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Locksley Hall & The Golden Year
Transcript of Locksley Hall & The Golden Year
Analysis of: Locksley Hall &
Golden Year (1846)
This poem was known as being one of Tennyson's most private works as it lead onto his great social concern
What was seen to start this poem was Rosa Baring’s rejection of Tennyson as a suitor in 1837.Tennyson transforms his own disappointment and grief over this rejection into a bitter analysis of the society in which materialism takes precedence over love.
His attack leads him to consider the world in which true love can be dismissed so lightly, and he eventually begins to daydream about a future in which people, driven by greed, will eventually clash in world war to satisfy their insatiable materialistic appetites.
He borders a science fiction track
where he talks about wars that are caused
by the nature of humanity.Tennyson describes “airy navies” engaging in battle.
There is a ray of hope, however; the speaker finally sees an end to nationalistic strife. Almost a break in the clouds
to provide humanity with hope.
In “Locksley Hall,” Tennyson transforms his own disappointment and grief over this rejection into a bitter analysis of the society in which materialism takes precedence over love.
The speaker of the poem, a young suitor whose beloved Amy leaves him to marry a boorish man of suitable financial means, rebukes both his beloved and her new husband.
The poem had a message for the time at when it
was written. The country was in a troubled state. there was a major contest between the protectionist and free trade and it reached its acutest stage.
Metaphors of geological changes are applied to the social sphere: the erosion of the aristocracy is a result of the global gradual change as gold of transformation by the heat of the sun-:
"when wealth no more shall rest in mounded heaps, but smit with freer light shall slowly melt in many streams to fatten lower lands" (32-34)
"and like a lane of beams athwart the sea" (47-50)
portrays a notion of equality as harmony and enlightment uniting humainity across continents.
art vs reality?
Drifiting away from the beauty of the timless snowdonia with its picturesque lakes and mountains. The speaker registers how the landscape is changing and directly affected by 'mans industry'. Hills being quarried for slate, the sound of dynamite is rendered effectively, even movingly, through onomatopoeia, pararhyme, and the repetition of the hard consonants repeated in 'blast..great echo flap..from bluff to bluff'.
There is a lot of natural imagery that speak of order and courtship.
Relating this to love-making Tennyson creates a setting that promotes it and makes it sound right and natural.
We can see this in the form of the constellations near the beginning:
Many a night from yonder ivied casement, ere I went to rest,
Did I look on great Orion sloping slowly to the West.
Many a night I saw the Pleiads, rising thro' the mellow shade,
Glitter like a swarm of fire-flies tangled in a silver braid. (7-10)
powerful imagery of
concensus and conformity
-arthur hallam died in 1833
-1843 — Entire fortune, 3500 pounds, lost on a project to make wood
carvings by steam, and his brothers and sisters lose an additional
democracy vs. aristocracy
the speaker recalls a walking tour in snowdonia, a mountainous reigon of wales, with his friends. The friend leonard, recites his verse about the 'golden year', a phrase refering to the classical conception of a new era, and conceives of the poet's role in bringing a new peaceful age
The golden year is seen as inevitable as the dirunal and annual movements in the solar system and is contextualised within a deeper sense of geological time, through metaphors of both the daily 'ebb and flow' of the oceans tides, and their more gradual encrouchment on the shore; eroding the land over a vaster timescale.
ulysses- nostalgia and longing
nature and science - 'gradualism', a paradigm of gradual evolutionary change:
-the heat of the sun portrayed as the 'golden year'.
longing- 'passion of the past'
- equality of man
political- protectionism vs. distribution of free trade (contemporary issues)
There is imagery of the seasons are what begins romantically:
In the Spring a fuller crimson comes upon the robin's breast;
In the Spring the wanton lapwing gets himself another crest;
In the Spring a livelier iris changes on the burnish'd dove;
In the Spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.
The use of seasons
and the natural
world parallels the
thoughts and feelings
The romantic theme is presented here, giving love-making a righteous
and noble connotation as it has it's
links with nature
Locksley Hall, that in the distance overlooks the sandy tracts,
And the hollow ocean-ridges roaring into cataracts.
There is imagery of time as seen in the form of sand on a beach in which the narrator is looking in the past, type of chronological symbol is reacurring. To the seasons which are used as pathetic fallacy.
Let it fall on Locksley Hall, with rain or hail, or fire or snow;
For the mighty wind arises, roaring seaward, and I go.
A release of responsibility is the main theme towards the end of the poem as the narrator feels free to escape his position where the bonds of domesticism and women tie him down.
This links in greatly with Ullyses as Ullyses himself seeks escape in adventure and the sea.
This reccuring theme is vital in understanding Tennyson and how he feels towards freedom and what it connotes to him
-french revolution- embrace the 'golden year' , a new peaceful age.
expansion of coloniaism? paradoxal to the idea of equality and liberation.
'imperialism' is demonstarted through an almost cosy and domestic metaphor-: "knit land to land"
In ulysses, it shows how he has aged and longs for the adventures and battles during his youth. '"You and I are old"(40-50) "drunk delight of battle with my peers" (10-20)
However, he still believes that there's an oppurtuinity to 'seek' new adventures and is determined to 'explore new worlds'
In link with the golden year , it demonstrates how the speaker longs for the world of aggriculture and its natural beauty. "but we grow old" (40-50)
the speaker wishes for universal peace and is determined that unity will soon be embraced .
ode on the death of the duke of wellington- the idea of revolutionism
splendour falls- 'mountainous landscape'
portrays a sense of the bitter sweet and momentary of pleassures in life.
symbolism and moral meaning...
"shall eagles not be eagles? wrens be wrens?, if all the world were falcons, what of that? the wonder of the eagle were the less , but not less the eagle"
The reference to birds is significant by which , it
illuminates the concept of freedom and equailty,
as birds are free to sore around the world which gives a sense of liberation and perhaps , gives a freedom to tennyson to express his political views.
furthermore, the moral being portrayed in the quote suggest that even though not everyone is the same, we shouldn't treat each other different and that everyone should have their own freedom.
It uses universal terms such as 'heart', 'hope', 'soul',and 'woe' , which links to the speaker hoping and wishing for universal peace.
furthermore, due to the death of William Wordsworth's in 1850, Tennyson was appointed to the position of Poet Laureate. And since the golden year was alterated in 1951, tennyson could of refered the golden year to himself as celebration to his achievements by which, it has become a new era for him.
birds as a metaphor
form & tone
This poem has a colloquial style and thus relaxed, expansive treatment of its topic, perhaps with the intention of softening any didactic quality in examining social issues.
The tone of the poem starts off quite sensational as it uses nature to be preparing for the golden year, 'oceans daily getting on land'. However the tone does change when the third speaker breaks down the dream by looking at reality "what stuff is this!", the harsh expression completely contradicts the facination of the golden year as industrial revolution takes over.