The Romantic movement is a movement that began in Europe in the late 18 th century
The Romantic period was an intellectual and artistic movement—this includes literature, visual art, music and architecture
The Romantic movement flourished in Britain—we still read many of the British Romantic poets such as William Blake, William Wordsworth, John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley and Lord Byron.
The movement began in America in 1828 (roughly)
It ended in 1865 with the onslaught of the Civil War, which led to the Age of Realism .
The Characteristics of Romanticism
Romanticism is a direct reaction to the Revolutionary period (Britain: Age of Enlightenment), a period that focused on reason, traditional forms of poetry and science.
An emphasis on the beauty and purity of nature
Emphasis of emotion over reason
Belief in the natural goodness of man
Belief that nature and simplicity= purity and cities and sophistication= corruption
Belief in “The 5 I’s”- Imagination, Intuition, Innocence, Inner Experience, and Inspiration from nature/supernatural
Characteristics of Romanticism, Cont’d
Another integral part of the Romantic period is the concept of the Romantic hero, a concept that emerged during this movement and still exists today
The Romantic Hero
The Romantic Hero valued emotion rather than rational thought, he often lived excluded from society, and became one with the natural world. He was youthful, innocent, intuitive, close to nature, and hopelessly uneasy with women who represented the trappings of civilization.
The “Noble Savage” – an idealization of the Native American as the epitome (best example) of simplicity, innocence and closeness with nature.
The Romantic Hero
Famous Romantics and their Works
Washington Irving– “Rip Van Winkle” The Legend of Sleep Hollow
James Fenimore Cooper—The Last of the Mohicans
William Cullen Bryant (poet)- “Thanatopsis”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow- “Evangeline”
Edgar Allan Poe- many poems and short stories
Herman Melville- Moby Dick
Nathaniel Hawthorne- “The Scarlet Letter”, short stories
The Dark Romantics
Emphasizes the supernatural, grotesque, the gloomy and the morbid.
Unlike the Romantics, the Dark Romantics acknowledged the evil of man and the horror of evil.
The Dark Romantics- Edgar Allan Poe ( the father of the horror genre), Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville.
Remember: The Romantic period is not about Romantic love! It is a literary movement and has nothing to do with the romance novel.