Victorian Era Poetry Characteristics

Victorian literature is the literature produced during the reign of Queen Victoria (18371901). England, during this time was undergoing a tremendous cultural upheaval; the accepted forms of literature, art and music had undergone a radical change. The Romantic Movement, which preceded the Victorian Renaissance, had often portrayed the human pursuit of knowledge and power as a beautiful thing, for example in works of Wordsworth.

During the Victorian era, however, there was a lot of radical social change and as such, many poets of this time didn't like the romanticized version of society. The Victorian poetry is, thus, divided into two main groups of poetry: The High Victorian Poetry and The Pre-Raphaelite Poetry.
The most important and obvious characteristic of Victorian Poetry was the use of sensory elements. Most of Victorian Poets used imagery and the senses to convey the scenes of struggles between Religion and Science, and ideas about Nature and Romance, which transport the readers into the minds and hearts of the people of the Victorian age, even today. Lord Alfred Tennyson lives up to this expected characteristic in most of his works.

One notable example is the poem Mariana, in which Tennyson writes, The doors upon their hinges creaked; / The blue fly sung in the pane; the mouse / Behind the moldering wainscot shrieked. These images of the creaking door, the blue fly singing in the window, and the mouse with the moldy wood panelling, all work together to create a very definite image of an active, yet lonely farmhouse.
Another characteristic was the sentimentality. Victorian Poets wrote about Bohemian ideas and furthered the imaginings of the Romantic Poets. Poets like Emily Bronte, Lord Alfred Tennyson prominently used sentimentality in their poems. The husband and wife poet duo, Elizabeth Barrett-Browning and Robert Browning conducted their love affair through verse and produced many tender and passionate poems. Most prominent of which are Elizabeth...