Romanticism In Literature Essay, Research Paper
Romanticism in literature, began around 1750 and lasted
until 1870. Different from the classical ways of Neoclassical
Age(1660-1798), it relied on imagination, idealization of nature
and freedom of thought and
Two men who influenced the era with their writings were
William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, both English
poets of the time. Their edition of Lyrical Ballads , stressed the
importance of feeling and imagination. Thus in romantic
Literature the code was imagination over reason, emotion
over logic, and finally intuition over science. All of these new
ways discouraged and didn t tolerate the more classic way of
Other significant writers of the Romantic Age are noted still
as shaping an age of open-mindedness and freedom. Lord Byron
was one of these authors, he wrote Don Juan . Another is Percy
Bysshe Shelley wrote in terza rima, a three line iambic
pentameter set up of bcb, cdc, ded, and so on. Johan Keats
created his own fairy tale land in the lyrical poem Ode on a
Grecian Urn .
Nature and the natural surroundings were important in
romanticism. Taking pleasure in untouched scenery and the
innocence of life was the basis and theme of The Seasons by
the Scottish poet James Thomson. This
inspired the nature tradition present in English literature, such as
the works by Wordsworth.
Another aspect in romantic writings, most times connected
with the nature feel, was the look on rural life as being almost a
romantic melancholy. This was sensing that change was looming,
and the way of life they had been adapted
to was being endangered. References to this can be found in
Ode to Evening by William Collins, and Elegy Written in a
Country Churchyard by Thomas Gray.
With the freedom that Romanticism brought came the
broadening of the writers horizons. The Middle Ages became
topic of many stories and settings. The nostalgia of more Gothic
times put more exotic ideas into the author s minds. The
supernatural became a substantial part of the literature.
Outcomes of this new idea were Lines Written a Few Miles Above
Tintern Abbey , by Wordsworth, and The Castle of Otranto ,
written by Horace Walpole.
The world of the supernatural and exoticness was reinforced
by two main things. One was pure rebellion against the
standards of the eighteenth-century rationalism, such as the
structure of neoclassical society. The second was the rediscovery
of folk tales and ballads, particularly the ones collected by Facob
and Wilhelm Karl Grimm, also know as the Brothers Grimm.
These gave an inspiration to write many of the pieces of a
supernatural nature for the writers of the Romantic Age.
The Romantic Age started to lose it s glitter by the middle of
the nineteenth-century. Literature started to get serious again
focusing on issues such as problems of religion and faith and
politics of the English democracy. Now instead of journeying to
mythical places through the reading people wanted and writers
wrote about truth. Yet through the years literature of the English
Romantic Age will never even now be forgotten as it still impacts
some of our authors of today.