Romantic Period Essay, Research Paper
Romanticism ( literature ) , a motion in the literature of virtually every state of Europe, the United States, and Latin America that lasted from about 1750 to about 1870, characterized by trust on the imaginativeness and subjectiveness of attack, freedom of idea and look, and an idealisation of nature. The term romantic foremost appeared in 18th-century English and originally meant & # 8220 ; romancelike & # 8221 ; ? that is, resembling the notional character of mediaeval love affairs.
Beginnings and Inspiration
By the late eighteenth century in France and Germany, literary gustatory sensation began to turn from classical and neoclassical conventions. Inspiration for the romantic attack ab initio came from two great makers of idea, Gallic philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau and German author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
The Romantic Spirit
Rousseau established the cult of the person and championed the freedom of the human spirit ; his celebrated proclamation was & # 8220 ; I felt before I thought. & # 8221 ; Goethe and his compatriots, philosopher and critic Johann Gottfried von Herder and historian Justus M? ser, provided more formal principles and collaborated on a group of essays entitled Von deutscher Art und Kunst ( Of German Style and Art, 1773 ) . In this work the writers extolled the romantic spirit as manifested in German common people vocals, Gothic architecture, and the dramas of English dramatist William Shakespeare. Goethe sought to copy Shakespeare & # 8217 ; s free and untrammelled manner in his G? tz von Berlichingen ( 1773 ; translated 1799 ) , a historical play about a 16th-century robber knight. The drama, which justifies rebellion against political authorization, inaugurated the Sturm und Drang ( storm and emphasis ) motion, a precursor of German romanticism. Goethe & # 8217 ; s novel The Sorrows of Young Werther ( 1774 ; translated 1779 ) was besides in this tradition. One of the great influential paperss of romanticism, this work exalts sentiment, even to the point of warranting perpetrating self-destruction because of unanswered love. The book set a tone and temper much copied by the romantics in their plants and frequently in their personal lives: a stylish inclination to frenzy, melancholy, world-weariness, and even suicide.
The Romantic Manner
The foreword to the 2nd edition of Lyrical Ballads ( 1800 ) , by English poets William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge was besides of premier importance as a pronunciamento of literary romanticism. Here, the two poets affirmed the importance of feeling and imaginativeness to poetic creative activity and disclaimed conventional literary signifiers and topics. Therefore, as romantic literature everyplace developed, imaginativeness was praised over ground, emotions over logic, and intuition over scientific discipline? doing manner for a huge organic structure of literature of great esthesia and passion. This literature emphasized a new flexibleness of signifier adapted to changing content, encouraged the development of complex and fast-moving secret plans, and allowed assorted genres ( tragicomedy and the mingling of the grotesque and the sublime ) and freer manner.
No longer tolerated, for illustration, were the fixed classical conventions, such as the celebrated three integrities ( clip, topographic point, and action ) of calamity. An increasing demand for spontaneousness and lyricality? qualities that the disciples of romanticism found in common people poesy and in mediaeval love affair? led to a rejection of regular metres, rigorous signifiers, and other conventions of the classical tradition. In English poesy, for illustration, clean poetry mostly superseded the rhyming pair that dominated 18th-century poesy. The gap lines of the swashbuckling melodrama Hernani ( 1830 ; translated 1830 ) , by the great Gallic romantic author Victor Hugo, are a going from the conventional 18th-century regulations of Gallic versification ; and in the foreword to his play Cromwell ( 1827 ; translated 1896 ) , a celebrated critical papers in its ain right, Hugo non merely defended his interruption from traditional dramatic construction but besides justified the debut of the grotesque into art. In their pick of heroes, besides, the romantic authors replaced the inactive cosmopolitan types of classical 18th-century literature with more complex, idiosyncratic characters ; and a great trade of play, fiction, and poesy was devoted to a jubilation of Rousseau & # 8217 ; s & # 8220 ; common man. & # 8221 ;
The Great Romantic Subjects
As the romantic motion spread from France and Germany to England and so to the remainder of Europe and across to the Western hemisphere, certain subjects and tempers, frequently intertwined, became the concern of about all 19th-century authors.
Many of the libertarian and abolitionist motions of the late 18th and early 19th centuries were engendered by the romantic doctrine? the desire to be free of convention and dictatorship, and the new accent on the rights and self-respect of the person. Merely as the insisting on rational, formal, and conventional capable affair that had typified neoclassicism was reversed, the autocratic governments that had encouraged and sustained neoclassicism in the humanistic disciplines were necessarily subjected to popular revolutions. Political and societal causes became dominant subjects in romantic poesy and prose throughout the Western universe, bring forthing many critical human paperss that are still pertinent. The twelvemonth 1848, in which Europe was wracked by political turbulence, marked the inundation tide of romanticism in Italy, Austria, Germany, and France.
In William Tell ( 1804 ; translated 1825 ) , by German playwright Friedrich von Schiller, an vague medieval mountain climber becomes an immortal symbol of resistance to tyranny and foreign regulation. In the novel The Betrothed ( 1825-1827 ; translated 1834 ) , by Italian author Alessandro Manzoni, a peasant twosome become instruments in the concluding suppression of feudal system in northern Italy. Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley, who for some most epitomize the romantic poet ( in their personal lives every bit good as in their work
) , wrote resoundingly in protest against societal and political wrongs and in defence of the battles for autonomy in Italy and Greece. Russian poet Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin, whose esteem for the work of Byron is clearly manifested, attracted ill fame for his “Ode to Liberty” ( 1820 ) ; like many other sentimentalists, he was persecuted for political corruption.
The general romantic dissatisfaction with the organisation of society was frequently channeled into specific unfavorable judgment of urban society. La maison du berger ( The Shepherd & # 8217 ; s Hut, 1844 ) , by Gallic poet Alfred Victor de Vigny, expresses the position that such an residence has more aristocracy than a castle. Earlier, Rousseau had written that people were born free but that everywhere civilisation put them in ironss. This feeling of subjugation was often expressed in poesy? for illustration, in the work of English airy William Blake, composing in the verse form & # 8220 ; Milton & # 8221 ; ( about 1804-1808 ) of the & # 8220 ; dark Satanic Millss & # 8221 ; that were get downing to disfigure the English countryside ; or in Wordsworth & # 8217 ; s long verse form The Prelude ( 1850 ) , which speaks of & # 8220 ; ? the stopping point and overcrowded haunts/Of metropoliss, where the human bosom is sick. & # 8221 ;
Basic to such sentiments was an involvement cardinal to the romantic motion: the concern with nature and natural milieus. Delight in good scenery and in the ( presumptively ) guiltless life of rural inhabitants is possibly first recognizable as a literary subject in such a work as & # 8220 ; The Seasons & # 8221 ; ( 1726-1730 ) , by Scots poet James Thomson. The work is normally cited as a formative influence on later English romantic poesy and on the nature tradition represented in English literature, most notably by Wordsworth. Often combined with this feeling for rural life is a generalised romantic melancholy, a sense that alteration is at hand and that a manner of life is being threatened. Such hints were early evinced in & # 8220 ; Ode to Evening & # 8221 ; ( 1747 ) by William Collins, & # 8220 ; Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard & # 8221 ; ( 1751 ) by Thomas Gray, and The Borough ( 1810 ) by George Crabbe. The melancholiac strain subsequently developed as a separate subject, as in & # 8220 ; Ode on Melancholy & # 8221 ; ( 1820 ) by John Keats, or? in a different clip and topographic point? in the plants of American authors: the novels and narratives of Nathaniel Hawthorne, which probe the deepnesss of human nature in puritanical New England, or the macabre narratives and melancholic poesy of Edgar Allan Poe.
In another vena in American literature, the romantic involvement in untrammelled nature is found in such authors as Washington Irving, whose Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. ( 1819-1820 ) , a aggregation of descriptive narratives about the Hudson River vale, reflects the writer & # 8217 ; s cognition of European folk tales every bit good as modern-day romantic poesy and the Gothic novel. The Leatherstocking Narratives by James Fenimore Cooper celebrate the beauty of the American wilderness and the simple frontier life ; in romantic manner they besides idealize the Native American as ( in Rousseau & # 8217 ; s phrase ) the & # 8220 ; baronial savage. & # 8221 ; By the center of the nineteenth century the nature tradition was absorbed by American literary transcendental philosophy, chiefly expressed in the essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.
The Lure of the Exotic
In the spirit of their new freedom, romantic authors in all civilizations expanded their fanciful skylines spatially and chronologically. They turned back to the Middle Ages ( fifth century to fifteenth century ) for subjects and scenes and chose venues runing from the amazing Hebrides of the Ossianic tradition, as in the work of Scots poet James MacPherson, to the Asiatic scene of Xanadu evoked by Coleridge in his unfinished lyric & # 8220 ; Kubla Khan & # 8221 ; ( 1797? ) . The digest of old English and Scottish laies by English poet Thomas Percy was a seminal work ; his Reliques of Ancient English Poetry ( 1765 ) exerted a important influence on the signifier and content of ulterior romantic poesy. The nostalgia for the Gothic yesteryear mingled with the inclination to the melancholiac and produced a fancy for ruins, cemeteries, and the supernatural as subjects. In English literature, representative plants include Keats & # 8217 ; s & # 8220 ; The Eve of St. Agnes, & # 8221 ; the Gothic novels of Matthew Gregory Lewis, and The Castle of Otranto ( 1764 ) by Horace Walpole. The Lay of the Last Minstrel ( 1805 ) , by Scots author Sir Walter Scott, and his historical novels, the Waverley series ( 1814-1825 ) , combine these concerns: love of the picturesque, preoccupation with the heroic yesteryear, and delectation in enigma and superstitious notion.
The tendency toward the irrational and the occult was an of import constituent of English and German romantic literature. It was reinforced on the one manus by disenchantment with 18th-century rationalism and on the other by the rediscovery of a organic structure of older literature? folk tales and laies? collected by Percy and by German bookmans Jacob and Wilhelm Karl Grimm ( see Grimm Brothers ) and Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. From such stuff comes, for illustration, the motive of the doppelg? nger ( German for & # 8220 ; dual & # 8221 ; ) . Many romantic authors, particularly in Germany, were fascinated with this construct, possibly because of the general romantic concern with self-identity. Poet Heinrich Heine wrote a lyric apocryphally titled & # 8220 ; Der Doppelg? nger & # 8221 ; ( 1827 ; translated 1846 ) ; The Devil & # 8217 ; s Elixir ( 1815-1816 ; translated 1824 ) , a short novel by E. T. A. Hoffmann, is about a dual ; and Peter Schlemihl & # 8217 ; s Remarkable Story ( 1814 ; translated 1927 ) , by Adelbert von Chamisso, the narrative of a adult male who sells his shadow to the Satan, can be considered a fluctuation on the subject. Later, Russian maestro Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky wrote his celebrated novel The Double ( 1846 ) , an analysis of paranoia in a low clerk.
Decline of the Tradition
By about the center of the nineteenth century, romanticism began to give manner to new literary motions: the Parnassians and the symbolist motion in poesy, and pragmatism and naturalism in prose.