Sunday, December 2, 2007

Second Generation Romantics

The Second Generation Romantic poets were the more spry of the Romantic poets. The major Second Generation Romantic poets included Byron, Shelley, and Keats. These young guns wanted to seperate themselves from the older poets like Wordsworth, Colderidge, Blake, and Southey. They didn't want to just repeat what those romantics were doing, but wanted to be different, and even better. All of these 2nd Generation poets unfortunately had a trend of early mortality, yet their accomplishments are still impressive.

Byron's "Don "Juan is a particular satire of Robert Southey, the poet laureate to George III, and first generation romantic poet. When Byron uses "I" it is as the persona of Southey. This persona is incompetent with the narrative: he mispronounces foreign words (Don JU-an instead of Don w-on), he uses forced rhyme ("Most epic poets plunge in 'medias res'/[...]And then your hero tells, whene'er you please"). "Res" and "please" hardly rhyme. Byron's persona also uses the wrong verse form in what is his "epic poem." The verse form being used is Ottava rima. To Byron, Southey is a bad poet because 1) he is a political renegade, who abandons his personal views for his career to the king and 2) he is a 1st generation romantic poet. Byron extends his victimization to Wordsworth in stanza 90 where he says, "unless, like Wordsworth, they prove unintelligible."

Other examples of this 2nd generation romantic counter-culture is Shelley's "Monte Blanc," where he challenges prior romantic notions that nature is solely good, and focuses on the destructive potentials of nature. Furthermore, the second generation romantic poets tend to disagree with 1st generation poets use of themselves in their own poetry. The younger romantics want to leave the reflections to their audience, not impress their own upon them.


Brad said...

Sorry, forgot to leave my name....Brad Munns

Jose Nour said...

Thanks a lot for this post Brad! I`m going to have my final examination of Literature II! In this help me a lot!