Coleridge, Shelley & Keats Comparison

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March 3, 2013
Summary/ Response Journal Entry 07
In comparing Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Percy Bysshe Shelley and John Keats I am privy to their very different worlds yet uniquely resembling epitomes in their writing(s).
Coleridge, intellectually brilliant and highly learned, was a child prodigy. He was reading by the age of 3 and earned recognition for his writings in college (360) Shelley came from a wealthy aristocratic family English family.(395) He too gained recognition for his writings in college, but not in a good way. His writing, The Necessity of Atheism, got him expelled, kicked out of his home, and on his own. Keats, unlike Coleridge and Shelley, was raised in comparatively low surroundings. (403) He attended a school that actually embraced political reform, skepticism, and religious dissent, which is completely different than Shelley. (403)

Coleridge, known for his public lectures and ability to communicate well, often spoke passionately in support of liberty.(360) He later wrote on the combination of philosophy, theories of mind and language, literary history and criticism.(361) Shelley, different from Coleridge, was a forthright advocate of things like vegetarianism, atheism and anarchism. He was considered a radical and was an inspiration to generations of revolutionary thinkers. (395) Keats, whose career was the shortest, used his poetic forms to dwell on death, love, pain, art, and nature. (405) Keats, although an admirer of Coleridge’s poetry, criticized him. He believed that he lacked ”negative capability”: “when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact & reason.”(405)

Though the three of these men are all recognized today, they are greatly appreciated for the way that they all contributed to the change of how poetry is was written. They changed standard formatting, habitual rhythms, and rhymes and such. They also changed the way words and metaphors were...