Video appunto: Concetto di natura nel periodo romanticoThe theme of nature is one of those that most inspired writers and poets, it is in fact present in the texts of writers of different literary currents such as in the decadentism with d'annunzio (ex 'la pioggia nel pineto')and in the parnassianism with Gautier (ex 'les pins des landes'). Without any doubt, the Romantic Age is the one that gives the most attention to the concept of nature. Romanticism is an artistic, literary and intellectual current that developed between second half of the 18th century and the beginning of 19th century. It is based on the exaltation of emotions, freedom from classical rules and rebellion against social convention. There was a growing interest in everyday and humble life, melancholy, meditation on suffering and death, and in nature. In the Romantic Age the concept of nature changed from the past, in fact was no longer seen as a complex of laws and phenomena that man could understand through the use of reason, but became a real and living being. The romantic poets regarded nature as a living force and as the expression of God in the universe.
Nature was the main source of inspiration, a stimulus to thought and a source of comfort and joy, but it can also be dramatic, mysterious, and reflect the poet’s mood. Poets were interested in nature maybe because of the growing noisy activity of the industrial town, that was compared negatively with the serenity of nature and countryside. Wordsworth and Coleridge are the most important poets of the first English Romantic period, but they had different ideas about nature. In fact, Wordsworth has a consoling view of nature, for him it is a source of feelings and it is pervaded by an active force, while Coleridge sees nature as a divine power. Primitive, wild landscapes or night scenes convey the inner feelings of the poet, connecting his soul with the divine.
William Wordsworth is a romantic poet of the first generation. He was a friend of Coleridge, another poet of the same generation. They worked together to write the Lyrical Ballads, which initially appeared anonymously, and two years later appeared for the second time with Wordsworth’s Preface, that became the
Manifesto of English Romanticism. For him poetry was a solitary act that derives from the ordinary, in fact he chooses everyday situation and humble rural life, for this reason, he uses a simple language. His poetry offers a detailed account of the interaction between man and nature, and he thought that they are inseparable: man is an active participant of natural world. For him nature was a world of sense perceptions, and he used especially the sensibility of the eye and ear. He is interested in the way nature influenced his life during his growth and in the way that the concept evolved, so an important feature is memory. Memory is also important to recollect in tranquillity, that means that the poet has emotions and feelings in front of nature, then he remembers his emotions and he recollect them and for this step he uses another important feature of his poetry, imagination.
Daffodils is one of the most important and famous poems of Wordsworth. It was written in 1804 and published three years later. It recounts the experience of a walk the poet went for with his sister, near their home in the Lake District. It was inspired by the sight of a field full of golden daffodils waving in the wind. The flowers amazed the poet at first because of their great number, but he is interested not in the flowers as such, but in the way they affect him.
The poem is made up of four stanzas of six lines each (24 lines). In the 1st stanza the poet wanders lonely, and he sees a crowd of golden daffodils. In the 2nd one he describes the flowers and compares them to the milky way because they shine like stars. In the 3rd stanza the poet shows the relationship between the flowers and the poet and daffodils are compared to the waves of the lake, and finally in the last stanza the poet recollected in tranquillity the emotions.
There are several figures of speech
-similes: ‘lonely as a cloud’ (line 1) ‘Continuous as the stars’ (line 7)
-personification: ‘fluttering and dancing’ and ‘tossing their heads’ refers to daffodils (line 6), ‘danced’
refers to waves (line 13)
-hyperbole: ‘Ten thousand’ (line 11)
-repetition ‘gazed and gazed’ (line 17)
Samuel Taylor Coleridge is a friend of Wordsworth, so he is a Romantic poet of the first generation too. He was influenced by French revolutionary ideals, and after his disillusionment with the French Revolution he planned to establish a utopian community, but this project come to nothing. Among his most important works there are: Christabel and Kubla Khan, two unfinished poems,
Biographia Literaria, a text of literary criticism and autobiography, that is very important to better understand 'the Lyrical Ballads', in fact he explains his and Wordsworth’s task during the writing of the poem, Wordsworth’s task was to write about ordinary life and Coleridge’s was to write about extraordinary events in a credible way, and finally The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, his masterpiece.
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Is a ballad is set in the wide sea and it is made up of seven part. It is introduced by an argument containing a short summary of the whole poem and consists of two narratives: one is made up of the captions which constitute the framework and introduce the protagonist and his listener, the other is the poem itself, which deals with the extraordinary adventures of the mariner.
In the first part the ancient mariner stops a wedding guest to tell him how he and his fellow mariners reached the equator and the polar regions after a violent storm. After several days an albatross appeared and was killed by the mariner for no reason.
In the second part the mariner begins to suffer punishment for what he has done. The ship has ceased to move and the sailors are tortured by thirst.
The third part shows how the mariner's guilty soul becomes conscious of what he has done and of his isolation from the world. A phantom ship comes closer to the doomed crew. On board Death and Life- in-Death, seen as ghosts, cast dice, the former wins the mariner's fellows, who all die, and the latter wins the mariner's life.
In the fourth part the mariner is cut off from human intercourse and also from nature. So the mariner blesses the water snakes and begins to re-establish a relationship with nature.
In the fifth part the ship begins to move and celestial spirits
stand by the corpses of the dead men.
In the sixth part the process of healing seems to be impeded.
In the last stanzas of the seventh part the mariner gains the wedding guest's sympathy. Coleridge does not tell the end of the story, but lets the reader suppose that the mariner's sense of guilt will end only with his death. This poem contains many of the features traditionally associated with ballads, but the presence of a moral at the end makes "The rime of the ancient mariner" a romantic ballad. The language used by Coleridge
is characterized by a frequent use of sound effects, similes, alliterations, repetitions and personifications, but is often archaic and takes inspiration from old ballads