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Romantic poetry - Imagination and Emotion

Uploaded by Admin on Mar 30, 2002

"particular characteristics of the literature of romanticism includes subjectivity and an emphasis on individualism; spontaneity; freedom from rules; solitary life rather than life in society; the beliefs that imagination is superior to reason and devotion to beauty; love of and worship of nature; and fascination with the past, especially the myths and mysticism of the middle ages."

In this essay I will be looking mainly at Tears, Idle Tears by Tennyson and discussing how it focuses on aspects of imagination and emotion. I will also look briefly at Rose by Walter de la Mare. I will be examining the ways in which they incorporate imagery and emotions into their poems. I will also compare the poems in terms of the degree of imagery and emotion they contain, to see whether some Romantics were more 'romantic' than others were.

Romanticism was a movement in poetry (and art and literature in general) of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, in revolt against the type of poetry of previous centuries. It allowed poets to write about anything; no longer were there 'fit subjects for writing'. It introduced the use of realistic-sounding language and talked about first-hand experience, thus communicating meaning much more effectively to the reader. The German poet Friedrich Schlegel first used the term romantic to describe literature, defining it as "literature depicting emotional matter in an imaginative form." The British Romantic poets lived through a period of rapid social change (brought about by the French Revolution) and responded fully to these changes in their writing. Examples of British poets who were highly influential in the Romantic period were Blake, Coleridge, Keats, Scott, Shelley, Wordsworth and Tennyson.

"Many hold to the theory that it was in Britain that the Romantic Movement really started quite early in the 18th century one can discern a definite shift in sensibility and feeling, particularly in relation to the natural order and Nature" (J.A. Cuddon)

Now that I have discussed what Romanticism is, I will now look at Tears, Idle Tears, which is one of the three songs from The Princess by Tennyson. The poem is set out into four stanzas of equal length, and is written in blank verse, meaning that it has no rhyme scheme. The title of the poem is interesting because the word 'idle' can have many different meanings (Tennyson revised it from Tears, Foolish Tears, for this reason). The word 'idle' is associated...

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Uploaded by:   Admin

Date:   03/30/2002

Category:   Poetry

Length:   9 pages (1,992 words)

Views:   2885

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