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Poets of the 18th century - Essay Example

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Gulliver's trip to Lilliput, for example, and his time at the tiny court, illustrates the various intrigues and mismanagement Swift experienced in the real world. As the ambitious Lilliputians fought to gain approval for an office, they danced on a rope held off the floor or were forced to jump over or crawl under a stick to demonstrate their ability to quickly adjust to the whims and desires of the monarch…
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Poets of the 18th century
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Poets of the 18th century

Download file to see previous pages... Likewise, Gulliver's adventures in Laputa illustrate Swift's negative opinion of the general value of science produced by the Royal Society as the scientists and doctors of the floating city continuously spend their time involved in meaningless pursuits that bring benefit to no one. Finally, in his fourth voyage, Gulliver's encounter with the Houyhnhnms creates a strong commentary on the true picture of human nature in which the conception of war has not even been considered, much less worked out to the fine science Gulliver describes to his astonished hosts. "Ironically Gulliver's Travels, a book thought by most people as a charming book of adventure popular with children, is one of the most powerful attacks ever made against man's wickedness and stupidity. Swift's book is full of personal, literary and political allusions" (Taralunga, 2003: 135).
William Blake's poems typically focused on aspects of the human spirit as it comes in contact with authority figures, whether they be government or religious, as well as the joyful celebration of his idea of Christianity and humanity. As a result, his poems provided many with inspiration and hope in times that seemed overly chaotic as revolutions of various types were occurring on virtually every front and power structures were struggling to hold onto whatever controls they could. In "London" for example, a poem describing the way in which the human spirit had been shackled in 1794 when the poem had been written, Blake expresses an abiding belief in the unchristian nature of the restrictions on freedoms being experienced by the British people. The French Revolution had just occurred and sentiment in Britain had reached an all-time low as expressed in lines such as "How the chimney-sweepers cry" (9) and "' the hapless Soldiers sigh / Runs in blood down Palace walls" (11-12) in which it can be seen that even time-honored occupations such as chimney sweeps and soldiers had fallen into disrespect and despair. The red walls of the street depicted in the poem's illustration provide a subtle imagery of the British soldiers' and, by extension, the rest of the British population's plight. Although he is describing physical situations, "A mark in every face I meet / Marks of weakness, marks of woe" (3-4), he makes it clear that he is also discussing the state of the souls of people he meets, "In every voice; in every ban / The mind-forg'd manacles I hear" (7-8).

7. Write about one of the poets specifically and the subjects / themes he is best known for: Blake's dual nature of man; Burns's view of human position or importance; Wordsworth's child / man connection; Coleridge's flights of imagination; Shelley's willingness to bare his soul or his ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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