William Wordsworth And Matthew Arnold Essay

William Wordsworth And Matthew Arnold Essay

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Romantic and Victorian Eras in British Literature
The Romantic Period, which included the years 1798-1832, was an era revolting against the 18th century literary style. The time period was filled with poets who dramatically poured their beliefs into their writings and poetry such as William Wordsworth, a very notable Romantic poet during this time period. In stark contrast, the Victorian Period was a time during which poets wrote about the environment that surrounded them, and tended to have a pessimistic view of life. Matthew Arnold, a Victorian poet, encompassed many of these qualities in his writing. The two poets, distinguished in two completely different time periods with different characteristics, had some literary commonalities, such as similar references to nature, their faith in God, and highly descriptive verses, despite obvious differences ("English Literature", 6-7).
William Wordsworth was a prominent Romantic poet. One of the first events in his life to influence his writing style and content was the French Revolution. The French Revolution symbolized the rebellion against the aristocracy in France. During this era, British Literature was in rebellion against its own current dominating writing style- neoclassical. This particular writing style had a rigid structure, used ornate and dignified vocabulary, and was directed towards the upper class of England. Wordsworth went back to France for a second trip, but returned emotionally depressed. He had to leave a lover and a daughter because of international strife between England and France. The French Revolution sparked Wordsworth's hunt for his own philosophical quandaries. However, he did not agree with his research, and ultimately thought up his own philo...


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Honan, Park. Matthew Arnold a Life. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1981. 1-496.
"It is a Beauteous Evening, Calm and Free." Skoool.Ie. 27 May 2006 .
Jones, W L. "Arnold's Early Poems." The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes. 2000. Bartleby. 20 May 2006.
Legouis, Emile. "The French Revolution." The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes. 2000. Bartleby. 23 May 2006.
"Matthew Arnold." : Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature. Literary Resource Center. 24 May 2006.
"William Wordsworth." Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature. 1995. Literary Resource Center. 17 May 2006. Keyword: William Wordsworth.
Wordsworth, William. The Complete Poetical Works of William Wordsworth. London, 1888. Bartleby.com. 18 May 2006 .

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