The Influence Of Romanticism In William Blake And William Wordsworth

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Since the dawn of human intellectual capacity humanity has been given a choice: embrace the natural ignorance of common life or innovate in hopes of advancement. This question has been asked of all of us and has been answered in various ways throughout the generations. During the 18th century, the age of Enlightenment answered this question through the application of the scientific method. The advancement of science and reason quickly became the center of daily life, eclipsing humanities view on the natural world in the process through the industrial revolution. This rapid advancement resulted in a cultural shock to a few important thinkers of the 19th century, including William Blake and William Wordsworth. In the poems that they composed,…show more content…
The Romanticism was symbolic of man’s natural resistance to the cultural shock experienced by the Enlightenment and the glorification of the past and nature itself as demonstrated in poetry by William Wordsworth and William Blake. While nature was a prevailing theme of the Romantic period but it wasn’t the only major topic of conversation among the thinkers. During the Romanticism heavy focus was also placed on the innocence of children, individualism, feeling / emotion, imagination and nostalgia for the past. The elevated manner in which children were perceived can be seen throughout the poetic works of Wordsworth particularly in his poem Ode (1815): “The Youth … still is Nature 's priest” and also in his poem Michael (1800): “This son … was yet more dear—Less from instinctive tenderness, the same Fond spirit … Than that a child, more than all other gifts That earth can offer … man, Brings hope with it, and forward-looking thoughts”. Both of…show more content…
However, Wordsworth was able to accomplish this though a slightly different manner but while still emphasizing the prevailing theme of the Enlightenment — nature. In his poem “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” (1807) like Blake he was able to incorporate the idea of infinity, the supernatural and nature while also placing a significant emphasis on the individual. In the first stanza Wordsworth chose very specific words such as “wander” which on the surface means traversing a distance without any real aim or end goal. However, I believe he chose this word for another reason; he wanted to place emphasis on the exploratory nature of the word. Wordsworth also spoke of a cloud, referencing the fact that they see all, and can traverse huge distances regardless of the terrain below (similar to God). Wordsworth also mentioned “A host of golden daffodils… continuous as the stars that shine in the milky way”, this single line demonstrates some of the major themes of the Romanticism, mainly the idea of infinity, imagination and nature (Wordsworth 1). He is very specific with his description of the daffodils, describing them as golden and continuous as the stars in our galaxy. Here, Wordsworth could be describing them as golden and references a group of them by calling them a “host” because he wants to give them a supernatural attribute. By mentioning the milky way, he is able to expand the idea of

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