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Essay on Twentieth Century Poetry

  • Submitted by: anonymous
  • on October 26, 2013
  • Category: English
  • Length: 3,783 words

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The Twentieth century marks a dramatic point in the history of English Literature. In all the arts, there was a movement towards exploring and making sense of an increasingly bewildering world. The shared values of the nineteenth century were replaced by disparate and often secular beliefs; traditional literary forms no longer seemed appropriate for discussing a fractured society; and the artist had lost confidence in his ability to control the world around him.
At the end of the nineteenth century, the Decadent poets, inspired by French poets like Baudelaire and Verlaine, were interested in the nature of individual experience. They wrote about meaninglessness of life, juxtaposing this with the intensity of experience itself. The tone was often melancholic and the context urban. The poetry of the pre-war years, by contrast, was pastoral, romantic and patriotic, until the horror and chaos of the First World War inspired verse that was notable for its biting impact and its immediacy.
Post-war poets such as T.S.Eliot led the Modernist movement with its emphasis on experimentation and the impersonality of the artist. Modernists consciously moved away from the traditional structures, conventional literary diction, and from the established values of artistic practice. They goes on violating the accepted conventions and properties, not only in art but of social discourse, they set out to create ever-new artistic forms and styles and to introduce hitherto neglected, and sometimes forbidden, subject matters. In breaking away from long-established rules and conventions, Modernism created new aesthetic perceptions-it looked at the world in a different way and reassessed man’s position in the universe.
The modernist’s belief in existence as something active rather than passive found its roots in Existentialism. In the works of Existentialists, they focuses on the nature of human character and motivation, the concept of individual free choice, and the rejection of...

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