A Revival of the Romantic Era as seen through a Comparative Study of Auld Lang Syne and Sumer Is Icumen In
Keywords:Romantic movement, pantheism, nature, folk tradition, ballad form.
The Romantic Movement of 19th century Britain is often credited to William Wordsworth, while his predecessor, Robert Burns is regarded as the pioneer of the movement with his poetic themes of simplicity, friendship, and reverence for nature and rustic life, to name a few. Yet, on looking back at the medieval ages, one comes across the anonymous poem Sumer Is Icumen In that is centred around similar themes and ideas. This, thus, calls for a more nuanced analysis and understanding of the romantic ideologies that then do not appear to be new to the 19th century, but simply recurrent of what already existed. Therefore, through a comparative study of Robert Burns’ Auld Lang Syne and the medieval poem Sumer Is Icumen In, this paper will seek to place Burns either as the pioneer of the romantic movement or as a reviver of a medieval tradition. I will explore the themes, features, and form that persist in these poems.
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