Essay On Romanticism

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Definition and Origin
Romanticism is a highly influential artistic and literary movement of the 18th and 19th centuries in Europe, in revolt against the aristocratic social and political norms of The Age of Enlightenment and the scientific rationalisation of nature. Romanticism had its origin in the late 1700s in Europe, particularly in France, Germany and England. It is difficult to trace the exact beginnings of Romanticism, but it was during the mid 18th century that there began a change in the way people saw tradition. There was a surge of interest in folklore, and the belief in the story telling ability of the common, uneducated man was formed. The folk tradition focused on simplistic and natural aspects of life, with the stories being passed down to generations orally. Thus, the art and literature, especially poetry of the era contained vivid descriptions of nature and were focused on the lives of common man rather than the aristocracy.
This was also the period nationalistic movements in various parts of Europe, owing to the many civil wars and revolutions. People developed a sense of Nationalism which was often reflected in their writings. The Romantic Movement also caused the revisit of some aspects of the medieval age, such as the belief in the supernatural. The age was also significant due to the discovery of new lands and colonisation; hence there also was an emphasis on Exoticism in the art and literature of the age. Description of far off lands was a common feature in the works of the period. There was also a revival of religious piety and faith, and there was also an increased emphasis on individualism.
Characteristics of Romantic Literature:
• Individualism
The writers of the romantic era gave great im...

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...ical upheavals, the writers of the romantic era were also revolutionary and rebellious in nature. They believed in experimentation and refused to confine themselves within the bondage of rules.

Romanticism in English Poetry (1798 to 1832)
The romantic era, with regards to English Poetry, is considered to have started in 1798 with the publication of ‘Lyrical Ballads’ of Wordsworth and Coleridge. William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats, Percy Bysche Shelley and Lord Byron are the important Romantic poets. The characteristics of romantic literature as described above are reflected in the works of these poets, who were near contemporaries. Their contribution to English poetry gains particular importance in the light that they freed poetry from the constraints of aristocracy, and enriched poetry by adding elements of music, nature and imagination to it.

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