The Victorian Age in Literature

The Victorian Age (1837-1901) is characterized as a period of time where many artists, including poets, tried to bring to light the people that were being mistreated and swept under the rug. In this particular time (The Victorian Age) these mistreated people were mainly women, minorities, the poor, and prisoners. Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861) and Charles Dickens (1812-1870) were influenced by this movement and took pride in bringing these less fortunate people forward and putting their situations in the face of the general public. While both of these masterful poets did in fact use their poems to bring these unfortunate situations to the surface each of them did this in fantastically different ways. The two poems that will be looked at in detail within this paper are Browning’s “The Cry of the Children” and also Dickens’ “A Visit to Newgate” both the similarities as well as the differences will be brought up.

As soon as confronted with the both Barrett Browning’s “The cry of the Children” and Dickens’ “A Visit to Newgate” the difference is anything but subtle. As stated before these poets do attack the same topic, which is the overlooked suffering people, but at a glance it is evident that the method used in dealing with their topic is different. Browning uses poetic structure and keeps with the traditional poem set-up including stanzas and repeating lines along with her subject (small children) being likened to lambs, birds, flowers and fawns which will be further explored in the coming paragraph. Dickens’, on the other hand, steers away from the likening to nature and chooses instead to stick with pure description and detail. As for his delivery method, he chooses the form of a short story.

      After the reader moves forward from the mere looks of these literary pieces is when the differences, and for that matter similarities, really come to life.   Starting with Barrett Browning the reader is given these lines:

The young lambs are bleating...