Spirit of the Age

Topics: Romanticism, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Wordsworth Pages: 3 (759 words) Published: December 12, 2010
“The Spirit of the Age”
The Romantic period is characterized in which literature departed from the classical ideas of restraint and began to focus on: individual consciousness, nature, emotion, and originality. Authors such as William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge wanted readers to connect with the authors’ deepest thoughts, feelings, and inspire thoughts from within. At the core of the Romantic period is an opposition to the poets who have assimilated classical precedents “opposition to the literary ancient regime… imposed on poetry artificial conventions that distorted its free and nature expression” (The Norton Anthology D:8). The Romantic period can be seen as a response to the scientific rationalization of nature during the Industrial Revolution.

Because of the Industrial Revolution, populations began to separate from an agricultural based society to urban cities. The inventions of the time period began to displace human labor in favor of machines which resulted in fewer jobs and lower wages. With the widening gap between rich and poor, and the growing suffrage of the poor caused authors distrust towards technology and science. This distrust towards technology stimulated authors to return to a previous rural life close to nature. Authors wanted to connect with the population to help people understand the beauty and simplicity in nature. To do this task Romantic authors commonly wrote in the first person in that the average person could connect with the feelings of the author.

The Romantic Movement was a result of the scientific thought during the Enlightenment or the emphasis of rational thought applied through reasoning and mathematics to nature. The idea of scientific approach to nature from the view of the Romanticist gave the feeling of attempt to control nature rather than to coexist with nature. “Romantic literature … blissful simplicity, of genuinely perceived particular phenomena of the natural world and bold visions of its...
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