8 Stress and rhythm

All words are comprised of stressed and unstressed syllables. Any line of poetry (or, indeed, any text) can be marked to show which syllables are stressed and which are unstressed. The act of mapping out stress patterns, usually by placing the appropriate symbols over the syllables, is known as scansion.

To scan a line of poetry, say it out loud, without thinking about it unduly. Listen for which syllables you naturally emphasise. The stressed syllables can be indi
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7 Other rhyming techniques

  • Near- or half rhymes are words or combinations of words that achieve only a partial rhyme. Half rhymes can be between words with just one syllable, or between parts of words, for example where the accented syllables rhyme with each other, but other syllables in the word don't rhyme. For instance: cover–shovel; wily–piling, calling–fallen; wildebeest–building.

  • Assonant rhyme refers to echoing vowel sounds, eith
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5.6 Other stanza lengths

Other stanza lengths include the sestet, and the octave.

We've looked at how poems utilise line-breaks and stanzas to evoke a landscape, develop ideas and to present different elements, the juxtaposition of which suggests an argument. We've looked at poems which are about themselves – about line-breaks or poetry itself – and found that they are also about something else. Poetry doesn't always move in a linear fashion, following a single idea or event. It can jum
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1.2 The Sandham Memorial Chapel

So let us turn first of all to the visual arts, and see how one artist, Stanley Spencer, created a memorial to those who died in the First World War. Spencer was profoundly affected by his experience of the war, and decorated the walls of a chapel especially designed to display his work.

First of all, it will help to have a few biographical details. This is not because you could not understand his painting without knowing about him: you could certainly pick up a lot of information about
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8 Conclusion

I hope that you will agree that we have moved a long way from my original request to you to look at your local war memorial. You may have been stimulated to seek out other war memorials, and at the very least I hope that you will not pass one without noting its shape, location and form.

Even if you go no further with the subject, we have, I hope, seen how something whose existence, location and meaning we may well have taken for granted can yield interesting discussion. In thinking and
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Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you should have:

  • an awareness of the processes of study in the arts and humanities

  • an understanding of key concepts in the arts and humanities.


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Introduction

This unit gives you the opportunity to practise good study techniques using the theme of commemoration and memorials. It will help you to begin to think about how form influences meaning in the arts and how ideas influence approaches to the humanities.

This material is from our archive and is an adapted extract from An introduction to the humanities (A103) which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to explore other cours
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8 How ‘Romantic’ is the Pavilion?

At first glance the Pavilion's exoticism might seem to have a good deal to do with contemporary Romantic writers’ fascination with the Oriental and exotic. A widespread public interest in these modes put Byron's ‘Oriental tales’ and Thomas Moore's romance Lalla Rookh at the top of the bestseller lists. Coleridge's ‘Kubla Khan’, after all, is often regarded as the paradigmatic Romantic short poem. So, flouting the conventions of historians of architecture, who designate this p
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3 From Enlightenment to Romantic?

In 1800, having divorced Mrs Fitzherbert and contracted a disastrous marriage with Princess Caroline of Brunswick, forced on him by the necessity of persuading the king to clear his vast debts, the Prince of Wales fled back to Brighton with his court. In 1801 he whiled away his time (and squandered Caroline's dowry) dreaming up extensions and changes to the interior decor of the Pavilion.

Of these, certainly the most interesting and prophetic was his development of the interior into a C
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6.4 Second Essay

As a preliminary to the Second Essay, Owen says that he will enhance further his discussion of his underlying principles and then begin to explain to his readers how they can be applied in practice. Notice too the prologue for the Second Essay (p. 113) , quoting Vansittart's view that ‘if we cannot reconcile, all opinions, let us endeavour to unite all hearts’, a ringing phrase often quoted by Owen in later publications and widely adopted as one of the most popular Owenite homilies
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6.3 First Essay

The earliest essay, written under the nom de plume of ‘one of His Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the County of Lanark’ (if intended to provide Owen with anonymity this was a thin disguise, given the content) and entitled ‘On the Formation of Character’, is prefixed by the famous precept, central to the ‘New View’, that:

Any general character, from the best to the worst, from the most ignoran
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6.2 The dedications

Let us start with the dedications, which are both intriguing and of considerable interest.

Exercise 7

Read Owen's dedications heading each essay. To whom are the essays dedicated and can you suggest why?

Click 'View docum
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6.1 Overview

Having looked at the contexts and background, let us turn now to the essays themselves. I have used the edition of 1837, which was based on the second edition of the complete work, dating from 1816. However, it is worth noting that Owen made revisions and additions to subsequent English, French and American versions, so the reader will come across occasional references and allusions to developments which are out of context with the period when the essays were first written. I shall draw to yo
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5.3 Further enlightened influences: Godwin, Place and Mill

What transpired during the first of many visits to London helps to explain the background to Owen's writing of the essays and shows how he set the concept of character formation into a larger frame, drawing extensively on the ideas and help of others. Ostensibly seeking new partners, he naturally sought out those likely to be sympathetic and rich enough to invest in New Lanark when it came on the market. Quite whom he contacted initially we do not know, but Lancaster and his rich Quaker suppo
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5.2 Owen in London 1812–14

Owen's visits to London, where he worked on the essays, coincided with the vital closing years of the Napoleonic Wars. He arrived in the metropolis to find it seething with news of momentous events on the Continent, especially Wellington's victories in the Peninsula and Napoleon's retreat from Moscow, of the course of the war in the United States, and, closer to home, of a series of political crises made more acute by the growing unrest in the country. While the international situation remain
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6.3.1 Latent heat

The origins of Black's interest in the phenomenon of melting have been the subject of some debate. John Robison remarked, in his edition of Black's lectures, that Black had been struck by the simple fact that snow does not melt instantly on a sunny winter's day nor does a sharp night-time frost cause ponds to form thick layers of ice immediately (Robison, 1803, vol. 1, pp. xxxvi-xxxvii). It is now generally agreed, however, that Black's interest in heat arose from his study of the temperature
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6.2.1 Magnesia alba

After four years with Cullen in Glasgow, Black transferred to Edinburgh to complete his medical studies. He then needed to select a topic for his MD dissertation, one which would involve chemistry, be of topical interest, and also touch upon a medical question. He decided to study the nature of causticity, the corrosive character of alkaline substances, such as quicklime (calcium oxide). He wrote to his father in December 1752 that he had chosen this topic because of a controversy between two
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6.1 A lifelong academic

Hutton can in many ways stand as a representative of the intellectuals of the Scottish Enlightenment. But they were not entirely homogeneous in their intellectual and religious outlooks. The chemist Joseph Black (1728–99) was a close friend of James Hutton (and Adam Smith), but the two men were quite different. Whereas Hutton was robust and disorganised, Black was pallid and precise. Hutton operated outside the universities, but Black was a lifelong academic. If Hutton gained his interest i
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5.1 Early career

James Hutton (1726–97) conforms fairly closely to Emerson's identikit picture of an intellectual of the Scottish Enlightenment. His chief scientific work was his Theory of the Earth, which was launched at meetings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1785 and eventually expanded and published in two large volumes, ten years later, in 1795.

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4 The leading figures of the Scottish Enlightenment

At this point, before we move on to look in greater detail at the work of a couple of characteristic and influential Scottish scientists, it will be useful to stand back and take a survey of the leading members of the scientific and medical community.

One of its most eminent members, Adam Smith, pioneered the discipline of economics, which is not customarily included within science today. But to exclude him from our survey would be to misrepresent the unfenced, boundary-free territory a
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