The Romantic Period Of Wordsworth

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The Romantic period was a revolt against the traditional Neoclassical writing that occurred previously. Before the mid eighteenth century poems were written for the rich and revolved around the use of form, wit, and intellect. These neoclassical poems drew on the influences of Greek and Roman classics. The neoclassical era ended when Wordsworth wrote preface to Lyrical Ballads. Wordsworth’s preface was a “revolutionary manifesto about the nature of poetry” (Greenblatt 292). His preface started a new movement in literature, and the poets that came after him were influenced by his revolutionary definition of what poetry should be. In this essay I will argue that Wordsworth’s preface introduced a stylistic shift of using everyday language and real situations in poetry. This shift resulted in poems and essays about the human mind, imagination, emotion, nature, and freedom of thought. I will first discuss the content and meaning of Wordsworth preface, and then I will reveal how the writing of the Romantic poets reflect Wordsworth’s ideas.
William Wordsworth redefined the meaning of poetry. Wordsworth said, “The principal object… was to choose, incidents and situations from common life, and to relate or describe them…in a selection of language really used by men; and at the same time, to throw over them a certain coloring of imagination, whereby ordinary things should be presented in an unusual way” (Lyrical Ballads 295). Wordsworth believed that poetry should be focused on
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