Romanticism, Its Influence on French Revolution

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Romanticism evolved in response to the French Revolution and the Age of Enlightenment that followed. Rather than focus on reason and rationality to explain man, romanticism focused more on emotions and feelings to explain nature and portray them.

Inspired by the ideas of Jean Jacques Rousseau romanticism emerged as a reaction to 18th-century values, asserting emotion and intuition over rationalism, the importance of the individual over social conformity, and the exploration of natural and psychic wildernesses over classical restraint. Major themes of Romantic art and literature include a love of atmospheric landscapes; nostalgia for the past, a love of the primitive, including folk traditions; cult of the individual hero figure, often an artist or political revolutionary; romantic passion; mysticism; and a fascination with death.

Jean Jacques Rousseau is of course mother of Romantic movement but we have seen many other sowing seeds of romanticism. Thomson, Collins, Gray, Richardson, and Prevost are those whose theology and art are the most marvelous romance of all. Many other includes William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lord Byron, and Walter Scott in Britain; and Victor Hugo, Alfonse de Lamar tine, George Sand, and Alexandre Dumas in France. Above all Rousseau matured the seeds of romanticism in the hothouse of his emotions and delivered its offspring’s, full grown and fertile from birth in his works which include Discourses, the Contrat social, Emile and the Confessions.

Romanticism is an important literary movement which began in Western Europe during 17th century and went on till the second half of 18th century. Romanticism is a movement that emerged as a reaction against Neoclassicism, the age preceding the Romantic Movement. The Neoclassical age was also called the 'The age of Enlightenment', which emphasized on reason and logic. The Romantic period wanted to break away from the traditions and conventions that were dear to the Neoclassical age and make way for individuality and experimentation. The Romantic movement is said to have emerged in Germany, which soon spread to England as well as France, however, the main source of inspiration for Romanticism came from the events and ideologies of the French Revolution.

To understand Romanticism better, it is very important to learn about the Romanticism characteristics which are as follows:

1. Love of Nature: The Romantics greatly emphasized on the importance of nature, and one of the main characteristics of Romanticism in poetry is the beauty of nature found in the country life. This was mainly because the industrial revolution had taken man from the peaceful country life towards the city life, transforming man's natural order. Nature was not only appreciated for its physical beauty by the Romantics, but also for its ability to help the urban man find his true identity. Written in the first person were being accepted, as the poetic persona became one with the voice of the poet.

2. Nationalism: The Romantics borrowed heavily from the folklore and the popular art. During the earlier periods, literature and art were considered to belong to the high class educated people, and the country folks were not considered fit to enjoy them. Also, the languages used in these works were highly poetic, which was totally different from that which was spoken by people. However, Romanticism changed all this. Their works were influenced from the ballads and folklore that were created by the masses or the common people, rather than from the literary works that were popular. Apart from poetry, adopting from the folklore and ballads is also one of the very important characteristics of Romanticism in music. As the Romantics became interested and focused on developing the folklore, culture, language, customs and traditions of their own country, they developed a sense of Nationalism which reflected in their works. Also, the language...
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