Of the two--W. Wordsworth and S.T. Coledrige--who had more influence on modern criticism and in what respects?

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Payal Khullar eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Romantic Movement, out of all other literary movements, in general, had the most pensive and long-lasting effect on modern criticism. And in a way, the contribution of the two major figures of Romantic Movement- William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge has been equally significant for the Modern Criticism.

However, literary genius of William Wordsworth is seen vaster as a poet. And Samuel Taylor Coleridge developed better as a literary critic. Coleridge’s criticism is psychological and profound. His views of imagination, fancy, poetry, etc. are worthwhile. His greatest work Biographia Literaria influenced many Modern critics like I.A Richards, who adopted his literary theory and consider it to be significant in critical studies. His critical views and notes on Shakespeare’s language of poetry and dramatics elucidate it all.

Saintsbury chooses Coleridge’s name to be associated with Aristotle and Longinus as a powerful critic. Another Modern Critic, T.S Eliot’s The Perfect Critic is a great tribute to Coleridge. According to Eliot,

“He (Coleridge) was perhaps the greatest of English critics, and in a sense the last”.

But I nowhere mean that Wordsworth's contribution was less significant. This is actually quite tricky, and more a matter of personal interpretation, and you have the freedom to think differently.