Romanticism is a movement stood against neo-classicism. It started in the last years of eighteenth century. This movement was against fiery work of Alexander pope and Dryden. This movement brought revolution against monopoly of rules and regulation for the sake of common people. It has touch to imagination and heart. It was just as return to nature according to William Words worth. The active poets of this movement were William Words Worth, S. T. Coleridge, John Keats, Byron, P. B. Shelly T. S. Eliot etc.
Let’s survey the major features of Romanticism with reference to the work of different poets concerning to this era:
01. The poets of this movements gave priority the topics of lower class, common people or pertaining to nature unlike the neoclassical focussed on difficult and abstract topics. For example: lucy Gray, The Solitary Reaper, The World is Too Much with Us, The Daffodils, Sonnet Composed on the West minster Bridge, Ode on the Grecian Urn, Ode to The Nightingale,Endymion, Kubla khan, Music when soft Voices Die andIndolence. They all belong to rustic life with beauty and freshness. All the topics have no importance in this materialistic society but are having a great reputation amid the common people.
02. The central theme of all topics is love and joy. This movement follows nature as a great teacher for people. It eradicates animal spirit and sense or makes out class system. William Words Worth’s poems, The Daffodils etc even all poems of Keats explicit the lesson of love. There nature is found completely. So there, love flourishes magical ideas. They perceive love as a source of direct link to Almighty Allah. It is fact that by this reason William Wordsworth is known as panthiest. The poets who were the followers of this movement remained very escapist from sorrows. John keat’s poems, there, he is found rushing from mundane to dreamy or imaginative world for searching out love and peace. His poem, Endymoin:
‘A thing of beauty is a joy for ever’
‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty. ‘
In his poem, “On The Grecian Urn” he gets joy from the spectacle of engraved urn. He never lets sorrows overcome him as having the experience of past. William Wordswoth’s poems or the lyrical drama of Shelley ‘Prometheus Unbound’ appear a successful work by virtue of love. Where as the neo-classical poets persist in wit and solid wisdom.
03. Romantic Movement rotates around nature. The poets accept it as the source of nourishment and growth. Nature is an abode of satisfaction and leading force to imagination, where love is nurtured. The nature is the best teacher. As it is found in ‘The prelude’. The poet accepts himself that nature pursues him. As he stole boat, tried to steal eggs and climbed up the tree, there he felt fear and was overcome with shivers. His imagination accepted it as teaching. John Keat’s poems are a source of a great instruction.
04 Romantic poets love pantheism. William Words Worth infuses pantheism abundantly. As he says ‘Beyond all objects is something caring them’. So God and nature both are something. That is why he never forgets loving all nature. P. B. Shelley is very fast and his belief is very pungent. His work ‘Ode to the west wind’ is the reflection of the preserver and destroyer. He believes there; see it is not less than God.
05. Romantic poets follow equality, fraternity and brotherhood. There is no exalted class. All are equal. From the poems, the readers found fraternity and love.
06. Romanticism never accepts reason. The reason is the issue of disputes or rift. It means it churns jealousy. P. B. Shelley, in his lyrical drama ‘Prometheus Unbound’, Ode to the west wind and other poems, for example ‘Revolt of Islam’, there is not found reason but unity with the wish of change. They love hope, imagination and prevail such environment. Coleridge and Keats do that in their works.
07. In Romantic poetry, supernatural element is welcomed. This element evinces the future of the poet. In Kubla Khan, the intimidation of ancestors stand as prophesy of something evil imminent, the west wind is the prophesy and symbol of preserver and destroyer. Even in the prelude, the awful scene or description of mountain or long tree depicts a great effect on the poet. The neo-classical poets call it useless, for it, the work of Shakespeare is evident. S. T Coleridge addicted to opium and goes into dreamy world. The dreamy world is a favourite topic avoiding reality replete with deep sorrows and unbearable corruption. It is evident that William Wordsworth stood against industrialization.
One thing must be traced that romantic spirit cradles revolution. The poets bear the scene or massacre of revolution embracing it as their more unique work than their lives or own family. As William words worth, P. B Shelley etc are revolutionary poets. So nature can change the world by sweeping away cruelty and ugliness.
The romantic poets follow very simple language or the language of country side. They use simple and attractive diction coming out spontaneously. Their languages look to be natural. In this case William Wordsworth is supreme. They use conceits, images, symbols, metaphors similes, alliterations etc. All add great beauty to the work and their style becomes very lofty as Longinus has depicted in his work “On The Sublime”.
So it is clear that the romantic poets follow simple and natural style, where as the classical poets are very different. Therefore the norms of Romantic poets are more interesting and add noble spirit to their work.