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Durham e-Theses
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John Clare: the theme of isolation in his poetry

Gordon, John Vaughan (1983) John Clare: the theme of isolation in his poetry. Masters thesis, Durham University.

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Abstract

The aim of this thesis is to demonstrate the importance of the theme of isolation in the poetry of John Clare, showing its relationship to his biography and to other major themes in his verse. The connection between his life, seen most clearly in his precarious status as a "peasant-poet", and his sense of isolation, is analysed. Moreover, the treatment of the ideas of solitude and isolation by Clare's Augustan forebears and his Romantic contemporaries is examined for its bearing upon Clare's own articulation of these themes. The development of his sense of isolation, from his earliest verse to the final poems written at Northampton Asylum, is then traced chronologically. At the same time, the relationship between this and other ideas, including love, nature, poetry, the past, and the search for spiritual fulfilment is given due treatment, Clare's sense of isolation is seen as a complex phenomenon which took various forms and derived from physical, topographical and spiritual factors as his career progressed. Finally, it is shown that Clare's expression of his sense of isolation reveals a poet of diverse talents who is of great relevance to the modern sensibility.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1983
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Sep 2013 09:26

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