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Flashcards in Context Deck (15)
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1

No Thank You John

Personal: Rossetti had three marriage proposals - declined for religious reasons.
Victorian property rights: meant transfer of ownership on marriage, including copyright.
Pre-Raphaelite: era saw women as objects for paintings - this was a way of breaking that mould.

2

A Birthday

Pre-Raphaelite: commonly used objects as a connection to religious imagery (e.g. rainbow, apple tree etc). Natural imagery typical.

3

Maude Clare

Romanticism: youthful love aging / fairy tales
Pre-Raphaelite: critique of dominant masculinity.
Literary context: lyrical ballad.

4

In the Round Tower at Jhansi

History: Indian rebellion (beginning of the end of British rule in India).
Rossetti's footnote: later wrote a disclaimer on historical accuracy. Still has literary value. Comment on author's attitude to truth.

5

Echo

Personal: Written in 1854, four years after first broken engagement.
Heaven / afterlife: 1854 was the year her father died.

6

Shut Out

Biographical?: broken engagement / death of her father.
Religion: Garden of Eden and Eve's banishment (could be Rossetti contemplating a life of religious devotion.
Pre-Raphaelite: Natural imagery.

7

From the Antique

Women: position in Victorian society. Rossetti's problematic position on women's rights.
Posthumous: not published while she was alive - very personal and exposing.

8

Song (when I am dead, my dearest)

Death: Rossetti had and obsession with death and the afterlife.
'Soul sleep': This doctrine teaches that when Christians die they experience a period of rest and sleep in preparation for the Second Coming of Jesus, at which point they will be taken up to heaven and be rewarded with eternal life.
Literary context: was heavily influenced by Keats (nightingale).
Religion: closeness to God.

9

Remember

Religion: the strength of Rossetti's personal beliefs allowed her to accept death comfortably.
Pre-Raphaelite: philosophy taught an acceptance of death.

10

Good Friday

Religion (New Test): the re-telling of Christ's crucifixion (Mary Magdalen, the Virgin Mary and Peter, a disciple).
Religion (Old Test): link to Exodus and the tale of Moses hitting a rock for water (water possible metaphor for emotional release).
Doctrine of Reserve: included implicit reference to the Bible, only expecting those with faith to fully comprehend.

11

Winter, My Secret

Patriarchal society: role of women (this poem reverses the gender powers).
Personal: Rossetti became increasingly isolated / did not want attention and therefore rejected constructed expectations of women.

12

Soeur Louise de la Misericorde

Literary context: inspired by William Blake.
History: subject is Louis XIV's mistress who later became a nun.
Self-postponement: Rossetti's religious beliefs surrounding desire.

13

Twice

Patriarchal society: male views of women were critical and judgmental.
Literary context: 'skylarks' are a symbol of Romantic poetry (sing all night / manifestations of divine inspiration)
Personal: Rossetti's rejection of marriage in pursuit of religious devotion.

14

Goblin Market

Religion: Garden of Eden - tempted by the fruits and giving in to temptation.
Religion: Lizzie submits to the abuse of the goblin men in order that she save her sister from death and give her the hope of a new life (a Christ-like sacrifice to redeem her sister's 'sin').
Feminism: Whether or not, in view of Lizzie's Christ-like redemption of her sister, Goblin Market can be viewed as feminist is the basis for several areas of debate.

15

Up-hill

Religion: Jesus in the New Testament "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with them and they with me."
'Soul sleep': This doctrine teaches that when Christians die they experience a period of rest and sleep in preparation for the Second Coming of Jesus, at which point they will be taken up to heaven and be rewarded with eternal life.