In Praise of Imagination
The age of Romanticism is preceded by hardcore realism of 18th-century literature that gave birth to a pragmatic form of English literature called prose. Romanticism is heralded by French Revolution. Poets from this age like Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelly and Keats were more intrigued in discovering the beauty of nature. However, the authors from 18th century were more interested in the political and social events of that time. They drastically shifted the English literature from the objective of enlightenment to the subjective human imagination.
Imagination is the window of expression of the romantic poets. Wordsworth terminating the empirical truth concentrated on the inner truth by the mean of imagination. In fact, for Wordsworth and Coleridge imagination signified the transcendental nature of truth. They also mingled the element of mysticism with imagination. They never intended to preach through their works. The personal expression was their prime aim of communication. They truly believed in the panacea of nature.
Human imagination is indeed very important for the progress of the entire race. Literature mirrors the contemporary mentality of society and simultaneously demands an expression of creativity. Imagination shapes and reshapes the creative faculty of human mind. A progressive way of thinking accelerates the growth of an age and imagination extols the individual positivity and celebrates tranquil emotions.
Shelly in “Ode to the West Wind” has shown the supreme regenerating power of nature. The Romantic poets also preferred to celebrate medievalism in their poem that is likely to be seen in the expressions made by Keats in his “La Belle Dame Sans Merci”. The power of imagination still influences today’s literature and authors like Salman Rushdie and his contemporaries prefer to attack society via their web of imagination.