John Keats and Matthew Arnold
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Poets' conceptions of their roles in society can be fairly consistent for long periods of time or may change rapidly in a decade or two. The difference between the idea of a poet's function as conceived by the Romantic era and the Victorian period provides an example of significant change. The paper shows that not all the supposed members of any school of poetry share every aspect of the predominant theory of poetry in their generation. It shows that neither John Keats (1795-1821) nor Matthew Arnold (1822-88) is entirely typical of his era. But, especially because Arnold reacted against Keats--among others--in specific, articulated ways, a comparison of their ideas of their role as poets in this paper demonstrates how such changes take place and the effect they have on the poetry that is written.
From the Paper:"The expression of his experience in the poems relied, therefore, on the intelligent apprehension of the beautiful but necessarily avoided the interference occasioned by philosophical rigor or conventional belief systems. Rather than acting as a scientist who catalogues experience or an overt expressionist who presents her/his feelings in all their immediacy and as an end in themselves, Keats valued the ability to go as deeply as possible into feeling and then to communicate and transform the experience with words that, rather than refining and limiting the experience, conveyed an accurate sense of the ambiguity as well as the nature of the experience. He desired, in other words, a meaningful description of what was conventionally indescribable while avoiding a vocabulary or style that would constrain the sense of feeling he wished to express. It was, in short, a poetry of sensation. His most famous formulation of this aspect of his poetic practice came in a letter written to his friend Benjamin Bailey in 1817."
Cite this Comparison Essay:
John Keats and Matthew Arnold (2003, May 18) Retrieved May 24, 2013, from http://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/john-keats-and-matthew-arnold-26776/
"John Keats and Matthew Arnold" 18 May 2003. Web. 24 May. 2013. <http://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/john-keats-and-matthew-arnold-26776/>