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Victorian Poems - how poetry changed alongside wider society

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  • Essay length: 825 words
  • Submitted: 23/01/2004
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GCSE John Keats

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Victorian Poems

The Victorian period was a time of radical change. Gone were the "Romantic" releases from misery where birds would sing "like a rose embowered" (To a Skylark) and in was the Origin of Species which shook the religious world and huge secular transformations such as the industrial revolution. While some people embraced these discoveries with renewed enthusiasm, others started the path towards existentialism. Consequently, the poems which I will be discussing are Dover Beech by Mathew Arnold and Gods Grandeur by Gerald Manly Hopkins which deals with such issues but results in different conclusions.

In contrast, both poems are fascinating from the opening stanza, Dover beach starts of tranquil as the "grating roar" of the sea ebbs the landscape amongst the "gleams" of moon light. The lexis is relatively simple as Arnold cleverly uses monosyllables along with simple verbs:

"...on the French coast the light gleams and is gone"

to create a soothing ambience. However, this cadence does not create enlightenment but instead an "eternal note of sadness"!

Conversely, Gods grandeur has a higher opening tempo as Hopkins uses a series of vivid imagery to describe the world. The natural world is

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