April 24, 2012
Causes and Effects of the Romantic Period
Romanticism has very little to do with things popularly thought of as “romantic,” although love may occasionally be the subject of romantic art. Rather, it is an international artistic and philosophical movement that redefined the fundamental ways in Western cultures thought about themselves and about their world (Melani). In the early seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the enlightment, reason, revolution, age of science and technology created a history that could not be compared to any other time. Political, scientific, social and philosophical upheavals were a new part of an improved world. The romantic period was bought to England through these events which created a whole new world.
The romantic period in England began in the early 17th century; Historians argued over the end of the period. The literature of this time is now considered to have lasted into the 1870’s. There are many major concepts that created the ideas written about by writers of the romantic Escobar 2
period (Horst). The imagination was elevated to a position as the supreme faculty of the mind (Melani). The Romantics labeled imagination as creativity. It created a new way of art feeling and reasoning. Humans began to see the world with a different appearance. “Nature” meant many things to the Romantics (Melani). Nature was used as meditation in romantic poetry; it was itself in art. Nature was not viewed as science but as organically unified whole. Symbolism and myth were given great prominence in the Romantic conception of the art (Melani). In the period of Romanticism humans believed symbolism made their art more meaningful. Myth was brought by symbol through the language in art. Other aspects of Romanticism were intertwined with the above three concepts (Melani). Imagination brought importance to feeling and greater attention to the self view in art. Literary history turned poetry into powerful emotions. In Romantic theory, art was valuable for what one saw in them not for what the world viewed. Consequently, the romantics sought to define their goals through systematic contrast with norms of “Versailles neoclassicism” (Melani). Music changed the behavior of human characteristics and individual activities. People viewed themselves different than others. No one wanted to be alike and they expressed it. The Romantics asserted the Escobar 3
importance of the in individual, the unique, even the eccentric (Melani). Religion was forced but during the romantic period people began to reject it and instead chose their own way of life. The attitude of many of the romantics to the everyday, social world around them was complex. They used colors that were always seen but as techniques advanced, so did their colors. Their art form was not based off legends anymore but off their common language. The Romantics were ambivalent towards the “real” social world around them (Melani). Artist began to pull themselves away from the public. Through their own emotions they intercepted finally it should be noted that the revolutionary energy underlying the Romantic Movement affected not just literature, but all of the arts - - from music (consider the rise of Romantic opera) to painting, from sculpture to architecture (Melani). The different types of arts that grew during this period spread to the rest of the world. The Atlantic side manifested the great landscape painters.
The American Revolution, between 1775-1783, was the first war fought for the “Rights of Men.” It was ideas expressed in the “Declaration of Independence” and the “Constitution” that explains the “Enlightened” ideas why revolutions are sometimes necessary (Horst). Based on these new Escobar 4
thoughts a nation was built. The first of these ideas was that “All men are created equal…” (Locke). The government was created with only the power that the people in the state give it....
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