The English Romantics and the Theme of Nature

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Profesor îndrumător / Prezentat Profesorului: Cornelia Cecal
UNIVERSITATEA PROFIL: SOCIO-PSIHOPEDAGOGIE SPECIALIZARE: INSTITUTORI-LIMBA STRAINA

Cuprins

Chapter I Introduction to Romanticism. The Romantic Movement in England 4

Literary Sources 7

Aesthetic Theories Elements Of Romantic Poetry 8

A. Poetry and the Poet 9

B. Romantic Imagination 10

C. Insights of Childhood 12

D. Romantic Typology 13

E. Romantic Escapism 14

F. Mythology and Symbolism 15

G. Romanticism and Form 17

Chapter II The First Generation of Romantic Poets - The Image of Nature 19

William Wordsworth 20

The Shorter Poems of the Middle Period 32

The Longer Poems 36

Samuel Taylor Coleridge 38

Chapter III The Second Generation of Romantic Poets - Views on Nature 50

Percy Bysshe Shelly 50

George Gordon Byron 56

John Keats 58

CONCLUSION 62

BIBLIOGRAPHY 66

Extras din document

CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION TO ROMANTICISM.

THE ROMANTIC MOVEMENT IN ENGLAND

Romanticism (the Romantic Movement), a literary movement, and profound shift in sensibility, which took place in Britain and throughout Europe roughly between the year 1770 and 1848. Intellectually it marked a violent reaction to the Enlightenment.

Politically it was inspired by the revolution in America and France and popular wars of independence in Poland, Spain, Greece, and elsewhere.

Emotionally it expressed an extreme assertion of the self and the value of individual experience, together with the sense of the infinite and transcendental. Socially it championed progressive causes, though when these were frustrated it often produced a bitter, gloomy, and despairing outlook. The stylistic keynote of Romanticism is intensity, and its watchword is ‘Imagination’.

The word “romanticism” appeared for the first time in the English language about the middle of the seventeenth century, meaning “like the old romances” and stressing the fantastic and the irrational elements of these literary works. In contrast to the classical tendencies of the period, the word had something pejorative and unpleasant in connotation. Federick Schlagal gave the first definition of the Romantic poetry in 1798: “Romantic poetry is a progressive, universal poetry. This tendency is and must be to combine inventive genius with criticism, the poetry of the art with the poetry of nature, to make poetry living and social, and life and society poetical, to turn wit into poetry”.

Generally, it was delimited between the year 1978, in which William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge published their Lyrical Ballads, and the year 1832 when William Scott died. Recent studies (C.M. Bowra, The Romantic Imagination, 1969, and D. Daiches, A Critical History of the English Literature, 1969) included William Blake and Robert Burns among the Romantic poets, although they preceded them with a generation

Thus C.M. Bowra applies the term Romanticism to a phase of English poetry which began in 1768 with Blake’s Songs of Innocence and ended with the death of Keats and Shelley: “This at least fixes a historical period, and there is no great quarrel about calling it the ‘Romantic Age’. In it five major poets, Blake, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Shelly and Keats, despite many differences, agreed on one vital point: that the creative imagination is closely connected with a peculiar insight into an unseen order behind visible things.” (C.M. Bowra, 1969, p. 271).

Romanticism represented the revolution in the European mind against thinking to terns of static mechanism and the redirection of the mind to thinking in terns of dynamic organism. Its value is change, imperfection, growth, creative imagination and the unconscious.

The history of Romantic poetry in English literature falls into two sections: in one a bold, original outlook is developed and practiced; in the other, it is criticized or exaggerated, or limited or, in the last resort, abandoned.

On the one hand, there is a straight line of development; on the other hand, there are variations and divagation and secession. But both section belong to a single movement which insisted on the imagination, but demanded that it should be related to truth and reality. (C.M. Bowra, The Romantic Imagination, 1969, p.272)

The English Romantic Movement is made up of two generation of writers:

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