·        Was a reflection of the social, religious, political and moral struggles English citizens faced – particularly those of the working class.

·        Reflected rapid, social changes which led to a lack of belonging, self-doubt and alienation – especially the early poetry.

·        Considered the “needs” of the reader – it was objective, realistic and both critical and celebratory of the progress of the age.

·        Was varied and diverse – it followed no strict style unlike the poetry of the Elizabethan Age.  Poets could develop their own style and poetry was highly experimental.

·        Portrayed a natural feeling of regret toward a departing faith.

·        Used rich detail and description.

·        Employed pathetic fallacy.



Pathetic Fallacy:  A tendency of writers and artists to ascribe human emotions and sympathies to nature.  Used extensively by Lord Alfred Tennyson and Matthew Arnold as an expression of a sense of communication with the natural world and the unity of creation.