A Poem. (1814) (British Women Romantic Poets Project, UC Davis)H

The opposite of romanticism in the movie Dead Poets Society is realism. Instead of the idealized vision of life presented in romanticism that was compounded of hopes and feelings, realism tended to be a mimic of life.

John Hunter (British Women Romantic Poets Project, UC Davis)

(1812) (British Women Romantic Poets Project, UC Davis)M

Pilkington (1811) (British Women Romantic Poets Project, UC Davis)

This can no longer be said of the remaining member of this trio of "Lake Poets," Robert Southey, who in his own time was regarded as their equal. Even those fellow poets, such as Byron and Shelley, who most bitterly resented Southey's defection from the Liberal cause would be astonished if they could learn how his reputation as a poet has declined. Southey's epics, notably Thalaba and The Curse of Kehama, seem now so many monuments of wasted effort and futile ambition. He was, how ever, a most industrious man and learned prose man too, writing an excellent style, and at least one volume of his, the Life of Nelson, has kept its place. Time has dealt a little more tenderly with the picturesque narrative poems of Sir Walter Scott, whose Lady of the Lake and the rest are still enjoyed by young readers, but it is as the author of one or two magnificent lyrics, such as Proud Maisie, that Scott keeps his place as a poet. Beside him may be set his fellow-countryman, James Hogg (The Ettrick Shepherd), who has never quite had full justice done him. And there are three other poets who for years were regarded as the foremost men of their time but have since dwindled into the authors of a few acceptable lyrics. These are Samuel Rogers (the least important), Thomas Campbell and Tom Moore. Byron and Shelley.—Between these older men and the three younger poets, Byron, Shelley and Keats, who all died before they reached maturity, may be set the figure of a man who was greater as an influence than strictly as a writer. This was Leigh Hunt, who produced some pleasant verses, some good light essays and some really excellent criticism. His greatest work, however, was done as the inspiring friend of the younger poets, especially Shelley and Keats. Byron was not deeply influenced by any con temporary writer. Oddly enough, Byron, who became a European figure of Romance, was not at heart a Romantic poet at all, a fact that is now recognized. His most lasting work, apart from one or two poignant lyrics, has been in verse of a satirically descriptive order, found at its best in his Don Juan, in which his really strong masculine intellect, his witty impertinence and his rhetorical gusto have full scope. He was—and still remains- a symbolic figure of romantic rebellion, though he himself would have been the first to laugh at most of his fervent admirers.

A Collection of the World's Most Romantic Poetry

Byron is steadily being overshadowed, however, by a more authentic figure of romantic rebellion. His friend and junior, Percy Bysshe Shelley, has long been recognized as the greater poet, and he is now taking the place that Byron once had, at home and abroad, as a symbolic figure. He was only thirty when he perished in the sea, and it is impossible to imagine what would have become of him had he lived to a ripe old age, for he is the poet of enthusiastic and revolutionary youth. Coming early under the influence of William Godwin (who wrote some novels of merit), Shelley became a philosophical anarchist of a type not uncommon in the later 18th century. He was the And of all such dry Prosperos as Godwin. He is pre-eminently the poet of some future Golden Age, unearthly in its loveliness and inno cence. His lyrics (and he is always lyrical, even in his longer poems) have a matchless swiftness and grace and opalescent colouring ; they are all vague music and perfume and shifting lights ; and neither their beautiful melancholy nor their ecstasies are quite of this world. Indeed, the chief fault of Shelley's poetry is its lack of all ordinary human feeling and its remoteness from common interests. A further weakness is a certain mushiness of phrase, and there are signs that his vocabulary never quite re covered from the influence of the absurd philosophical romances he read (and wrote) so eagerly in early youth. But he was a lyrical genius and a figure of poetry and eager revolt that, at certain ages and always for some readers, completely captures the imagination.

Thomas Spencer (1812) (British Women Romantic Poets Project, UC Davis)
The English students went back and looked at Keating's high school yearbook and saw that he was a member of the Dead Poets Society.

Poets of the Romantic period (1780-1830)

Coleridge.—Coleridge's reputation as a poet hangs chiefly upon three poems, The Ancient Mariner, Kubla Khan and Chris tabel, and two of these are unfinished. The imagination at work in these little masterpieces is unique. The Ancient Mariner is the most astonishing narrative poem in the language ; the exquisitely lovely verses unfold an unforgettable pageant of marvels and horrors. Kubla Khan is a fragment of pure romance ; it would be hard to find in the same number of lines elsewhere the same curious power of evocation ; it is at once as vague and mysteri ous and yet charged with meaning as a piece of music. Coleridge is the most magical of all our poets. What he has left us is merely the work of a few early years. He took to opium and was then incapable of sustained effort. But he became as great a critic as he was a poet. Indeed, he is perhaps our greatest critic, in spite of his turgid prose style, his second-hand metaphysics and the fragmentary nature of his work. He had enormous reading, a most subtle intellect, and an eye and an ear unusually sensi tive to style. In his Lectures on Shakespeare, the more critical chapters of his Biographia Literaria, and the odd notes and f rag ments of lectures on books and authors since collected into vari ous volumes, these gifts are fully displayed. It was he more than any other man who was responsible for the new interpre tative mode of criticism, which replaced the judicial method of the previous century. To that century, he was always somewhat unjust, and in reaction against its characteristic judgments, he was always in danger of running to uncritical extremes in his appreciation of the older Romantic writers, from Shakespeare downwards. His was easily the greatest influence of the time. Even Scott and Byron, to say nothing of Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats, Lamb and Hazlitt, were influenced by him. Notwith standing his comparative failure to achieve sustained work, Coleridge must always be considered one of the greatest figures of his age.

Characteristics of the romantic movement Romanticism was a poetic movement of the 19th century, during The French Revolution....

The Romantic Poets Blake, Wordsworth and Coleridge

The other kind was the historical novel. A delighted discovery of the past marks the whole age, but it was left to Sir Walter Scott, already practised in poetic narration, steeped in the lore of his own Border country, experienced in men and affairs, to make this discovery the servant of fiction. This he did in the great series of romances that began with Waverley in 1814 and captured not only the British Isles but all Europe. The weak nesses of Scott, who wrote too much and too quickly, are a marked carelessness not merely in style but in actual narration, and a certain limitation in his thought. But these are far out weighed by his massive virtues, the way in which he combines the personal and historical interests, the generous breadth and fine rush of his narrative and his solid sense of character. Other writers, working over similar ground, have improved upon his work in this particular or that, but as an all-round narrator of historical romance he has never been excelled. The age honoured him both as a writer and a man, and now he still honours the age, rich as it was in arresting figures and triumphant masterpieces.

Evance, selected from earliest productions to those of the present year (1808) (British Women Romantic Poets Project, UC Davis)F

As long as there have been poets, there have been love poems

These thirty years are some times called the "Romantic Revolt," a name that could be given with more justice to the Romantic movement in France that came later. It is rather misleading when applied to the English period because it suggests the existence of some definite literary authority and something like an organized rebellion against its canons. What actually happened was something vaguer and more complicated. We shall not attempt to define "Romantic," and there is not space in which even to indicate all the forces at work, the hundred and one factors, ranging from the re-discovery of mediaeval ballads to the influence of the French revolution. All that we can do is to find some common denominator of all the major writers of the age, something that not only links Words worth and Shelley, Lamb and Byron, but also points to the differ ence between them and the writers of the previous century. It is not easy. No political or religious belief, no common system of philosophy, no theory of literature, will help us. If, however, we remember that the 19th century itself was an era of indi vidualism, we stumble upon a common denominator. What dis tinguishes the literature of this Romantic Period is its intense individualism. In the 18th century, an author was essentially a member of a community, a good citizen writing for other good citizens ; his appeal was always to common sense, general knowl edge; if he described a landscape he took care to give it features that a hundred landscapes have in common; if he expressed feel ings, they were only the feelings that it is customary to express in society. The result was a literature that is sensible, social, generalized. When it was weak, it was dull, savourless. The Romantics broke with this tradition. Their first duty, they con sidered, was to express themselves. Their appeal was always to what transcended common sense. They would become universal in that appeal not by smoothing away all individual characteristics but by reaching the very heart of individuality. They held that to express one's own most intimate thoughts and feelings was really to express everybody. Thus it comes about that these Romantic poets, for all their wonders and crazy flights of fancy, are actually more realistic than the poets in the English classical tradition. It is they who give us "the streaks on the tulip," sim ply,because they are aiming at the individual thing. And when they are at their weakest, they arrive at sheer eccentricity. Their danger always is that they may become mawkishly egoistic or barbarically anti-social.