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Module 1: Introduction to Samuel Coleridge

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The Romantics and Romantic poetry

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English - The Romantics and Romantic poetry

The Romantics and Romantic poetry

From the early 17th century to the late 18th century, the dominant
intellectual force in Europe was reason. This was the 'Age of Reason'.

It is represented by writers such as Francis Bacon:

'_Man, being the servant and interpreter of Nature, can do and understand
so much and so much only as he has observed in fact or thought of the
course of nature: beyond this he neither knows anything nor can do
anything_.' (1620)

or

Alexander Pope:

'Know then thyself, presume not God to scan,
The proper study of mankind is Man.' (1733)

The Romantics, however, revolted against this "tyranny of reason" and
demanded recognition of the importance of imagination and feeling. They
perceived reason as aligned with science and technology and partly blamed
these forces for the ugliness of the Industrial Revolution. In revolting
against this, the Romantics proclaimed a new appreciation of Nature - not
the nature of private parks under human control that Pope had so loved, but
Nature wild and solitary and untamed.

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