Year 11

Comparing Romantic poets’ views, methods and tone

I can compare how Romantic poets use language, form and structure to express their different views.

Year 11

Comparing Romantic poets’ views, methods and tone

I can compare how Romantic poets use language, form and structure to express their different views.

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Lesson details

Key learning points

  1. In ‘To Autumn’ and ‘The Prelude’, Keats and Wordsworth depict human beings interacting with nature.
  2. Keats’ poem celebrates autumn's beauty and bounty whereas Wordsworth recalls happy childhood memories of ice skating.
  3. Both Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Keats wrote formal poetry to express their love for a beloved.
  4. Elizabeth Barrett Browning addressed her sonnet to her husband and Keats addressed his ode to the season of autumn.
  5. The dominant tone of ‘Sonnet 43’ is intense passion whereas Wordsworth’s poem is filled with nostalgia.

Common misconception

That Romantic poems are about the beauty of nature.

While Romantic poets often wrote admiringly about nature, they are primarily concerned with their interaction with nature.


  • Interaction - talking or taking part in activities with others

  • Primarily - mainly

  • Sublime - in Romanticism, the feeling of being in awe and overwhelmed by the wonder of creation

  • Vitality - excitement, energy and enthusiasm

  • The beloved - the loved and often idealised being addressed or described by a poet

You could broaden students' knowledge and understanding of Romantic poets by reading similar poems. Good choices would be other excerpts from 'The Prelude'; Barrett Browning's 'Sonnet 29' and Shelley's 'Ode to the West Wind.'
Teacher tip


You will need a copy of the Eduqas poetry anthology.


This content is © Oak National Academy Limited (2024), licensed on Open Government Licence version 3.0 except where otherwise stated. See Oak's terms & conditions (Collection 2).



6 Questions

Match the poets on the left with the poems they wrote on the right.
Correct Answer:Elizabeth Barrett Browning,'Sonnet 43'

'Sonnet 43'

Correct Answer:John Keats,'To Autumn'

'To Autumn'

Correct Answer:William Wordsworth ,'The Prelude'

'The Prelude'

What is the central theme of 'Sonnet 43' by Elizabeth Barrett Browning?
the beauty of nature
Correct answer: the power of love
the passage of time
the inevitability of death
In 'To Autumn,' which of the following is not part of Keats' presentation of the season?
a season of abundance and harvest
Correct answer: a time of melancholy and death
a period of ripeness and maturity
a time of warmth and contentment
What literary technique beginning with 'P' does Keats use to depict autumn as a human being?
Correct Answer: personification
Which sport is Wordsworth remembering in 'The Prelude?
Correct Answer: ice skating, ice-skating, skating
Elizabeth Barrett Browning, William Wordsworth and John Keats are all Romantic poets. Which of the following are typical of Romanticism?
Correct answer: a focus on nature and the natural world
Correct answer: emphasis on emotion and imagination
celebration of urban life and industrialisation
use of free verse and experimentation with form
Correct answer: exploration of the spiritual and mystical

6 Questions

Match the words on the left with their synonyms on the right.
Correct Answer:interaction ,engagement


Correct Answer:primarily,mostly


Correct Answer:sublime,glorious


Correct Answer:vitality,life force

life force

What word do we use to describe the admired and adored person the speaker is addressing in a poem?
Correct Answer: the beloved, beloved
Match the poems with the quotations.
Correct Answer:'Sonnet 43',"Let me count the ways"

"Let me count the ways"

Correct Answer:'The Prelude' ,"the orange sky of evening died away"

"the orange sky of evening died away"

Correct Answer:'To Autumn',"bless with fruit"

"bless with fruit"

What word do we use to describe the mood, atmosphere or emotion of a text?
Correct Answer: tone
If you were given the following essay title: compare how two poets represent mankind's interactions with nature, which two poems would you choose to write about?
'The 'Prelude' and 'Sonnet 43'
'Sonnet 43 and 'To Autumn'
Correct answer: 'The Prelude' and 'To Autumn'
If you wanted to write a paragraph exploring how Wordsworth creates a sense of physical vitality in 'The Prelude,' which two of the following quotations would you choose?
“twilight blaz’d”
"stars…were sparkling clear”
Correct answer: “through the darkness …we flew”
“woodland pleasures”
Correct answer: “I wheel’d about”