- Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria share
in common the fact of being female monarchs
in the patriarchal societies of their respective
eras, but their identities were essential
in shaping the production and definition
of literature and art from their periods,
respectively called Elizabethan and Victorian.
For all these points of comparison, their
subjects chose to represent them quite differently
and for different reasons. Consider these
differences and similarities by comparing
Aemilia Lander's To the Queen's
Most Excellent Majesty (see pages 1282–83
in volume 1B), Ben Jonson's "Epitaph
on S.P., a Child of Queen Elizabeth's
Chapel" (see page 1399 in volume 1B),
and Thomas Carlyle's portrait of "Queen
Victoria at Eighteen." Also consider
Victorian representations of Queen Elizabeth,
for example in W. S. Gilbert's "When
Britain Really Ruled the Waves," how
these differ significantly from sixteenth-century
representations, and how they also reflect
a particularly Victorian way of talking about
- Representation of the French Revolution
during the Romantic era and the Victorian
era reflected a changed attitude toward the
potential outcome of insurrectionary movements.
What are the attendant social and historical
reasons? Consider the ways in which literature
of the respective periods demonstrates this
difference and the reasons for such a difference.
Compare and contrast the selection from Thomas
Carlyle's The French Revolution and
the selection from Edmund Burke's Reflections
on the Revolution in France (see pages
122–133 in volume 2A).
- Consider how the function and form of the
novel changed from the nineteenth century
to the twentieth century. How does representation
of society and the individual's place
in society change between these periods?
Consider the selection from George Eliot's Mill
on the Floss and compare and contrast
it to Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness (see
pages 1957–2016 in volume 2C) or the
selection from James Joyce's Ulysses (see
pages 2269–2308 in volume 2C).
- How do writers like John Stuart Mill and
Leonard Huxley draw on the style of eighteenth-century
essayists in their nonfiction writing? How
does their respective styles differ or compare
to their eighteenth-century predecessors,
such as John Locke in the selection from An
Essay Concerning Human Understanding (see
pages 2145–2149 in volume 1C). How
do they differently or similarly position
themselves with respect to their readerships?
Also consider forms and structure of argumentation.
- What is the place of religion in society,
literature, and education in the Middle Ages
as compared to the Victorian era? How does
the function and place of spirituality get
expressed? To what extent are spiritual concerns
wrapped up in the institution of the Church?
Consider the selection from John Henry Cardinal
Newman's The Idea of the University and
the selection from Bede's An Ecclesiastical
History of the English People (see pages
24–26 in volume 1A).