Confronto Coleridge, Wordsworth, Shelly



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Nature is the way the One life ( that is a divine power ) expresses itself, so all creatures must be respected, being the
"personification" of God.
The natural elements and the landscape are endowed with a deeper symbolic meaning.
Nature is the main theme of his poetry and it has different meanings:
1. Nature as countryside opposed to town
2. Nature as a source of feelings - joy and happiness
3. Nature as an active force, a sort of
goddess that is worshipped.
Nature is pervaded by a cosmic power,
a Mighty Power, that is identified with
God ( pantheistic view ).
Nature has a deeper meaning which goes beyond the physical appearance.
There is a universal invisible spiritual force, the Spirit of the Universe, which
continually creates new life and govern
natural elements, that are endowed with a
All creatures aspire to return to the Whole,
the One.
The cosmic power can't be identified with God, Who doesn't exist.
Nature and men
Men must respect nature and all its manifestations.
Wordsworth's poetry emphasises this relationship.
Children are closer to God so they're pure
and can perceive nature and respond to it.
While growing up, they lose this ability and
the "celestial light" they could see before
fades away.
Only the poet keeps this deep bound with
the natural world intact.
Nature sympathises with men and men are
a part of the Spirit of the Universe.
Nature is a source of joy and a refuge from
the disappointment and injustice of life.
Religious beliefs

God exists.
God exists.
God doesn't exist: He can't be Love and Almightiness at the same time.
Shelley condemns all dogmas and religious practices as religion is an instrument in the hands of the priests for the enslavement of creatures.

Political and philosophical
influences and beliefs
1. German philosophy.
1. Rousseau's theories about the status of
2. Neo - Platonism
3. Pantheistic view of the world
4. First sympathetic with the French revolution, then conservative.
1. Radical party
2. The anarchist Jacobin philosopher William Godwin
3. Neo - Platonism
4. Rationalism
5. Sympathetic with the French
Revolution and the revolutionary
Social involvement
No one.
No one.
Great attention towards society: Shelley is
a rebel from his early youth.
He conceives the world as divided between oppressors and oppressed.
Shelley refuses any kind of tyranny and institution, as they lead to superstitions and selfishness and limit freedom.
He claims for a revolution to come and
replace the world of tyranny with that of freedom.
Men are perfectible ( they can improve
only by reason and love ) and one day, in a near future, they will live without class distinctions, institutions having been
What poetry is
Poetry comes from a state of ecstasy, it
must deals with supernatural events.
Poetry is "emotion recollected in
This recollection puts the poet's mind in a
state of enjoyment, it recreates emotions similar to those felt while enjoying nature.
In this mood composition begins.
Poetry deals with situations from simple
and rustic life - because men are better
when they live in contact with nature -,
transfigured by the use of imagination.
It is a source of general joy.
Poetry is the expression of imagination.
It is the record of the best and happiest moments of life, but it is not a rational
faculty : the poet's will and reason can't control the creative process.
The poet's mind obeys to an invisible influence which is the cause of remembering. Remembering causes inspiration and it is only when this latter one is already on the decline that composition begins.
Poetry is the source of positive feelings
and of moral inspiration.
The task of poetry
To cause interest in the reader for
supernatural events, giving them a
semblance of truth; to create that willing suspension of disbelief that Coleridge calls poetic faith.
To give the charm of novelty to things of everyday, transfiguring them through imagination, to awake the attention of the reader.
To prevent the decaying of the vanishing moments of inspiration that touch the poet's mind, veiling them in language or in form.
Be the instrument of the social regeneration.
To make the poet immortal.
What imagination is
Imagination is divided in two types:
1. Primary ( the ability - common to all men - to perceive the material world )
2. Secondary ( the poetic vision, the action to idealise and unify ).
Imagination starts from experience, but soon transcends it creating - in the true sense of the world - a new world, uncanny and magic.
The poet uses imagination to transform the data of experience and present it in an unusual way.
Who the poet is

A man speaking to other men who has:
1. acute awareness of physical sensations and marked capacity for rejoicing in
2. a great readiness and power in expressing his feelings and thoughts
3. an ability of evoking passions in himself
4. a grater knowledge of human state.
The poet is a man endowed with the most delicate sensibility and the most enlarged imagination.
He is different as he is able to express impressions and feelings, while other men
are not.
Poets have the most spotless virtue and are the most fortunate of men, they are the wisest, the happiest and the best of men.
The poet's task

The poet's task is to unveil the beauty of familiar sight and to teach men to enter into communion with nature.
To spread the poetic inspiration among mankind.
A poet is a prophet of social change as he is able to see beyond the immediate reality.
He has to awake man's consciousness to change the social status, to bring a rebirth, erasing inequalities.