Compare and contrast the works of John Keats, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Lord Byron. What common themes are seen in the works of each of these poets? Use specific lines as evidence. How is each poet different from the others? What makes each poet stand out?

While John Keats, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Lord Byron are all Romantic poets, they each have characteristics in their poetry that differentiate them from each other. Coleridge's poetry is known for its symbolism and imagery, Byron's for its trope of the Byronic hero, and Keats's for its expression of the relation of the individual to the natural world. 

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The easiest way to differentiate these three Romantics is to think about the scope and intent of their poetry.

Coleridge is best known as the author of elaborate, sometimes drug-inspired, symbolic poems with spectacular imagery. In "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," Coleridge creates a kind of moral allegory ...

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The easiest way to differentiate these three Romantics is to think about the scope and intent of their poetry.

Coleridge is best known as the author of elaborate, sometimes drug-inspired, symbolic poems with spectacular imagery. In "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," Coleridge creates a kind of moral allegory through the story of the mariner and his spiteful killing of the albatross, a symbol of innocence and spirituality.

Byron, on the other hand, is known for the creation of the aptly named "Byronic hero," a mysterious figure with a dark past who contends with nature. Whereas Coleridge's mariner is humbled by his sin, Byronic heroes, like Manfred of the poem of the same name, struggle against God and the universe and see their own personality as somehow equivalent.

Keats, a member of the "second generation" of Romantics, writes in a different register. Keats's poetry is concerned with the personal and with capturing in exquisite verse the ways the individual psyche resonates with and is inspired by the natural world. His famous maxim at the conclusion of "Ode on a Grecian Urn" that "Beauty is truth, truth beauty" is at once a kind of aesthetic expression of the larger Romantic sensibility and a much gentler interpretation of man's relationship to the universe.

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