The European Romantic Movement And The Enlightenment Movement Of The 18th Century

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The European Romantic movement was a reaction to rationalism and the Enlightenment movement of the 18th century. With this new wave of Romantics, young thinkers and writers began to stress the inner and unique experiences of the individual. The young German Romantics of the time revered the artistic genius of Goethe, but criticized Goethe’s Faust as well for, “settling into the secure, privileged life he led in provincial Weimar and betraying the Faustian spirit that drives toward greater knowledge at all costs” (Lesson 8). The Romantics wanted to embark on a collective journey of the mind inward to the darkest recesses of the soul, and outward to the farthest and most exotic reaches of the imagination. Furthermore, the romantics distrusted the Enlightenment view of reason as the supreme guiding force of human action. For them, passion and a burning desire for the object of knowledge was a perquisite for genuine understanding. The Romantics recognized that a radically new modern age was emerging, and “feared that this new age would result in a rationalistic social order void of dee...
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