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  1. The work of the 18th century was marked by a desire for perfection in form, for precision and for polish. The rhyming couplet (and the heroic couplet) was the expected form. Meter was usually iambic pentameter. The subject matter was often narrow and sometimes trivial and dealt with a small section of society. For the most part this was the upper class. Poetic concerns were mostly urban and very rarely rural. Satire was very popular.
    Works include "Rape of the Lock, "A Modest Proposal", "Macflecknoe" etc...

  2. William Wordsworth is noted for his simple diction, simple subject matter and smooth phrasing. He is the poet of nature and often discusses nature in open and general terms. Wordsworth philosophises on nature's lessons for himself and for humankind in general. It is in nature that the poet can hear the "sad, still music of humanity".

  3. Samuel Coleridge is considered the master of atmosphere. In a few words he creates places where it seems natural to speak of supernatural events, a woman "wailing for her demon lover" ("Kubla Khan"). In most of Coleridge's work there is an awareness of the eternal bessedness of things. Think of the finest lesson in the "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner".

  4. Lord Byron is dramatic. He intrudes into the reader's senses and into his poems. Shelley does this too but in a softer and more subtle sense. Byron is present and heroic. In "Apostrophe to the Ocean" we see him "wanton" with the breakers and lay his hand upon their crests.

  5. Percy Shelley is more specific in his treatment of nature than Wordsworth. If Byron is said to project himself physically into the poem, Shelley is said to project himself emotionally. His frustrations and disappointments are there in his poems. We can observe a compassion for all living things. There is a delicate aptness in his vocabulary. Shelley often deals with abstractions, he conceives striking figures of speech and enriches his work with extensive mythological allusion.

  6. John Keats is concrete and specific. He appeals to all five of the senses. His lines are richly loaded and every word is significant. His interest is in beauty - a bird's song or Grecian art, Homeric epics or medieval romance. The truth that beauty reveals to him he reveals not to his own life but to lives and the concerns of all of humanity.

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