Comparing Coleridge and Wordsworth's Views on People's Relationship to Nature

Comparing Coleridge and Wordsworth's Views on People's Relationship to Nature

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Comparing Coleridge and Wordsworth's Views on People's Relationship to Nature


Although Wordsworth and Coleridge are both romantic poets, they
describe nature in different ways. Coleridge underlines the tragic,
supernatural and sublime aspect of nature, while Wordsworth uses
anecdotes of everyday life and underlines the serene aspect of nature.
In order to imply a connection between nature and the human mind,
Wordsworth uses the technique of identification and comparison whereas
Coleridge does the opposite in 'The Ancient Mariner' and 'Kubla Khan'.
Both admire nature's healing strength and hope that their children
will grow up in a natural environment instead of growing up in cities.

For Wordsworth nature seems to sympathise with the love and suffering
of the persona. The landscape is seen as an interior presence rather
than an external scene. His idea is that emotions are reflected in the
tranquillity of nature. On the contrary, Coleridge says that poetry is
clearly distinguished from nature. Reading the poems of both
Wordsworth and Coleridge, one immediately notes a difference in the
common surroundings presented by Wordsworth and the bizarre creations
of Coleridge. Thus they develop their individual attitudes towards
life.

I will look at differences and similarities concerning people?s
relationship to nature in poems by Coleridge and Wordsworth such as:
?The Ancient Mariner?, ?Kubla Khan?, ?The Nightingale,? ?Lucy?,
?Tintern Abbey,? ?There was a boy?, ? Old Beggar?, ?I Wandered Lonely
as a Cloud? and "Frost at Midnight".

In ?The Ancient Mariner,? Coleridge demonstrates how violating nature
and her subjects brings doom to the infracted. In this poem, the poet
emphasises the vengeful, dark side ...


... middle of paper ...


...heir respective views on nature. Wordsworth
illustrates man?s necessary bond to nature, one that was being
destroyed by state men. Coleridge chooses to present nature as a
natural law that one should not violate.

Coleridge?s ?Ancient Mariner? poem makes me think of a painting by the
romantic painter Turner. Especially of his painting of ? the slave
ship? painted in 1840. This painting depicts a slave ship in the red
sunset heading into a typhoon creating an anxious feeling. I think
that Coleridge poem can be compared with Turner and his apocalyptic
view of nature, and Wordsworth can be compared to Constable with his
peaceful landscape of English countryside.

Bibliography:

Holmes, Richard. Coleridge: darker reflection: London: HarperCollins,
1998

Abrahms, M. H, eds. The Norton Anthology of English Literature, vol.
2, 7th edition. New York, 2000

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