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The Romantic Period. Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Keats, and Byron. When did the Romantic Period begin?. Some say with the initial printing of Coleridge and Wordsworth’s Lyrical Ballads , in 1798

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the romantic period

The Romantic Period

Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Keats, and Byron

when did the romantic period begin
When did the Romantic Period begin?
  • Some say with the initial printing of Coleridge and Wordsworth’s Lyrical Ballads, in 1798
  • Others say that it began with the French Revolution in 1789 and ended with the Parliamentary reforms of 1832
political and economic influences
Political and Economic Influences
  • Initially, democratic idealists like Wordsworth were inspired by the French and American Revolutions , but eventually he and others grew disillusioned after events such as the “September Massacre” in 1792.
  • The Industrial Revolution caused huge population growth in the cities with deplorable conditions.
  • Communal lands were taken over by wealthy land owners for private use forcing more people into the cities.
  • The policy of “laissez faire” kept the system going.
the poets response
The poets' response
  • Frustrated by England’s resistance to political and social change, the Romantic poets turned away from the public poetry of the Augustans and focused on private emotions.
  • They believed that imagination, rather than reason, was the best response to forces of change.
what does romantic mean
What does "Romantic" mean?
  • The term originates from the medieval genre. Do you remember any of the traits of this genre? Hint: The Green Knight
  • The characteristics of Romanticism include the following
    • Celebration of nature and imagination
    • Personal, private experiences and emotions in simple language
    • Lyric form- ode or sonnet, song-like
    • A “democratic attitude”- approach audiences as a “man speaking to men”
    • Past or inner dream world that is more picturesque than the industrial age
    • A belief in individual liberty
    • A study of the ways humans mirrored other creatures qualities
the assignment
The assignment…
  • In a group of 6 you will be responsible for one poet: Wordsworth, Blake, Coleridge, Shelley, Byron, Keats, or Tennyson.
    • Two people will research and present the poet’s biography.
    • Two people will choose two poems, explain how each poem exhibits characteristics of Romantic poetry, and point out literary devices (simile, metaphor, assonance, alliteration, symbolism, personification, etc.) with which you are already familiar.
    • Two people will design an assessment for the class over the material presented.
    • As a group you will collect and grade the class responses and write a reflection about how well you believe the class learned the material.
the assignment continued
The assignment continued…
  • You must have a visual representation of all poetry for the class- whether in print, transparency for the overhead, or projected through the LCD projector.
  • You may use the anthology, online sources, or print sources- YOU MUST HAVE A WORK CITED.
  • You will receive an individual and group grade- the assignment is worth 50 points- 25 points for individual work and 25 points for the overall group presentation- a rubric will be presented in class.
  • You must submit all materials to Mrs. M for approval prior to presenting.
sample presentation on alexander pope
Sample Presentation on Alexander Pope
  • Born to Edith Pope (née Turner) (1643–1733) and Alexander Pope, Sr., (1646 – 1717) a linen merchant of Plough Court, Lombard Street, London, who were both Catholics.
  • The Church of England banned Catholics from teaching, attending a university, voting, or holding public office on pain of perpetual imprisonment.
  • Pope was taught to read by his aunt, then went to Twyford School in about 1698–9.He then went to two Catholic schools in London.
biography continued
Biography Continued
  • Pope's formal education ended in 1700, and from then on he mostly educated himself by reading the works of classical writers such as the satirists Horace and Juvenal, the epic poets Homer and Virgil, as well as English authors such as Chaucer, Shakespeare and Dryden. He also studied many languages and read works by English, French, Italian, Latin, and Greek poets. ]
  • From the age of 12, he suffered numerous health problems, such as Pott’s disease (a form of tuberculosis that affects the bone) which deformed his body and stunted his growth, leaving him with a severe hunchback.
  • His infection caused other health problems including respiratory difficulties, high fevers, inflamed eyes, and abdominal pain.
  • He never grew beyond 4 feet, 6 inches tall.
  • Although he never married, he had many female friends to whom he wrote witty letters. He did have one alleged lover, his lifelong friend, Martha Blount.
characteristics of augustan poetry
Characteristics of Augustan Poetry
  • The literature of ancient Rome was much imitated and translated.
  • Writers compared London to Rome and hoped that England would set the tone in literature by emphasizing the qualities decorum and rational balance in both art and affairs that scholars saw in works by Roman authors
  • Exuberant social commentary and satire characterized the English Augustan literature.
  • Heroic couplet: A unit of two rhymed poetic lines in iambic pentameter, usually with an end- stop punctuation concluding the second line.
  • Set meter and sometimes rhyme
the dying christian to his soul


Vital spark of heavenly flame!

Quit, oh quit this mortal frame;

Trembling, hoping, lingering, flying,

Oh the pain, the bliss of dying!

Cease, fond Nature, cease thy strife,

And let me languish into life.

Hark! they whisper; angels say,

Sister Spirit, come away!

What is this absorbs me quite?

Steals my senses, shuts my sight,

Drowns my spirits, draws my breath?

Tell me, my soul, can this be death?

The world recedes; it disappears!

Heaven opens on my eyes! my ears

With sounds seraphic ring:

Lend, lend your wings! I mount! I fly!

O grave! where is thy victory!

O death! where is thy sting?

  • Ode: A long, dignified, deliberative poem devoted to a single subject, the ode has a long history. It began in ancient Greek drama.
  • The irregular ode has no definite stanza pattern and admits wide variation in rhythm and rhyme scheme. English poet Abraham Cowley is credited with introducing it.
  • AA, BB,CC rhyme scheme
  • Speaks for a group- Christians, not individual beliefs
  • “Oh the pain, the bliss of dying” antithesis and paradox.
  • “Steals my senses, shuts my sight,

Drowns my spirits, draws my breath?

Tell me, my soul, can this be death?”- personification.

activity find 5 characteristics of augustan poetry in this ode
Activity- Find 5 characteristics of Augustan poetry in this ode.


Happy the man, whose wish and care

A few paternal acres bound,

Content to breathe his native air

In his own ground.

Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,

Whose flocks supply him with attire,

Whose trees in summer yield him shade,

In winter fire.

Blest, who can unconcernedly find

Hours, days, and years slide soft away, 10

In health of body, peace of mind,

Quiet by day.

Sound sleep by night; study and ease,

Together mixed; sweet recreation:

And innocence, which most does please,

With meditation.

Thus let me live, unseen, unknown,

Thus unlamented let me die,

Steal from the world, and not a stone

Tell where I lie.

work cited
Work Cited

Henry, Harley. “ The Romantic Period”. Elements of Literature: Sixth Course. Austin: Holt ,Reinhart, and Winston, 2000. 622- 638.

David, Jacques-Louis. “Death of Marat”.

Delacroix, Eugene. “Liberty Leading the People”.

Gainsborough, Thomas. “Wooded Landscape with a wagon in the shade.”