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Making reference to at least three poems, explore the relationship between man and nature that Wordsworth and Coleridge describe.

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Introduction

Making reference to at least three poems, explore the relationship between man and nature that Wordsworth and Coleridge describe. The Romantics were revolutionary in their poetry and subject matter - simple language being used to praise natural living, an aspect of England being quickly decimated at the hands of the Industrial Revolution. The French Revolution had soured, poverty in Britain was at a high, and the American Revolution had barely passed. The poets, inspired by Rousseau's theories of an innate, natural, morality in man, promoted a return to natural ways of living, of appreciation of nature, as a way of remedying society's woes. This need to appreciate nature is apparent in most of the Lyrical Ballads. An emphasis on personal experience is made in poems such as The Nightingale, Lines Written a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey and Lines - additional information is given in the title, giving a time and place (such as A conversational poem, written in April, 1798), encouraging the idea of nature, in this case hearing a nightingale, being something for an individual to experience personally, intimately. ...read more.

Middle

The poet's use of the adverb 'now' stresses the importance of being in nature, and the reward - the wealth of knowledge and the experience of the sublime (as found in Tintern Abbey, line 38). The suggestion that the relationship between man and nature also entails learning is a running theme in many of the Lyrical Ballads. The poets seem to encourage a 'natural' learning, particularly children - in The Nightingale the poet 'deems it wise' that his son will be raised as a 'playmate' to nature, and The Female Vagrant describes an idealic childhood as one full of the 'thoughtless joy' in fishing and rearing sheep. The likening of a perfect childhood to being raised in nature suggests an innocence in the relationship, void of the complexities and corruption in contemporary adult life. Indeed, Expostulation and Reply suggests that nature can benefit the mind in a wise passiveness. The poem concerns two speakers, a William and Matthew, the latter chiding the former for 'dreaming his time away'. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Tables Turned (a poem in sequence to Expostulation and Reply) includes the line 'let Nature be your teacher' rather than the 'dull and endless strife' of books. Perhaps the suggestion is that nature offers new and unfatigable outlooks and opportunities for learning - a man need not 'bend double' over books if his mind is opened to nature. Nature is consistently demonstrated as important throughout the Lyrical Ballads. The capitalisation of 'Nature', turning it into a proper noun, implies an important, perhaps concious, being with which reason must be reconciled in order to experience the bliss of the nightingale's singing or the "freshening lustre mellow" of the sun. The use of abstract nouns (love, spirit, sympathy in The Nightingale, joy, pleasure, May's dewy prime, in The Female Vagrant and so on) give a further etheral element to nature, and in turn implies a need for humans to understand spirits and the sublime, the almost supernatural aspect of nature that is perfection, before happiness can be obtained. ...read more.

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