The Victorian "spirit", and 4 representative poems (50 pts.)
The Victorian spirit is the change from the idleness of the admiration of natural things to the movement and excitement of innovation and change itself. It has turned from the love makes the world go 'round ideal of the Romantics to a tell it like it is attitude. While the Victorian spirit moves to new explorations and energies from what was traditional - submission by women, dominance of men, and the focus on reaching an Ideal World through the beauty of nature - it maintains many aspects of the Romantic period that it is trying to escape.
C. Rossetti's "No, Thank You, John"
In Rossetti's "No, Thank You, John," the speaker is a woman who is refusing the advances of a man - John. The woman has a mind of her own, and she does not need a man in her life.
She does not conform to the traditional role of a woman, which includes servitude and subordination. The woman is not afraid to express her true feelings to John here, where in a previous time, a woman would have jumped at the chance to be some guy's trophy. The woman in this poem portrays the Victorian characteristic of exploration in a sense. She is exploring life as a single woman instead of sacrificing herself and giving in to a man that she cares very little about.
A. C. Swinburne's "A Forsaken Garden"
In Swinburne's "A Forsaken Garden," we see a reference of the Romantic past linked with the Victorian present. The garden was once filled with beautiful flowers, bushes, trees, and lovers who sat in the garden to admire all of the beauty. Just as the garden was filled with these things, so was the poetry of the Romantics. Since...