mainly the spirit of individual revolt, revolt against all existing institutions and standards. This was largely a matter of his own personal temperament, but the influence of the time also had a share in it. Byron was born in 1788. Byron suffered also from another serious handicap; He had already begun to publish verse, and when 'The Edinburgh Review' ridiculed his very juvenile 'Hours of Idleness' he added an attack on Jeffrey to a slashing criticism of contemporary poets which he had already written in rimed couplets (he always professed the highest admiration for Pope's poetry), and published the piece as 'English Bards and Scotch Reviewers.' The first literary journey was the publication in 1812 of the first two cantos of 'Childe Harold's Pilgrimage. He wrote throughout in Spenser's stanza, Byron summed up the case in his well-known comment: 'I awoke one morning and found myself famous.' In fact, 'Childe Harold' is the best of all Byron's works,
He published his brief and vigorous metrical romances, most of them Eastern in setting, 'The Glamour' (pronounced by Byron 'Joker'), 'The Bride of Abydos,' 'The Corsair,' 'Lara,' 'The Siege of Corinth,' and 'Parisian.' the narrative structure highly defective, and the characterization superficial or flatly inconsistent. In each of them stands out one dominating figure, the hero, a desperate and terrible adventurer, characterized by Byron himself as possessing 'one virtue and a thousand crimes,' merciless and vindictive to his enemies, tremblingly obeyed by his followers, manifesting human tenderness only toward his mistress .And above all inscrutably enveloped in a cloud of pretentious romantic melancholy and mystery. But in spite of all this melodramatic clap-trap the romances, like 'Childe Harold,' are filled with the tremendous Byronic passion, which, as in 'Childe Harold,' lends great power alike to their narrative and their description. All the while he was producing a great quantity of poetry. In his half dozen or more poetic dramas he entered a new field. In the most important of them, 'Manfred,' a treatment of the theme which Marlowe and Goethe had used in 'Faust,' his real power is largely thwarted by the customary Byronic mystery and swagger. 'Cain' and 'Heaven and Earth,' though wretchedly written, have also a vaguely vast imaginative impressiveness. Their defiant handling of Old Testament material and therefore of Christian theology was shocking to most respectable Englishmen and led Southey to characterize Byron as the founder of the 'Satanic School' of English poetry.
More significant is the longest and chief of his satires, 'Don Juan,’. Its real purpose is to serve as an utterly cynical indictment of mankind, the institutions of society, and accepted moral principles. Byron's fiery spirit was rapidly burning itself out. He died of fever after a few months, in 1824, before he had time to accomplish anything. At the core of his nature there was certainly much genuine goodness--generosity, sympathy, and true feeling. 'The Prisoner of Chillan and the 'Ode on Venice.' On the other hand his violent contempt for social and religious hypocrisy had as much of personal bitterness as of disinterested principle; and his persistent quest of notoriety, the absence of moderation in his attacks on religious and moral standards, his lack of self-control, and his indulgence in all the vices of the worse part of the titled and wealthy class require no comment.
In 'Memorial Verses' Arnold says of him: He taught us little, but our soul had felt him like the thunder's roll. With shivering heart the strife we saw of passion with eternal law. His poetry has also an elemental sweep and grandeur. The majesty of Nature, especially of the mountains and the ocean, stirs him to feeling which often results in superb stanzas, like the well-known ones at the end of 'Childe Harold' beginning 'Roll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean, roll'! Too often, however, Byron's passion and facility of expression issue in bombast and crude rhetoric.
PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY:- 1792-1832
Shelley resembles Byron in his thorough-going revolt against society, but he is totally unlike Byron in several important respects. His first impulse was an unselfish love for his fellow-men, with an aggressive eagerness for martyrdom in their behalf; his nature was unusually, even abnormally, fine and sensitive; and his poetic quality was a delicate and ethereal lyricism unsurpassed in the literature of the world. In both his life and his poetry his visionary reforming zeal and his superb lyric instinct are inextricably intertwined. Shelley, born in 1792.
He came to believe not only that human nature is essentially good, but that if left to itself it can be implicitly trusted; that sin and misery are merely the results of the injustice springing from the institutions of society, chief of which are organized government, formal religion, law, and formal marriage .
Shelley himself formed a union with Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, the daughter of his revolutionary teacher. Her sympathetic though extravagant admiration for his genius, now beginning to express itself in really great poetry, was of the highest value to him. As we have said, with Byron, for whose genius, in spite of its coarseness, Shelley had a warm admiration. Shelley's death came when he was only thirty, in 1822, by a sudden accident. Some of Shelley's shorter poems are purely poetic expressions of poetic emotion, but by far the greater part are documents (generally beautiful also as poetry) in his attack on existing customs and cruelties. Shelley is the poetic disciple, but a thoroughly original disciple, of Coleridge. His esthetic passion is partly sensuous, and he often abandons himself to it with romantic unrestraint.
His 'lyrical cry,' of which Matthew Arnold has spoken, is the demand, which will not be denied, for beauty that will satisfy his whole being. Sensations, indeed, he must always have, agreeable ones if possible, or in default of them, painful ones.
Wordsworth is always exulting in the fullness of Nature; Shelley is always chasing its falling stars.' The contrast, here hinted at, between Shelley's view of Nature and that of Wordsworth, is extreme and entirely characteristic; the same is true, also, when we compare Shelley and Byron.
The finest of Shelley's poems, are his lyrics. 'The Skylark' and 'The Cloud' are among the most dazzling and unique of all outbursts of poetic genius. Of the 'Ode to the West Wind,' a succession of surging emotions and visions of beauty swept, as if by the wind itself, through the vast spaces of the world, Swinburne exclaims: 'It is beyond and outside and above all criticism, all praise, and all thanksgiving.' The 'Lines Written among the Eugenia Hills,' 'The Indian Serenade,' 'The Sensitive Plant' (a brief narrative), and not a few others are also of the highest quality. In 'Adonis,' an elegy on Keats and an invective against the reviewer whose brutal criticism, as Shelley wrongly supposed, had helped to kill him, splendid poetic power, at least, must be admitted. the longer poems, such as the early 'Alastair,' a vague allegory of a poet's quest for the beautiful through a gorgeous and incoherent succession of romantic wildernesses; the 'Hymn to Intellectual Beauty'; 'Julian and Maddalo,' in which Shelley and Byron (Maddalo) are portrayed; and 'Epipsychidion,' an ecstatic poem on the love which is spiritual sympathy. 'The Cenci' is more dramatic in form,
That the quality of Shelley's genius is unique is obvious on the slightest acquaintance with him, and it is equally certain that in spite of his premature death and all his limitations he occupies an assured place among the very great poets. On the other hand, the vagueness of his imagination and expression has recently provoked severe criticism. It has even been declared that the same mind cannot honestly enjoy both the carefully wrought classical beauty of Milton's 'Lucida' and Shelley's mistily shimmering 'Adonis.'