The poetry of George Crabbe
McGonigle, Paul Francis
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The purpose of this study is to trace the development of Crabbe's poetic art. He is considered not as a thinker alone, but also as a conscious artist who was seeking the most effective form for his vision. The paper's conclusions are based on a careful analysis of Crabbe's works. Before this analysis, however, nineteenth- and twentieth- century criticism of his poetry is surveyed in order to gain an accurate picture of his literacy position in these two centuries. Francis Jeffrey's sympathetic criticism is based on neo-classical principles which consider a work of art as a representation of general reality. Hazlitt's criticism, more influential than that of Jeffrey, views Crabbe's faithful delineation of a known reality as his chief defect. His work, Hazlitt says, lacks Imagination (a term never clearly defined by the critic). With a few exceptions, most nineteenth-century critics repeat Hazlitt's judgment. Twentieth-century criticism, breaking away from that of the preceding century, approaches Crabbe's work with renewed sympathy and understanding. F.R. Leavis is the most important modern critic, viewing Crabbe as a master of the heroic couplet and as a great narrative poet. Most recent scholars agree with Leavis [TRUNCATED]
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University
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