Lizzy the Shakespearean heroine
Posted by Helen on November 25, 1997 at 16:56:23:
In response to That lovely little poetry conversation, written by Hil on November 23, 1997 at 06:05:05
] ] Okay, I asked the questions; now, here is my thinking. I can only imagine that love poetry was regarded by many young women of the period as a plus in the mating ritual. JA possibly did not view it as such, hence Lizzy's reaction and Darcy's final reaction(Darcy only smiled). Is it plausible that Lizzy's reaction is atypical of that period, thus causing Darcy to further appreciate Lizzy's character?
] I don't know what was usual in that time period, but I think you are probably right. I have always loved that little conversation. I find smaltz love poems boring and embarrassing, but not others. Good ones are surprisingly hard to come by. I like to think Lizzy thought the same: she was pretty discerning, but did not dismiss them altogether. She was partly just being confrontational too. And if one's affections are not engaged, you have the distance to stand back and laugh or sneer. As you suggest, Janet, I think Lizzy's opinion was atypical. You can see by Darcy's response, and imagine him thinking...'Whoa...what have I got here! Someone who doesn't perform to strangers...Hmmmm!'
It reminds me of Rosalind: "men have died, and worms have eaten them, but not for love..." I think Lizzy's satire on love-poetry is part of JA's general "anti-the excesses of the Romantic movement-ness" - as P&P demonstrates, being in love is never about sighing and swooning but has to be related to the "real world".
but I still like love poetry... Rupert Brooke... John Donne... Philip Sidney (swoon)... Wendy Cope...... Dorothy Parker
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