chapter  3
13 Pages

Moore’s Romantic Neoclassicism

WithEdward Larrissy

There is a widespread assumption that Thomas Moore's poetry is unquestionably 'Romantic' because of the importance of feeling in his work. The diversity of kinds of poetry written in Britain and Ireland in the Romantic period comprehends many continuities with the mid- or even early eighteenth century, as well as contradictions within tendencies such as the emphasis on feeling. Lord Byron was quite serious about his contempt for the efforts of the Lake Poets, though, and also about his admiration for John Milton, John Dryden, and Alexander Pope. A comparison of Byron and Moore in respect of their ideas of the classical is very illuminating, especially about Moore, perhaps; if only because his reputation has been sullied by routine slights on his vapid sentimentalism. Moore's work offers a coherent political view which he offered under different modes. Moore's works, from first to last, embody a consistent aesthetic project that it is useful to term 'Romantic Neoclassicism'.