The Victorian Age in Literature


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The reclaiming of the past was a major part of Victorian literature and was to be found in both classical literature and also the medieval literature of England. The Victorians loved the heroic, chivalrous stories of knights of old and they hoped to regain some of that noble, courtly behaviour and impress it upon the people both at home and in the wider empire.

Cultural Contexts

The discoveries of science seem to reflect considerable and particular effects upon the literature of the age. The Victorians had a mission to describe and classify the entire natural world. The theory of evolution contained within the work shook many of the ideas the Victorians had about themselves. Although it took a long time to be widely accepted, completely changed following thoughts and literature.

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Victorian Literature

The old Gothic tales that came out of the late 19th century are the first examples of the genre of fantastic fiction. If one studies possibly, all the great writers of this period, you will mark three general characteristics, Firstly, literature in the Victorian age tended to come face to face with realism. This reflected more on practical problems and interests.

It becomes a powerful instrument for human progress. Alfred Lord Tennyson , Robert Browning, Ruskin Bond — all were the teachers of England with the faith in their moral message to instruct the world. Thirdly, this was more like the age of pessimism and confusion.

The Victorian Era

The influence of science was strongly felt here. Although characterized as practical and materialistic, the literature of the Victorian age portrays a completely ideal life. It was an idealistic age where the great ideals like truth, justice, love, brotherhood were emphasized by poets, essayists and novelists of the age.

Characteristics of Victorian era literature, novels and poetry

The persistent popular embrace of Victorian literature has had a profound influence on modern literature and media. Landow Yet, the influence of the Romantic movement on Victorian writers is seen though the style in which they present these observations. While the novel was the dominant form of literature during the Victorian era, poets continued to experiment with style and methods of story-telling in their poems.


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  4. Characteristics Of Victorian Literature.
  5. Cantata No. 102: Herr, deine Augen sehen nach dem Glauben, BWV102;
  6. Examples of this experimentation include long narrative poems epic poems and the dramatic monologue as seen primarily in the writing of Robert Browning. Two other minor movements, the Pre-Raphaelites and the Aestheticism and Decadence movement , developed in relation to one another during the Victorian era. The first developed when the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood wanted to create art for the modern age by practicing techniques of precision and simplicity in their written work.

    The movement of Aestheticism and Decadence began as a reaction to the Pre-Raphaelites. The members of this second movement believe, unlike the Pre-Raphaelites, that literature and poetry should be more reflective. This movement influenced poets such as Yeats and Hopkins. This opened the universities to suitable people of all faith. Click here for a more extensive timeline of the publications, discoveries and events of the Victorian era.

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    Abrams, M. NY: Oxford UP, Goodvin, Renee.

    Breadcrumb

    Greenblatt, Stephen, ed. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Volume 2, 8th ed. New York: Norton, Mahoney, Tina.

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