Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 2

In our opinion, William Wordsworth’s Preface to the Lyrical Ballads (1802) fulfills

some of the elements of Romanticism such as the feature of the sense of self and implicit and

explicit socio-political content thus, depicting the context of Romanticism for Shelley’s poem

A Song: Men of England.

Firstly, William Wordsworth’s Preface to the Lyrical Ballads (1802) provides a

Romantic context for Percy Shelley’s A Song: Men of England through the feature of the

sense of self. Wordsworth’s sense that poetry has to be written in a “…more than usual

organic sensibility…” and that “…feeling are modified and directed by our thoughts, which

are indeed the representatives of all our past feelings…” clearly collaborates with Shelley’s

poem which has a strong sense of emotions and feelings. Shelley wrote A Song: Men of

England out of what he sees, feels and what he thinks is right for the people of England. The

poem mirrors the situation and suffering of the working class people in England. As the

reader, we can sense Shelley’s plead to the people as a form of encouraging them to revolt

against the aristocrats. As we read the poem, we strongly feel that the poem actually depicts a

strong rush of emotions calling out to the people to start fighting for their rights. Dwivedi and

Rai (1968, p.243) claimed that “…it is that Wordsworth defined poetry as ‘spontaneous

overflow of powerful feelings,’ and Shelley as ‘the expression of the imagination…”. Besides

this, Owen (1974, p. 15) introduces that the Preface to the Lyrical Ballads (1802) suggests

“… the emphasis is on simple intellectual efficiency matched by linguistic efficiency…”

mirroring the idea that Shelley’s lyric poem A Song: Men of England was rather

comprehensible to the public due to its song-like feature and its rhythm and form appears to

be rather simple. Henceforth, surely the Preface to the Lyrical Ballads (1802) provides a

Romantic context for A Song: Men of England.

Equally important, the feature of implicit and explicit socio-political content can be

extracted from William Wordsworth’s Preface to the Lyrical Ballads (1802) thus verifying
the idea of Romanticism in Shelley’s A Song: Men of England. Wordsworth raises the social

effects of war and urbanization in Preface to the Lyrical Ballads (1802) for he knew that if

nothing is done to control the influence of science, men and their sensibility will become

dulled. Here, the idea of rebelling against forceful institutions which were dominating and

destructive, which was at that time, urbanization is comparatively applicable to Shelley’s idea

that the men of England should revolt against a force or in this case, the aristocrats which was

about to consume them. The Preface to the Lyrical Ballads (1802) and A Song: Men of

England both equally challenged and provides a clear thought provoking idea to the society

about the effects of implicit and explicit socio-political content.