Type: Research Essays
Sample donated: Adrienne Gibbs
Last updated: December 27, 2019
Todaythe word ‘romantic’ brings to mind concept of love and sentimentality, but theterm ‘Romanticism’ has a much broader meaning in substance. It covers a rangeof progresses in art, literature, music and philosophy, from the late 18th tothe early 19th centuries. It is a kind of response against overpowering Enlightenmentideas of the term. It can be seen as a response to changing political andsocial conditions in one respect or another. In this research, the works of themost important poets of the romantic poetry will be examined. Wordsworth, one of the great luminary personscollaborated with Samuel Taylor Coleridge in ‘Preface to Lyrical Ballads’ givingthe start of the Romantic period. Heis one of the Romantic poets who has tried to describe the abstruserelationship of human beings with nature.
It is clearly seen in the “Lines Written in Early Spring” writtenby Wordworth. It is very unique Romantic poem with all the characteristics ofRomanticism. The poem praises Nature, and the contrasting of man and naturesuddenly becomes the centre of the poem.
In this poem the speaker sits in themiddle of nature, and yet he can not hide his passion for dame nature with enthusiasticthoughts.It is seen in the first quatrain that he uses visual and sensory elementsto evoke the atmosphere for readers. The sanctity of nature occursin the phrase ‘a thousand blended notes, with all the beauty it has. In thesecond stanza, nature is personified with god like figure then the speakermoves gingerly away from the concept of nature and diverges to the cruelty ofmankind. He does not refrain to put into words of his sorrow about this issue.
Thespeaker is completely thankful of the nature’s beauty. He lives a greatpleasure in that green bowers. It is possible to notice his loyalty to theflowers.
He finds serenity in every movements of the birds, “It seemed a thrill of pleasure”.The speaker continues to give personifications throughout the poem. Even thoughthe nature gives him peace, he is taking all the cruelities of mankindpersonally. He thinks that he’s responsible for man’s persecution. This may bethe reason why the poem is so pathetic. Consequently, Wordsworth tries to emphasizethe importance of nature and how beautiful things exist apart from thepersecution of mankind.
Another major poet of the Romantic period is John Keats. ‘Ode to a Nightingale’ is one of thefive great odes John Keats writed in 1819. Since he learns that he getstuberculosis, he goes into depression. ‘Ode to a Nightingale’ is a poem thatreveals the bittersweet psychology of Keats and the curiosity of what willhappen after death.
Keats who is really confused, does not know how to dealwith these feelings. He uses his imagination to describe the world where hewants to go. It can be even understood from the first few words “My heart aches” that this is not going tobe an cheery poem.
The reason why the speaker feels so numb is the Nightingale’ssong. In the first stanza it is clearly seen that there is an allusion to riverLethe. In Greek mythology, the Lethe is a river in the underworld, whose waterswill erase the memories of anyone who drinks them. Therefore, it is possible tosay that the speaker has something which he wants to forget in his life. So he desiressuch a wine (a draught of vintage) thatmakes him leave the world unseen. He realizes that nothing lasts forever,particularly beauty and love. He actually wants to get rid of his concerns andpains.
In the fourth stanza, it is clearly seen that Keats continues to usemore allusions to mythology. He emphasises that he will follow the nightingale byusing his “viewless wings”. Then he describes the forest as a place where eventhe moonlight does not light up. Since he can not see any flowers and plants becauseof the darkness, he experiences the new world through smelling, tasting andhearing. It is possible to say that “the violets”which fades fast symbolises his life and pains. Even if the darkness makes him scared,he endeavors to find bliss. In the sixth stanza, we encounter with thougths ofKeats about death.
It is clear that he is not running away from death as longas it is peaceful. He wants the nightingale to sing his requiem even if he cannot hear. And than he thinks how the nightingale’s voice is eternal and venerablefor centuries. In the last stanza, it is seen that the speaker comes to an end.
As the nightingale flies away, he realizes thathis imagination is over. No matter how much he uses his imagination he is facingup to realities in the end.