Lectures on the English Poets

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A critical work by W. Hazlitt, published in 1818. The series begins with Chaucer and Spenser, concluding with W. Wordsworth and S. T. Coleridge. By contrast with these Lake poets, Shakespeare is praised for his lack of egotism, and immersion in his characters. This view influenced the poetics of Keats, who attended the lectures. Hazlitt's critical observations are made with his usual vivacity: ‘The characteristic of Chaucer is intensity; of Spenser, remoteness; of Milton, elevation; of Shakespeare, every thing.’

Subjects: Literature.

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William Hazlitt (1778—1830) writer and painter

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