Webster's dictionary states the definition of Romanticism as "a movement in literature and art during the late 18th and early 19th centuries that celebrated nature rather than civilization". Romanticism was a movement that helped generated other movements, but brought a new form of literature that was well embraced during the 18th and 19th centuries.
Romanticism started during the end of the 18th century as politics and society were changing in Europe. Gaps were growing farther and farther apart between the rich and the poor, which created changes for the time period (Class notes). Paul Brians, a English Professor at Washington State, says that Romanticism: "transformed poetry, the novel, drama, painting, sculpture, all forms of concert music (especially opera), and ballet. It was deeply connected with the politics of the time, echoing people's fears, hopes, and aspirations. It was the voice of revolution at the beginning of the 19th century and the voice of the Establishment at the end of it" (Brians 1).
This movement helped develop characteristics of literature that are shown in works during this time period.
Some characteristics of the Romanticism era shown in literature are quite evident. For instance, there is a greater appreciation of the beauty of nature, as well as more emotion over reason. Emphasis on the imagination was associated by emphasis on the importance of a person's feelings and authors called for greater attention to the emotions as to what people were used to, logic reason (Class Notes). Imagination was a gateway to spiritual truth, but romantics enjoyed exotic, mysterious and the a cult. This is where some of the horror novels were written. Paul Brians states, "One of the most important developments of this period is the rise in the importance of individualism. Before the 18th Century, few Europeans concerned themselves with discovering their own individual identities"(Brians 1). More people were expressing themselves, which gave them...
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