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Feminism and romanticism

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Published in: Education, Spiritual

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  • 1. Feminism and Romanticism
  • 2. Rise of Romanticism
    • Romanticism was a literary movement occurring at the end of the 18 th century, and into the very beginning of the 19 th century.
    • Three criteria of Romanticist literature:
    • --valuing of self as subject-matter
    • -- valuing of emotion over reason
    • -- interest in the exotic, bizarre, extraordinary
  • 3.
    • The Romanticists saw nature as the catalyst for imaginative experience.
    • Art was not merely mimetic (mirroring) reality, but rather produced through the imaginative process within.
    • Nature provides the context for transcendent experiences. Connecting with nature is connecting with something larger than oneself.
  • 4. First Generation Romanticists
    • William Wordsworth
    • Samuel Taylor Coleridge
    • William Blake
    • They shared in common a sympathy towards the French Revolution.
  • 5.
    • The French Revolution was the defining historical event of the end of the eighteenth century in Europe.
    • The Romanticists embraced the democratic goals of the French Revolution, by attempting to make their literature ‘democratic’ through their diction and syntax – a poetry of the people.
  • 6.
    • The Romanticists rejected 18 th century Neoclassicism, with its controlled, rational, emotionless and formulaic poetry.
    • First generation Romanticists saw revolution as the state of romance on earth, a new kingdom on earth.
    • Or, as Wordsworth puts it, the “mystic marriage” between the mind and nature
  • 7. Second Generation Romanticists
    • Lord Byron
    • Percy Bysse Shelley
    • John Keats
    • These Romanticists were writing after the French Revolution.
    • They are exiles from England, living in Europe.
  • 8.
    • The second generation Romanticists saw man in opposition to nature.
    • Man was in quest for an absent ideal.
    • Both generations took the view that the poet is isolated, introspective, subjective
  • 9.
    • Christianity is secularized in Romanticist literature.
    • Common themes in Romanticist literature: alienation and exile, death and rebirth, self-consciousness.
  • 10.
    • Wordsworth was an idealist, with faith in nature and the perfectibility of man.
    • The second generation of Romanticists were skeptics, distinct in their pessimism compared to the failed ideals of the first generation.
  • 11. Romanticist Sisters
    • Dorothy Wordsworth
    • Joanna Baillie (Scottish)
    • Mary Tighe (Irish)
    • Mary Wollstonecraft
    • Mary Shelley
    • Emily Bronte
  • 12.
    • Percy Bysse Shelley, in Defense of Poetry , appropriates the metaphor of female procreativity to describe his creative process
    • Emphasis on exoticism, fear of female power (Keats) and interest in the Satanic hero (Byron).
  • 13.
    • How would we define “feminine Romanticism”?
    • Critic Ann Mellor: it is an alternative to the radical social transformation of male romanticists.
    • If a man were to make “the tranquility of his domestic affections” his first priority, there would be no empires, and therefore no wars.
    • Mellor: The system should have a mother as well as a father.