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The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood

“It’s through art, and through art only, that we can realize our perfection.” O. Wilde

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was a group of English painters, poets, and critics, founded in 1848 by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. They were bored by the Victorian Age’s rule and they want to come back to the pre – Raphael age. The pre- Raphaelites were both poets and painters, and often they wrote and painted about the same subject. They had genuine ideals to express: they were against Victorian stereotypes, free and they paid attention to details.

Lady Lilith

Of Adam's first wife, Lilith, it is told
(The witch he loved before the gift of Eve,)
That, ere the snake's, her sweet tongue could deceive,
And her enchanted hair was the first gold.
And still she sits, young while the earth is old,

And, subtly of herself contemplative,
Draws men to watch the bright web she can weave,
Till heart and body and life are in its hold.
The rose and poppy are her flowers; for where
Is he not found, O Lilith, whom shed scent
And soft-shed kisses and soft sleep shall snare?
Lo! as that youth's eyes burned at thine, so went
Thy spell through him, and left his straight neck bent
And round his heart one strangling golden hair.

“Lady Lilith” is a poem written by Dante Gabriel Rossetti in 1863. As often, Rossetti wrote and painted about the same subject; in this case Rossetti wrote about a beautiful, evil lady.

This poem is made up of only a stanza of 14 lines of regular length. Each line begins with capital letter. There’s regular punctuation and an irregular rhyme scheme: ABBAABCADEDEED. There are many run on lines, such as in lines 1 – 3 (“it is told // That”), lines 9 – 10 ( “for where // is he not found”), lines 10 – 11 (scent // and), lines 12 – 13 ( “went // thy”) and lines 13 – 14 (“bent // and ).

In lines 4,5,6, 11 and 14 there is an anaphora, in fact these lines begin with “and”. In line 11 there is an alliteration of letter s: “And soft-shed kisses and soft sleep shall snare?”.

In this poem Lady Lilith is seen as an evil creature, that hypnotizes man and kill them. There’s a reference to Keats and Tennyson’s poem. In the poem are also mentioned roses and poppies (in line 9) which are symbol of love and passion, the first, and death, the second.

Arthur Hughes - In the grass

In this painting, painted by Arthur Hughes in 1864, is represented a typical pre- Raphaelite woman with massive red hair, light skin, a long neck and thick lips. The girl has light- blue eyes. There’s a strong contrast between the light of the girl’s skin and the dark of the grass.

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