Dynamics of Symbols in Romantic and Neo-Romantic Poets: A Study of Some Selected Poems of William Blake, William Wordsworth, Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney

Delphine Esi Tata, Divine Che Neba


In literary discourse, symbolism is the use of objects to signify ideas and qualities. Consequently, symbols take varied forms to convey these ideas, concepts or emotions, explicitly, and implicitly, relying on shared cultures or conventions. On this note, this paper underscores that there is a shift in the dynamics of symbols from the romantic epoch to the postmodern period with each era portraying nature and childhood symbols in a manner that is satisfactory to humanity across ages.  The paper also shows that though the Romantics (William Blake and William Wordsworth) and Neo-romantics, (Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney) share similar concerns in relation to nature and childhood, these consternations are read through different prisms. In this light, they plunge into the ambiguities of the imagination and the changing consciousness, from a quiet romantic time to the traumatic epoch of the 21st century. To Blake, Wordsworth, Hughes, and Heaney, imagination, as such, remains a gift, as it enables them to sail beyond the ordinary. Against this backdrop, the romantic and postmodern theoretical paradigms become inevitable as they pave the way for a better insight into the distinct styles of these poets in the exploration of space, time, thoughts, and other constituents through vibrant symbols to transcend the ordinary for a better portrait of nature and childhood.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22158/selt.v11n3p73


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