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Poetry in the Romantic Period

This free online poetry course takes you on a journey through the lyrical and passionate poetry of the Romantics.

Publisher: NPTEL
The Romantic era is defined by its celebration of emotion, imagination and sensuality. Writers like William Wordsworth and Samuel Coleridge made this a movement of free thinking, expression and creativity. You will discover the key elements that made the poetry of this period so evocative and vivid as we explore the forms and devices employed by various artists through a close reading of their work.
Poetry in the Romantic Period
  • Duration

    3-4 Hours
  • Students

  • Accreditation


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Many Romantic poets welcomed freedom and rejected ideas of class and nobility. They embraced nature and delved into the subconscious, often through reference to the supernatural. Through close analysis of various lyrical ballads, we examine both theory and practice to see how these writers unpacked thoughts and dreams. The Romantics prized subjectivity as they wrote fiery verse to protest neoclassical poetic objectivity, which they saw as cold and inhibited.

Once we have established the literary and historical context of the Romantics, we plunge into the life and works of Wordsworth. This entails an in-depth look at his poem ‘The Prelude’ as we unpack its elements and relate them to overarching Romantic concerns. This brings us to Coleridge and his masterpiece ‘Kubla Khan’. Also called ‘A Vision in a Dream: a Fragment’, this epic work was born while Coleridge was sleeping and captures the sense of the ethereal through its use of hazy metaphor and language.

You will also meet John Keats and Percy Shelley as we explore their world through their poems as they demonstrated Romantic ideals in their adventures and writing. This course lets you appreciate the era’s artistic legacy and enhances your ability to analyse and unpack hidden meanings, in poetry and beyond.

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