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Unit 6 The Romantic Age. Romantic Authors in England 1. William Blake --not always regarded as a Romantic poet; often included in the Pre-Romantic group. 2. William Wordsworth 3. Samuel Taylor Coleridge. 4. Percy Bysshe Shelley 5. John Keats 6. George Gordon, Lord Byron

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unit 6 the romantic age
Unit 6 The Romantic Age
  • Romantic Authors in England

1. William Blake--not always regarded as a Romantic poet; often included in the Pre-Romantic group.

2. William Wordsworth

3. Samuel Taylor Coleridge

4. Percy Bysshe Shelley

5. John Keats

6. George Gordon, Lord Byron

7. Jane Austen

  • A movement that flourished in literature, philosophy, music, and art in western culture during most of the 19th century, beginning as a revolt against classicism. There have been many varieties of Romanticism in many different times and places. Many of the ideas of English Romanticism were first expressed by the poets William Worthworth and S. T. Coleridge.
  • Wordsworth’s personality and poetry were deeply influenced by his love of nature, especially by the sights and scenes of the Lake Country, in which he spent most of his mature life. A profoundly earnest and sincere thinker, he displayed a high seriousness comparable, at times, to Milton’s but tempered with tenderness and a love of simplicity.
Wordsworth’s earlier work shows the poetic beauty of commonplace things and people as in “Margaret,” “Peter Bell,” “Michael,” and “The Idiot Boy.” His use of the language of ordinary speech was heavily criticized, but it helped to rid English poetry of the more artificial conventions of 18th-century diction. Among his other well-known poems are “Lucy” (“She dwelt among the untrodden ways”), “The Solitary Reaper,” “Resolution and Independence,” “Daffodils,” “The Rainbow,” and the sonnet “The World Is Too Much with Us.”
Although Wordsworth was venerated in the 19th cent., by the early 20th cent. his reputation had declined. He was criticized for the unevenness of his poetry, for his rather marked capacity for bathos, and for his transformation from an open-minded liberal to a cramped conservative. In recent years, however, Wordsworth has again been recognized as a great English poet—a profound, original thinker who created a new poetic tradition.

1 It is the honorable characteristic of Poetry that

2 its materials are to be found in every subject

3 which can interest the human mind. The evidence of this fact is to be sought, not in the

5 writings of Critics, but in those of Poets themselves.

i wandered lonely as a cloud
I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
  • I wandered lonely as a cloud
  • That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
  • When all at once I saw a crowd,
  • A host, of golden daffodils;
  • Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
  • Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
  • Continuous as the stars that shine
  • And twinkle on the milky way,
  • They stretched in never-ending line
  • Along the margin of a bay:
  • Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
  • Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
  • Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
  • A poet could not but be gay,
  • In such a jocund company:
  • I gazed---and gazed---but little thought
  • What wealth the show to me had brought:
  • For oft, when on my couch I lie
  • In vacant or in pensive mood,
  • They flash upon that inward eye
  • Which is the bliss of solitude;
  • And then my heart with pleasure fills,
  • And dances with the daffodils.
john keats 1795 1821
John Keats (1795-1821)
  • critical reception of his poetry:

- not much read during his lifetime

- harshly judged by critics

- belief arose that negative criticism hastened his death (see Norton p. 767 for refutation of this theory)

- Keats wrote to his brother George "I think I shall be among the English poets after my death"

- but wrote this for his own epitaph: "Here lies one whose name was writ in water"

- reputation (like Blake's) established by later Victorians

- Tennyson considered him the greatest poet of the 19th C

- the Victorian critic Arthur Hallam (editor and close friend of Tennyson) contrasted Keats and Shelley as poets of "sensation" with Wordsworth as a poet of "reflection"

- literary criticism at first echoed this judgment, focusing on the philosophical implications of Wordsworth's writing, but limiting discussion of Keats to the aesthetic aspects of his poetry

- Keats began to be treated as a serious thinker and literary theorist with the publication of his letters in the twentieth century (see Norton p. 828)

poetic theory letters
Poetic Theory (Letters)

Keats did not, like Wordsworth, articulate a formal poetic theory, but he wrote informally to his friends about the ideas that most excited him: the imagination, the relation between thought and sensation, the poet's identity.

definitions of ode
Definitions of Ode
  • a. Ode
  • An ode is a poem of celebration.
  • The Horatian ode (named for the classical Roman poet Horace) is regular -- each stanza has the same form. The Pindaric ode (named for the Greek poet Pindar) is irregular -- an inconsistent number of feet in each verse, for instance, or variation from stanza to stanza.
  • b. Ode
  • A poem in praise of something divine or expressing some noble idea. In' "Ode on a Grecian Urn," English poet John Keats expresses his appreciation of the beauty and agelessness of a work by a Grecian artisan.
  • What is Romanticism?
  • What are the main features of the works of the romanticism?
  • Brief Comment on Wordsworth.
  • Identify the the theme of I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud.
  • Analyze the poem The Solitary Reaper.
What is Ode?
  • Brief Comment on John Keats.
  • Analyze imagery in ODE TO A NIGHTINGALE.
  • Analyze the poem To Autumn.