II generation of Romantic poets
The II generation of Romantic poets took place at the beginning of 19 th century, in the 20s and 30s. In 1837 there is the end of Romanticism and the start of The Victorian Age.
Byron was noble but not rich. He was very handsome but a little lame. He travelled a lot. He had a really scandalous life, he had an incest with his half-sister so he had to leave Britain, which was a puritan country and he moved to Greece. He died there as an hero, fighting.
It is a quite autobiographical creation, a rebel who puts himself against tyranny. His main features are:
- he is noble;
- He has mysterious origins;
- He is hard outside but tender inside;
- He is very good looking, attracting both woman and man;
- He is a lonely man, moody – who can swing from moments of enthusiasm to moments of melancholy.
Keats is second only to Shakespeare. He was the foreigner of the aesthetic movement, followed by Oscar Wild.
He was affected by the sense of impending death (caused by financial, health and love problems).
John Keats’ Life
His life is very important to understand his poetry. He has a very short life, he was born in London in 1795 into an humble family but well of. His father was a stable-keeper, but he died very soon. John Keats studied in order to became an apothecary surgeon but he left his studies because he felt his mission was writing. He wasn’t appreciated and so he couldn’t receive any salary. Moreover he was sick – in his family run the mortal disease of tuberculosis. Meanwhile he was fallen in love with a young lady, Fanny Brown but he could not marry her because he was really poor. He had a turn in Island (by foot and horses and in bad conditions) and he became seriously ill, so he decided to move to Italy.
He moved to Italy in 1820, he lived in Pink House in ‘Piazza Spagna’. He died there and he is buried in the protestant cemetery in Rome. His house was changed into a museum. On his grave there is written ‘here lies one whose name was written in water’: he believed nobody would never know him.
John Keats’ Themes
- Transience of life
- He looks for something permanent
- Not moral/social message: he only wants to write of beauty. There are two types of beauty
1) Physical beauty (a woman, a landscape), fated to die
2) Spiritual beauty (art), last forever