What are the differences between Victorian poetry and Romantic poetry?
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The primary difference – Man’s relationship to the world he lives in – is reflected primarily not so much in form as in the mise-en-scene – the atmosphere of the surroundings the poet is describing or in which story is unfolding. Romanticism celebrated and encouraged Man’s relation to nature, to the natural rhythm and beauty of the fact that man is born into his natural surroundings, and should be encouraged to remember and re-connect with his place in the natural world. Victorianism, on the other hand, saw a future that would be built on controlling Nature, in the form of industry, scientific invention, and control of natural resources, a world in which Man was not part of Nature, but rather the ruler of it. While poetry still maintained formal structures, rhymes, meters, etc., the subject matter changed quite noticeably, and the poet’s relation to his subject changed from one of participation to one of domination. These changes are of course reflected in history and sociology as well – colonialism, technical progress, and the like.
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