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Article about The Romantic Imagination at Wordsworth's Tintern Abbey

Project id 1007465
Subject area Arts Entertainment
Document type Essay
Words 2658
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The Romantic Imagination, Wordsworth, and "Tintern Abbey" Ancient Wonders The Enlightenment, an intellectual movement of the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, immediately preceded the time in which the Romantics were composing. Back in Britain, the work of Locke and Newton, that had been proponents of both empiricism and mechanism respectively, were fundamental to Enlightenment doctrine. Locke was the creator of empiricism, the notion that all knowledge is derived from sense-experience; Newton culminated at a mechanistic worldview once he formulated a mathematical description of these laws of mechanics and gravitation, which he employed to planetary and lunar movement. From The Mirror and the Lamp M.H. Abrams notes that there has been a "culmination of a inclination of this new doctrine in England, philosophical in pretension and practical in orientation, to derogate poetry in comparison with mathematics" (300). Abrams also notes that "within his Thoughts Concerning Education, '' Locke (echoing the view of this Elizabethan Puritans that amateurs are wantons, as well as useless) doesn't conceal his contempt for its unprofitableness of a poetic career, both into the poet himself or (by implication) to other people" (300).) Likewise, when Newton was asked for his judgement of poetry, he responded "I'll inform you the Barrow: '' he explained, that poetry was a sort of ingenious crap" (Abrams 300). Faced with this kind of attitude, poets such as Keats felt that "the matter of science or fact [was] not the opposite, but [also] the enemy, of poetry in a war where the success, or even the survival, of poetry was far from certain" (303). It is in this intellectual environment that the Romantic poets were formulating th...

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