Seminar paper from the year 2000 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 1,7 (A-), Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (English Institute), course: Thematisches Proseminar Romantic Poetry, 10 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: William Wordsworth and Percy B. Shelley - these names represent, more than any other does, the Romantic Period in England. Wordsworth's Preface to Lyrical Ballads, the second version written in 1802, and Shelley's Defence of Poetry (1821) are two basic documents of Romantic thought and aesthetics. I will here endeavour to compare them, showing both the similarities and differences between the demands and beliefs of the authors. Preparing for my paper, I was surprised to find so little literature that concentrated on this special topic. Articles and books on the relationship between these poets concentrate on biographical aspects and general differences in thought, but do not trace into their theory of poems. Much attention is paid to the generation gap, as in the book of G. Kim Blank, and I learned that it is impossible to treat my topic adequately without taking this aspect into consideration. Therefore I will first give a survey of the times and circumstances the essays were written in, then compare them, trying to apply the facts of the first chapter where it is possible.