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• Take out your William Blake Packet and pick

up the Wordsworth packet from the front

• Await further instructions.

William Wordsworth
• William Wordsworth was born on 7 April 1770.

• Both Wordsworth's parents died before he was 15, and he and his four siblings
were left in the care of different relatives.

• As a young man, Wordsworth developed a love of nature, a theme reflected in

many of his poems.

• While studying at Cambridge University, Wordsworth spent a summer holiday on a

walking tour in Switzerland and France. He became an enthusiast for the ideals of
the French Revolution.

• He began to write poetry while he was at school, but none was published until

• In 1797 he moved to Somerset, to live near the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who
was an admirer of Wordsworth's work.

• They collaborated on 'Lyrical Ballads', published in 1798.

William Wordsworth
• This collection of poems, mostly by Wordsworth but with Coleridge contributing
'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner', is generally taken to mark the beginning of the
Romantic movement in English poetry.

• The poems were greeted with hostility by most critics.

• Two of his children died, his brother was drowned at sea and Dorothy suffered a
mental breakdown.

• His political views underwent a transformation around the turn of the century, and
he became increasingly conservative, disillusioned by events in France culminating
in Napoleon Bonaparte taking power.

• He continued to write poetry, but it was never as great as his early works.

• In 1842, he was given a government pension and the following year became poet
laureate. Wordsworth died on 23 April 1850.
Features of Romaticism
Love of Nature
• Emphasized the importance of nature

• Response to the industrial revolution

• Lamented the shift in life from the peaceful countryside

towards the chaotic cities

• Believed that the industrial revolution transformed man's

natural order

• Believed nature helped the urban man find his true

Emotions Vs. Rationality
• Response to the age of Enlightenment, which focused
on rationality and intellect

• Placed human emotions, feelings, instinct and intuition

above everything else

• Imagination was viewed as a powerful healing force.

• William Wordsworth said that “poetry is the

spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings.”
Artist, the Creator
• In the earlier times, the artist was seen as a
person who imitated the external world through
his art.

• The poet or the painter was seen as a creator of

something which reflected his individuality and

• The poetic persona became one with the voice of

the poet.
• Borrowed heavily from the folklore and the popular local art.

• During the earlier eras, literature and art were considered to belong
to the high-class educated people

• Created for the masses or the common people

• Interested and focused upon developing the folklore, culture,

language, customs and traditions of their own country

• Language used in Romantic poems was simple and easy to

understand by the masses.
• Love of the exotic

• Far off and mysterious locations for settings

• Belief in the supernatural

• Fascination for the mysterious and the unreal