Discuss the connection between Wordsworth and Aristotle regarding poetry.

The connection between Wordsworth and Aristotle regarding poetry was quite strong. For one thing, they had similar ideas concerning the nature of poetic language. In his Poetics, Aristotle argued that “the clearest style is that which used only current or proper words.” In Lyrical Ballads, Wordsworth set out to write poetry based on the everyday language of ordinary people.

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William Wordsworth was one of many great writers strongly influenced by Aristotle's Poetics. Though Wordsworth consciously sought to break free from what he saw as the stifling restriction of neoclassical poetry, he nonetheless shared the veneration for the ancient Greek philosopher held by his poetic predecessors.

Wordsworth was particularly influenced by Aristotle's theory of poetic language. In the Poetics, he argued that, in writing poetry, the appropriate style was that which used only “current or proper words.” Aristotle felt that this was necessary in order for poems to communicate their meaning to an audience. If poems were written in too lofty or elevated a style, then this would be difficult if not impossible.

Wordsworth put forward a similar theory in his famous Preface to Lyrical Ballads. There, he stated that this first volume of poems was an experiment, which among things used what he called the “language of men.” In this regard, Wordsworth broke free from his neoclassical predecessors, who firmly believed that there was no place for the language of the “vulgar,” the ordinary people, in poetry.

But Wordsworth, like Aristotle before him, wanted poetry to communicate universal truths to as many people as possible. In practice, this meant using a clear, unadorned style that would facilitate the understanding of a poem and what it had to say.

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