Tennyson, Browning, Arnold and Carlyle

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Tennyson, Browning, Arnold and Carlyle Thomas Carlyle writes in Characteristics that, "The healthy know not of their health, but only the sick"(923). He extends this medical/biological aphorism to the social and ideological world of Victorian England. Carlyle thoroughly goes over the question, What is the state of England? He finds that England is in a state of transition, and while the old is no longer useful to the society, the new has not yet been clearly defined. This void contributes to problems of poverty, social graces, and spiritual/social direction in 19th C. England. Carlyle goes on to discuss the nature and effects of the problems he identifies in the culture, and encourages the members of the society to remain hopeful of finding a solution. Carlyle identifies problems and trends in the society by close observation. In his contemporary poets are correlations to Carlyle's own work. Alfred Tennyson, Robert Browning, Matthew Arnold, Dante Rossetti, and Algernon Swinburn all exhibit traits in their poetry that relate to Carlyle's ideas about the condition of England. Carlyle wrote that literature is "a branch of Religion," and believed that in Victorian England "it is the only branch that still shows any greenness; and, as some thing, must one day become the main stem"(926). It makes sense, when Carlyle gives such huge import and value to literature, to look for ways that his ideas are evinced in the poetry of his time. During his age, poets were becoming more socially responsible. They incorporated themes and ideas that they envisioned to be solutions to at least some of the problems they saw around them. Often they simply gave voice to the problems they witnessed, allowing the issue to be discussed rather than i... ... middle of paper ... ...and searching voices trying to figure out how to live in a modern world as a community. Works Cited Abrams, M. H., ed. The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Sixth Edition, Volume II. USA: Norton, 1993. Arnold, Matthew. "The Buried Life." Abrams 1354-1356. ---. "Dover Beach." Abrams 1366-1367. ---. "Stanzas from the Grande Chartreuse." Abrams 1367-1372. Browning, Robert. "The Laboratory." Abrams 1192-1193 ---. "My Last Duchess." Abrams 1190-1192. ---. "Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister." Abrams 1188-1190. Carlyle, Thomas. "From Characteristics." Abrams 923-932. Rossetti, Dante. "The Blessed Damozel." Abrams 1461-1464. Swinburne, Algernon. "Hymn to Prosperine." Abrams 1514-1516. Tennyson, Alfred. "Locksley Hall." Abrams 1073-1079. ---. "Pelleas and Ettarre." Abrams 1141-1154. ---. "Ulysses." Abrams 1067-1069.

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