Do You Remember?1. The time period where Scholars began to use reason to question superstition, ignorance, intolerance, and tyranny is known as… The Enlightenment2. The Time in France when Divine Right was questioned and a radical movement violently overthrew the Monarchy is known as… The French Revolution
Historical Background• The Industrial Revolution (just one of the 19thC revolutionary movements) entirely changed the face of society• Country people left their rural environment to work in the growing cities.• The middle class standard of living rose as technology and machines replaced handwork—and production greatly increased; but the lower classes suffered from the exploitation in the factories, mills, and sweatshops created by the Industrial Revolution.
SOCIAL & POLITICAL CONTEXT• PERIOD OF GREAT CHANGE IN ENGLAND: – AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY W/ POWERFUL LANDHOLDING ARISTOCRACY WAS GIVING WAY TO MODERN INDUSTRIAL NATION OF LARGE-SCALE EMPLOYERS & A GROWING, RESTLESS MIDDLE CLASS.
PERIOD OF CHANGE (cont.)• MILL TOWNS GREW, THE LANDSCAPE WAS INCREASINGLY SUBDIVIDED, FACTORIES SPEWED POLLUTION OVER SLUMS, & THE POPULATION WAS INCREASINGLY DIVIDED INTO RICH & POOR.
PERIOD OF CHANGE (cont.)• REFORMS DID NOT OCCUR BECAUSE THE PHILOSOPHY OF LAISSEZ-FAIRE (“LET ALONE”) PREVAILED.
LACK OF REFORM (cont.)• CONSEQUENCES WERE LOW WAGES, HORRIBLE WORKING CONDITIONS, LARGE- SCALE EMPLOYMENT OF WOMEN & CHILDREN IN BRUTALLY HARD OCCUPATIONS (SUCH AS COAL MINING).
LACK OF REFORM (cont.)• IN THE FACE OF TECHNOLOGICAL UN- EMPLOYMENT & POVERTY, WORKERS—WHO COULD NOT VOTE—HAD TO RESORT TO PROTESTS & RIOTS, INCURRING FURTHER REPRESSION.• BUT WHILE THE POOR SUFFERED, THE LEISURE CLASS PROSPERED.
PLIGHT OF WOMEN• WOMEN OF ALL CLASSES WERE REGARDED AS INFERIOR TO MEN, WERE UNDEREDUCATED, HAD LIMITED VOCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES, WERE SUBJECT TO A STRICT CODE OF SEXUAL BEHAVIOR, AND HAD ALMOST NO LEGAL RIGHTS.
PLIGHT OF WOMEN (cont.)• IN SPITE OF THE ABOVE, THE CAUSE OF WOMEN’S RIGHTS WAS LARGELY IGNORED.
Pre-Romantic WritersThe Age of Reason was in full swing by the 1750s.Factories were producing more goods for Britain than Thomas Gray, poetever before. While this meant economic prosperity for “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard”thousands, it also meant horrible working conditions forthousands more as men, women, and even children toiledin filthy factories for up to fourteen hours a day.Because of these conditions, writers and intellectuals Robert Burns, Scotland’sbegan questioning whether human reason alone could national bardsolve every problem. The Age of Reason, it seemed, had “My Luve is“To a Mouse”Red Rose” and Like a Red,not created utopia. Writers began turning away from thehigh-flown style of the neoclassicists and instead usedcommon, everyday language. These were the precursorsto the Romantic era, writers who challenged Mary Wollstonecraft, the ‘hyenaEnlightenment ideals and modes. in petticoats’ and radical feminist A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
What is the meaning of Romantic?Romanticism has very little to do with thingspopularly thought of as "romantic," althoughlove may occasionally be the subject ofRomantic art. Rather, it is an internationalartistic and philosophical movement thatredefined the fundamental ways in whichpeople in Western cultures thought aboutthemselves and about their world.
• Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe and strengthened in reaction to the Industrial Revolution• Many scholars say that the Romantic period began with the publication of "Lyrical Ballads" by William Wordsworth and Samuel Coleridge in 1798
ROMANTICISMTERM “ROMANTICISM” IS DIFFICULT TO DEFINEBECAUSE OF THE VARIETY OF LITERARYACHIEVEMENTS, AND WRITERS OF THE PERIODWERE ONLY LATER LABELLED “ROMANTIC.”
ROMANTICISM (cont.)BUT MANY HAD A SENSE OF “THE SPIRIT OFTHE AGE”—THAT A GREAT RELEASE OFCREATIVE ENERGY WAS OCCURING ASACCOMPANIMENT TO POLITICAL & SOCIALREVOLUTION. IT WAS SEEN AS AN AGE OFNEW BEGININGS & LIMITLESS POSSIBILITIES.
Historical Background• It was a cultural movement that stressed emotion, imagination and individuality.• It was partly a rebellion against the neoclassicism of the 18th Century and the age of reason—and their dissatisfaction with the real world.• The movement was very diverse and complex because its aim was to broaden horizons and encompass the totality of human experience.• It was international and influenced all of the arts.• Romantic writers broke away from convention…and emphasized freedom of expression. The term was actually adopted from literature—and the literary romantics themselves• Beethoven is credited for elevating the awareness level of the people with regard to music as a major art form—because now music was treated with a new respect in certain cultivated circles and was taken more seriously than it had been in the past.
Enlightenment vs. Romanticism ROMANTICISM CLASSICISM & RATIONALISM scientific observation of the outer examination of inner feelings,SOURCES OF world; logic emotions; imaginationINSPIRATION clasical Greek and Roman literature literature of the Middle AgesATTITUDES AND pragmatic idealisticINTERESTS interested in science, technology interested in the mysterious & concerned with general, supernatural universal experiences believed in following standards concerned with the particular and traditions felt optimistic about the present sought to develop new forms of emphasized moderation and self- expressions restraint Romanticized the past appreciated elegance, refinement tended towards excess and spontaneity appreciated folk traditionsSOCIAL CONCERNS valued stability and harmony favored a social hierarchy desired radical change interested in maintaining favored democracy aristocracy concerned with common people concerned with the individual concerned with society as a felt that nature should be untamed whole believed nature should be controlled by humans
CONCEPT OF POETRY, THE POETPOETRY WAS SEEN AS THE “SPONTANEOUSOVERFLOW OF POWERFUL FEELINGS”; THEESSENCE OF POETRY WAS THE MIND,EMOTIONS, & IMAGINATION OF THE POET(NOT THE OUTER WORLD).
POETRY & THE POET (cont.)FIRST-PERSON LYRIC POEM BECAME THEMAJOR ROMANTIC LITERARY FORM, WITH “I”OFTEN REFERRING DIRECTLY TO THE POET.– THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE SELF BECAME A MAJOR TOPIC OF ROMANTIC POETRY.
POETRY & THE POET (cont.)• POETS OFTEN SAW THEMSELVES AS PROPHETS IN A TIME OF CRISIS, REVISING THE PROMISE OF DIVINE REDEMPTION IN TERMS OF A “HEAVEN” ON EARTH.
POETIC SPONTANEITY, FREEDOMINITIAL ACT OF POETIC COMPOSITION MUSTARISE FROM IMPULSE; BE FREE FROM THERULES INHERITED FROM THE PAST; AND RELYON INSTINCT, INTUITION, & FEELING.
THE SUPERNATURAL & STRANGEMANY ROMANTIC POEMS EXPLORE THEREALM OF MYSTERY & MAGIC; INCORPORATEMATERIALS FROM FOLKLORE, SUPERSTITION,ETC.; & ARE OFTEN SET IN DISTANT ORFARAWAY PLACES.
THE STRANGE (cont.)• RELATED TO THIS WAS A RENEWED INTEREST IN THE MIDDLE AGES (AND THE BALLAD FORM) AS A BEAUTIFUL, EXOTIC, MYSTERIOUS BYGONE ERA.
THE STRANGE (cont.)• THERE WAS ALSO GREAT INTEREST IN UNUSUAL MODES OF EXPERIENCE, SUCH AS VISIONARY STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS, HYPNOTISM, DREAMS, DRUG-INDUCED STATES, AND SO FORTH.
INDIVIDUALISM & STRIVING• HUMAN BEINGS WERE SEEN AS ESSENTIALLY NOBLE & GOOD (THOUGH CORRUPTED BY SOCIETY), AND AS POSSESSING GREAT POWER & POTENTIAL THAT HAD FORMERLY BEEN ASCRIBED ONLY TO GOD.
INDIVIDUALISM (cont.)• THERE WAS A GREAT BELIEF IN DEMOCRATIC IDEALS, CONCERN FOR HUMAN LIBERTY, & A GREAT OUTCRY AGAINST VARIOUS FORMS OF TYRANNY.
INDIVIDUALISM (cont.)• THE HUMAN MIND WAS SEEN AS CREATING (AT LEAST IN PART) THE WORLD AROUND IT, AND AS HAVING ACCESS TO THE INFINITE VIA THE FACULTY OF IMAGINATION.
INDIVIDUALISM (cont.)• MANY WRITERS DELIBERATELY ISOLATED THEMSELVES FROM SOCIETY TO FOCUS ON THEIR INDIVIDUAL VISION. – THEME OF EXILE WAS COMMON, W/ THE ROMANTIC NON-CONFORMIST OFTEN SEEN AS A GREAT SINNER OR OUTLAW.
The Romantic Era William Blake (1757-1827) William Wordsworth (1770-1850) Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) Painter, Poet, Visionary “Father” of Romantic Poetry Poet of the Imagination“The Garden of Love” and “The The Prelude and “Tintern Abbey” “Kubla Khan” and Rime of the “First Generation” Tyger” Ancient Mariner “Second Generation”George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824) Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) John Keats (1795-1821) Scoundrel, Womanizer, Poet Romantic Revolutionary “Greatest” Romantic Poet? “She Walks in Beauty” and “Ode to the West Wind” and “La Belle Dame sans Merci” and Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage “Ozymandias” “Ode on a Grecian Urn”