Romantic Era Authors



do you know what the romantic age is in literature I'll give you a hint it doesn't have anything to do with Valentine's Day it is actually a movement in arts and literature that became popular at the turn of the 18th century Romantic literature used dramatic images a focus on self and an emphasis on the everyday man emotion was much more important in romantic poetry than reason in most authors used nature as a metaphor or muse William Blake wrote during the late 1700s he's perhaps most well known for his collection of poems entitled Songs of Innocence in their counterparts songs of experience two works that embody the romantic ideas of their time in Songs of Innocence Blake writes from the perspective of a light-hearted Pleasant Piper in Shepard he talks about God using the metaphor of a lamb childhood and divinity in contrast Songs of Experience gets down and dirty with the world writing about the Chimney Sweeps and describing God as the tiger Blake's writing is vivid and his descriptions are bright and emotional like many romantic writers of his time William Wordsworth was another well-known Romantic poet who wrote at the beginning of the 18th century let's take a look at one part of his well known poem and see why he was considered a romantic at the time I wandered lonely as a cloud that floats on high o'er vales and Hills when all at once I saw a crowd a host of golden daffodils beside the lake beneath the trees fluttering and dancing in the breeze what's the first thing you notice when you read this if you say lots of nature you're right that was one of Wordsworth's defining romantic qualities he wrote about nature often also check out that first line I wandered lonely as a cloud remember the focus on individual self and romantic poetry in fact Wordsworth and another author Samuel Coleridge are credited with launching the Romantic Age in English literature with their joint publication lyrical ballads Coleridge was even more well known for his long-form poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner where we read about an ill-fated ship that kills its Goodluck omen in albatross and meets a ghastly end this poem gives us some phrases and ideas we still use today have you ever heard the metaphor of someone wearing an albatross around his neck what about the phrase water water everywhere but not a drop to drink that's an approximation of line in the rhyme Coleridge used common everyday language to express profound images ideas something Wordsworth and most of the romantics did well three other common names from the Romantic period are those of Lord George Byron Percy Shelley and John Keats they all wrote around the late seventeen and early 1800s they had the style of the Romantic Age and they were all at some point poets Byron as his name suggests was actually a lord and hugely influential in his age he has been regarded as one of the greatest British poets most famous for his epic poem Don Juan a long work that was considered somewhat shocking in its time humorously even though Byron is now considered to be part of the Romantic movement he specifically talked about how much he disliked Wordsworth and Coleridge in one part of Donne one well he may not have been a fan of those two he was friends with our next poet Percy Shelley Shelley was never especially famous during his lifetime although you may recognize the name of his second wife Mary Shelley who wrote the novel Frankenstein let's look at one of Shelley's well-known poems music and stop voices die music when soft voices die vibrates in the memory odors when sweet violets sicken live with in the sense they quicken Rose leaves when the Rose is dead are heaped for the beloved's bed and so their thoughts and thou art gone love itself shall slumber on first we have bountiful nature imagery but let's look at the content of this poem nature is a metaphor for how memories endure after something or someone is gone it uses vibrant and emotional language things we've learned are homeworks of the Romantic Age you can't talk about the romantics without talking about John Keats Keats was a prolific writer while he was alive which sadly wasn't very long he died of tuberculosis at the bright age of 25 but before he did so he made a significant contribution to literature in general and the Romantic period in specific Keats poetry is characterized by sensual imagery most notably in a series of ODEs here is a part of ode to a nightingale look closely at the themes of nature and emotion and the focus on Keats own individual self I cannot see what flowers are at my feet nor what soft instance hangs upon the boughs but in embalmed darkness yes each sweet where with the seasonable month in doubt even though Heath's works were only in publication for four years before his death he is considered to be one of the main figures of the Romantic poets now before we wrap this up I want to talk about two authors born way before the romantics who had an influence on their work Geoffrey Chaucer and Thomas Brown Chaucer was an English poet in author who lived in the mid to late 1300s and is considered one of the greatest poets of the Middle Ages he's best known for his collection of short poetic stories called The Canterbury Tales he has been called the father of English literature partly because he popularized Middle English at the time when most of the written word appeared in French and Latin the Romantic authors had a remarkable respect for Chaucer Keats wrote enthusiastically about the poet in his letters and even paralleled one of Chaucer's most well-known stories the wife of bath's tale with the opening of his own poem Lamia Thomas Brown was another english author that influenced the romantics before the Romantic period he was alive in the 1600s and wrote largely about the mystery of God nature and man Coleridge considered himself to have rediscovered Browns genius and wrote a letter where he said Sir Thomas Browne is among my first favorites rich in various knowledge exuberant contemplative and imagined as you can see Coleridge clearly believed Brown had what it took to be considered a romantic writer even centuries before the Romantic Age I hope this video gave you a little window into the wonderful world of historical authors thanks for watching and as always happy study you

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