Romantic Period Introduction 03262010

Romantic Period
What does it mean to call something Romantic?
Statements that Embody or Suggest
1. The answers to life’s most
puzzling questions can be found
through discussions with a
simple person who lives in the
country close to nature—not
with a sophisticated, welleducated person from the city.
2. The answer to life’s most
puzzling questions can be found
through a connection with
Portrait of Insane
Woman, 1822
Statements that Embody or Suggest
The Nude Maja 1800-03.
3. The use of one’s
imagination is more
important than rational
4. Subjectivity is more
important than objectivity.
5. Knowledge is gained
through gut reactions and
subjective hunches rather
than level-headed,
objective, deductive
The Clothed Maja 1800-03.
Statements that Embody or Suggest
6. Nature is more important
than art.
7. Experimental trial and
error is a better process
than the conventional
scientific method.
8. Poetry should be
spontaneous and full of
emotion, not planned and
The Leaping Horse
Statements that Embody or Suggest
9. Sensitivity, feelings, and
spontaneity are more important
than intellectualism.
10. “Dare to be” is a better battlecry than “dare to know.”
The Burning of the Houses
of Lords and Commons,
16th October, 1834,
Characteristics of Romanticism
Interest in the common man and childhood
• Romantics believed in the
natural goodness of humans
which is hindered by the
urban life of civilization.
They believed that the
savage is noble, childhood is
good and the emotions
inspired by both beliefs
causes the heart to soar.
The Voyage of Life: Youth
begun 1839
Characteristics of Romanticism
Strong senses, emotions, feelings
• Romantics believed that
knowledge is gained
through intuition rather
than deduction. This is best
summed up by Wordsworth
who stated that “all good
poetry is the spontaneous
overflow of powerful
The Voyage of Life: Childhood
begun 1839
Characteristics of Romanticism
Awe of Nature
• Romantics stressed the awe
of nature in art and
language and the
experience of sublimity
through a connection with
nature. Romantics rejected
the rationalization of nature
by the previous thinkers of
the Enlightenment period.
The Woodcutter
Watercolor over graphite
Characteristics of Romanticism
Celebration of the
• Romantics often elevated
the achievements of the
misunderstood, heroic
individual outcast.
Wanderer above the Sea of Fog 1818
Characteristics of Romanticism
Importance of Imagination
• Romantics legitimized the
individual imagination as a
critical authority.
Ulysses deriding Polyphemus, 1829
The Raft of Medusa
What is the denotative
(dictionary meaning)
and the connotative
(idea/implied meaning
or association)
meaning of the
primary words in the
Explain how
characterization is used to
establish the difference in
emotions between the
people at the bottom of
the raft and at the very
top through an analysis of
the following elements of
indirect characterization:
• appearance and/or
• effect on others
• action or movement
Is the painting
dominated by warm or
cool colors?
Describe the location of
the dark and light
Overall, do the colors
and light establish a
positive or negative
What is the symbolic
meaning of three
individual elements in
the work?
How do these three
symbols work together
to establish an overall
meaning of the work?
Review your responses
for numbers 2–4 and
describe what you
believe to be the
artist’s attitude towards
the subject of this
Explain how two
elements from the
work help establish this
tone (remember that
some works have more
than one tone).
At what point on the
plot line does the scene
depicted in this work
Explain how specific
elements in the work
helped you determine
your answer.
State the central,
underlying, and controlling
idea of this work.
It is important to recognize
the difference between the
theme of a literary work and
the subject of a literary
work. The subject is the
topic on which an author
has chosen to write. The
theme, however, makes
some statement about or
expresses some opinion on
that topic. For example, the
subject of a story might be
war while the theme might
be the idea that war is
• Upcoming Readings:
– Ozymandias (pronounced OzzyMANDeeus)
– “Rime of the Ancient Mariner”
– Frankenstein: the Frankenfolio
Options: lessons in manners, budgeting,
• A Portfolio: compilation of your stuff!
• Presentations: each of you will present at
least two times
– Chapter Presentation
– Mini-lecture (a research topic)
• Layers of Fun!
Weekend homework
Read “Ancient Mariner”, answer questions
Decisions for Frankenstein
-Group, Chapter, and Mini-Lecture

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