Lord Byron, Percy Shelly, Joan Keats, and Thomas De Quincey are outstanding romanticist poets, whose contribution to the development of English literature can hardly be underestimated. The aforementioned romanticist poets opened new horizons for the development of poetry and emergence of new styles and trends. At the same time, they paid a lot of attention to unconscious, revealing hidden potential of human beings and their hidden desires and inclinations. In this regard, it is important to place emphasis on the fact that Lord Byron, Percy Shelly, John Keats, and Thomas De Quincey revealed the full potential of poetry in terms of depiction of unconscious, although they depicted unconscious in different ways that allowed the audience to reveal diverse aspects of unconscious.
Lord Byron is renowned for his romantic poems, among which it is possible to single out Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage and Don Juan, which reveal the unconscious side of human personality. To put it more precisely, Lord Byron focuses the pilgrimage of Childe Harold as the internal transformation of the main character, his transformation and evolution under the impact of his internal inclinations and hidden fears. Lord Byron attempts to reveal the unconscious side of human personality through revelation of adventures of main characters and transformation that occur to them in response to their internal inclinations and desires. At the same time, Lord Byron depicts unconscious as merely present in the human mind but still influencing the life of humans and their choices. In this regard, it is important to place emphasis on the fact that Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage is one of the most remarkable works, where the main character is driven not only by external but also internal forces. The main character encounters signs of fate, which are nothing but the manifestation of his own, internal inclinations and desires.
In this regard, Percy Shelley also attempt to reveal the unconscious side of human personality and the impact of unconscious on humans through the revelation of hidden desires and inclinations of main characters and narrators of his poems by means of signs and symbols. His lyric poems reveal his romanticism, which was closely intertwined with the play with unconscious. To put it more precisely, the author attempted to show that people are driven by different forces and they do not always know what they actually want and what they actually can do. In this regard, Percy Shelley’s poem To the Skylark is particularly noteworthy because, in this poem, the poet refers to a blithe Spirit, which is the manifestation of the unconscious. The poet uses a very symbolic image of a bird to show the unconscious of an individual, a poet. In fact, a bird symbolizes the hidden inclinations and desires of the poet, his strife for creativity and realization of his ideas but the unconscious is as far and incomprehensible for an individual as is the bird. The bird is flying high into the sky as unconscious is sitting deep inside of human mind and soul. In such a way, the poet attempts to show that people may have strong, hidden inclinations and desires but they are not always understandable and, what is more, people cannot always achieve what they actually want just because they do not know what they want and they cannot control their unconscious. The overwhelming impact of feelings and hidden desires proves to be too strong and the poet shows that people cannot resist nor understand their unconscious.
Joan Keats is another romanticist, who is similar to Percy Shelley and Lord Byron in their searches of unconscious. At the same time, Joan Keats had the similar experience as Percy Shelley of opium consumption that affected his creative work and brought in unconscious as a hidden force that influences human life and behavior. In fact, John Keats shows the full extent to which people are vulnerable to the impact of unconscious. Similarly to Lord Byron he uses different signs, which are the manifestation of the unconscious in humans and which reveal internal desires and inclinations of people. In such a way, the poet helps the audience to understand the overwhelming impact of unconscious on human life and behavior.
As for Thomas De Quincey, he refers to his personal experience of understanding and exploration of the unconscious in his Confessions of an English Opium Eater. This outstanding literary work reveals experiments of the poet and his attempts to understand his internal world. Thomas De Quincey attempts to describe his internal world and to show that he has some internal forces, which influence and define his actions. Remarkably, Thomas De Quincy views the consumption of opium as the way to reveal the unconscious because he believes that, as the conscious of an individual weakens, he can uncover his true desires and inclinations, his unconscious.
Thus, romanticist poets were quite similar in their views on the unconscious. They believe that people can have the unconscious that influences their life and behavior. Poets reveal the unconscious through symbols and conveying their personal experience.