Romantic Heresy and the Crisis of Identification in the Poetry of William Wordsworth and W. B. Yeats

Authors

  • David Toh Kusi Department of English, Faculty of Arts, The University of Bamenda

Keywords:

Romanticism, Langue and Parole heresy, crisis, identification, Poetry, Periodisation.

Abstract

This paper seeks to illustrate the “truth function” of Romantic literature discerned as a cyclical predictable literature which expresses the author’s essential self and thoughts. In the context of romantic theorisation in the nineteenth century, however, critics like William Hazlitt take into consideration a number of years with extrapolated characteristic features to judge and classify writers and their works. Hazlitt in his portrait of Wordsworth, for example, went so far as to say that “Wordsworth’s genius is a pure emanation of the Spirit of the Age…Had he lived in any other period of the world, he would never have been heard of” (Scott 2015). Hazlitt misrepresented the poet’s “egotistical sublime” and the “power of his imagination”. The argument is that in as much as Wordsworth and Yeats help us to understand the historical movement of Romanticism, they also transcended it considerably. The structuralist perspectives adopted for the analyses demonstrate how Romantic literature goes beyond the literary historic tags to redeploy, through language, a culture and a system which influences other epochs. The paper reveals that the term Romanticism means so many different things and its often association with isolated attributes like nature, mysticism, and estrangement, can, in recent debates, be misleading.

Published

30-12-2022

How to Cite

Kusi, D. T. (2022). Romantic Heresy and the Crisis of Identification in the Poetry of William Wordsworth and W. B. Yeats. JOURNAL OF ARTS AND HUMANITIES, 6(1), 233–246. Retrieved from http://fajournaluba.com/index.php/jah/article/view/119