Compare and contrast between the Romantic period poets with the Victorian period poets.

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Romantic period poetry is specialized for its advocacy of the common person as subject matter and common language as a fit language for poetry, as was propounded by Wordsworth in Preface to Lyrical Ballads. Coleridge, however, did disagree with much of Wordsworth's theory about commonality and low diction, saying it required a poet with a masterful command of high diction to make common conversation and ideas palatable, which was precisely illustrated as a true criticism in Wordsworth's The Ruined Cottage. Romantics looked to Classical poets and poetic theory for influences on form and structure and theme.

Victorian poetry was characterized by Romantic period themes of love and nature, as Tennyson's poems illustrate, but Victorian poets added melancholy and psychological study, as Browning's poems illustrate. Victorians also referred to Medieval poetry influences, as Rossetti's poems illustrate, instead of the Classical poetry that the Romantics referenced for influence. In addition, Victorian poets added a new thematic concern with social issues, as Blake's poems illustrate.