In Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton, Keats, we can follow the tradition of the liquid diction, the fluid movement of Chaucer; at one time it is his liquid diction of which in these poets we feel the virtue, and at another time it is his fluid movement. Let us boldly say that of much of this poetry, a poetry dealing perpetually with Scottish drink, Scottish religion and Scottish manners; he has a tenderness for it. He established his reputation as a poet and became Professor of Poetry at Oxford and wrote a number of his critical works during this time. He used to speak at times as if ex cathedra with authority , and this pontifical pompous solemnity vitiated his criticism. This is how he succeeded in composing painful tragedies. Historical Estimate - We regard anything of History with respect because it has survived through time. At the same time the nightingale represents, over centuries, the.
We all of us profess to be agreed in the estimate of this poetry; we all of us recognise it as great poetry, our greatest, and Shakespeare and Milton as our poetical classics. But if he is a real classic, if his work belongs to the class of the very best for this is the true and right meaning of the word classic, classical , then the great thing for us is to feel and enjoy his work as deeply as ever we can, and to appreciate the wide difference between it and all work which has not the same high character. Similarly, his biographical data are often inaccurate. We should therefore steadily set it before our minds at the outset, and should compel ourselves to revert constantly to the thought of it as we proceed. Does he define and differentiate his terms carefully? Hence we can regard Dryden as the glorious founder, and Pope as the splendid high priest, of the age of prose and reason, our indispensable 18th century. He says that Burns too lacks the high seriousness desired of poetry. The one gives us the principles which govern the making of a poem, the other the principles by which the best poems should be selected and made known.
He won prizes for Latin verse and for English essay and verse--his prize poem Alaric at Rome 1840 was printed at Rugby--and climaxed his public school career with a scholarship to Balliol College, Oxford, in 1840. Arnold also wants the modern writer to take models from the past because they depict human actions which touch on 'the great primary human affections: to those elementary feelings which subsist permanently in the race, and which are independent of time'. He begins his essay by asserting that criticism is a positive, noble task agreeing with Alexander Pope in this, but even more fully on it. It is the power to look beyond boredom, horror and glory. Eliot named Dryden, Johnson and Arnold as some of the greatest critics of the English language. Some of Arnold's touchstone passages are: Helen's words about her wounded brother, Zeus addressing the horses of Peleus, suppliant Achilles' words to Priam, and from Dante; Ugolino's brave words, and Beatrice's loving words to Virgil. To that in you which is divine, They were allied.
Science, according to Arnold, is incomplete without poetry, and, religion and philosophy will give way to poetry. What emerges is a twofold moral reflection on the unifying theme of man's lonely state. Let us try, then, the Chanson de Roland at its best. According to the poet the Sea of Faith once had united the whole mankind but now it has declined. This is also true for critics who tend to revert to the historic and personal estimate instead of an unbiased real estimate.
Now again, in this lecture, we shall consider the theories of Arnold and Eliot, in two ways, both as critics just in their own right, yet also as precursors of what we're calling objective theory. His practical criticism largely consists of his estimates of English and Continental poets contained in both the series of Essays in Criticism. The next lines expand on this idea, giving it more detail. He is scantiest and frailest of classics in our poetry but he is a classic. He speaks of its 'melancholy, long, withdrawing roar. Arnold's standards of prayer and purity.
The poem has three stanzas of 4, 11, and 17 lines, with few rhymes and various patterns. Arnold's objective approach to criticism and his view that historical and biographical study are unnecessary was very influential on the new criticism. As we have seen, later critics praise Arnold, but it is only a qualified praise. The best poetry is what we want; the best poetry will be found to have a power of forming, sustaining, and delighting us, as nothing else can. The reason he advances, in the Preface to his Poems of 1853 is not that the poem is too subjective, with its Hamlet-like introspection, or that it was a deviation from his classical ideals, but that the poem is too depressing in its subject matter, and would leave the reader hopeless and crushed.
In other words, we're going to move from expressive theories, interested in the relationship between poem and poet, to objective theories the fourth and last of our perspectives , interested in the relationship between the poem and itself. Poetic truth is a characteristic quality of the matter and substance of poetry. Mathew Arnold — The Study of Poetry Essay Sample Matthew Arnold, Victorian poet and critic, often regarded as the father of modern literary criticism, was one of the foremost poets and critics of the 19th century. Surely not; surely, if our sense is quick, we must perceive that we have not in those passages a voice from the very inmost soul of the genuine Burns; he is not speaking to us from these depths, he is more or less preaching. His poetry explored isolation and conflict with a dark and difficult world through themes like loneliness and isolation, classical characters and ideas, and the flaws of modern life like its materialism.
It may be said that the more we know about a classic the better we shall enjoy him; and, if we lived as long as Methuselah and had all of us heads of perfect clearness and wills of perfect steadfastness, this might be true in fact as it is plausible in theory. But we shall not estimate poetry in this way. Sometimes Burns's poetic genius is unmatched by anyone. The views he developed in his prose works on social, educational, and religious issues have been absorbed into the general consciousness, even if what his contemporary W. He speaks of 'A longing like despair' born of a feeling that once 'we were parts of a single continent. Religion attaches its emotion to supposed facts, and the supposed facts are failing it, but poetry attaches its emotion to ideas and ideas are infallible. He lived in the company of great classics of Greece, and he caught their manners, and their views of life.