Tennyson is the archetypal poet of the Victorian age for several reasons which, taken together, describe his poetic style, including the central themes expressed in his verse.
Like others of his period, Tennyson grapples with the great questions of his era. How, he seems to ask, can one reconcile the enormous changes that are occurring in the nineteenth century with the desire or the need to preserve the legacy of England's, and Europe's, past ? This is the idea behind "Locksley Hall," which is both a prophecy and a warning. Is it possible to
Let the great world spin forever down the ringing grooves of change
without entailing the destruction of our civilized order? At the same time, can the past, which Tennyson and other artists cherished so much, serve as a mirror of the present?
Tennyson and others of his time were preoccupied with legend and myth precisely because they felt the world was passing them by, that the artistic culture was entering a kind of post-historical age. His style...
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