In the Romantic Period we see an
explosive release of artistic energy, an
experimental boldness, and creative
power that marks an artistic renaissance
(1) Imagination, Emotions, and Intuition.
Exaltation of intense feelings.
Descartes: I think, therefore I am.
Rousseau: I felt before I thought.
(2) Subjectivity of approach; the cult of the
individual; the absolute uniqueness of every
(3) Freedom of thought and expression.
A revolt against authority and tyranny, against the
ancien regime, whether social, political, religious, or
Thomas Paine: “The Rights of Man.”
Mary Wolstonecraft: “A Vindication of the Rights of
Alienation and rebellion: Cult of Youth, Energy, and
(4) Idealization of Nature
Embracing the uncivilized, the wild, the pre-civilized.
Rousseau: “Man is born free and everywhere he is in
chains.” In other words, civilization is in part the cause
of our corruption.
The “noble savage,” and James Fennimore Cooper’s
Leatherstocking novels, I.e. The Last of the Mohicans.
The first viewed nature as peaceful, calm,
nurturing, a source for spiritual renewal. It
often showed an innocent life of rural dwellers,
a world of peace and harmondy which
nurtures and comforts the human spirit. This
is very much how Wordsworth viewed nature.