Brain Storm

Essay by Shaybb24High School, 11th grade November 2014

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Cheyenne Beebe

Mrs. Brown

English IV-1A


The comparison of William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge



It's almost difficult to discuss romantic literature without mentioning either William Wordsworth or Samuel Taylor Coleridge. They quickly became good friends and published a poetry collection together, but some relationship just can't last long as disagreement continuously building up more and more distance between them which eventually led to their "breakup". This essay will discuss the "bromance" and compare the styles between Coleridge and Wordsworth.

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What was intended as an "experimental poetry" by Wordsworth when publishing the Lyrical Ballad with Coleridge, became one of the earliest launch of Romantic Age in English Literature.

The first edition of Lyrical Ballads was published anonymously in 1798. Most of the poems in 1798 were written by Wordsworth, containing only four poems by Coleridge, including The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. This edition sold out in two years, and Wordsworth published a new edition in 1800.

This second edition included the now-famous "Preface," as well as another volume of poems. Wordsworth published a third edition in 1802 with an enlarged "Preface," and a final edition in 1805.

Early critical reception of The Lyrical Ballads was mostly negative. Reviewers cited uninteresting subject themes and the unreadability of The Ancient Mariner, with its archaic style and murky philosophical theme.

Francis Jeffrey, one of the chief reviewers for the influential Edinburgh Review, was so offended by Wordsworth's flaunting of poetic convention in the Lyrical Ballads that he engaged in a long and vitriolic campaign against what he termed the "Lake School of Poetry." While this initial critical response impeded acceptance of the Lyrical Ballads and its authors, acknowledgment did come eventually. Other reviewers praised the earnestness and simplicity of the poems in Lyrical Ballads and...