When we think of romance or romantic we often associate the term
with love. People talk about how they want their significant others to be
more ‘romantic’. But what does the term ‘romantic’ really mean. Does it
mean giving flowers, spending an evening alone by candlelight, bringing
home extravagant gifts, or reciting beautiful poetry. Within today’s
society it can mean any one of those things and many more. But in the
late eighteenth, early nineteenth century (1780-1830)Romance was
considered something different altogether. To the Romantics of this era
romance was a way of life. It was their whole life. Romance was their
way of expressing themselves to the fullest as they rejected the old ways
and ideas. This is a far cry from our idea of romance today.
The Romantic Era, otherwise known as the Age of Emotion,
represented a radical reaction to the political, social, intellectual, and
artistic climate of the 18th century, which saw itself as the Age of Reason.
It was a reaction against a view of the physical world increasingly
dominated by science, and a rebellion against the emphasis on the material
and on “common sense”. Romantics believed that their real links were
with Nature rather than with the urban social existence. This was one of
the many qualities that set the Romantic poets apart from earlier poets.
In Nature they saw beauty, and out of this came their inspiration. Each
Romantic poet tended to have his own individual views on Nature. For
some Natures inspiration was subject matter in and of itself. Others
gave Nature moral qualities, while still others used Nature as a means of
... middle of paper ...
...oman, Man and Woman fight, Man and Women have sex,
Man and Woman realize they are in love, and live happily ever after.
Obviously this is not great Romantic literature, but this is what our
society considers Romantic. At what point did we loose our ability to
appreciate Nature and use our imagination. The Romantic poets were
correct in their assumption that children see things more clearly than
adults do. In their childlike simplicity they are still able to use their
imaginations and explore worlds yet undiscovered. Even the Bible says
to be, not childish, but childlike. But as our society continues circling in
the mad whirlwind of materialism, one day even the child’s imagination
may be no more. The great Romantic poets are long past, their poetry
never to be forgotten, and their passion never to be rekindled.
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