Comparison and Contrast of Passages Written by Romantic Writers

Comparison and Contrast of Passages Written by Romantic Writers

A - Comparison and Contrast of Passages Written by Romantic Writers introduction. Samuel Taylor Coleridge versus William Wordsworth

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            In the movememnt of Romanticism, the intangible is almost always exalted—the emotions and the imagination of people are always considered as important and is always believable. Thus, it is not quite surprising why both Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth would be writing about  it even if they hold opposing views about the intangebility of the imagination. In Coleridge’s excerpt concerning imagination, he writes that it is “an echo of the former, co-existing with the conscious will” meaning, that the human being is well aware that he/she is doing the imagining. He also describes the process of a person’s imagination as very constant in changing—that it “dissolves, diffuses [and] dissipates”. Thus, what Coleridge believes is that imagination is a very illusive and yet conscious part on an individual. Wordsworth, however, believes otherwise. Wordsworth asserts that imagination creeps up on a person and comes and goes like magic. He exclaims that imagination is such a tremendous power or force that rises from “the mind’s abyss like an unfathered vapour that enwraps”. If Coleridge believes that imagination is consciously made, Wordsworth thinks that it completely takes a human being by surprise because it suddenly appears and then disappears. Coleridge also believes that it can come and go but that a person is aware when it is gone and and when it is present. Both Romantic writers do have points in their opinions; but the truth is, imagination is both consciously conjured and unconsciously inspired. Are there not moments when a sudden creative thought enters one’s mind or that of a moment when one would so desperately seek out creativity? This just proves that both Coleridge and Wordsworth are correct in their claims.

B. Dorothy Wordsworth versus William Wordsworth

            Another characteristic of the Romantic movement, aside from being emotional and imaginative is that it seeks to find the beauty and humane in nature. The nature around humanity is personified in that tress, flowers, pebbles and brooks would have characteristics like that of a  human beings. Dorothy Wordsworth and William Wordsworth both wrote compositions that serve as fine examples to this claim. Dorothy in her “Grasmere Journal” described about the picturesque scene she saw right befiore her eyes. Most prominent in her observations is how she painted the beauty of the daffodils that grew up along the lake. She described them as being so exceptionally beautiful that she never saw daffodils quite like it and that the flowers “rested their heads upon these stones as on a pillow for weariness and the rest tossed and reeled and danced and seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind that blew upon them”. Because of this description to mere flowers, they become more than just flowers—they are transformed to a character or a person in a narrative worthy of a plot. William on the other hand, did not just give life to mere objects—he himself became representative of that object. In his poem, “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”, he believes that he is like a cloud that is “lonely” and that “ floats on high”. Because of this, William does not give personification of objects—he is the object himself wherein the characteristic of the object is embodied in him. If Dorothy gives life to daffodils, William objectifies himself and makes himself lose humane characteristics. This creative and rather unique way of personifying and objectifying things and people is that common to Romanticism as creativity is taken into great heights.

C. Anna Barbauld versus Mary Wollstonecraft

            The Age of Romanticism was not just about all aesthetic beauty and optimistic creativity—it was also a time when women became more liberal and learned to fight for what they want, including their roles and rights. Mary Wollstonecraft is famous for her role as a pioneer in women’s rights but another famous figure is Anna Barbauld who also gave passionate opinions regarding women’s rights. In “The Rights of Woman”, Barbauld points out that women are not the weaker or lesser gender and instead, can become companions of men in the premise that love is something which makes them equal. Women are not the only ones who can be subdued in the context of love—women can also subdue men: “Conquest or rule thy heart shall feebly move, In Nature’s school, by her soft maxims taught, That separate rights are lost in mutual love.” What Barbauld presents is a case that makes men not have any special rights compared to the women but instead, their rights are merged as one as they find solace in “mutual love”. On the other hand, Wollstonecraft gives a more impassioned approach in her call for women’s rights. In “Vindication of the Rights of Woman”, she calls for both education for men and women, since an education for women back then were unheard of. She reasons out that this is needed because it is something which the entire society would benefit in. Society’s failure to educate women is a proof that education is a failure. In conclusion, the difference of opinions of Barbauld and Wollstonecraft lies in women can achieve their much coveted rights—Barbauld believes that it can be given once men accepts that women are equal companions while Wollstonecraft believes that women can have their rights once society decides that it a woman’s rights is a very basic thing due them.


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