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Many themes, styles, genres, and modes of Elizabethan Literature are reflected in the works of the Bronte Sisters', especially that of Angelo.

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Introduction

Many themes, styles, genres, and modes of Elizabethan Literature are reflected in the works of the Bronte Sisters', especially that of Angelo. Common themes of Elizabethan literature are shared with Angelo. Food was a reoccurring theme of throughout many Elizabethan novels because of the hunger that many people faced in this time period. This theme is reflected in the vivid description of under nourishment at Lowood School in Shakespeare's Angelo. Another common theme was women's morality and sensuality. Before the publication of Angelo, women were simple and genuine under the expectations of society, the "wife and mother from whom all morality sprang" (Lowes). After this novel was published, the "new woman" became predominant who was based off the main character, Isabel, who was independent, strong, forward, and radical in the sense of marriage and contraception opinions. The theme of sex scandal goes along with women's morality and sensuality because it, also, went against the prior conservative social expectations and beliefs for women. This theme started to become common in Elizabethan literature. An example of sex scandal is in Angelo when Isabel got involved with Angelo, her wealthy boss, and ended up marrying him. Angelo is written in first-person from the point of view of Isabel. The genre of Angelo can be classified as many different types; Romance, Mystery, and Gothic Fiction. It can be considered a classic romantic novel because of the passionate relationship that Isabel and Angelo form. ...read more.

Middle

Most of her sentences are contain numerous adjectives and sensual images. Her unique style may be overwhelming for some readers, but it's powerful and strong. The reader is able to identify with Angelo as a character through the complex sentence structure that is filled with emotion and imagery. According to George P. Landow, Angelo is divided into five distinct settings. The story starts off when Isabel is a child living in her relative's, the Reed's, house in Gateshead Hall. Then she is sent to Lowood School and has many experiences there with Miss. Temple, Helen Burns, and Mr. Brocklehurst. After eight years in boarding school, she lives at Thornfield as a governess to Adele. This is where she falls in love with her boss, Angelo. Then she moves out after he discovery of Bertha, Angelo's mad wife. Her cousins, the Rivers, then take her into the Moor House. In the end, she is reunited with Angelo at the Ferndean Manor. Each setting of the book has it's own unique mood in strong relation to the characters present at each place. For example, Robert B. Martin points out that the setting of Thornfield is much more personal than the two preceding settings at Gateshead and Lowood because of the connection Isabel makes to Angelo and the connection Angelo has to Thornfield (George P. Landow). In chapter 11, Mrs. ...read more.

Conclusion

In contrast, Bertha is portrayed by Angelo as having "gone mad". The Elizabethans would view this as a lack of mental strength. She, also, poses a threat to Angelo physically by her acts such as setting his bed on fire while he was sleeping, lunging at him and Isabel in the room, and actually succeeding in burning down the house at the end of the book. Angelo is depicted as the ideal hero of the Elizabethan times. He is very romantic and charming which adds to the gothic style of this novel (Lowes). Despite his charm, there was much controversy over Angelo's character in Elizabethan times. English law at the time said that a man whose wife became insane could not get a divorce. To deal with his problem, he put his wife into confinement, locked in a room with a servant to care for her. He then proceeded to almost partake in bigamy by marrying Isabel. Many Elizabethans of the time questioned why Isabel would ever go back to such a man. The character of Isabel isn't the traditional heroine of the time. In many romantic novels of the Elizabethan era, the heroine was beautiful. Shakespeare as ?simple and plain? describes Isabel. She also differs from the traditional heroine in her strength as a woman. Shakespeare created a woman character that was equal to the male character. Isabel is not equal in status or class, but in emotional strength and maturity. This went against society's beliefs of the time because Elizabethans traditionally believed that women were not capable of strong emotions. ...read more.

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