Individualism, Balance and Nature

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Individualism, Balance and Nature
Hannah Costley
Veering away from the conventional attitude, fuelled by ideas of individualism and political liberty, authors, poets, intellects and playwrights played a part in the Romantic Movement of 1790-1860. Influenced by the French Revolution and the works of Jean Jacques Rousseau and William Godwin, intellectuals and artists strove to breakaway from the scientific mindset and enter a world that glorified natural sublimity and the equilibrium of nature. The movement was a response to the Industrial Revolution and the Enlightenment as a way for an artist to express him/herself without the limitations and constrictions imposed by the harsh regimes of society. In regards to poetry in particular, poets focused primarily on The Individual, The Natural Balance of Life and Nature. These three major concepts are encompassed in the majority of the works produced by poets of the Romantic Era; allowing them to capture the abstractness of their emotions and reflections into a concrete body of words. Throughout the 16th and 17th century, science seemed to dominate the way in which people thought and carried out their lives. After having been exposed to a life beyond religion, rules and regulation, intellects were hungry for information and existence began to be governed and dictated by the material world. The Romantic Poetry Era was an expressive movement started by a group of poets (Blake, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Byron, Shelly and Keats in particular) as a philosophical and poetic revolt against rationalism. Nature, not just the physicality of nature, but human rational and the balance of life, heavily influenced the writings of the Romantics. In the majority of Keats’ odes, he stresses upon the importance of accepting that with the good comes the bad, with the right comes the wrong, with the pain comes the joy. An example of Keats’ emphasis on coming to terms with the mixed nature of life is in “Ode on Melancholy” when he...
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