What are the aspects of Romanticism as expressed in Preface to the Lyrical Ballads in relation to The Ruined Cottage?I'm supposed to use the Preface to the Lyrical Ballads to answer the previous...

What are the aspects of Romanticism as expressed in Preface to the Lyrical Ballads in relation to The Ruined Cottage?

I'm supposed to use the Preface to the Lyrical Ballads to answer the previous question and I am confused what is being asked.

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The most prominent points from the Preface to Lyrical Ballads relevant to Wordsworth's "The Ruined Cottage" are idealization of the country life, the use of common characters and common low diction. Wordsworth's opinions expressed in the Preface weren't without criticism, particularly from Coleridge, the coauthor of Lyrical Ballads. Nonetheless, some points of his theory that he illustrates in "The Ruined Cottage" are as follows. First, common people in an idyllic country pastoral setting are people of high moral qualities and noble beliefs. The bliss at the cottage was disrupted by external forces, not by their own value systems and manipulative treatment of each other, a point Wordsworth is contrasting to the power struggles and manipulation in the centers of society, like London.

Associated with this is the uneducated language and conversation of such country rustics. Wordsworth believed that common language was suited for the expression of the elevated ideas and structure of poetry. Coleridge rightfully pointed out however that the country language and conversation must be filtered through the master poet's knowledge of high diction and elevated structural form to make it suitable to the demands of interest and the demands of poetic thought.