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Lecture

ENGLISH 1C06 Lecture Notes - Dramatic Monologue, Victoriana, Transcendentalism


Department
English
Course Code
ENGLISH 1C06
Professor
Jeffery Donaldson

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English 1C06
Browning, Tennyson
- Reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
o Christian ethics and constraints
- Empire, aftermath of the revolutions
- Darwin
- Industry, urban expansion
- The reform bill. 1832, 1867
Romantic/Victorian Contrasts:
Romantic Era
Victorian Era
Idealism
Visionary/Utopian
Sober/Utilitarian
View of Nature
Kind/Harmonious
Harsh/Cruel
Focus
Inward/Individual
Common man
Imagination
Introspection
Outward/Nation
Middle class
Reality
Work
Philosophy
Transcendentalism
Utilitarianism
More Victoriana:
Key Metaphor
Struggle or strife
Key Theme
Theory of evolution leads to crisis of faith
Intellectual and spiritual doubt antidote is work
Growing Social Consciousness
Reform movements child labour, safety, hours
Women demand emancipation, enfranchisement,
evolution
Victorian Trinity
Religion, science, morality
Nationalism
Britain first great modern industrial nation
Poets
Feel alienated, betrayed estranged from life and love
so isolate themselves no groups or friends
The Dramatic Monologue
- In the dramatic monologue, then, there is typically a speaker and a dramatic context, with an implied
listener present in the scene.
- Yet we come to understand that speaker and that dramatic context only through what the voice says
- We can rely on no external evidence, what other people say about the character or the situation, how the
speaker appears or what he or she does (unless we come to a sense of this through what he or she says).
This is quite different from real life and other forms of drama in novels and theatre, in which a variety of
criteria may be employed (what one says, what one does, how one appears, and what others are saying).
- The dramatic monologue forces us to come to terms with the limitations that we face whenever we try to
know something in an absolute sense
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