Self Consciousness : Burden Or Benefit? Essay

2230 Words Oct 20th, 2016 9 Pages
Romantic Self Consciousness: Burden or Benefit? Internalization and self-consciousness seem to be at the root of Romantic poetry. The first generation of Romantic poets struggled to comprehend the complexity of mortality, the natural world and the imagination, thus challenging and inspiring them to express their personal understandings through poetry. Common solutions among the poets came through internalizing their beliefs or to try to escape the burden of self-consciousness. William Blake, William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge are similar in this way, yet they each have different poetic styles. William Blake, although not religious, has a reputation as a mythologist. But he has written in such a way that seems as an escape of self-consciousness. He distinguishes body and soul as one, as well as sight and insight as one, emphasizing the power and importance of the imagination. “The Book of Thel,” embodies Blake’s common theme of the contrast between innocence and experience. He imagines that nature is personified, and that the answers to his deepest questions can be answered by nature’s spoken word. Thel’s character represents Blake wanting to escape the knowledge of mortality and the negative correlation between innocence and experience. She continues to ask personified aspects of nature how they cope with knowing they are mortal. “I charge thee tell to me,/ Why thou complainest not when in hour thou fade away” (page 65, lines 1-2). In Plate 3, when she asks…
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