The structure of Coventry Patmore's The Angel in the house and The victories of love

Howard, Gregory. (1986) The structure of Coventry Patmore's The Angel in the house and The victories of love. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

Coventry Patmore's long poems The Angel in the House and The Victories of Love form two parts of an epic on marriage that portrays lovers who demonstrate marital success and disappointment in relatively unexceptional circumstances. While The Angel and The Victories often attract critical attention for Patmore's conservatism in matters of courtship and marriage, the poems show unsuspected complexity and depth of meaning in their structure. This study addresses Patmore's use of a structure of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis, acquired from his reading of Coleridge and Hegel. The books, cantos, preludes, idylls, and verse-letters, and syntactical, metrical, and phonemic patterns of The Angel and The Victories advance the structural movement of the poems through a dialectic of the thesis of successful marriage, the antithesis of failed marriage, and the synthesis of the continual growth of love in the family. Patmore reinforces his dialectic with subtle metrical and syntactical effects in the lyrics of The Angel, and with broad tonal changes throughout the verse-letters of The Victories. He presents the dialectic in the thesis of male, the antithesis of female, and their unity in marriage; in the success of Felix and Honoria's marriage in The Angel, the initial failure of Frederick and Jane's marriage in The Victories, and the ultimate marital success enjoyed by both couples. The dialectic of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis, central in Patmore's thought, provides the poems on marriage with structure at every level.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7518
Item ID: 7518
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 103-106.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > English Language and Literature
Date: 1986
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Patmore, Coventry, 1823-1896--Criticism and interpretation

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