The verse of the English Romantic poets is as daunting in its scope and complexity as it is dazzling in its technique and beautiful in its language. Now, in a series of 24 incisive lectures by an honored and distinguished teacher, scholar, and author, you can grasp how England's finest Romantic voices created their masterpieces, as Professor Spiegelman illuminates poems by Byron, Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, and Keats, as well as by female Romantic poets like Felicia Dorothea Hemans and Charlotte Turner Smith, who were, in their time, as admired as their male counterparts.
You'll learn how the generalizations so often applied to the Romantic poets - who never even identified themselves as "Romantic" - were misleading as a group description, but that there were some common concerns among them: they wrote about Man's relationship to nature, which, with the universe, they considered active, dynamic entities. There is, though, a counter-desire to escape from nature and to deny Man's connection to it. There is a concern with society and politics, and an idealistic notion that humanity can transcend its enslaving traditions. The Romantics were conscious of consciousness itself - of the power of the mind as a force for self-glorification and a seed of self-destruction.
Professor Spiegelman's emphasis on analyzing the poems is on technique - on how a poem accomplishes its objectives - and to this end he meticulously dissects them, directing you to points of interest that deserve close observation.
And though the lectures focus on the poems themselves, they also tell the story of these great poetic souls and their impact on their age.
Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.
©2002 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2002 The Great Courses
Professor Spiegelman loves this material. His infectious passion and unique depth of expertise are evident from the first word. And he takes us along for the ride. I listened to this in my car -- three times. He's a very good passenger. This course is thoroughly compelling and a true joy.
I am a huge fan of the Great Courses lecture series and have listened to several in history, music and literature categories -- and liked them all so far. But I just could not get on with this one. The lecturer's style is not at all compelling and I just did not find the material at all compelling. I stuck with it as far as the lecture about the Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner because I love this poem, but even this was uninteresting and did absolutely nothing to heighten my understanding or appreciation of the poem. I rarely write negative reviews but this courses deserves it.
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