Essay: Romanticism in Wordsworth’s Poem

Sample Essay

Romanticism in its very essence was a counter-revolution, preferring the disorder of nature to the schematic operations of the Industrial age.  Unlike the classicists, the romantics believed in the supremacy of emotion over reason, fantasy over reality, the natural world and its disorder over the mechanical world and its clockwork-like operations, irrationality over rationalism, and contumacy over compliance. (Barth 100)This movement was to produce the true masters of its age, who were to challenge the established norms and standards, producing works of art & literature rich in content and imagination, pushing and breaching the anachronistic boundaries of their respective worlds from music to art to literature.  Interestingly, the term romanticism was coined much later to define and categorize the work of this era.  Wordsworth himself essentially saw his work as experimental because of its emphasis on freer and more natural flow of emotions, as opposed to the constrained and guided one preferred by his Jacobean contemporaries.

In the preface to  Lyrical Ballads, an anthology of poems that contains this particular work, Wordsworth wrote about the power of poetry calling it a  natural  flow of potent feelings, that are expressed in feelings in  instances of harmony.  Nothing better could have been said or written to describe the moving spirit behind Wordsworth’s musings.   Lyrical Ballads also contains the works of another famous fellow “Lake Poet,” Samuel T. Coleridge, who contributed “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” to the book, which is perhaps one of Coleridge’s most cerebrated works.  These two leadings lights of the Romantic Movement had considerable convergence of opinion on nature’s role in a man’s life as well as man’s place in nature, and as a friend and a mentor, Coleridge was to enjoy a lasting influence on Wordsworth’s work (Gill 72).

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