Eng Lit 2- The Romantic Period

Terms in this set (54)

is a patriotic song of Scotland written in the Scots language which served for centuries as an unofficial national anthem of the country, but has lately been largely supplanted by Scotland the Brave and Flower of Scotland.

The lyrics were written by Robert Burns in 1793, in the form of a speech given by Robert the Bruce before the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, where Scotland maintained its sovereignty from the Kingdom of England. Although the lyrics are by Burns, he wrote them to the traditional Scottish tune 'Hey Tuttie Tatie' which, according to tradition, was played by Bruce's army at the Battle of Bannockburn,[1] and by the Franco-Scots army at the Siege of Orleans.

The tune tends to be played as a slow air, but certain arrangements put it at a faster tempo, as in the Scottish Fantasy by Max Bruch, the concert overture Rob Roy by Hector Berlioz, and the Real McKenzies' punk rock rendition on their 1998 album Clash of the Tartans.

The song was sent by Burns to his publisher George Thomson, at the end of August 1793, with the title Robert Bruce's March To Bannockburn, and a postscript saying that he had been inspired by Bruce's 'glorious struggle for Freedom, associated with the glowing ideas of some other struggles of the same nature, not quite so ancient.' This is seen as a covert reference to the Radical movement, and particularly to the trial of the Glasgow lawyer Thomas Muir of Huntershill, whose trial began on 30 August 1793 as part of a British government crackdown, after the French Revolutionary Wars led to France declaring war on the Kingdom of Great Britain on 1 February 1793.

Muir was accused of sedition for allegedly inciting the Scottish people to oppose the government during the December 1792 convention of the Scottish 'Friends of the People Society, and was eventually sentenced to fourteen years transportation to the convict settlement at Botany Bay, Australia.

Burns was aware that if he declared his Republican and Radical sympathies openly he could suffer the same fate. It is notable that when Burns agreed to let the Morning Chronicle, of 8 May 1794, publish the song, it was on the basis of 'let them insert it as a thing they have met with by accident, and unknown to me.'
(Wikipedia.com)
The Lay of the Last Minstrel, long narrative poem in six cantos by Sir Walter Scott, published in 1805. It was the author's first original poetic romance, and it established his reputation. Scott based it on the old Scottish Border legend of the goblin Gilpin Horner. The poem, set in the 16th century, is full of magical and folk elements and of knightly combat between the English army and Scottish clans. Its narrator is the last of the ancient line of minstrels. He tells the story of a feud between Lady Buccleuch and Lord Cranstoun, who loves the lady's daughter.

An old minstrel, allegedly the last of his kind, wanders through the Scottish borders some time in the eighteenth century, lamenting the lost past; he asks for hospitality in Branksome Hall, the residence of the duchess of Buccleuch, and pays for his keep by singing a romance about her sixteenth century ancestors.

Lord Buccleuch has been killed in battle with the English, but his widow and children are well protected in Branksome Hall by a group of knights who had followed their dead leader. Although a truce has been declared, there are still skirmishes between the English and the Scots throughout the border country.

The widow, Lady Buccleuch, is the daughter of a magician; before he had died, he taught her to talk with the spirits.

One night, the lady hears the spirits predicting that the stars will show no favor to Branksome castle until pride should die and make love free. She presumes that this omen is meant for her, because her daughter, Margaret, loves the young Lord Cranstoun, who has fought against Lord Buccleuch. Lady Buccleuch swears nevertheless that Margaret shall never wed a foe of the family, no matter what the spirits might say. She sends William of Deloraine to Melrose Abbey to secure the mystic book of Michael Scott, a famous wizard who is buried in the abbey crypt. She orders William not to look into the book, on peril of his life.

The porter at the abbey leads the knight into to the wizard's tomb: Deloraine, the bravest of knights in battle, shivers with dread as he looks down at the body of the magician, which is as well-preserved as if he had not been dead for a day. When the knight takes the book from the dead wizard's hand, he seems to frown. As Deloraine leaves the vault, he hears noises reminiscent of the laughter and sobbing of friends.

While Deloraine is on his way back from the abbey, Margaret slips out of the castle to meet her lover, Lord Cranstoun, who is accompanied by the Dwarf, who had attached himself to the lord some time before and now refuses to leave him. The Dwarf, also known as Goblin, serves him as a page. The Dwarf warns the lovers of the approach of a horseman; it is Deloraine, returning from his mission. Margaret runs away and the two knights fight. Deloraine is seriously wounded.

Cranstoun orders the Dwarf to take Deloraine to Branksome Hall so that his wounds can be properly tended. The Dwarf finds the book but cannot open it until he has smeared the cover with the wounded man's blood. The lady son is returned and the child is restored and grateful. Lady agreed to marriage of cranstoun( and margaret) at the wedding feat the ghost of michael appears and reclaim the Goblin page as his own servant. ( sparknotes.com)
"Wandering Willie's Tale," by Sir Walter Scott, first appeared in Scott's 1824 novel, Redgauntlet. The tale is not directly part of the action of the novel; it is simply a story told by one of the characters to another, and in fact is merely the most developed of such stories contained in the novel. Several other times in Redgauntlet the action stops while one character tells another the story of his life or of one specific event. In this case, Wandering Willie, a blind fiddler, tells Darsie Latimer, a young man traveling in the Border region of Scotland, a cautionary tale to warn him to be wary of whose company he accepts on his travels, for even a friendly traveler may turn out to be the devil in disguise.

Later in the novel it is revealed that the story Willie told concerns some of Darsie's ancestors, but Darsie and the reader do not know this at the time, and so the story seems at first to be something almost entirely separate from the rest of the novel. Indeed, some early readers of the novel and some later commentators regarded the tale as being quite distinct from the larger work, sometimes praising it at the expense of the novel. Later commentators, however, have tended to see thematic connections between the two. Critics have noted that they both reflect Scott's ambivalent interest in Scottish traditions, and have drawn a parallel between the tale's account of a trip to hell and the novel's depiction of Darsie's encounter with his dark, mysterious uncle. Commentators new and old have praised Scott's handling of Scottish dialect in the tale, and in general have described the story as one of the best ever written. (book rags.com)
Wordsworth's monumental poetic legacy rests on a large number of important poems, varying in length and weight from the short, simple lyrics of the 1790s to the vast expanses of The Prelude, thirteen books long in its 1808 edition. But the themes that run through Wordsworth's poetry, and the language and imagery he uses to embody those themes, remain remarkably consistent throughout the Wordsworth canon, adhering largely to the tenets Wordsworth set out for himself in the 1802 preface to Lyrical Ballads. Here, Wordsworth argues that poetry should be written in the natural language of common speech, rather than in the lofty and elaborate dictions that were then considered "poetic." He argues that poetry should offer access to the emotions contained in memory. And he argues that the first principle of poetry should be pleasure, that the chief duty of poetry is to provide pleasure through a rhythmic and beautiful expression of feeling—for all human sympathy, he claims, is based on a subtle pleasure principle that is "the naked and native dignity of man."

Recovering "the naked and native dignity of man" makes up a significant part of Wordsworth's poetic project, and he follows his own advice from the 1802 preface. Wordsworth's style remains plain-spoken and easy to understand even today, though the rhythms and idioms of common English have changed from those of the early nineteenth century. Many of Wordsworth's poems (including masterpieces such as "Tintern Abbey" and the "Intimations of Immortality" ode) deal with the subjects of childhood and the memory of childhood in the mind of the adult in particular, childhood's lost connection with nature, which can be preserved only in memory. Wordsworth's images and metaphors mix natural scenery, religious symbolism (as in the sonnet "It is a beauteous evening, calm and free," in which the evening is described as being "quiet as a nun"), and the relics of the poet's rustic childhood—cottages, hedgerows, orchards, and other places where humanity intersects gently and easily with nature.

Wordsworth's poems initiated the Romantic era by emphasizing feeling, instinct, and pleasure above formality and mannerism. More than any poet before him, Wordsworth gave expression to inchoate human emotion; his lyric "Strange fits of passion have I known," in which the speaker describes an inexplicable fantasy he once had that his lover was dead, could not have been written by any previous poet. Curiously for a poet whose work points so directly toward the future, many of Wordsworth's important works are preoccupied with the lost glory of the past—not only of the lost dreams of childhood but also of the historical past, as in the powerful sonnet "London, 1802," in which the speaker exhorts the spirit of the centuries-dead poet John Milton to teach the modern world a better way to live.(sparknotes.com)
The full title of this poem is "Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, on Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour. July 13, 1798." It opens with the speaker's declaration that five years have passed since he last visited this location, encountered its tranquil, rustic scenery, and heard the murmuring waters of the river. He recites the objects he sees again, and describes their effect upon him: the "steep and lofty cliffs" impress upon him "thoughts of more deep seclusion"; he leans against the dark sycamore tree and looks at the cottage-grounds and the orchard trees, whose fruit is still unripe. He sees the "wreaths of smoke" rising up from cottage chimneys between the trees, and imagines that they might rise from "vagrant dwellers in the houseless woods," or from the cave of a hermit in the deep forest.



The speaker then describes how his memory of these "beauteous forms" has worked upon him in his absence from them: when he was alone, or in crowded towns and cities, they provided him with "sensations sweet, / Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart." The memory of the woods and cottages offered "tranquil restoration" to his mind, and even affected him when he was not aware of the memory, influencing his deeds of kindness and love. He further credits the memory of the scene with offering him access to that mental and spiritual state in which the burden of the world is lightened, in which he becomes a "living soul" with a view into "the life of things." The speaker then says that his belief that the memory of the woods has affected him so strongly may be "vain"—but if it is, he has still turned to the memory often in times of "fretful stir."

Even in the present moment, the memory of his past experiences in these surroundings floats over his present view of them, and he feels bittersweet joy in reviving them. He thinks happily, too, that his present experience will provide many happy memories for future years. The speaker acknowledges that he is different now from how he was in those long-ago times, when, as a boy, he "bounded o'er the mountains" and through the streams. In those days, he says, nature made up his whole world: waterfalls, mountains, and woods gave shape to his passions, his appetites, and his love. That time is now past, he says, but he does not mourn it, for though he cannot resume his old relationship with nature, he has been amply compensated by a new set of more mature gifts; for instance, he can now "look on nature, not as in the hour / Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes / The still, sad music of humanity." And he can now sense the presence of something far more subtle, powerful, and fundamental in the light of the setting suns, the ocean, the air itself, and even in the mind of man; this energy seems to him "a motion and a spirit that impels / All thinking thoughts.... / And rolls through all things." For that reason, he says, he still loves nature, still loves mountains and pastures and woods, for they anchor his purest thoughts and guard the heart and soul of his "moral being."

The speaker says that even if he did not feel this way or understand these things, he would still be in good spirits on this day, for he is in the company of his "dear, dear (d) Sister," who is also his "dear, dear Friend," and in whose voice and manner he observes his former self, and beholds "what I was once." He offers a prayer to nature that he might continue to do so for a little while, knowing, as he says, that "Nature never did betray / The heart that loved her," but leads rather "from joy to joy." Nature's power over the mind that seeks her out is such that it renders that mind impervious to "evil tongues," "rash judgments," and "the sneers of selfish men," instilling instead a "cheerful faith" that the world is full of blessings. The speaker then encourages the moon to shine upon his sister, and the wind to blow against her, and he says to her that in later years, when she is sad or fearful, the memory of this experience will help to heal her. And if he himself is dead, she can remember the love with which he worshipped nature. In that case, too, she will remember what the woods meant to the speaker, the way in which, after so many years of absence, they became more dear to him—both for themselves and for the fact that she is in them. (sparknotes.com)
Three guys are on the way to a wedding celebration when an old sailor (the Mariner) stops one of them at the door (we'll call him the Wedding Guest). Using his hypnotic eyes to hold the attention of the Wedding Guest, he starts telling a story about a disastrous journey he took. The Wedding Guest really wants to go party, but he can't pry himself away from this grizzled old mariner. The Mariner begins his story. They left port, and the ship sailed down near Antarctica to get away from a bad storm, but then they get caught in a dangerous, foggy ice field. An albatross shows up to steer them through the fog and provide good winds, but then the Mariner decides to shoot it. Oops.

Pretty soon the sailors lose their wind, and it gets really hot. They run out of water, and everyone blames the Mariner. The ship seems to be haunted by a bad spirit, and weird stuff starts appearing, like slimy creatures that walk on the ocean. The Mariner's crewmates decide to hang the dead albatross around his neck to remind him of his error.

Everyone is literally dying of thirst. The Mariner sees another ship's sail at a distance. He wants to yell out, but his mouth is too dry, so he sucks some of his own blood to moisten his lips. He's like, "A ship! We're saved." Sadly, the ship is a ghost ship piloted by two spirits, Death and Life-in-Death, who have to be the last people you'd want to meet on a journey. Everyone on the Mariner's ship dies.

The wedding guest realizes, "Ah! You're a ghost!" But the Mariner says, "Well, actually, I was the only one who didn't die." He continues his story: he's on a boat with a lot of dead bodies, surrounded by an ocean full of slimy things. Worse, these slimy things are nasty water snakes. But the Mariner escapes his curse by unconsciously blessing the hideous snakes, and the albatross drops off his neck into the ocean.

The Mariner falls into a sweet sleep, and it finally rains when he wakes up. A storm strikes up in the distance, and all the dead sailors rise like zombies to pilot the ship. The sailors don't actually come back to life. Instead, angels fill their bodies, and another supernatural spirit under the ocean seems to push the boat. The Mariner faints and hears two voices talking about how he killed the albatross and still has more penance to do. These two mysterious voices explain how the ship is moving.

After a speedy journey, the ship ends up back in port again. The Mariner sees angels standing next to the bodies of all his crewmates. Then a rescue boat shows up to take him back to shore. The Mariner is happy that a guy called "the hermit" is on the rescue boat. The hermit is in a good mood. All of a sudden there's a loud noise, and the Mariner's ship sinks. The hermit's boat picks up the Mariner.

When they get on shore, the Mariner is desperate to tell his story to the hermit. He feels a terrible pain until the story had been told.

In fact, the Mariner says that he still has the same painful need to tell his story, which is why he stopped the Wedding Guest on this occasion. Wrapping up, the Mariner tells the Wedding Guest that he needs to learn how to say his prayers and love other people and things. Then the Mariner leaves, and the Wedding Guest no longer wants to enter the wedding. He goes home and wakes up the next day, as the famous last lines go, "a sadder and a wiser man." (shmoop.com)
The speaker describes the "stately pleasure-dome" built in Xanadu according to the decree of Kubla Khan, in the place where Alph, the sacred river, ran "through caverns measureless to man / Down to a sunless sea." Walls and towers were raised around "twice five miles of fertile ground," filled with beautiful gardens and forests. A "deep romantic chasm" slanted down a green hill, occasionally spewing forth a violent and powerful burst of water, so great that it flung boulders up with it "like rebounding hail." The river ran five miles through the woods, finally sinking "in tumult to a lifeless ocean." Amid that tumult, in the place "as holy and enchanted / As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted / By woman wailing to her demon-lover," Kubla heard "ancestral voices" bringing prophesies of war. The pleasure-dome's shadow floated on the waves, where the mingled sounds of the fountain and the caves could be heard. "It was a miracle of rare device," the speaker says, "A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!"



The speaker says that he once saw a "damsel with a dulcimer," an Abyssinian maid who played her dulcimer and sang "of Mount Abora." He says that if he could revive "her symphony and song" within him, he would rebuild the pleasure-dome out of music, and all who heard him would cry "Beware!" of "His flashing eyes, his floating hair!" The hearers would circle him thrice and close their eyes with "holy dread," knowing that he had tasted honeydew, "and drunk the milk of Paradise."
(Sparknotes.com
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