Romantic poets are diverse in their writing although they are all grouped under one movement.  Do you agree?Discuss with reference to the poems of William Wordsworth,Lord Byron,P.B.Shelly and Keats.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that any movement of writers or poets is bound to have differences within it.  The Romantic movement is no exception. There are some distinct common threads within all of the writers mentioned, but some specific differences in terms of where they wanted their exploration of individual consciousness to go.  Wordsworth was animated by the spirit of helping to articulate this new movement.  I think that his work might be the best example of the prototypical Romantic thinker.  The emphasis on nature, seeking to expand the subjective consciousness through personal reflection and thought, and the idea that there can be harmony through emotional connection with the world are all elements that can be found in most, if not all, of his writings.  Byron was concerned with establishing the idea of the Romantic Hero in the form of the Byronic Hero.  In this mode, Byron's work explores the "sweet" pain that can be found through emotions and personal connection.  In works such as "She Walks in Beauty" or "When We Two Parted," we can see this.  There is a certain level of despondency and pain that is part of emotional interaction with others and the world, something that from which Byron does not shy, but rather embraces and indulges.  Shelley's desire to reach a level of immortality through his work is what animates him.  While one can see the typically Romantic tendencies, there is a very real and definite presence of hoping to be considered "immortal" and exploring what this would be like and how this experience shapes him as both artist and person.  Finally, Keats is probably the most driven to achieve some type of perfection through his art.  Keats seems to be striving for a definition of art where Romantic tendencies can be realized, but also an aesthetic of perfection where one fully understands reality and one's artistic creation.  This becomes something that is present in his work that we don't see in other Romantic thinkers as much.

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