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The HangoverA Literary and Cultural History$
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Jonanthon Shears

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789621198

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789621198.001.0001

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Odes to Dejection: Romanticism and the Melancholy of Self-knowledge

Odes to Dejection: Romanticism and the Melancholy of Self-knowledge

(p.105) Chapter 4 Odes to Dejection: Romanticism and the Melancholy of Self-knowledge
The Hangover

Jonathon Shears

Liverpool University Press

This chapter explores the hangover as the aftermath of the heightened Romantic state of intoxication. It argues that British Romantic poets used the hangover to explore the interiority of the drinker, seeking through the imagination and the feelings new ways to surmount or compensate for the Traditional-Punishment hangover reaction as seen in earlier periods. It examines hangover consciousness and penitent’s rhetoric, which is reminiscent of the seventeenth century, but argues that the penitential sincerity is compromised by the mode of melodrama and self-pity. The chapter offers close analysis of hangovers in poetry from Robert Burns and S. T. Coleridge, Lord Byron and John Keats alongside a discussion of the Romantic drunken confession penned by Charles Lamb.

Keywords:   hangover, romanticism, penitence, compensation, imagination, emotions

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