British Literature II
March 2, 2012
Romantic and Victorian Literature and writers have an endless about of similarities that make both of them the overall most influential eras of literature. It is in following paragraphs I will attempt to bring together the most fascinating points and authors that built the road on which future writers try to compare their works to these masterminds. It is in the social issues, religious doubts and social prosecutions that have previously withheld society from free expression. It is the limitless boundaries of the imagination that have taken hold of literature, in contrast to realism of previous ages, as present throughout the Romantic and Victorian age. Writers such as William Blake, William Wordsworth, Samuel Coleridge, Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and John Keats began this new age of a new style of writing called Romanticism which lit the fuse to an explosion of imagination and witty literature. At the beginning of the Romantic age it was all about the naturalistic ideals and how nature and god are one. Before this time in literature and even partly the way through God itself was never questioned in its holiness. Literature of the Romantic era was the base for what can be called all literature nowadays, it was these authors, mentioned are only a few, that completely contrast the Victorian age as well as building off past centuries for newer and better literature. At the beginning of the list for the Romantics is William Blake, a genius among the Romantics, his works are still above most in the up most skills of using words to convey social and ideas of the time period. It was evident through his Songs of Experience and Songs of Innocence in which Blake was able to show how different the mind thinks after unnamed amount of years living. To truly understand what Blake was writing about during this time one would have to step back and look at the time period, it was a time where parents would allow their children to work as chimney sweepers while they proceeded to go to church for spiritual blessing. Though things of these natures happened within most every household it was the way of the social norm to push it under the rug and speak nothing of it. It’s not seen until the Victorian age where the common people start to question if what they are doing is the right or wrong thing. In Blake’s Tyger is the very earliest inclination if questioning “who made the” with the intent directed toward God. Like every other Romantic it’s the readers interpretation of the “Whom” that can change the work systematically. The Romantic age has been known as the age of innocence, but that isn’t until after the Victorian age has come about. With all the great works of Blake it is easy to get swept away with the lyrical ingenious used to convey, of the time, normal social issues that would easily be frowned upon if talked about in public. Blake is the prefect example of the Romantic writer in the sense that every working he has is based around the central ideals of religion and social issue suppression. The Romantic age of writing was focused on nature and how God is everything that surrounds the world. There was no religious doubt or public displays of social issues as seen in the Victorian age. Even to this date writers can only strive to be compared to the ingenious works throughout the Romantic era. In the same time as William Blake is the second to none Samuel Coleridge who wrote such works as Kubla Khan and The Eolian Harp. Kubla Khan is one of the most eyebrow raising works of the Romantic time due to its uniqueness and one of its kinds during this point in the Romantic age. Another great name of the Romantic age is Percy Bysshe Shelley, writer of such works as Ode to the West Wind, To a Sky-Lark, The Cloud and A Defense of Poetry that all together compliment the Romantic Age. Ode to the West Wind by Shelley is the poem that can summarize the entire Romantic age into a few lines....
Cited: M.H. Abrams, General Editor (1916). The Norton Anthology of English Literature volume 2. New York: London
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