A critical study of the poetry of Arthur Hugh Clough

Peattie, Roger W. (1961) A critical study of the poetry of Arthur Hugh Clough. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

An intense moral and intellectual earnestness marks Arthur Hugh Clough as a pupil of Dr. Arnold at Rugby. The didactic nature of his Rugby poems reflects a concern for the morals of others. At Oxford he questions his Rugby inheritance, and, influenced by Carlyle’s gospel of work, formulates a philosophy of duty as service. His Oxford lyrics are a record of the development of this philosophy. Even the best of these poems are marred by clumsy phrasing. Only rarely in his later lyrics does Clough achieve a beauty and dignity of expression. -- Clough’s first long poem The Bothie of Tober-na-Vuolich (1848), about an Oxford reading party in the Highlands, praises Carlyle’s gospel of work in application to women. The excellence of the poem lies in Clough’s humorous and satiric treatment of situation and character. The poem holds a high place among Victorian verse-novels. It is written in hexameters and this metre admirably suits the semi-burlesque effect which Clough aims at. -- Amours de Voyage (1849), Clough’s best long poem, is a humorous and satiric analysis of introspection. Clough shows great skill in meticulously dissecting the mind of the hero Claude, in harmonizing the theme and the Roman setting, and in using the tourist motif and the hexameter measure to reinforce the theme. Dipsychus (1850), a quasi-dramatic poem on the Faust model, is also a humorous and satiric study of introspection. The poem lacks the unity of Amours de Voyage, but it contains Clough’s most original and polished satire. -- Mari Magno (1861), a group of Tales in verse, owes much to Chaucer and Crabbe. Love and marriage is the theme of all but one of the Tales. The story-telling, character-drawing and parody of this poem is as fine as that in The Bothie. -- Clough’s satire is his individual mark in mid-Victorian poetry, but he also holds a high place amongst Victorian writers of narratives of contemporary life.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7029
Item ID: 7029
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves [157]-167.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > English Language and Literature
Date: 1961
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Clough, Arthur Hugh, 1819-1861

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