Classical Music –

choose one question and write an eight-page essay. .
1. The Victorians are tormented by a sense that faith and the assurance that comes with faith are inconsistent with the modern world. Discuss how at least two of the “Big Three’ Victorian poets
(Tennyson, Browning, and Arnold) cope with this fear (or fail to cope) in their work.
2. References to the Romantics are everywhere in Victorian poetry. In fact, ambivalence about the Romantic inheritance is a major Victorian theme. What is the nature of the Victorians’ reservations
and how do they finally use the Romantics in the service of their own poetic visions?
3. The “high” Victorian poets generated their own critics well before the end of the century. Discuss some of the responses to Victorianism generated by later poets up to WW I.
4. Gerard Manley Hopkins stands out among Victorian poetry as the strongest voice for renewed faith, yet he suffered from terrible doubts about his faith and his poetic vocation. He also used
nature as a way of expressing his faith in God. Discuss how Hopkins draws on and diverges from various traditions to redefine the possibility of faith.
S. Along with Hopkins, Robert Browning is often thought to be technically the most original—and perhaps the toughest-minded—poet of the age. How do his technical innovations, like his reliance on
dramatic monologue or his gnarled diction, promote a different vision? How does his view of God and faith diverge from the views of Tennyson and Arnold? You might prefer to discuss how his
Renaissance settings promote a more nuanced and complex vision of Victorian concerns.
6. Despite the widespread conviction that serious poetry was the preserve of men, some fine female poets attracted large and/or devoted audiences during this period. Choose two such poets and
discuss their characteristic themes and what they contributed to the larger poetic conversation. One of these may come from the Romantic period, if you wish.