Slavery in the Eyes of Some Romantic Poets

نوع المستند : المقالة الأصلية


قسم اللغة الإنجليزية، کلية البنات الازهرية بالعاشر، جامعة الأزهر


 The Romantic poets discarded the lords and fops of their society and turned the full force of their humanitarianism to the simple humble people. Inspired by the principles of 'Liberty, Fraternity and Equality' of the French Revolution (1789), many Romantic poets argued for more than this, "for equal rights for black people and for women" (Ruston, 1). Romantic abolitionist poetry spurred on by and contributed to the Abolitionist Movement during the second half of the 18th century; although slavery was not abolished completely until the end of the Romanticism. The nineteenth century was marked by a number of Reform Acts, as revolts and protests against the repressive working system in industries increased. But the reforms were not easily fulfilled, each Act, that was passed, was preceded by bitter experience of those who had to wage painful struggles and bear the unspeakable consequences. Reform Acts were passed "in the teeth of fierce resistance" either from the lords or the workers, throwing the society in great turmoil. Among the important Acts were: Abolition of the Slave Trade in 1807, Emancipation Act of 1833, Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834, and Factory Act of 1837…etc. In their poetry, the poets patronizingly depicted Africans as noble and uncorrupted by European civilization and employed images of the suffering of the slaves for sentimental effect. Yet, Romantic poets differ from each other in their situations towards this humane problem; some supported it and others ignored it. Romantic poetry was characterized by:
A disjunction in the representations of Blacks, employing the stereotype of the
'Noble Negro' as well as depicting docilely suffering slaves. There were of
course important ideological differences between the various Romantic poets,
Blake, for instance, was a strong critic of colonialist ideology whereas
Wordsworth was reluctant to join the abolitionist cause…

الكلمات الرئيسية