The Eolian Harp and The Vanity of Human Wishes

4 April 2015
A paper which compares and analyzes two poems by Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Samuel Johnson.

In English literature, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Samuel Johnson are two important writers known for their brilliance in composing poetry. The two poets have differing styles because of the influence and events that occurred during the time a literary work was being done, and these differences in themes and literary style are discussed in this paper. The specific literary works that serve as a comparison for both writers are “The Vanity of Human Wishes” (Johnson) and “The Eolian Harp” (Coleridge).
“Lastly, the theme used in Vanity is about dangers that greed can bring to people and is delivered in a melancholic tone. Eolian is the opposite of Vanity; the former discusses nature and the poet’s sensibility to the joys that nature or any inanimate objects bring to an individual. The poem shows appreciation for nature and is delivered in a happy tone. Another factor that may be considered to the different tones of both poems is the mood the poets are in when they wrote the literary work. Johnson was in a state of periodic depression when Vanity was composed; Coleridge was in a joyous mood when he wrote Eolian because he was about to get married at that time. Hence, these varying moods contribute to the tone of the poems they had composed.”
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