Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1797-1851). Leigh Hunt, a close friend, wrote the couplet that sums up Shelley ’ s place in history: And Shelley, four fam ’ d, --for her parents, her lord, And the poor lone impossible monster abhorr ’ d. The Romantic Period (1790-1850)
Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.
Leigh Hunt, a close friend, wrote the couplet that sums up Shelley’s place in history:
For our purposes, the Romantic Period is considered a literary movement that took place in Britain between 1790-1850. It developed, in part, as a reaction to the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment was a period that focused on reason, order, balance, harmony, intellect, science, technology, philosophy, and rationalism throughout the 18th century.
Why do these dates define the Romantic Period?1790: publication of Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads 1850: death of Wordsworth
the individual experience
` the imaginative,
the visionary, and
1789 Songs of Innocence
innocence is found in the individual’s childhood
poetry influenced by children's songs, ballads, and hymns
Blake writes about an innocence that can survive horrible conditions (“The Chimney Sweeper”)
1794 Songs of Experience
scathing social commentary (“The Sick Rose”)
many are companion poems to poems in The Songs of Innocence (“The Tyger”)
When my mother died I was very young,
And my father sold me while yet my tongue,
Could scarcely cry weep weep weep weep,
So your chimneys I sweep & in soot I sleep.
Theres little Tom Dacre, who cried when his head
That curled like a lambs back was shav'd, so I said.
Hush Tom never mind it, for when your head's bare,
You know that the soot cannot spoil your white hair
And so he was quiet. & that very night.
As Tom was a sleeping he had such a sight
That thousands of sweepers Dick, Joe, Ned, & Jack
Were all of them lock'd up in coffins of black,
And by came an Angel who had a bright keyAnd he open'd the coffins & set them all free.Then down a green plain leaping laughing they runAnd wash in a river and shine in the Sun.Then naked & white, all their bags left behind.They rise upon clouds, and sport in the wind.And the Angel told Tom, if he'd be a good boy,He'd have God for his father & never want joy.And so Tom awoke and we rose in the darkAnd got with our bags & our brushes to work.Tho' the morning was cold, Tom was happy & warmSo if all do their duty, they need not fear harm. 1789
A little black thing among the snow,
Crying! 'weep! weep!' in notes of woe!
'Where are thy father and mother? Say!' -
'They are both gone up to the church to pray.
'Because I was happy upon the heath,
And smiled among the winter's snow,
They clothed me in the clothes of death,
And taught me to sing the notes of woe.
'And because I am happy and dance and sing,
They think they have done me no injury,
And are gone to praise God and His priest and king,
Who made up a heaven of our misery.'
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.--Great God! I'd rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn; (1)
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea, (2)
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus (3) rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton (4) blow his wreathed horn. 1807
(1) Brought up in an outdated religion.
(3) Greek sea god capable of taking many shapes.
(4) Another sea god, often depicted as trumpeting on a shell.
I heard a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.
To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man.
Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
And 'tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.
The birds around me hopped and played,
Their thoughts I cannot measure: --
But the least motion which they made,
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.
If this belief from heaven be sent,
If such be Nature's holy plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man? 1798
MILTON! thou should'st be living at this hour:
England hath need of thee: she is a fen
Of stagnant waters: altar, sword, and pen,
Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and bower,
Have forfeited their ancient English dower
Of inward happiness. We are selfish men;
Oh! raise us up, return to us again;
And give us manners, virtue, freedom, power.
Thy soul was like a Star, and dwelt apart:
Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea: 10
Pure as the naked heavens, majestic, free,
So didst thou travel on life's common way,
In cheerful godliness; and yet thy heart
The lowliest duties on herself did lay. 1807
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)1798 Lyrical Ballads, With a Few Other PoemsColeridge’s poems were to focus on the supernatural -- using the supernatural helps Coleridge get at psychological revelations (inner workings of the mind) (think of “The Rime of The Ancient Mariner”)
And he stoppeth one of three.
'By thy long beard and glittering eye,
Now wherefore stopp'st thou me?
The Bridegroom's doors are opened wide, 5
And I am next of kin;
The guests are met, the feast is set:
May'st hear the merry din.'
Yet he cannot choose but hear;
And thus spake on that ancient man,
The bright-eyed Mariner. 40
The ship drawn by a storm toward the South Pole. 'And now the Storm-blast came, and he
Was tyrannous and strong:
He struck with his o'ertaking wings,
And chased us south along.
Thorough the fog it came;
As if it had been a Christian soul, 65
We hail'd it in God's name.
It ate the food it ne'er had eat,
And round and round it flew.
The ice did split with a thunder-fit;
The helmsman steer'd us through! 70
And a good south wind sprung up behind;
The Albatross did follow,
And every day, for food or play,
Came to the mariners' hollo!
And it would work 'em woe:
For all averr'd, I had kill'd the bird
That made the breeze to blow.
Ah wretch! said they, the bird to slay, 95
That made the breeze to blow!
Nor dim nor red, like God's own head,
The glorious Sun uprist:
Then all averr'd, I had kill'd the bird
That brought the fog and mist. 100
'Twas right, said they, such birds to slay,
That bring the fog and mist.
The furrow follow'd free;
We were the first that ever burst 105
Into that silent sea.
Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down,
'Twas sad as sad could be;
And we did speak only to break
The silence of the sea!
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.
Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink; 120
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.
The very deep did rot: O Christ!
That ever this should be!
Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs 125
Upon the slimy sea.
Did peer, as through a grate?
And is that Woman all her crew?
Is that a Death? and are there two?
Is Death that Woman's mate?
Her lips were red, her looks were free, 190
Her locks were yellow as gold:
Her skin was as white as leprosy,
The Nightmare Life-in-Death was she,
Who thicks man's blood with cold.
The naked hulk alongside came, 195
And the twain were casting dice;
"The game is done! I've won! I've won!"
Quoth she, and whistles thrice.
Too quick for groan or sigh,
Each turn'd his face with a ghastly pang, 215
And cursed me with his eye.
Four times fifty living men
(And I heard nor sigh nor groan),
With heavy thump, a lifeless lump,
They dropp'd down one by one. 220
The souls did from their bodies fly—
They fled to bliss or woe!
And every soul, it pass'd me by
Like the whizz of my crossbow!'
And they all dead did lie:
And a thousand thousand slimy things
Lived on; and so did I. 240
I look'd upon the rotting sea,
And drew my eyes away;
I look'd upon the rotting deck,
And there the dead men lay.
I look'd to heaven, and tried to pray; 245
But or ever a prayer had gusht,
A wicked whisper came, and made
My heart as dry as dust.
I watch'd the water-snakes:
They moved in tracks of shining white, 275
And when they rear'd, the elfish light
Fell off in hoary flakes.
Within the shadow of the ship
I watch'd their rich attire:
Blue, glossy green, and velvet black, 280
They coil'd and swam; and every track
Was a flash of golden fire.
Their beauty might declare:
A spring of love gush'd from my heart, 285
And I bless'd them unaware:
Sure my kind saint took pity on me,
And I bless'd them unaware.
The selfsame moment I could pray;
And from my neck so free 290
The Albatross fell off, and sank
Like lead into the sea.
By Him who died on cross, 400
With his cruel bow he laid full low
The harmless Albatross.
The Spirit who bideth by himself
In the land of mist and snow,
He loved the bird that loved the man 405
Who shot him with his bow."
The other was a softer voice,
As soft as honey-dew:
Quoth he, "The man hath penance done,
And penance more will do."
That in the Moon did glitter.
The pang, the curse, with which they died,
Had never pass'd away: 440
I could not draw my eyes from theirs,
Nor turn them up to pray.
And now this spell was snapt: once more
I viewed the ocean green,
And look'd far forth, yet little saw 445
Of what had else been seen—
The Hermit cross'd his brow.
"Say quick," quoth he, "I bid thee say—
What manner of man art thou?"
Forthwith this frame of mine was wrench'd
With a woful agony, 580
Which forced me to begin my tale;
And then it left me free.
Since then, at an uncertain hour,
That agony returns:
And till my ghastly tale is told, 585
This heart within me burns.
I have strange power of speech;
That moment that his face I see,
I know the man that must hear me: 590
To him my tale I teach.
What loud uproar bursts from that door!
The wedding-guests are there:
But in the garden-bower the bride
And bride-maids singing are: 595
And hark the little vesper bell,
Which biddeth me to prayer!
O Wedding-Guest! this soul hath been
Alone on a wide, wide sea:
So lonely 'twas, that God Himself 600
Scarce seeméd there to be.
To thee, thou Wedding-Guest!
He prayeth well, who loveth well
Both man and bird and beast.
He prayeth best, who loveth best 615
All things both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all.'
The Mariner, whose eye is bright,
Whose beard with age is hoar, 620
Is gone: and now the Wedding-Guest
Turn'd from the bridegroom's door.
He went like one that hath been stunn'd,
And is of sense forlorn:
A sadder and a wiser man 625
He rose the morrow morn.