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Lecture 8

ENGL 111W Lecture 8: ENG 111W_ Mask of Anarchy

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Stephen Collis

Peterloo massacre - Massacre of 14, injury of hundreds, of unarmed protestors gathered at St. Peter’s Field Manchester on August 16 1819. - What did people want? Basic democratic reforms: freedom of the press and publication, freedom of public assembly and “political organizations,” extension of the vote (to at least middle class men). - A magistrate at the time: “Some of you reformers ought to be hanged.” - “Shelley thought England was on the verge of revolution” and he tried “to make his own contribution” with “Mask of Anarchy” (Michael Scrivener Radical Shelley 196) Romanticism - The idea that the values of passion and imagination needed to be defended against the rising dominance of materialism and industrialization. - That the individual—every individual—was to be valued and nurtured as an independent and creative being. - That human beings are “naturally” or inherently “good,” and that society should be arranged in such a way as to honour and encourage the goodness of all humans. - All these ideas feed into the rise of democracy. What does the poem say? - Castlereagh, Eldon, and Sidmouth are English lords: rich, powerful politicians running the government and trying to keep law and order at home and expand the Empire abroad. - Who is Anarchy
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