What is Romanticism in Literature? Idea & the History of Romanticism

The 18th century in Europe began with the Glorious revolution and progressed through Romanticism. It was the Neoclassical period in the visual arts. Romanticism is regarded as one of the most significant cultural occurrences across all era. Romanticism, unlike most of what passes for history, is neither a battle, a piece of technology or a democratic incident It alludes to the emergence of a new cluster of beliefs and concepts.

Romanticism, What is Romanticism, What is Romanticism in Literature, Romanticism Literature, History of Romanticism

What is Romanticism in Literature?

Romanticism is regarded as one of the most significant cultural occurrences across all era. Romanticism, unlike most of what passes for history, is neither a battle, a piece of technology or a democratic incident It alludes to the emergence of a new cluster of beliefs and concepts.

Romanticism is a nuanced artistic, textual, and philosophical movement that began in Western Europe in the second half of the 18th century and grew in power during the Industrialization. It was partially a response to the scientific rationality of nature and a backlash to aristocratic social and political ideals of the Glorious revolution, and it was most forcefully expressed in the visual arts, music, and literature.

The approach emphasised powerful emotion as a source of aesthetic experience, emphasising emotions like awe, terror, and apprehension when confronted with the sublimity of untamed nature and its “picturesque” attributes, both of which were new aesthetic categories. It defended a “natural” epistemology of human actions as conditioned by nature in the form of language, custom, and usage, as well as elevating folk art and custom.

The Ideologies and Major Events in the History of Romanticism

The ideologies and events of the French Revolution, which were rooted in Romanticism, influenced its course, as did the confines of the Industrial Revolution, which was in part an escape from modern realities; indeed, “Realism” was offered as a polarised opposite to Romanticism in the second half of the nineteenth century. The achievements of what Romanticism saw as misunderstood heroic individuals and artists who changed society were glorified. It also established the individual imagination as a crucial authority, allowing artists to break away from traditional concepts of form. In the portrayal of its ideas, there was a significant reliance on historical and natural inevitability, a Zeitgeist.

Historical events that seeded the Romanticism

Paris, Marais, May 1762.

The Swiss philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau authored “Emile,” or “On Education,” a dissertation on child upbringing. It consists of outbursts against the harsh surroundings of the grownup world. In addition, he praises children’s inherent goodness, innocence, and decency. It might be tough to encourage mothers to breastfeed their children at times. The first sustained justification for this behavior in Western civilization. The society of Rousseau is becoming more rational, scientific, and technically oriented. It is becoming more organised, systematic, sterile, and administrative. In contrast, Rousseau emphasizes the child as the ultimate rebel, the epitome of everything that is pure, unenlightened, and beyond human control. It is the pioneer of genius and invention. For the first time in Western history, grandeur is directed toward the freedom from precedent and the innate purity and sensitivity of the child, rather than the attainment of purpose and adult self-control.

Brook Street, London, August 1770

Thomas Chatterton, a 17-year-old poet, dies in a small attic flat after consuming arsenic. He kills himself because no one wants to publish his poetry on beauty and wisdom. And because his ignorant family is pressuring him to become a lawyer. A cult develops quickly around the young, beautiful poet with shoulder-length chestnut hair. He has become a symbol for romantics of something very important: the delicate, sad individual, often an artist abandoned by a violent, vulgar world. Chatterton is the first in a long line of romantic heroes that stretches from Byron through the Keiths to Van Gogh and, eventually, Jim Morris and Amy Winehouse. Romanticism draws inspiration from Christianity. The romantic hero has the appearance of a westernised Christ figure. In the eyes of those who understand, the failure is actually a truly noble person.

Francisco Goya paints “The Sleep of Reason Brings Out Monsters,” one of his most famous works, in 1798 in Madrid, Spain. It shows a typical romantic fascination with the limits of rationality and the illogical’s effect on human intellect. To be romantic is to sympathise with lunacy and to be dismissive of pretentious claims about the triumph of reason, science, and truth.

September 1829, Niagara Falls, New York, USA With a few of Native Americans in the foreground, American painter Thomas Cole creates one of his most iconic depictions of the great Niagara Falls. Cole is most known for his stunning images, enormous landscapes of the American heartland that depict nature at its most majestic. By comparison, the man appears lost and little. This is also a common romantic attitude, because romantics do not believe in God, but instead seek for the feelings associated with religion and find them in large, open areas in nature. To be a romanticism is to seek solace from the stresses of urban life in the kind of natural grandeur that transcends all human accomplishments and worries.

April 1847, Westminster, London 14 years after some inept bureaucrats set fire to the British parliament, a new structure constructed by a rising star architect, Augustus Pugin, reopens. Almost though the structure is modern, it is designed to seem old, extremely old, even mediaeval. It’s full with armoured outfits and reclining angels. When the architect Pugin defends the structure, he claims that it is Noble because it harkens back to his country’s pre-industrial history, before it became enamoured with money or technology. It initiates with a Middle Ages cult, a major subject and romanticism that locates a nobility in the world of knights and castles that is perceived to be absent from the industries and shopping malls of today.

May 1863, Saint-Germain, Paris A prose poem by French poet Charles Baudelaire honours an uncommon individual known as a flâneur, or stroller or loafer. A relaxed nomad who has no specific work to go to and just wants to spend his time watching the lively street life of a modern metropolis, threading his way among the throng, meandering rather than rushing, sample people’s conversations, and developing narratives for other people’s lives. The flâneur’s fun and lack of pragmatism appeal to Baudelaire, a classic romantic. This individual is not a waste of time. Baudelaire is a prince, unlike the dreary wage slaves going to the new offices of capitalism, thus it doesn’t matter if he doesn’t have a job.

April 1891, Le Havre Paul Gauguin, a French painter, set sail for Tahiti, seeking to get away from everything artificial and conventional. He spends the remainder of his life in the Pacific South Seas, sketching young Native ladies who are calm and natural in their clothing. They are proof, in his opinion, that civilisation is the cause of sickness, a romantic idea. As the world has become increasingly technical, rational romanticism has come to stand up for the irrational, the untrained, the exotic, the infantile, and the innocent.

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