on creating perfect pieces of literature, and hoped that by some means their work would be considered sublime'. With the coming of the Industrial Revolution and the age of Romanticism, several poets such as Blake, Wordsworth, and Coleridge sought the sublime' within the realms of nature. The Romantics began to create a new model of poetry through focusing on the feelings or subjects of the poets mind instead of traditional methods.
Alexander Pope would be considered one of the most important writers of the Enlightenment. In "An Essay of Criticism", Pope explains that it is important to know what you are talking about when doing a critique, and that it is wrong to pretend to be someone of vast knowledge. He writes; "So by false learning is good sense defaced: / And some made coxcombs Nature meant but fools" (25, 27). Pope makes it very clear throughout this piece that one needs to have an education in order to appreciate good works of writing. Pope felt that in order to write something of worth, it is best modeled after classic writing, such as in the Iliad. Pope's strict guidelines and rationality of the poetic process is an excellent example of why several poets began to stray from traditional writing and into the dramatic change found in the Romantic period.
Writers such as Pope were not the only influence in the dramatic shift to the Romantic age. The Industrial Revolution created feelings of despair within William Blake, who is considered one of the first Romantics by many. "The Chimney Sweeper" in "Songs of Innocence" by Blake is a criticism of the treatment of child workers during the Industrial Revolution. It describes the life of a chimney sweeper who was sold into the trade by his parents. The children are described as sleeping in the soot: "So your chimneys I sweep & in soot I sleep" (4). One of... [continues]
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