The Romantic Period 1798-1832.

1 The Romantic Period ...
Author: Imogene Beasley
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1 The Romantic Period

2 During this time period Mary Shelley published FrankensteinRomantic Period During this time period Mary Shelley published Frankenstein (Published in 1818)

3 Romantic Period REMEMBER… This period starts 732 years after the end of the Anglo-Saxon time period in England.

4 Romantic Period Thus, we are jumping ahead in English history and literature -The Anglo Saxons -The Middle Ages -The Renaissance -The Restoration and 18th Century -The ROMANTIC PERIOD

5 Romantic Period The actual period is said to begin with the FRENCH REVOLUTION The period is said to end with the PARLIAMENTARY REFORMS OF 1832 that laid the political foundations for modern Britain

6 Romantic Period You may be wondering: What does the word “ ROMANTIC ” mean in the context of this period?

7 Romantic Period The word “romantic’” comes from the term “ROMANCE,” and romance was one of the most popular genres of medieval literature.

8 Romantic Period Medieval Connection:Romantic writers self-consciously used the elements of romance in an attempt to go back beyond the refinements of neoclassical literature to older types of writing that they saw as more “genuine”

9 Romantic Period The romance genre allowed writers to explore new, more PSYCHOLOGICAL AND MYSTERIOUS aspects of human experience.

10 Romantic Period The writers of the Romantic period lived in England during a time of SOCIAL UPHEAVAL. The INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION in England changed the way people lived, where people lived, and how business was done. (England changed from an agricultural society to an industrial nation w/ almost everyone living in the city)

11 Romantic Period Writers before this time period tended to rely on SCIENCE and REASON to base their writings on…(Remember, the Restoration was often called the “Age of Reason”) Writers soon after this time period, such as the Victorian era, wrote to AFFECT CHANGE in society.

12 Romantic Period In contrast, the Romantic writers focused on PERSONAL EXPERIENCE and IMAGINATION in their work. (This change in thinking was thought to be NEEDED b/c of all the political, economic, and social changes taking place…remember… INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION) Thus, they were not as concerned with “REASON”… Imagination was superior!

13 Romantic Period Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein calls into QUESTION THE AIMS and METHODS OF SCIENCE…we’ll explore this more while we study the novel…..Muah Ha HA HAAA You experienced this questioning in the FOREWORD of the novel

14 Frankenstein is a Gothic NovelRomantic Period Romantic literature that included the elements of mystery, horror, and the supernatural is known as GOTHIC Frankenstein is a Gothic Novel

15 No trench coats in class pleaseLOL… NBD

16 Gothic Literature Gothic novels tended to feature TROUBLESOME TONESREMOTE SETTINGS MYSTERIOUS EVENTS

17 Gothic Literature The characters’ INNER EMOTIONAL LIVES receive a lot of attention.

18 The struggle between GOOD vs. EVIL is prominentGothic Literature The struggle between GOOD vs. EVIL is prominent

19 That’s all folks… THE END Any Questions?

20 Romantic Poets/PoetryThe Romantic period could be argued to start with the selling of Lyrical Ballads, with a Few Other Poems

21 Romantic Poets/PoetryLyrical Ballads was written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth. Included Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Wordsworth’s Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey.

22 Romantic Poets/PoetryThe era has been most identified with with six poets: William Blake William Wordsworth Samuel Taylor Coleridge Percy Bysshe Shelley John Keats George Gordon “Lord Byron”

23 Romantic Poets/PoetryRemember, before this time the American Revolution had taken place and the French Revolution was taking place.

24 Romantic Poets/PoetryThe American Rev. not only cost England economically, but it was also a loss of prestige and confidence.

25 Romantic Poets/PoetryThe French Rev. was a prime example of an anointed king being OVERTHROWN by a democratic mob. French Rev. meant the triumph of radical principles…the English worried this would spread.

26 Romantic Poets/PoetryThe French called for a worldwide revolution In 1793 England declared war on France In 1804 Napoleon Bonaparte declared himself dictator of France. (Napoleon just as bad as executed king, associated w/ “tyrant”)

27 Romantic Poets/PoetryAs a result of all the changes in western Europe, especially in France, conservatives in England institute severe repressive measures It outlawed collective bargaining and kept suspected spies in prison w/out a trial

28 Romantic Poets/PoetryHowever, many Romantics (including poets) supported the idea of revolution/change, and clung to their hopes for the “DAWN OF A NEW ERA” through peaceful change Hopes provoked and shaped by upheavals in English life brought about by the INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION

29 Romantic Poets/PoetryRemember, Industrial Revolution brought many people to the city to work in factories where machines replaced handmade articles. City populations greatly increased and resulted in very POOR LIVING CONDITIONS.

30 Romantic Poets/PoetryIndustrial Revolution also caused land to no longer be communally owned. This resulted in MANY LANDLESS PEOPLE Thus, these landless people MIGRATED TO THE CITY in search of work or charity.

31 Romantic Poets/PoetryThe economic cause of all this misery was called “LAISSEZ FAIRE” Translated means “let (people) do (as they please)” Meaning economic forces were out of the government’s control Result = rich grew richer and the poor got poorer. (children also suffered b/c they were often times forced to work)

32 Romantic Poets/PoetryAs a result… Frustrated by England’s resistance to political and social change during this age of revolution around the globe, the ROMANTIC POETS became dedicated to bringing about change.

33 Romantic Poets/PoetryThese poets believed in the force of literature. They turned from the formal, public verse of the 18th century Augustans to a more private, spontaneous, lyric poetry. These lyrics expressed the belief that IMAGINATION, rather than reason, was the best response to the forces of change.

34 Romantic Poets/PoetryThe term “Romantic” has at least THREE useful meanings relevant to the Romantic poets.

35 Romantic Poets/Poetry#1: A Child’s Sense of Wonder: “Romantic” signifies a fascination with youth and innocence…particularly the freshness and wonder of a child’s perception of the world. This perception seemed to resemble the age’s sense of a “new dawn”…like what Wordsworth saw in his first experience in France as “human nature being born again.”

36 Romantic Poets/Poetry#2: Social Idealism: The term “Romantic”refers to a view of cyclical development of human societies. This is the stage when people need to question tradition and authority in order to imagine better - that is, happier, fairer, and healthier - ways to live. Romantic in this sense is associated with idealism.

37 Romantic Poets/Poetry#3: Adaptation to Change: The term “Romantic”suggests an ability to change- an acceptance of change rather than a rigid rejection of it. In the so-called Romantic period of the first half of the 19th century (up to the Civil War in America), Western societies met the conditions necessary for industrialization. This demanded that people acquire a stronger and stronger awareness of change, and that they try to find a way to adapt to it.

38 Romantic Poets/PoetryOverall, the term “romantic” signifies a fascination with youth and innocence, a questioning of authority and tradition for idealistic purposes, and an adaptation to change.

39 END HERE More in depth following… ANY QUESTIONS?

40 Romantic Poets/PoetryIn Lyrical Ballads, Wordsworth declared that he was writing a new kind of poetry that he hoped would be “well adapted to the interest of mankind permanently…”

41 Romantic Poets/PoetryIn Lyrical Ballads, the subject matter would be different form that of earlier giants of poetry - like Alexander Pope - who used poetry to satirize, or to persuade the reader with argumentative techniques.

42 Romantic Poets/PoetryFor Wordsworth, good poetry was “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings.” Such poetry would use simple, unadorned language to deal with commonplace subjects.

43 Romantic Poets/PoetryIt is a mistake to think of the Romantics as “nature poets.” Rather, these poets were “mind poets” who sought a deeper understanding of the bond between human beings and the world of the senses.

44 Romantic Poets/PoetryTheir search led them to a third, more mysterious element present in both the mind and nature….this element is a creative power that makes things happen…this power is the IMAGINATION. The Romantics thought this superior to human reasoning.

45 Romantic Poets/PoetryEach of the Romantics had his or her own special view of the imagination. However, all of them believed that the imagination could be stimulated by both nature and the mind itself. These poets had a strong sense of nature’s mysterious forces, which both inspire the poet and hint at the causes of great changes taking place in the world.

46 Romantic Poets/PoetryRomantic poems usually present imaginative experiences as very powerful or moving. This suggests that the human imagination is also a kind of desire - a motive that drives the mind to discover things that it cannot learn by rational or logical thinking.

47 Romantic Poets/PoetryIn the Preface to Lyrical Ballads, Wordsworth makes it clear that the poet is special: the poet is “endowed with more lively sensibility, more enthusiasm and tenderness…a greater knowledge of human nature, and a more comprehensive soul, than are supposed to be common among mankind.” All Romantic poets described the ‘poet’ in such lofty terms.

48 Romantic Poets/PoetryFor example: (differing poets views of the poet) William Blake held the poet to be the bard, an inspired revealer and teacher. Coleridge thought the poet “brings the whole soul of man into activity” by employing “that synthetic and magical power…that imagination.” Shelley called poets “the unacknowledged legislators of the world.” Keats wrote that a poet is a “physician” to all humanity and “pours out a balm upon the world.”

49 Romantic Poets/PoetryThus, the Romantics saw the poet as someone human beings and society cannot do without. Romantics saw a very special place for the poet or the artist in society…they saw poets in a role similar to that of a priest, teacher, or master. In the Romantic view, the poet functions as a sort of spiritual guide to the inner realms of intuition.

50 Romantic Poets/PoetryOverall, in the Romantic period, poetry was no longer used to make complex arguments in a witty, polished style. Romantic poets used unadorned language to explore the significance of commonplace subjects, the beauty of nature, and the power of human imagination.