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Examination Thesis from the year 2003 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Comparative Literature, grade: 1,0, University of Trier, 85 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: The Victorian age was a time of change, and of a change as far-reaching and comprehensive as it had hardly ever been encountered before. This change rang in Britain's heyday, it led the country straight into modernity and transformed virtually every area of life. On the Victorians, it had a twofold effect: Regarding themselves as the vanguard of progress, they celebrated their achievements with an almost evangelical optimism, while at the same time, the loss of traditional values and beliefs triggered new fears and insecurities as well. This thesis tries to approach the ambivalent nature of the age by studying the poetry.of Matthew Arnold, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and the poet laureate Alfred (Lord) Tennyson. Though naturally not intended as a compendium of all the difficulties of Victorian Britain, it traces the predominant predicaments of the age - namely socio-economic and political issues and the effects of 'progress' on the inner consciousness of the individual human being - and analyses the way they are presented by the three poets, be it overtly or covertly. An interdisciplinary approach is taken where it seems appropriate, although generally, the poems themselves provide the basis for comment and analysis. They are individual, but also exemplary reactions to the historical environment from which they emerged, and as such, they can contribute to a better understanding of both this environment and the interrelation between man and the forces of history in general.