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University of Sarajevo
Faculty of Philosophy
English Department
Poetry of English Pre-romanticism

NATURE IN CLASSICISM AND ROMANTICISM

Student : Emina Husejinović Sarajevo, December 2012
Mentor : Faruk Bajraktarevic

Introduction

In the end of the 18th century, Romanticism came out as a response to Classicism. This change was moderate but nevertheless, it could be seen in literature, philosophy, art etc. The classical approach to world was bound and determined and classicists had seen world around them as having a steady structure. Unlike them, romanticists viewed world as a place where they could freely express their ideas and create marvelous literature without boundaries.
Romanticists and classicists differed in many things. Most importantly, the way of thinking about society they belonged to and the way they experienced nature. But also, rationality and imagination had a completely diverse meaning to both classicists and romanticists.
Classicists had no affection for nature. “They often portrayed it as beautiful but chaste, like a formal garden.”1 Romanticists on the other hand, adored nature, were inspired by it and found it fascinating.

Classicism

“Some 18th c. philosophers asserted that human beings are naturally good and find their highest happiness in the existence of virtue and benevolence. Such a view of human nature we describe as ‘sentimental’. It found the source of virtue in instinctive and social impulses rather than in a code of conduct sanctioned by divine law. And people began to feel pleasure in the exercise of benevolent impulses.”2 Classicism and Romanticism can almost be considered as enemies. One’s goal was to depict and display the ultimate truth of life and the other wanted to show pictures of fierce and raw emotions that emerged after the Revolution 2



Cited: 1. Coleridge, Samuel Taylor . Christabel; Kubla Khan, a vision; The pains of sleep Oxford University, 1816 2. Dobson, Austin and Goldsmith, Oliver ; The deserted village: a poem written by Oliver Goldsmith and illustrated by Edwin A. Abbey, R. Harper & brothers, 1902 3. Dr. Larry E. Gates, Jr. “Romanticism.” Retrieved December 11, 2012 on the World Wide Web: http://www.historydoctor.net/Advanced%20Placement%20European%20History/Notes/Romanticism.htm 4. Iqbal, Maryam (March 12, 2009). “The Function of Nature in 18th Century vs. Romantic Period Literature.” (Essay) Retrieved December 11, 2012 on the World Wide Web: http://bookstove.com/poetry/the-function-of-nature-in-18th-century-vs-romantic-period-literature/ 5. Mititelu, Ina (2010) “History of British Literature from Origins to the Age of Reason” (Book,pdf) Retrieved December10, 2012 on World Wide Web: http://www.usch.md/Documents/Note20de20curs/Filologie%20Engleza/Note%20de%20curs%20Mititelu_doc.pdf 6. Nicolson, Benedickt and Wright, Joseph. In Awe of Nature London: The Paul Mellon Foundation for British Art 1968 7. Nichols, Asthon “Samuel Taylor Coleridge” (Essay). Retrieved December 12, 2012 on the World Wide Web: http://users.dickinson.edu/~nicholsa/Romnat/coleridge.htm 8. Pojer, Susan. “Romantic Art” (PowerPoint Presentation) Retrieved December11, 2012 on the World Wide Web: http://castinet.castilleja.org/users/pmckee/romantic-web.site/

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