William Wordsworth and Alexander Pope

Compares “Preface to the Lyrical Ballads” by William Wordsworth to “Essay on Criticism” by Alexander Pope.

The paper compares William Wordsworth’s Preface to the Lyrical Ballads with Alexander Pope’s “Essay on Criticism” and discusses how both believe that nature has an important role in providing pleasure to the reader. The paper notes that both have a passion for human characters and incidents mixed with nature, and they criticize the poet who only uses lines and stanzas to create their poetry.
“William Wordsworth states that poetry is like the “breath and finer spirit of all knowledge”. He writes that critics should realize that poets are connected by passion and knowledge in the empire of human society. “The objects of the Poet’s thought are everywhere; through the eyes and sense of man are (Wordsworth 2). Poets previously had not written about old people, young children, mad people, convicts, and others that had not previously been mentioned in poetry; however, Wordsworth repeatedly defended poets by stating that they write like the breath of love, romance, nature, and very cord of passion. His lyrical ballads were designed to be natural and about life.
Alexander Pope’s “Essay on Criticism” agreed with other critics that poetry was often written with precise rules that often failed to bring life to the poem. Pope believed that poetry should natural with no predetermined rules. “Poets, a race long unconfin’d and free, still fond and proud of savage liberty, receiv’d his laws, and stood convinc’d ’twas fit, who conquer’d nature, should preside o’er wit” (Pope 652). Pope agreed with critics that criticized that rules got in the way of the poet in creating their poetry. Wordsworth often wrote about nature and must have similar beliefs to what Pope felt in that nature was important in poetry and nature helped poetry to flow without any limits on how many lines or words in a line.”