Romanticism Has a Defintion

Topics: Romanticism, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Wordsworth Pages: 4 (1240 words) Published: April 12, 2011
Romanticism is known as a movement of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that distinguished literature, art, politics, and philosophy from the previous period, before the Industrial Revolution. The term is complicated to clearly define beyond the basic sense, but by analyzing the characteristics of the movement and what scholars conclude about it, a definition can be offered. Characteristics and themes that are consistently seen in the literature of the suggested period include: individualism, love of nature, a longing for the past, feelings of love and hate, terror and awe, chaos, fear, sentimental melancholy, and anti-romantic feelings. These and other reoccurring points aid to the recognition of Romanticism as a definition. Also, by considering how the term is used today and how it was in the past, like in scholarly resources, a definition can be proposed by comparing those findings. Romanticism can be formulated into a definition through these listings and findings. The writers and poets, and their literature and poetry of the era are included in what will define this significant period.

First of all, when exploring the literature of the time period of about 1780 to 1830, a specific theme of individualism is made relevant in many readings. A source mentions that “the Romantics asserted the importance of the individual, the unique, even the eccentric. Consequently they opposed the character typology of neoclassical drama” (Melani). The “Romantic hero” is portrayed in noted literature of the time through characters such as Prometheus, Captain Ahab and outcasts from Cain to the Ancient Mariner; even Hester Prynne, and Satan in Milton’s Paradise Lost (Melani). An important poet whose poetry expressed an individualized view of humanity important to Romanticism was William Blake. His poetry is described as “highly individual in style and technique” (Lawall, ed., 540).  He uses different voices in his poems to relate to the reader and put forth...
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