Romantic Nature Essay

2799 Words12 Pages
CHAPTER ONE WILLIAM WORDSWORTH AS A POET OF NATURE English Romanticism turns to external nature for inspiration and renewal. Whereas from the classical ages of Greece and Rome through the eighteenth century, the term nature generally referred to some universal system of order found throughout man and the universe, during the time of the Romantics, Nature increasingly meant external nature, scenery, particularly that characterized by wildness and ruggedness: mountains, oceans, deserts, virgin forests. ‘Nature’ could be defined in an array of ways as according to the Romantics. It was frequently presented as a work of art, created by a heavenly imagination, in exemplary language. While exacting viewpoint concerning nature varied considerably--nature as a healing power, nature as a foundation of subject and image, nature as a sanctuary from the artificial constructs of civilization, including artificial language--the customary views accorded nature the status of an organically unified whole. At the same time, Romantics gave larger consideration both to recounting natural phenomena precisely and to incarcerate ‘sensuous nuance’--and this is as accurate of Romantic landscape painting as of Romantic nature poetry. Precision of observation, however, was not sought for its own sake. Romantic nature poetry is fundamentally, poetry of rumination. On analysis of the different works of the Romantic Poets one realizes that, while Nature is a common element found in all the writers' works, it is symbolized in fairly different ways. Nature plays an essential role, but in diverse ways indeed. While William Blake uses Nature more to exemplify God and His glory, Robert Burns makes use of Nature to show the conspicuous differences be... ... middle of paper ... ...ature are ideal in every regard. Wordsworth believed that we can discover more of man and of ethical evil and good from Nature than from all the philosophies. In his eyes, “Nature is a teacher whose wisdom we can learn, and without which any human life is vain and incomplete.” He believed in the edification of man by Nature. In this he was to some extent influenced by Rousseau. This inter-relation of Nature and man is very significant in taking into consideration Wordsworth’s view of both. Cazamian says that “To Wordsworth, Nature appears as a formative influence superior to any other, the educator of senses and mind alike, the sower in our hearts of the deep-laden seeds of our feelings and beliefs. It speaks to the child in the fleeting emotions of early years, and stirs the young poet to an ecstasy, the glow of which illuminates all his work and dies of his life.”

More about Romantic Nature Essay

Open Document