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Title: Love in the poetry of Tennyson and the place of progress.
Authors: McKay, Kenneth M.
Award date: 1972
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: Concepts of love and progress are commonly intertwined in the literature of the Victorian period, nowhere more emphatic-ally than in the poetry of Tennyson. In many well-known poems- "The Lover's Tale," "Locksley Hall," "The Miller's Daughter," "The Princess" - love and progress are themselves intervolved with a notion of marriage. As traditionally defined, passionate love is not reconcilable with that love expressed in marriage, and the notion of progress must rest uneasily with either. From "Timbuctoo" to "In Hemoriam" one can trace Tennyson's efforts to find a myth or form by which to express that immediate awereness of the unity of temporal and eternal, profane and perception. Specifically, temporal human love and immortal divine love are really one; the difficulty lies in seeing and expressing this reality, of conceiving of human and divine love in a manner permitting their continuous unity. The elements which finally fuse to provide the myth, that of progressive Christianity in "In Memoriam," are all present in early poems: passionate temporal love and progressive temporal change, and marriage, conceived as the union of the worldly and the heavenly. The way is cleared for effective union by "Locksley Hall" and "The Princess" where, first, love survives separation and is promised divine completion, and, second, marriage is wholly fuse with the progressive world. "In Memoriam" turns upon the transformation of a Goethean vision into one of progressive Christianity according to the ideas of Hallam. Marriage is of the poem's essence as a type of that union which Christ is. The poem's traces the narrator's growing consciousness of this, as detailed analysis reveals. Beyond 1850, Tennyson does not develop the ideas further.
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: Ph.D.
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Theses, Dept. of English
Leicester Theses

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