Download this page in PDF format Cholera first arrived at a time of significant political change that affected the way it was understood by various groups within Britain. The poor, the ill-defined middle-classes comprising diverse groups of people from small business owners and clerks to owners of large factories and many professionals like lawyers and doctorsand the traditional land-owning elite were all in the process of redefining their access to political power through the gradual extension of the right to vote.
Fresh ideals came to the fore; in particular, the ideal of freedom, long cherished in Englandwas being extended to every range of human endeavour.
As that ideal swept through Europeit became natural to believe that the age of tyrants might soon end. The most notable feature of the poetry of the time is the new role of individual thought and personal feeling.
To Particularize is the alone Distinction of Merit. Poetry was regarded as conveying its own truth; sincerity was the criterion by which it was to be judged. But feeling had begun to receive particular emphasis and is found in most of the Romantic definitions of poetry. Another key quality of Romantic writing was its shift from the mimetic, or imitative, assumptions of the Neoclassical era to a new stress on imagination.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge saw the imagination as the supreme poetic quality, a quasi-divine creative force that made the poet a godlike being.
Imagination, the Divine Vision. A further sign of the diminished stress placed on judgment is the Romantic attitude to form: Hand in hand with the new conception of poetry and the insistence on a new subject matter went a demand for new ways of writing.
It could not be, for them, the language of feeling, and Wordsworth accordingly sought to bring the language of poetry back to that of common speech. Nevertheless, when he published his preface to Lyrical Ballads inthe time was ripe for a change: Poetry Blake, Wordsworth, and Coleridge Useful as it is to trace the common elements in Romantic poetry, there was little conformity among the poets themselves.
It is misleading to read the poetry of the first Romantics as if it had been written primarily to express their feelings. Their concern was rather to change the intellectual climate of the age. William Blake had been dissatisfied since boyhood with the current state of poetry and what he considered the irreligious drabness of contemporary thought.
His early development of a protective shield of mocking humour with which to face a world in which science had become trifling and art inconsequential is visible in the satirical An Island in the Moon written c.
His desire for renewal encouraged him to view the outbreak of the French Revolution as a momentous event.
In works such as The Marriage of Heaven and Hell —93 and Songs of Experiencehe attacked the hypocrisies of the age and the impersonal cruelties resulting from the dominance of analytic reason in contemporary thought. Here, still using his own mythological characters, he portrayed the imaginative artist as the hero of society and suggested the possibility of redemption from the fallen or Urizenic condition.
William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridgemeanwhile, were also exploring the implications of the French Revolution. Wordsworth, who lived in France in —92 and fathered an illegitimate child there, was distressed when, soon after his return, Britain declared war on the republic, dividing his allegiance.
For the rest of his career, he was to brood on those events, trying to develop a view of humanity that would be faithful to his twin sense of the pathos of individual human fates and the unrealized potentialities in humanity as a whole.
His investigation of the relationship between nature and the human mind continued in the long autobiographical poem addressed to Coleridge and later titled The Prelude —99 in two books; in five books; in 13 books; revised continuously and published posthumously, The Prelude constitutes the most significant English expression of the Romantic discovery of the self as a topic for art and literature.
Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood. Simultaneously, his poetic output became sporadic. In Wordsworth dedicated a number of sonnets to the patriotic cause.Romanticism as a movement declined in the late 19th century and early 20th century with the growing dominance of Realism in the literature and the rapid advancement of science and technology.
However, Romanticism was very impressionative on most individuals during its time. Romanticism, attitude or intellectual orientation that characterized many works of literature, painting, music, architecture, criticism, and historiography in Western civilization over a period from the late 18th to the midth century.
The Romantic period The nature of Romanticism. As a term to cover the most distinctive writers who flourished in the last years of the 18th century and the first decades of the 19th, “Romantic” is indispensable but also a little misleading: there was no self-styled “Romantic movement” at the time, and the great writers of the period did not call themselves Romantics.
Definition of Romanticism. Romanticism (also the Romantic era or the Romantic period) is an artistic, literary, and intellectual movement that originated in Europe toward the end of the 18th century and was at its peak in the approximate period from to 1 Architecture of the 19th century and the Turn of the century (handout) `gnes Gyetvai-Balogh PhD Portrait of a Kleptomaniac () by realist Theodore Gericault.
WHAT IS ART? See: Definition and meaning of Art. 19th Century Portrait Paintings. Contents • Art During the Nineteenth Century • Romanticism • Realism • Academic Portraiture • Impressionism • Post-Impressionism • Symbolism Further Resources.