ETA' VITTORIANA LETTERATURA INGLESE
Robert Browning.Robert Browning is the great exponent to the Victorian poetry and he was deeply interested in the working of the human mind. He is particularly associated with the dramatic monologue. The dramatic monologue has some characteristics: an individual, who is not the poet, ‘speaks’ the poem in a specific situation at a critical moment. He addresses with someone else and the main effect is the unintentional revelation of his true character. He called objective his poems because they are opposed by the objective lyrics of the Romantics. His stories are told by an actor and not by the poet. His style is colloquial and he tends to reproduce the spoken speech.
ETA' VITTORIANA LETTERATURA INGLESE: RIASSUNTO
Robert Browning’s great works are ‘The Ring and the Book’ and ‘Dramatic Romances and Lyrics’. The extract we can read is ‘A heart… too soon made glad’, which belongs to the ‘My Last Duchess’. The setting is the castle of the Duke of Ferrara, Alfonso II D’Este and he spoke about his forst wife, who he killed after 3 years of marriage (1561). His wife’s name is Lucrezia and the monologue is written in the 1843.
The Duke spoke about a portrait in the wall to an envoy sent to arrange the details of a second marriage with the Count’s daughter. He reveals that he killed his wife because he was jealous and his wife thanked men for their worthless gifts and she didn’t thank him at the same.
ETA' VITTORIANA: THOMAS HARDY
Thomas Hardy. He was born in the Dorset – a country in the south-west of England. In 1862 – for five years- he moved to London to work as an architect. When he returned to Dorset he married and started his career as a novelist; his most important plays are ‘Far from Madding Crowd’, ‘Tess of d’Urbervilles’, Jude the Obscure’. He abandoned the novel and devote himself to poetry. Hardy is considered one of the most important exponent of the regional novel and naturalism. He set his novels in the Wessex (ancian name for the rural countries of Hampshire and Dorset). The theories of Darwin and the evolution influenced Hardy he was forced to accept these theories. His characters are crushed by circumstances.
The novel reflected the influence of DETERMINISM, where the people succumb to the natural laws and natural processes, despite their hopes and ambitions.
The society is cruel but the natural world is coldly indifferent. Hardy stresses the smallness of his characters against the backdrop of the indifferent and hostile world of nature.
In Tess of d’Urbervilles, when she escaped with Angel, the police represent the social forces. Stonehenge and the landscape represented the hostile nature where man doesn’t’ enjoy a privilege position but he must struggle for his own survivor.
ETA' VITTORIANA: STEVENSON
Robert Louis Stevenson. He was born in Edinburgh and he studied law. When he was a child he had suffered from ill health, nevertheless he took up a life of adventure and travelling. His famous story is ‘Treasure Island’, after that he returned to London and started his career as a writer. He dedicated all his life for his works and he deserves recognition for his imaginative powers alone. His technique is formal and sophisticated, the narrative technique is based on letters and diaries.
Stevenson divides good and evil. In ‘Treasure Adventure’ it’s marked because those forces fought each others, but in ‘The strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’, evil triumphs and, slowly, destroys good.
While Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein combined the pieces of corps and brought biological laws, Jekyll interferes with man’s psychological and moral nature because the evil, in contrast with good, is inside the man. Stevenson combined these Gothic motifs with a new genre of novel (pre- Freudian).
He narrated in third person, the narrator is omniscient, various characters had the point of view, so the knowledge in incomplete and it gives suspense to the story. He used as technique the letters, in fact the end of the story and the truth is revealed by letters.
In this story appears the dualism between good and evil, man’s ego and libido. Stevenson want to think to the reader if the desire to be good is illusory or if men have to give space to the irrational impulses.