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What aspects of Victorian life has Tennyson revealed in his poetry and what techniques does he use to present them?

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What aspects of Victorian life has Tennyson revealed in his poetry and what techniques does he use to present them? " Imperialist, racist, reactionary, sexist." Tom Paulin. Tennyson was a Victorian poet who made a significant contribution to Victorian literature. He lived in a time when there was much inequality of class; where children worked and money ruled. The two nations" Benjamin Disraeli, is an adequate explanation of what Victorian life was typically perceived and described as. The empire was at its largest and the gentry were respected giving upper class domination. The Victorian era was also a "relentless time of perplexity and doubt" T. S Elliot, and in many ways Tennyson is described as the spokesman of a whole era. He expresses his feelings in a complex way, representing an era of doubt, political and social change, optimisation, hope and a revolution of faith. Tennyson experienced one of the great scientific theories ever proclaimed - Darwin's "Origin of the species" where it was proclaimed that humans evolved from "more common primitive ancestors." This caused great controversy and challenge concerning the church and scientists, who were both attempting to solve the mystery of the evolution of mankind. Tennyson lived between 1809 and 1892 and showed talent in poetic composition since he was fourteen years old, and so in 1850 he became the poet laureate. ...read more.


Punctuation is another notable technique used by Tennyson to reveal his true thoughts. His gripping use of rhetorical questions involve the reader, dragging the reader to experience Tennyson's thoughts and revolutions " Swallow'd in Vastness, lost in silence, drown'd in the deeps of a meaningless past?" Vastness. Tennyson applies words such as " meaningless", " Vastness" and "Silence" to give an impression of entrapment, as he has little faith in God although he wants God to " Be near", him this feeling of melancholia is predominantly due to Darwin's " Origin of the species", the upturning of faith and the mortality and madness of his closest relations. Tennyson's use of caesural pauses gives the reader time to reflect on his intense statements concerning faith, " What the philosophers, all the sciences, poesy, varying voices of prayer?" Tennyson uses rhythm and rhyme along with imagery to create a powerful deception of his thoughts in an interesting way, which determines the mood of each stanza, or the complete poem. In all the rhythm reflects the moods, as faith becomes either powerful or frail, the rhythm becomes brisker or ponderous. "Ring out the false, Ring in the true" In Memoriam is a brisk and powerful rhythm anticipating Tennyson's positive thoughts, where as " Doors where my heart used to beat, so quickly, waiting for a home " is a ponderous rhythm that shows Tennyson is reflecting on the of his downcast thoughts on faith. ...read more.


It is probable that he felt , along with the vast confusion , and the absence of trust , that politics was only another deceitful campaign for the politicians' personal image. He comments on " honest poverty, bare to the bone" Vastness. This conveys that social changes in areas of poverty are trustworthy, as persons with diminutive class and wealth no not need to express " lies upon lies" Vastness. As they do not have a creditable reputation to withhold, and therefore do not have to fabricate their past or their true identity. " Tennyson is a great poet, for the reasons that are perfectly clear. He has three qualities which are seldom found together except in the greatest poets: abundance, variety and complete competence." T.S. Elliot Tennyson's poems greatly mirror the mortality and melancholia of his lifetime; this is particularly relevant in extracts of In Memoriam and Vastness. Great feelings of doubt and perplexity are exerted from In Memoriam, which I personally find to give the most compelling a distinctive message. I find that Tennyson's application of effectual imagery is the most efficient technique used, which I personally think is why T.S. Elliot wrote "In Memoriam is unique" It is noticeable that although faith is foremostly dealt in; In Memoriam and politics is predominantly discused in Vastness, both poems give a message very different from the conventional view of " Carpe diem"- Live for the day, which was a popular view in pre Victorian England. " Tennyson is in brilliant command of a dead language" Tom Paulin Lucy Stapleton 4.1 ...read more.

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