Romantic Literary Criticism Criticism: Variations On Romantic Critical Theory - Essay

T. S. Eliot (essay date 1933)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Eliot, T. S. “Shelley and Keats.” In The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism: Studies in the Relation of Criticism to Poetry in England, pp. 87-102. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1933.

[In the following essay, Eliot discusses Shelley's views of poetry, which were expressed within the poetry itself, and Keats's critical views, which were expressed in his correspondence.]

It would appear that the revolution effected by Wordsworth was very far-reaching indeed. He was not the first poet to present himself as the inspired prophet, nor indeed is this quite Wordsworth's case. Blake may have pretended, and with some claim, to have penetrated mysteries of heaven...

(The entire section is 4632 words.)

M. H. Abrams (essay date 1953)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Abrams, M. H. “Varieties of Romantic Theory: Shelley, Hazlitt, Keble, and Others.” In The Mirror and the Lamp: Romantic Theory and the Critical Tradition, pp. 125-55. New York: Oxford University Press, 1953.

[In the following excerpt, Abrams explains the various critical perspectives of a number of Romantic poets and essayists including Shelley, Keats, Hazlitt, and Keble.]

Will you believe me? I am almost ashamed to confess the truth, but I must say that there is hardly a person present who would not have talked better about their poetry than the poets did themselves.

Plato, Apology


(The entire section is 15588 words.)

Patrick Parrinder (essay date 1991)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Parrinder, Patrick. “The Romantic Critics.” In Authors and Authority: English and American Criticism 1750-1990, pp. 64-116. London: Macmillan, 1991.

[In the following excerpt, originally published in a different form in 1977, Parrinder compares areas of agreement and points of contention between the writings of Shelley, Hazlitt, and Keats, and the critical doctrines of Wordsworth and Coleridge.]


In his famous dictum about ‘negative capability’, Keats chooses Coleridge as his example of the non-poet irritably reaching after fact and reason. Coleridge had managed to convince himself that the poetic...

(The entire section is 7596 words.)