Critical Analysis of William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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Critical Analysis of William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge

William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge spearheaded a philosophical writing movement in England in the late 18th and early 19th century. Although Wordsworth and S.T. Coleridge are often considered the fathers of the English Romantic movement, their collective theologies and philosophies were often criticized but rarely taken serious by the pair of writers due to their illustrious prestige as poets. The combined effort in the Lyrical Ballads catapulted their names into the mainstream of writers in 1798 and with this work; they solidified their place in English literature. Although, most people fail to note that the majority of Coleridge's and Wordsworth's work was him simply bending and breaking particular rules of poetry that were in place during his time and in order to fully understand his work, one must fully understand his views of poetry itself.

Wordsworth was often arrogant in response to negative criticism, in this case, there was his response to Sara Hutchinson's comments on his work, 'the Leechgatherer': "I am exceedingly sorry that the latter part of the Leechgatherer has displeased you, the more so because I cannot take to myself (that being the case) much pleasure or satisfaction in having pleased you in the former part" (Hanley). This particular scolding by Wordsworth clearly shows how important it was to him that the criticism only came from someone whom he greatly respected. Her letter to Wordsworth has since been lost but in my estimation, Hutchinson?s comments could not have been all that degrading, just merely perpendicular to what Wordsworth thought of his own work.

There were two particular events that helped to give William a newfound sense of direction in his work and career. In January of 1795, a close friend of William died and in his will, he granted Wordsworth a legacy of 900 pounds; this money helped him to devote more time to his poetry. That same August, he met S.T. Coleridge and they quickly became close friends. In July of 1797, Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy moved to Alfoxden House, which was only a few miles from Coleridge's home in Nether Stowey. Speaking of Coleridge, himself and Dorothy, Wordsworth said, "we were three persons with one soul" (Hanley). Each day, Wordsworth and Coleridge would work on their poetry, discuss their ideas o...

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...dly had a profound effect on poetry during their celebrated writing careers. They took a new direction to poetry, which in short, brought it to the mainstream. In this regard, they opened the door to poetry for many people who had never been exposed to it. The Romantic ?Revolution? sparked numerous writings and forever changed the way poetry was written. In essence, what Wordsworth and Coleridge did was make poetry more about himself or herself rather than the epic style of Dante or Homer. They wrote about what they knew best, their own personal experiences.

Works Cited

Bennett, Andrew. ?Wordsworth Writing. (Critical Essay).? Wordsworth Circle, Winter

2003 v34 i1 p3 (6). April 15, 2004

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor, Wordsworth, William. Lyrical Ballads. November 4, 1995.

University of Oregon. April 17, 2004

Fulford, Tim. ?Apocalyptic economics and prophetic politics: radical and romantic

responses to Malthius and Burke.? Studies of Romanticism, Fall 2001 v40 i3 p345(25). April 15, 2004

Hanley, Keith. ??Things of which I need not speak?: between the domestic and the

public in Wordsworth?s poetry.? Wordsworth Circle, Winter 2003 v34 i1 p39(5). April 16, 2004
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