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the impact of the French Revolution on English Romantic poets

French Revolution is one of the remarkable events in the history of world. It started in 1789 in France and continued till 1799. Voltaire and Jean Jacques Rousseau taught individualism. They inspired revolution for more freedom and quality During the reign of Louis-XVI of France, there were several social inequalities among the people. The king and the nobility were enjoying all the good things of the country. But the common people were deprived of their due shares. The law of the country was not equal for all classes of people.Thh existing social injustices prompted the great revolution known as the French Revolution. The slogan of the revolution was "Liberty, Equality and Fraternity." The king along with his queen was overthrown by the common people. This revolution was able to create tremendous effect on the life and literature of the people of England. Many contemporary writers went to France and join the French Revolution. William Blake, William Wordsworth, S. T Coleridge and P. B Shelley were influenced by it to a great extent. Another idea of the revolution was that of liberty. The Revolution itself was a protest against oppression and exploitation. The old fortress of Bastille was regarded as a symbol of oppression by the Revolutionaries. It was long used by French kings as prison. The Paris mob rose on July, 14, 1789. The fortress was their first target of attack. That was the beginning of the end of the Old Regime based on suppression of liberty. Wordsworth and Coleridge heard the crash of its towers. Both of them recorded their joy and welcomed it in the dawn of a new era. Before the Revolution, the rich and the powerful had enjoyed all the rights and privileges. They enjoyed them so long and considered them to be divine. They thought that it was their divine rights to exploit the poor for their own good. After the Revolution, such thought came to be regarded as the vilest wrong. It was condemned seriously. The Revolutionaries were also visionaries. They saw the vision of the universal regeneration of mankind. They thought of a Golden Age to come in not too distant future. The philosophers proclaimed the right of all mankind to happiness and perfection in the Golden Age to come. Shelley's imagination caught the idea. He flung aside all social and political limitations with the true revolutionary zeal and fiery wrath. He lost himself in song of welcome to the new era. The Fourth Act of "Prometheus Unbound" is the choral song of the universal regeneration of all mankind in love, peace and joy. "Ode to the West Wind" is one of the greatest poems of Shelley. In this ode, he represents as a rebel poet. His revolutionary zeal is expressed through a series of symbols and images. He wants to destroy oldness, tyranny, suppression, oppression, orthodoxy and corruption from the world. On the contrary, he wants to preserve newness in the society. He would like to bring about a golden millennium. He is a dreamer and an idealist. He is a prophet and thinker. He makes a prophecy at the end of the poem- 

"If Winter comes,Can Spring be far behind?
His optimism consoles the human breasts with courage. It dreams their golden and bright future. According to Matthew Arnold, "Shelley is pessimist about the present, but optimist about the future." In fact, Shelley talks about equality, liberty and fraternity in his poems.
the impact of  the french revolution on english romantic poets

Wordsworth is one of those poets who greeted the French Revolution with much enthusiasm. In the prime of his life, he went to France to join the Revolution. French Revolution excited his blood, stimulated his revolutionary spirit and throbbed his heart. Returning to England, he expressed his experience in many of his poems. He has written "French Revolution". "It is a Beauteous Evening, Calm and Free" and other poems whose themes are the Revolution.

French Revolution has its permanent impact upon the Romantic poetry. The Romantic Period and its literary ideals are hued with the colour of the spirit of the Revolution. As a result of the stimulus provided by these powerful ideas concerning man and his rights, a great development of individuality took place. The Revolutionary ideals kindled human intellect and passion. Wealth, birth, and rank lost their age-old prestige. "A man is a man for all that."it is his right to say what is in him. The English poets, all from common stock with one exception (Keats) caught these ideas and proclaimed them in impassioned language. Each of the great romantic poets reacted in a different way to the call of the Revolution


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