The Romantic Period

Report
The Romantic Period
1780-1830
The Romantic Period






A more daring, imaginative, and individual
approach to life and literature
Individual more important than society
Optimistic world-view based on the possibility of
progress and social and human reform
Favored democratic ideals
Shunned all forms of tyranny and the spreading
evils of industrialism: pollution, alienation of
people from nature, alienation of people from
one another
Society shunned any form of social injustice
An Age of Revolution


1776—American Revolution
1789—French Revolution
◦ Peasant class in France rose up and overthrew the French
aristocracy

1750-1850 Industrial Revolution
◦ England changed from an agricultural nation to an industrial
society
◦ Moved from home manufacturing to factory production
◦ More towns became cities
◦ More and more people moved to cities for work, living in
slums
◦ Children were exploited as a child labor force
◦ Increasing numbers of people lived in poverty
Reforms

Gradually society began to realize its
obligation to the poor and helpless
◦
◦
◦
◦
◦
Sunday schools were organized
Hospitals were built
Prison reform began
Child labor became regulated
Simplicity and naturalness replaced artificiality
and excess of British society
View of Man
Romantic writers saw humanity as
naturally good, but corrupted by society
and its institutions of religion, education,
and government
 Writers dreamed of a society in which
there would be liberty and equality for all.

Art and Literature

Romantic Poets
◦ Focused on nature as the principal source of inspiration,
spiritual truth, and enlightenment
 Nature was seen as the “eternal language” whereby God teaches and
molds the human spirit (Coleridge)
◦ Focused on the ordinary person and common life in order
to affirm the worth and dignity of all human beings (class,
wealth, and position were unimportant)
◦ Tone varied from awe and reverence towards nature and
man to anger and outrage towards unfair societal rules
◦ Supernatural/exotic theme occasionally employed
◦ Utopian ideal was established
 Define:
 Coleridge’s Utopia:
Themes:

Nature
◦ God is in nature (can be found in nature)
◦ God as Creator
 Man as creator







Individualism (the common man)
Social justice/injustice
Imagination
Industrialization
Revolution
Utopia
Supernatural/exotic
Terms:






Allusion
Blank Verse
Couplet
Free Verse
Gothic
Heroic Couplet





◦ Petrarch
◦ Shakespeare
Symbol
 Tercet
 Theme
 Tone








Imagery
Metaphor
Mood
Octave
Personification
Quatrain
Repetition
Rhyme
Sestet
Simile
Slant Rhyme
Sonnet
4 Major Poets

William Wordsworth
◦ Ordinary life is best subject because people are sincere
and natural
◦ Ordinary language is best suited to poetry-most
natural
◦ Expression of feeling is most important in poetry
◦ Poetry stems from “an overflow of powerful feelings”
◦ Poems: “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern
Abbey,” “Composed upon Westminster Bridge,
September 3, 1802,” “The World is Too Much With Us”

Samuel Taylor Coleridge
◦ Poem: “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”

Percy Bysshe Shelley
◦ Poems: “England in 1819” and “Ozymandias”

John Keats
◦ Poems: “When I Have Fears” and “Ode on a
Grecian Urn”
Your Wordsworth Moment


Think of the most beautiful natural scene
you have seen, the one that took your
breath away.
Focusing on imagery, reflect on the following
questions and jot down your thoughts.
◦ What did the scene sound like? What did you
hear?
◦ What did the scene smell like?
◦ What did it feel like? What did the air feel like?
◦ What did the scene look like?
Wordsworth Moment
Compile your reflections on the most
beautiful natural scene you have seen.
 Write a poem, either free verse or a
sonnet, in which you depict that scene.

◦ Use imagery
◦ Use at least two similes and two metaphors
◦ Use at least one line of repetition

similar documents