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British Romanticism

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British Romanticism

Romanticism is an intellectual, literary, and artistic style or idea that rose in reaction to the Industrial Revolution in western Europe in the late 18th century. It was an idea that followed Neoclassicism and produced Realism and Symbolism in the later days (RPB 23). Since Great Britain was the forerunner of the Industrial Revolution for many different reasons, Romanticism began earlier in the island and therefore had most influence on this place more than any other nations. This essay deals with how two of the British Romantic poems, "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" by William Wordsworth and "The Garden of Love" by William Blake, relate to the typical Romantic themes that are mentioned in the packet: nature, symbolism, and emotions.

"I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" by William Wordsworth was published in 1807. In the poem, the narrator "wanders lonely as a cloud" (1) in the beginning, but then he spots a crowd of daffodils that bring him pleasure (15-16). In this poetry, the author fully expresses his idea as a Romantic poet.

Nature certainly is a big theme of the poem. The author uses personification of the natural objects and phenomena as shown in many different parts such as "The waves beside them danced" (13) and the daffodils "tossing their heads in sprightly dance" (12). He also calls the daffodils "bliss of solitude" (22) and says that they fill his heart with pleasure (23). The description that the writer uses agrees the Romantic ideas of nature. By using the personification and describing the movement of the flowers, the author pays attention "both to describing natural phenomena accurately and to capturing 'sensuous nuance'" (BRP 21). Also, he reflects the Romantic idea of nature as a healing power. In the beginning of the poem, the narrator is "wandering lonely as a cloud" (1), showing how depressed and emotionally lost he is since clouds are usually not lonely. In the last stanza, however, the flash of nature represented by the daffodils fills his heart and makes him dance.

One of the major themes of this poem is the narrator's memory of the past and how it links to the emotions of the present. Wordsworth talks in past tense in the first three stanzas when he talks about how the plethora of daffodils brought his spirits up. Then, in the fourth stanza, he talks in present tense describing how he still thinks about the daffodils and feels happy. According to the Romanticism packet, the Romantic authors valued their individual experiences as an essential element of literature (BRP 21). Wordsworth shares his experience of being lonely and lost when he finds the source of happiness, whatever that might be in the real life. This is contrary to the Neoclassicist idea that general human behaviors are more significant than "individual manifestations" (BRP 21) and it affects the understanding of the poem since some might relate to the experience while others might find it hard to. As he defined a good poetry as "the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" (BRP 20), Wordsworth himself expresses his overflowing emotions when the daffodils "flash upon that inward eye" (21) in different spots such that "A poet could not but be gay" (15) and "And then my heart with pleasure fills, / and dances with the daffodils" (23-24). We as readers can interpret that the author deliberately put the two big Romantic themes, individual experience and emotions, together to show the "illumination of the world within" (BRP 20).

The second poem to discuss is William Blake's

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