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The Victorian Poetry

The Victorian poets still had a romantic taste and sensibility, as well as a romantic style. The innovation is their attempt to express their doubts regarding the character of Victorian society, with its emphasize on science, progress and materialism. The poets are Tennyson, the Pre-Raphaelites Rossetti and Swinburne and Browning.

Alfred Tennyson was born in Somersby in 1809 and studied at Cambridge, where he established a lasting friendship with Arthur Hallam, a scholar and a critic. His death inspired the poet one of his most famous poems 'In memoriam'. Apart from it, other important works were: 'Poems, chiefly lyrical' conteining 'the lady of Shalot' and 'Lotus Eaters', which were betterly criticized. They were followed by some of his best poetry: 'Ulysses' and 'Morte d'Arthur'. He believed in the Victorian morality of self-control and self-discipline and captured the pessimistic mood of the time. Doubt was the root of his inspiration because he didn't like what he saw and in 'in memoriam' he comments on the insignificance of man since the progress and discovers on the origins of man (Darwin) have increased the sense of human loss. He died in Haslemere in 1892.
Robert Browning was born in Camberwell in 1812 and he had a solitary childhood, reading books in his father's library. He started poetry in the manner of Byron and Shelley, but later developed a more objective style, adapting the dramatic technique of the theatre to his poems: 'The dramatic monologue'. In 'the ring and the book' he presents a murder story from ten different poems of us. He died in Venice in 1889.
The Pre-Raphaelites were a group of poets who reacted against the conventions in art and literature: the most important were Dante Gabriele Rossetti, the authit of romantic and medieval works; and Algernon Charles Swinburne, who was influenced by the French poet Baudelaire.
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