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13. Victorian literature, Shelley, Wilde

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SHELLEY, WILDE VICTORIAN TIMES Main values: money, materiality, to get married and do nothing, have children, not going to school, staying at home (women), class stratification, industrialization, urbanization, gentrification (gentry = middle class)Lowe class people – workhouses, child labour, poor life conditions, fallen women, criminalityTerritorial expansion, improvementCaring and baring of children, women – trophies, hour glass, perception of beauty, sex objects only, domestic violenceChild labour, chimney sweeps, in mines, no education – education acts – until age od 8, then 12 or 13Harsh underground, the surface is cleanSexuality is an absolute tabooUrbanisation, dirty streets and violence, alcoholism, poverty, prostitution, child labourStart of the police institutionArt for art’s sake: art was a source of beauty, morality, aesthetic movement, art is only to be beautiful, doesn’t have to have a meaning, but even when I will look at something it can give me something X concept od leisure time, inventions Charles Dickens –Oliver Twist Wrote about social environment Was very famousCharles Darwin –The Origin of Species Scientific research Evolution theory OSCAR WILDE (1854-1900) Not fitting in – was IrishPassionate about languages and literatureEpigrams, poems, drama (mainly), short storiesGenius, witty, funnyGood education (Oxford), classical artUpper class – he was making fun about the class he came from – hypocrisyHomosexuality – he was gay, but had a wife and two kids –looks – decadence, stories about unfulfilled love Immoral = affairs with young boys Hypocrisy: gay community, hidden places, where it was allowed to be gay – but no one talked about it He came out as gay→ prison → devastation → died while being sick and completely aloneHe was a kind man in real life, he was used by his lover Bertie x he was really critical in his booksHe was popular during his life TEHEMS –hypocrisy, pretending everything is fine, believing in the God, saying one thing but doing the other - religion was important – Victorian values, Victorian family, man provides for the family, strict upbringing -aging – scared of getting old -beauty – it is not beautiful, it is not longer useful, beauty od people, handsomeness Work: Epigram = a short saying or poem that expresses an idea in a clever, funny way "I can resist everything except temptation". Play: “The importance of being earnest” – wise, Jak je důležité míti Filipa Story:"The Nightingale and the Rose" Novel:“The Pictures of Dorian Gray” – only novel Poem: “The Ballad of Reading Gaol” Comedy:“A Woman of No Importance”, “An Ideal Husband” Fairy tales: tragic end, not for children – “The happy prince and other tales” Tragedy: “Salome” Political essays One of the main topics:young and beauty ”The Picture of Dorian Gray“: Published before Wilde reached his fame It was criticized as scandalous and immoral→ edited it Victorian novels x Dorian Grey: Working class, poverty, realism, action x supernatural element (curse), it’s not classical story, focused on dialogues, feelings and adjectives the topic is untypical – the way, he makes fun of the society is different epigrams needs to be reread, it’s hard to focus Lord Henry doesn’t really make sense – he is superficial and immoral STORY: It is about a young man named Dorian Gray who has a portrait painted of himself. The artist, Basil Hallward, thinks Dorian is very beautiful, and becomes obsessed with him. One day in Basil's garden, Dorian meets a man named Lord Henry Wotton. Henry makes Dorian believe that the only thing important in life is beauty. However, Dorian realizes that he will become less beautiful as he grows older. He wishes the portrait Basil painted would become old instead of himself. Dorian then sells his soul so he can be beautiful forever, but not on purpose. Dorian's wish comes true. However, every time Dorian does something evil, mean, or selfish, his picture ages. For 18 years, Dorian does not age. He does many bad things, while his portrait becomes more aged with each bad deed. Later on, Dorian decides to stop doing bad things in the hopes that this will make his portrait become beautiful again, but it only makes it worse. Dorian thinks that only a full confession will make the portrait beautiful again. However, he does not feel guilty for anything he has done. So, Dorian picks up a knife and destroys the portrait. When his servants hear a scream from Dorian's room, they call the police. The police find Dorian's body on the floor with a stab wound in his heart. His body has become very aged. However, the portrait has returned to the way it was when it was first painted. Plot: Major Conflict:Dorian Gray, having promised his soul in order to live a life of perpetual youth, must try to reconcile himself to the bodily decay and dissipation that are recorded in his portrait. Rising Action:Dorian notices the change in his portrait after ending his affair with Sibyl Vane; he commits himself wholly to the “yellow book” and indulges his fancy without regard for his reputation; the discrepancy between his outer purity and his inner depravity surges Climax:Dorian kills Basil Hallward. Falling Action:Dorian descends into London’s opium dens; he attempts to express remorse to Lord Henry; he stabs his portrait, thereby killing himself. Themes (2 of them): The purpose of art: Wilde wanted to free art from responsibility of being a tool for social education and moral enlightenment (= Lord Henry - every word he says seems designed to shock the ethical certainties of the burgeoning middle class—as they were by the belief that art need not possess any other purpose than being beautiful) Art, as the fruit of the imagination, cannot help but mean something. Wilde may have succeeded in freeing his art from the confines of Victorian morality, but he has replaced it with a doctrine that is, in its own way, just as restrictive. (painting of Basil and yellow book) The Supremacy of Youth and Beauty:Dorian distanc

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