Although it is well known that the Romantics were obsessed with Shakespeare, little attention has been paid to the ways in which he influenced their creative practices and their theories of the imagination. This new work finally presents the ...
fascinating picture of how the Romantics read Shakespeare and responded to the implications of his work for their own poetry. The book provides the first full critical discussion of Shakespeare and Wordsworth, explores the influence of the plays on the poetry of Blake and Coleridge, and offers a fresh account of Shakespeare's powerful presence in the letters and poems of Keats and Byron, and in Shelley's dramas. Taking issue with prevalent deconstructionist theories and Harold Bloom's ideas on "the anxiety of influence," Bate instead carefully illustrates the ways in which initial attempts at blind imitation were transformed into graceful poetic echo and allusion.