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Romantics Essay

  • Submitted by: fshaiqua507
  • on May 11, 2012
  • Category: English
  • Length: 45,073 words

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Below is an essay on "Romantics" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

The Romantics and Their
Contemporaries

A n n a L e t i t i a Ba r b a u l d
Note in several of the selections the combination of an easy, even comic, tone with
graver issues: in The Mouse’s Petition, “liberty” and “freedom,” charged terms in the
era (see Perspectives: The Rights of Man and the Revolution Controversy), and the
contrast in Washing-Day between the subject of the “domestic Muse” and the formal invocations (“Come, Muse”), Latinate diction (“impervious,” “propitious”),
and mythological and historical allusion (“Erebus,” “Guatimozin”). One might
compare the memory of the childhood self that emerges in this context (58 ff.)
with Wordsworth’s Tintern Abbey. One might also ask students to compare
Barbauld’s picture of, and distance from, “red-armed washers” (l. 14) with
Wordsworth’s positioning of himself vis-à-vis those of a lower social class whom he
encounters and the class considerations in the works included in Perspectives: The
Rights of Man and the Revolution Controversy. Barbauld’s ameliorative view of
the poor in To the Poor and at the close of The First Fire, in which she invokes the
“assist[ance]” of “ye / On whose warm roofs the sun of plenty shines” so that they
may “feel a glow beyond material fire” (ll. 79–81), as eighteenth-century sympathetic moralists urged, should likewise be compared to the social restructurings
urged by the authors in that section and in Perspectives: The Wollstonecraft
Controversy and the Rights of Women. Inscription for an Ice-House similarly juxtaposes tones and genres: playing “fair Pleasure” against “the giant” stern Winter,
and asking the reader to see in the lightest delicacies (the frozen berries and “sugared hail”) the sublime power that has produced them. The lofty couplets of
Eighteen Hundred and Eleven mix panorama and prophecy, personifications
(“Luxury” and “Want”) with a roll-call of the heroes of the liberal Whig tradition
(Locke, Milton, Clarkson, Fox, Priestley). Barbauld...

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