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Some of the main characteristics of Romantic literature include a focus on the writer or narrator’s emotions and inner world;
celebration of nature, beauty, and imagination; rejection of industrialization, organized religion, rationalism, and social convention;
idealization of women, children, and rural life; inclusion of supernatural or mythological elements; interest in the past; frequent use
of personification; experimental use of language and verse forms, including blank verse; and emphasis on individual experience of
the "sublime."
In his poetry the personal pronoun “I” does not stand for a single human being but for a universal one. Poetry enables the poet to
reach something endless in a world where sorrow is always present. Keats believed that imagination takes two form:
- The world of his poetry is artificial, something he images;
- A vision of his ideas of human life characterized by his experience of pain and misery.
The central theme of Keats’s poetry is the contemplation of beauty:
- Physical beauty : all the senses are involved. It is found both in all the forms of nature and in a woman. It changes and it’s linked
to life and death;
- Spiritual beauty: it is linked with love, friendship and poetry; it is immortal.
In Keats’s view the poet has got a “negative capability” that means he is able to deny his personality in order to identify himself
with what is the source of his inspiration.
Coleridge considered two kinds of imagination: the primary imagination is part of unconscious, was the ability to perceive reality
giving chaos a certain order and the material of perception a certain shape. The secondary imagination was voluntary, this is an act
that can only do the poet, in fact he dissolves, dissipates, in order to recreate. The artistic principle isn’t “art as mimesis” but the
artists have to recreate it. Primary imagination is equivalent to Wordsworth’s spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings, while
Wordsworth’s emotion-copy, which is produced after tranquil contemplation, is parallel to Coleridge’s secondary imagination. The
idea of primary and secondary imagination on fancy is contain in the Coleridge’s Biographia Literaria. Fancy is mechanical ability
the poet have to use metaphor, alliteration. Fancy is used in The Rime of the ancient mariner. He wrote facts, which read but he
changed the whole story. Coleridge added the power of associating them into a new striking unity. Fancy is a new way to talk about
something that already exists. Coleridge did not view nature as a normal guide. He saw nature and the material world in a sort of
neo Platonic interpretation: the material world is nothing but the projection of the real world of the Ideas on the flux time.
Shelley’s nsture, unlike wordsworth's Is not the real world, but a beautiful veil hiding the eternal truth of the divine spirit.nature
provides him with images, such as the wind and the clouds, and symbols for the creation of his cosmic schemes. Nature also
represents a shelter from the disappointment and injustice of the ordinary world, the expression of his dreams and of his hopes for
a better future.
The poet’s task and style
The poet, for Shelley, is both a prophet and a titan challenging the cosmos. His task is to help mankind to reach an ideal world
where freedom, love and beauty replace tyranny. Shelley's verse covers a wide range of metric and stanzaic forms. He was a master
of traditional verse forms, such as the couplet, blank verse and Dante's terza rima; he moved from the political ballad to the
classical elegy, but he is best remembered for his short lyric poetry.
Wordsworth states that the object of Romantic poetry should be event from everyday life, particularly the life of nature ,rustic
people, because in that condition the passions of men are more spontaneous and durable, and they are expressed in a simple and
direct way. Furthermore, they are linked to aspects of tranquillity and beauty. Wordsworth also refers to the language to be used,
that is, the language of low and rustic people similar from vulgar expressions thanks to the imagination of the poet.
Wordsworth thinks that good poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings and the poet is a man who has more than
usual organic sensibility and has also thought long and deeply. He claims that poetry has its origin from emotion recollected In
In a state of calm the poet is able to re-live a past emotion giving life to a purified emotion through the inner eye of imagination.