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The Romantics

  • Date Submitted: 03/18/2010 05:32 AM
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The Romantic Poets

They were 6 great poets from 1780-1830 who had a similar way of thinking and writing poetry, by chance at the same time. Their poetry was ‘romantic’, often about nature, and was emotional and inspirational. This was a change to poetry written by others before them, which tended to be classical (about noble heroes/ topics), serene and balanced. The classical poets saw beauty in order and control; control of nature and sophisticated manipulation of complex language were the dominant ideas. Partly as a result of boredom with these ideas and partly through excitement at the political revolutions occurring, the Romantic Poets wrote in a new way that broke with the traditions of classical poetry. They rejected the overblown language of their predecessors and looked for language that ordinary people would enjoy. They listened to popular songs, ballads and stories and tried to introduce a feeling like this into their work; they wanted their poetry to be accessible to ordinary people.

Romantic poetry was written during a time of wars and revolutions, a period of changes that were profound, frightening and exciting: the Industrial Revolution (the Luddites- named after Ned Ludd, a fictitious character based on folklore- smashed machines used to impoverish them between 1811 and 1816), the French Revolution (the Reign of Terror= 1793-4; 1789 = fall of the Bastille), Britain’s war with France (1793- 1815) and the American War of Independence (the American Revolution started in 1776; the British recognised American Independence in 1783). Romantic poetry was not escapist, but tried passionately to come to terms with the modern world as it emerged through this series of wrenching changes. Romantic poets challenged dominant contemporary values and wrote to probe and dissect at the heart of things.

The Romantic Poets were:
    • William Blake: in 1804 he was put on trial for sedition (agitation against the Government possibly leading to rebellion or...

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