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Taras Mikhailiuk

The (Mis)fortune of Poetry: Romantic Poetry in Persuasion

Teaching Notes


"The (Mis)Fortune of Poetry: Romantic Poetry in Persuasion" was first presented at the Jane Austen Summer Program of 2017, entitled "Persuasion at 200." Taras Mikhailiuk provides an overview of Romantic poetry and explores how the values of this genre are represented in Austen's novel.

Discussion Questions

  1. Revisit Chapter 11, beginning with the phrase "While Captains Wentworth and Harville led the talk" and continuing until the end of the chapter. 

    • ​How would you describe the narrator’s attitude toward Romantic poetry, particularly Byron’s poetry, in this passage? What details from Austen’s text suggest this attitude?

    • What human tendencies might Anne and Captain Benwick exhibit in this scene? How does the novel comment on these tendencies?

    • With Anne’s recommendation of “a larger allowance of prose,” how does this passage treat prose? How do the details from Austen’s text comment on the reading of prose and its influence?

  2. ​How does the novel comment on the apparent tendency of Romantic literature to stimulate -- and in figures like Lord Byron, exemplify -- individuality and self-focus? 

"Romantic Poetry in Persuasion" handout 
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