Texts and Issues Towards Society in Romantic Era

Topics: Romanticism, William Wordsworth, Percy Bysshe Shelley Pages: 9 (2429 words) Published: October 5, 2011

"Reason and the evidence of our senses were important no doubt but they mean nothing to us unless they touch our needs, our feelings, our emotions. Only then do they acquire meaning. This meaning' is what the Romantic Movement is all about."(Dr. George Boeree) This may describe the best for Romantic movement. There were many changes that made this movement. The perception that the Enlightenment was destroying the natural human soul and substituting it with the mechanical, artificial heart was becoming prevalent across Europe. Also another thought that was at the wake of romanticism were the words of the French revolution emphasizing liberty, freedom, and individuality as well as the need in England to escape what the industrial revolution was doing to the country. There are many people who expressed their thought that made the romantic period what is was, especially through their literary works. Literary starting points for the romantic period are difficult to determine; however, the period is often described as covering the years between the 1780s and 1830s. There are however key people who are involved in cementing certain expressions. By critical consensus the Romantic poets are the six male poets: William Blake, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Colleridge, Percy Bysshe Shelley , John Keats and Lord Byron. Together, it has been argued, they formed a literary known as ’Romanticism’, which mark a profound shift in sensibility. They demonstrated the creative imagination, a new way of looking nature, the nature of individual self and the value of individual experience. By Studying some texts from some of famous people mentioned above, we will be able to know what life that was happened in that era. Here, we provide the text as well as issues of general aspects, such as, what class, power, and politics treating them, what they missed from their land and landscape, and even slavery trades issues, as the approaches study of Romantic Era.


1.Class, power, and politics
Literary texts of the Romantic period were shaped and informed by a number of social and political issues. Many have argued that the work of the Romantics is a response to the disruptive social and economic changes in the normal patterns of life occasioned by the growth of the factory system, the disappearance of whole classes of workers in traditional crafts, and the increasing population in cities. It is often argued that Romantic poetry shows a concern with the dignity of the individual person and a psychological concern for the distressed and alienated state of mind. Many of Romantic believed that the disruptions in the patterns of life occasioned by the commercial and industrial process and its impersonal abstraction of the economics interests of the individual, blunted the mind and made it solitary. Against this sense of social disintegration, the Romantic demonstrated a concern with the whole, with integration, and with unity: “The One Life”, in Coleridge’s phrase. •William Blake sympathized with the Revolution, which he regarded as an outburst of freedom against the repressive forces of monarchy and established religion. He expressed his radical and free- thinking ideas in a series of visionary poems. In his Songs of Innocence and of Experience, he castigated a society which condones the use of children to undertake potentially lethal employment:

God and his priest and king
Who make up a heaven of the boys misery
London (William Blake)
The poem ‘London’ presents an apocalyptic vision of the British Empire’s capital city, a place of fear and terror in the grip of political and psychology repression by the ‘mind-forged manacles’ of empiricist philosophy. It presents a searing indictment of the hypocrisies and cruelties of the political and religious establishment: 2

I wander thro’ each charter’d street,
Near where the charter’d Thames does flow
And mark in every face I...

References: Damrosch, Leopold. 1985. Adventures in English Literature. Florida: Harcourt Jovanovich Inc.
Erdman, David V. 1971. The Blake Complete Poems. London: Longman Group Limited.
Poplawski, Paul. 2008. English Literature in Context. Cambridge: Cambridge University Pers.
Wordsworth, William. 2004. Lyrical Ballads with other poems, Volume One. Pennsylvania : Pennsylvania State University.
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