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English Romantic Poetry

Encompassing a broad rage of subjects, styles, and moods, English poetry of the late 18th and early 19th centuries is generally classified under the term "Romantic," suggesting an emphasis on imagination and individual experience, as well as a preoccupation with such themes as nature, death, and the supernatural.  (From English Romantic Poetry: An Anthology edited by Stanley Appelbaum)


Alexander Pope was the chief English poet of the 18th century. His death in 1744 is conveniently regarded as the end of the period known as ClassicalThis ideal gradually gave way to what we will refer to as the Romantic Revolution

The Romantic Revolution of 1798


To the romantic poets Wordsworth and Coleridge, Pope represented everything they would repudiate: order, convention, and control.  We will see the romantic thrust towards the worship of nature and the revolution of the Hierarchy Conception.  God will move from the top to the bottom, nature will move from beneath man to above him on the scale. They reflect the escape from the world of conventions to the gods of nature and imagination. (British Literature Survey by Thelma English)

An artistic and intellectual movement originating in Europe in the late 18th century and characterized by a heightened interest in nature, emphasis on the individual's expression of emotion and personality more than self-restraint, departure from the attitudes and forms of classicism, values imagination more than reason, and rebellion against traditionally established social rules and traditions (especially Christian).

After the English romantic revolution of 1798 and the revolution of the medieval hierarchy conception/worldview, nature assumed dominance in the hierarchy.  The romantic worldview of nature sets the needs of the earth over and above the needs of mankind.  Man is viewed as the pillager, or plunderer of the earth.  Every possible step is now taken to reduce the human impact; every need of Mother Earth is viewed as more important than the needs of mankind.
             
See Green Concept. (Syllabus, British Literature Survey, Thelma English)


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