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Romanticism 

Doubts and pessimism now challenged the hope and optimism of the 18th century. of stress and upheaval had produced doubts on the security of the age of reason. – The generation of revolution and wars.INTRODUCTION By the late 18th century in France and Germany. . literary taste began to turn from classical and neoclassical conventions. and eternity. – It was in this setting that Romanticism was born. – Men felt a deepened concern for the metaphysical problems of existence. death.

dogmas. and Latin America that lasted from about 1750 to 1870. the United States. laws. the Romantic Movement did not reach France until the1820's. emotions over logic. and intuition over science-making way for a vast body of literature of great sensibility and passion. – Romanticism's essential spirit was one of revolt against an established order of things-against precise rules. . – It praised imagination over reason. and formulas that characterized Classicism in general and late18thcentury Neoclassicism in particular.Origin Romanticism was a literary movement that swept through virtually every country of Europe. However.

the romantic writers replaced the static universal types of classical 18th-century literature with more complex. . and the exceptional figure in general. – They became preoccupied with the genius. idiosyncratic characters. also.– In their choice of heroes. and a focus on his passions and inner struggles and there was an emphasis on the examination of human personality and its moods and mental potentialities. the hero.

inspiring both  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and the young Walter Scott. . a young artist with a very sensitive and passionate temperament. whose 1774 novel The Sorrows of Young Werther had young men throughout Europe emulating its protagonist.Visual art and literature – The Scottish poet James Macpherson influenced the early development of Romanticism with the international success of his Ossian cycle of poems published in 1762. – An early German influence came from Goethe.

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Often combined with this feeling for rural life is a generalized romantic melancholy.Nature  The Romantic association of nature and spirit expressed itself in one of two ways. capable of sympathy with man's emotional state. the breath of God fills both man and the earth. nature was regarded as a vehicle for spirit just as man. on one hand regarded as an extension of the human personality. a sense that change is imminent and that a way of life is being threatened. The landscape was. 80). On other hand. Delight in unspoiled scenery and in the (presumably) innocent life of rural dwellers was a popular literary theme. (Shroder. .

romantic writers in all cultures expanded their imaginary horizons spatially and chronologically. . national and ethnic cultural origins. and placed an emphasis upon imagination as a gateway to transcendent experience and spiritual truth. They turned back to the Middle Ages (12th century to 15th century) for themes and settings and had an obsessive interest in folk culture. They found delight notions of romantic love. mystery and superstition.The Lure of the Exotic  In the spirit of their new freedom.

The Decline of Romanticism – The Decline of Romanticism By about the middle of the 19th century. and realism and naturalism. romanticism began to give way to new literary movements: the Parnassians and the symbolist movement in poetry. .