Romantic ethics

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Romantic ethics

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dc.contributor.author Vardy, Alan Douglas, 1954- en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2009-10-06T23:27:59Z
dc.date.available 2009-10-06T23:27:59Z
dc.date.issued 1996 en_US
dc.identifier.other b38292592 en_US
dc.identifier.other 37042977 en_US
dc.identifier.other Thesis 45162 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1773/9362
dc.description Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Washington, 1996 en_US
dc.description.abstract This dissertation addresses the persistent problems in the critical discourse about English Romantic poetry that are produced by adhering to a false distinction between aesthetics and ethics. It has become a critical commonplace to see Coleridge and Wordsworth as poets concerned only with aesthetic questions, and, furthermore, that this concern constitutes a conservative, or even reactionary politics--what Jerome McGann has called the "Romantic Ideology." While there is a lot to be said for this generalization when applied to Coleridge and Wordsworth after their apostacy, it is not useful in understanding the original impetus of their aesthetic projects, and it is intellectually disabling when applied to Blake, the second generation of Romantic poets, or the so-called minor poets of the period. This study insists on reading ethics and politics back into the aesthetic choices poets make. Aesthetics have ethical implications, and all of these poets were aware of the ethical stakes involved in their art.I proceed by first offering new readings of Blake's "Visions of the Daughters of Albion," and "Milton." These readings establish a Blakean poetics that refuses the distinction between aesthetics and ethics, and, rather, sees them as two parts of an integrated mode of artistic action. Using Blake's "contrary" poetics as a model for a political aesthetic, I proceed by offering new readings of Wordsworth's "Old Cumberland Beggar," "Tintern Abbey," and sections of "The Prelude," and then Coleridge's "France: An Ode," "This Lime-Tree Bower, My Prison," and Biographia Literaria. By foregrounding the relationship between aesthetics and ethics in these readings, the ethical impetus of the careers of each poet emerges. These projects create ethical crises for each poet. Finally, I examine Percy Shelley's responses to the aesthetic legacy and ethical problems of Coleridgean poetics. By comparing Coleridge's "Hymn before Sun-rise in the Vale of Chamouni," and Shelley's "Mont Blanc," it becomes clear that Shelley intends to create a profoundly ethical aesthetic system. I conclude with new readings of "Hymn to Intellectual Beauty," and "Prometheus Unbound" which both establish the structure of Shelley's political poetics, and evaluate his aesthetic and ethical success. en_US
dc.format.extent iii, 203 p. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.rights.uri en_US
dc.subject.other Theses--English en_US
dc.title Romantic ethics en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US


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