Week 19–The Romantic Period (Part 1)

Deep BreathI have BUTTERFLIES!!!!!!

Last week we learned about the important philosophers of the Enlightenment. Now we are going to study the Romantic Period, which was a reaction against the Enlightenment. It is my favorite period of English poetry.


Please copy down all this information on a piece of paper and put it in your folder.

Characteristics of the Romantic Period

  • Artistic and intellectual movement of the late 18th Century.
  • Revolt of the English imagination against the neoclassical reason.
  • Emphasized the individuals expression of emotion and imagination.
  • Influenced by the French Revolution and the English Industrial Revolution.
  • Placed the individual as the center of art.
  • Argued that poetry should be free from all rules.
  • Celebrated nature.
  • Interested in folklore and fairy tales.
  • Rebelled against social norms and customs.

This week we will learn about William Blake, William Wordsworth, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Literary Terms

Ode–A kind of poem devoted to the praise of a person, animal, or thing. An ode is usually written in an elevated style and often expresses deep feeling. An example is “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” by John Keats.

Ballad–A narrative poem, often of folk origin and intended to be sung, consisting of simple stanzas and usually having a refrain. While ballads have always been popular, it was during the Romantic movement of poetry in the late 18th century that the ballad had a resurgence and became a popular form. Many famous romantic poets, like William Wordsworth, wrote in the ballad form.One famous ballad is The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. It was written in 1797 and is the story of a sailor who has returned from a long voyage.

Assonance–Assonance takes place when two or more words close to one another repeat the same vowel sound but start with different consonant sounds. “That solitude which suits abtruser musings.” –Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Alliteration–Alliteration is a stylistic literary device identified by the repeated sound of the first consonant in a series of multiple words, or the repetition of the same sounds of the same kinds of sounds at the beginning of words or in stressed syllables of a phrase. Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” has the following lines of alliteration: “For the sky and the sea, and the sea and the sky.” and “the furrow followed free…”

End Notes


Next week we will study Percy Bysshe Shelley, and my ALL TIME FAVORITE POET– and literary boyfriend–John Keats ❤ ❤ ❤

My Opinions…

You may or may not have learned about these guys before, but I have opinions–so many opinions and thoughts to share with you.

First of all, [fun fact] one time I was reading William Blake and I threw the book across the room because it dawned on me that what he was saying was demonic!!! He is [was] an occultist!!! In fact the Church of Satan has a ton of “biographical” and “historical” criticism of his life and work. Don’t go to that website ever, by the way. Just take my word for it. He is best known for his “Songs of Innocence” and “Songs of Experience”–he even seems so Christian. But it is really just all the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Anyways, I have opinions.

“Ancient of Days” by William Blake

I actually can’t stand this picture above, because the artist William Blake was such a Gnostic that this is not a picture of our Creator God, but the Demiurge, Gnostic false god. This picture is also loved by Freemasons because it presents this supreme being as an architect of the universe, fitting into their false teaching.

Wordsworth is pretty mild. His poems are great for tea parties and polite society.

Coleridge is . . . uhm . . . well . . . unique . . . He reminds me of Jim Morrison. Do you know who that is? Okay, maybe not so OVERT. But let’s just say, when I was in high school and I read his poem “Kubla Khan” for the first time, I thought my “druggie friends” might appreciate it. If you know what I mean. “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” is long, but soooooooo worth it. One Friday night, shortly after Dustin and I were married. I made him sit on the couch and listen to me read it to him for 45 minutes. I just had to share it with him. He was so sweet; he totally just sat there listening. I probably looked at him with my “super excited about this poem” face, and he probably tried to mirror it. hahaha.

Tuesday–Introduction to the Romantic Period

This week you will need to read the Introduction to the Romantic Period by Harley Henry.  (pages 1-17, it will say page 638 on the bottom of the textbook photo).

And watch the video below 🙂

“Fishermen at Sea” by Turner
“The Swing” by Fragonard
“Monk By The Sea” by Friedrich

Wednesday– Blake and Wordsworth

Go to the link you read from yesterday (above). Read the following:

  • Blake’s Poems: Exploring Contraries (pg. 19)
  • William Blake’s Biography (pg. 20)
  • “The Tyger” (pg. 22)
  • “The Lamb” (pg. 23)
  • Answer questions about William Blake 2-7 on page 26
  • Read William Wordsworth’s Biography (pg. 27)
  • Read “The World is Too Much With Us”
  • Read “She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways”
  • Answer questions about William Wordsworth 8-13 (below)

Answer the following questions about Wordsworth on the same paper you used for Blake:

8. In “She Dwelt” what does difference in the last line of the poem refer to?

9. What contrasting figures of speech does the speaker use to describe Lucy? How could one person be both of these very different things?

10. Why do you suppose Lucy is special to the speaker? What do you learn about Lucy? Is this information enough on its own to justify the speakers concern for her?

11. In “The World is” what do you think is the most important line in the poem?

12. What does the speaker mean by the “world”? What do you think the speaker means when he says, “We have given our hearts away” (line 4)? Do you agree with the speaker?

13. Why does the speaker think that he might prefer to live in the days of the pagans?

Thursday– Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Before you read this poem, I want you to remember it is supposed to be creepy. But subtly creepy. Notice the key phrases used to describe this old man. Also, I want you to notice if at any point in the poem you feel “antsy” or if you are anxious to know what the point of the story is or when the story will be over.

Read “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” while listening to Richard Burton read it aloud.

Then watch this 27 minute video that does a nice job explaining the important aspects of the poem.  And we will come back to this tomorrow 🙂

Coleridge Questions Part 1 (add these to the same papers you used earlier this week)

  1. What phrases does the speaker of the poem use to describe the old man’s physical appearance (his eye and hand)? Why do you think Coleridge chose to have the speaker of the poem highlight these descriptions?
  2. Did you ever feel antsy for the old man to end his story? Why do you think Coleridge wants you to feel frustrated with the old man’s long story? Does it help you to relate to the wedding guest in the poem who is having to sit next to him?
  3. Have you ever gotten trapped by someone who wants to TALK, but you need to go? You are trying to be polite and not cut them off, but you need to go?

Friday–Coleridge continued 🙂

So if you watched the teacher yesterday go through and explain the poem to his class, you should have a pretty decent understanding of the plot. What you didn’t get from that video, and maybe the teacher went on to talk about it or maybe he kept it secular, is all the Biblical symbolism in the story!

Here are some Biblical Symbols. See if you can explain their significance in the poem.

  • A Wedding Guest
  • A Bridegroom
  • A Bride
  • A Wedding Feast
  • The Albatross
  • The Ghost Ship
  • The Woman Life in Death
  • The Hermit
  • The role of Confession
  • The role of Penance
  • The ending, where the wedding guest chooses to NOT enter the wedding feast

See if you can work it out without googling it 🙂 We will discuss our poetry next Friday, so please print out the 6 poems we studied this week and put them in your notebook with your notes on the Romantic Period. I want you to have smart things to say!!!

Your projects are due next Friday


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