Elizabeth Barrett-Browning and W.B. Yeats

Elizabeth Barrett-Browning and W.B. Yeats

Length: 488 words (1.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Elizabeth Barrett-Browning and W.B. Yeats

  Elizabeth Barrett-Browning and W.B. Yeats, examined together in the same sitting are as different as the Victorian and Post-Modernist eras they emerged from, yet they were both independent thinkers of their time.


       Browning, born in 1806 before Victorianism came into full play, was celebrated as a woman poet but also quite conformist to the Victorian movement in some regards.  Browning did make use of her family's money to "give herself an exceptional education"  (1858) and she thought outside of traditional lines in regards to gender roles for women as in her poem "Aurora Leigh".  In this poem, the narrator is a woman which is unusual for that era "Place your fecund heart in mine, and let us blossom for the world"  (1877).  It was unusual in the Victorian era - to consider that women added anything substantial to a marriage relationship.  Browning was definitely independent in her thinking and in her personal life - defying her father by eloping with Robert Browning late in life  (1859). 


      There are other elements of her poetry that are fairly conformist to the Victorian age.  Her poem "Sonnets from the Portugese" describes a courtship that is prudent and in keeping with Victorian age.  This form of a sonnet was taken from Shakespeare's style, yet another element of Browning stepping into territory formerly only occupied by men  (1859). 


      W.B. Yeats, influenced in large part by his free-thinking father, became just that  (2322).  Yeats poetry contains elements of the mysticism that he studied, whether the double worded meaning of "The Second Coming" or the reference to Spiritus Mundi in that poem, Yeats defied the religious conformist thinking prevalent at the end of the Victorian era..  In his poem, "Sailing to Byzantium", Yeats takes on the narrative voice of an old man, sailing away from his "homeland" to Byzantium, where old men stand in "God's holy fire"  (2332).  This reference to Byzantium, a city of the Roman empire, would not have been considered "holy" by traditional religious thinking. 


      Yeats borrows from Greek mythology in "Leda and the Swan" and puts words to a sexually explicit tale of a swan raping a girl  (2337).

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Elizabeth Barrett-Browning and W.B. Yeats." 123HelpMe.com. 19 Jul 2018

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

How Do I Love Thee? Let me Count the Ways by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

- A flame of passion is contained within the heart, yet is love contained in a mere flame of passion. This timeless saying embodies the ultimate declaration of love written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. “How Do I Love Thee. Let me Count the Ways” is a poem bathed in rhyme and inundated in sentimental avowals. This sonnet shows the perpetual love that Browning shares with her husband and how that love can never be destroyed by any power of human or spiritual nature (Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s: Sonnet 45)....   [tags: Elizabeth Barrett Browning Poem]

Research Papers
1159 words (3.3 pages)

The Life and Work of Elizabeth Barrette Browning: A Woman Cannot Do the Things She Ought

- “A woman cannot do the things she ought, which means whatever perfect thing she can, in life, in art, in science, but fears to let the perfect action take her part and rest there: she must prove what she can do before she does it.” –Quote from Elizabeth Barrette Browning Elizabeth’s life was not what one would consider easy. Elizabeth Barrette was only at the tender age of 10 when she was reading William Shakespeare; she was a self-taught student, and a brilliant one at that....   [tags: Elizabeth Barrette Browning, feminism, ]

Research Papers
1373 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on Elizabeth Browning's Life and Achievements

- “No man can be called friendless who has God and the companionship good books” a quote from Elizabeth Browning. Elizabeth Browning had a good early life. Elizabeth did not have a lot of education; she was home school. After the death of Elizabeth mother she moved with her father. Among all women in the nineteenth century none was held higher in critical system. Elizabeth expressed her sympathy for the struggle for the unification of Italy. She was an extraordinary woman who fiercely opposed the slavery where her family’s fortune was founded....   [tags: robert browning, elizabeth barret, poetry]

Research Papers
1238 words (3.5 pages)

Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Biography Essays

- Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Biography Throughout the course of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s life, poetry played the hand of fate. All of the major events that took place in her life seem to coincide with her poetry. Poetry made her famous. It gave her solace, and comfort, somewhere to drown her sorrow. It introduced her to her husband, and (indirectly) divorced her from her father. Poetry was not only a part of her life, but an integral part of her soul. Creative Beginnings It all began in Gosforth Church, with the marriage of Mary Graham Clarke, and Robert Moulton....   [tags: Biography Biographies Browning Essays]

Research Papers
1748 words (5 pages)

Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s The Runaway Slave at Pilgrim’s Point and A Castaway

- Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s “The Runaway Slave at Pilgrim’s Point" and "A Castaway" In the early Victorian period, a number of poems were composed which served to highlight a specific troubled spot in society. The poets often wrote for human rights groups and the like in order to convey a message to those members of society who could make a difference, namely, the educated white men. Among these poems is Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s “The Runaway Slave at Pilgrim’s Point.” This piece deals with a female slave who has killed her newborn son and fled to Pilgrim’s Point, where she speaks of her feelings leading up to the present moment....   [tags: Elizabeth Browning Runaway Slave Essays]

Research Papers
1644 words (4.7 pages)

Essay about Elizabeth Barrett Browning

- “O Rose. Who dares to name thee. No longer roseate now, nor soft, nor sweet.” (A Dead Rose) Elizabeth Barrett Browning was an impenetrable hardworking person. Her passion for her work left her with the legacy she has today. “Amongst all women poets of the English world in the 19th century; she was admired for her independence and courage.” During her lifetime she endured several hardships. Those hardships included her childhood, marriage, and works. (Encyclopedia of Feminist Literature Pg. 87) Elizabeth Barrett Browning was born on March 6, 1806 near Durham, England to Edward Barrett Moulton....   [tags: English Poet, Victorian Era, United States]

Research Papers
865 words (2.5 pages)

Essay about Elizabeth Barrett Browning

- Elizabeth Barrett Browning was born on March 6, 1806, in Coxhoe Hall, Durham, England. She was the eldest of eleven children born of Edward and Mary Moulton-Barrett (DISCovering Authors). Her father was a “possessive and autocratic man loved by his children even though he rigidly controlled their lives” (Encyclopedia of World Biography). Although he forbid his daughters to marry, he always managed to encourage their scholarly pursuits (DISCovering Authors). Her mother, Mary Graham-Clarke, was a prosperous woman who earned their wealth from a sugar plantation in Jamaica (EXPLORING Poetry)....   [tags: Biography ]

Research Papers
1049 words (3 pages)

The Life of Elizabeth Barrett Browning Essays

- Elizabeth Barrett Moulton-Barrett was born March 6, 1806 in Durham, England to Edward Barrett Moulton-Barrett and Mary Graham Clarke. She was the eldest of twelve. Her father made the family fortune from a sugar plantation. In 1809, the Barretts moved to an estate called Hope End in England. Elizabeth Barrett’s childhood was spent happily at the family’s home in England. She had no formal education, learning solely from her brother’s tutor and from her continuous reading. She managed over the years to learn Greek, Latin, Hebrew, French, Italian, German, and Spanish....   [tags: Essays Papers]

Research Papers
1294 words (3.7 pages)

Elizabeth Barrett Browning Essay

- Elizabeth Barrett Browning Elizabeth Barrett Browning was born in 1806 in County Durham, England. She was the eldest of twelve children born to Edward Barrett Moulin Barrett and Mary Graham Clarke. Elizabeth Barrett Browning, or "Ba", grew up in her family’s estate Hope End, Henfordshire. They were part of the upper-middle class, owning a successful sugar trade. Elizabeth began writing at a very early age. When she was twelve her father had her first epic poem "The Battle of Marathon" privately printed (Radley 15)....   [tags: Essays Papers]

Research Papers
1362 words (3.9 pages)

Elizabeth Barrett Browning Essay

- Elizabeth Barrett Browning Elizabeth Barrett Browning was born Elizabeth Barrett Moulton-Barrett at Coxhoe Hall, Durham County on March 6, 1806. She was one of twelve children. Her parents, Edward Moulton-Barrett and Mary Graham Clarke Moulton-Barrett had eight sons and four daughters. Between 1809 and 1814 Elizabeth began writing poetry. In 1818 she wrote “The Battle of Marathon” and in 1820 her father had it published. When Elizabeth was fifteen years of age, she developed an illness and was prescribed Opium, which began her lifelong Opium habit....   [tags: essays papers]

Free Essays
742 words (2.1 pages)

Related Searches

  Yeats theological beliefs, Spiritus Mundi reflects his poetry and perhaps even points a finger at tradition, especially concerning religion.  "Crazy Jane Talks with the Bishop" is an example of church tradition, attempting to convert the wayward.  Having read the whole series of "Crazy Jane" poems, Yeats presents a series of these poems where the question he wants to present is, who is really the crazy one?  It is this "in your face" style of Yeats that is both refreshing and unusual for his era.  Living until 1939, Yeats lived during the transition from Victorianism into Post-Modernism, but from the evidence of his writing, he seemed to be a few years ahead of his time.  


Works Cited

Damrosch, David, ed.  The Longman Anthology of British Literature.  New York: Longman,  2000.
Return to 123HelpMe.com