Romantic Poets Influenced By Their Predecessors? Essay

1882 Words Aug 15th, 2015 8 Pages
ENG 100 Essay 2: To what extent are Romantic poets influenced by their predecessors? (2500 words) ‘[Romanticism] poses enormous difficulties in its definitions and conceptualisations’
Therein lies the problem; Romanticism as a movement is so multi-faceted, and the poets belonging to it so varied in style and fundamental beliefs, that it is commonly, as Ruston puts it, ‘negatively defined’ . The closest we can come to defining what constitutes “ Romanticism” is by outlining the ‘certain qualities which set it apart from poetry written before it’, which include (but are not limited) to: nature, the self, the role of the poet, the sublime and the supernatural. Keats was no exception to this; much of his work explores the aforementioned themes in great depth, utilising in them in a way that allows a reader to perceive the ‘spontaneous overflow of powerful feeling’ that drove him to write. But to what extent are the Romantic writings of Keats truly unique? I hope to examine in detail the poetry of Keats in order to conclude whether or not his work bears resemblance and takes inspiration from not only his immediate predecessor, Wordsworth, but also movements and even whole cultures that preceded this prolific writer. Of the writers of the Romantic movement, Watson remarks that there is a great ‘need for the individual to assert his identity’ within the verses of his or her writing. For the most part, this holds true; the self was an integral part of Romantic poetry.…

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