2A Definition of “Romanticism” “A literary movement, and profound shift in sensibility, which took place in Britain and throughout Europe roughly between 1770 and Intellectually it marked a violent reaction to the Enlightenment. Politically it was inspired by the revolutions in America and France…Emotionally it expressed an extreme assertion of the self and the value of individual experience…together with the sense of the infinite and the transcendental. Socially it championed progressive causes…The stylistic keynote of Romanticism is intensity, and its watchword is ‘Imagination’” (Drabble [The Oxford Companion to English Literature])
3Put It In Context Before Restoration (or Neoclassicism) 1660-1798 Order, reason, clarity, logic, scientific, universal experiencesGulliver’s TravelsAfterThe Victorian Age1833 – 1901Depicting realism and naturalism (detail-loaded), optimism education, moralityA Tale of Two Cities
4Restoration versus Romanticism Scientific observation of outer world; logicPragmatic (practical)Science, technologyGeneral, universal experiencesOptimistic about presentModeration, self-restraintAristocratic; society as wholeNature controlled by humansExamine inner feelings, emotions, imaginationIdealistic (optimistic)Mysterious, supernaturalConcerned with the particular (very specific)Romanticizing the pastExcess, spontaneityConcerned with common people and individualsFelt nature should be untamed
5Important Dates: American Revolution (fighting ended in 1781): French Revolution1798: Publication of Lyrical Ballads: Romantic Period
6“The Big Six” Romantic Poets William BlakeWilliam WordsworthSamuel Taylor ColeridgePercy Bysshe ShelleyJohn KeatsGeorge Gordon, Lord Byron
7Other Romantic Writers Jane AustenLeigh HuntMary ShelleyMary WollstonecraftSir Walter ScottRobert Southey
8Schools of Romantic Poetry 1.Lake SchoolWilliam WordsworthSamuel Taylor ColeridgeRobert SoutheyCockney SchoolLeigh HuntJohn KeatsOther LondonersRadcliffe SchoolImitators of the gothic style(Anne Radcliffe pioneered gothic style)4.“Young Poets”Percy Bysshe ShelleyReynolds
9Notable Romantic Painters John Constable (painting of “Flatford Mill”  to the right)J.M.W. TurnerWilliam BlakeClaude MonetEugene Delacroix
10Notable Romantic Musicians BeethovenFranz SchubertClaude DebussyVerdiChopinFranz Josef HaydnMozart
11Lyrical BalladsFirst published anonymously in 1798 as Lyrical Ballads, with a Few Other Poemsby Wordsworth and ColeridgeIncludes “Tintern Abbey” and “Rime of the Ancient Mariner”In the Preface, Wordsworth writes that good poetry is the “spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings”
12Key Romantic Themes Imagination Egotism The particular The remote The primitiveThe medievalThe EastThe sublimeNatureIrrational experiences (dreams and drugs)Awareness of process and current conceptions of art and introspectionLonging for the infinite encounter through intense experiences of sublime nature (storms, mountains, oceans)
13Key Events of Romantic Age 1798: Lyrical Ballads published1812: Byron publishes Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage1813: Jane Austen publishes Pride and Prejudice1818: Mary Shelley publishes Frankenstein1819: Percy Bysshe Shelley publishes “Ode to the West Wind”1820: John Keats publishes “Ode on a Grecian Urn”1832: First Reform Act extends voting rights and end of the Romantic Age
14ElegyDefinition: “An elegy is a lament setting out the circumstances and character of a loss. It mourns for a dead person, lists his or her virtues, and seeks consolation beyond the momentary event. It is not associated with any required pattern, cadence, or repetition.”Examples: “Elegy Written in a Country Courtyard” by Thomas Gray and “Adonais” by Percy Bysshe Shelley
15Thomas Gray, from “Elegy” The curfew tolls the knell of parting day, The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea, The ploughman homeward plods his weary way, And leaves the world to darkness and to me. Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight, And all the air a solemn stillness holds,Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight, And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds: Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower The moping owl does to the moon complain Of such as, wandering near her secret bower, Molest her ancient solitary reign.
16Shelley, from “Adonais” (I) I weep for Adonais - he is dead! O, weep for Adonais! though our tears Thaw not the frost which binds so dear a head! And thou, sad Hour, selected from all years To mourn our loss, rouse thy obscure compeers, And teach them thine own sorrow, say: "With me Died Adonais; till the Future dares Forget the Past, his fate and fame shall be An echo and a light unto eternity!"
17PastoralDefinition: “The pastoral is a mode of poetry that sought to imitate and celebrate the virtues of rural life (a nature poem).”Examples: “To My Sister” by William Wordsworth and “Ode on a Grecian Urn” by John Keats
18Wordworth, from “To My Sister” It is the first mild day of March: Each minute sweeter than before The redbreast sings from the tall larch That stands beside our door. There is a blessing in the air, Which seems a sense of joy to yield To the bare trees, and mountains bare, And grass in the green field. My sister! ('tis a wish of mine) Now that our morning meal is done, Make haste, your morning task resign; Come forth and feel the sun.
19Keats, “Ode on a Grecian Urn” Thou still unravished bride of quietness, Thou foster child of silence and slow time, Sylvan historian, who canst thus express A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme: What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape Of deities or mortals, or of both, In Tempe or the dales of Arcady? What men or gods are these? What maidens loath? What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape? What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on; Not to the sensual ear, but, more endeared, Pipe to the spirit dities of no tone. Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare; Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss, Though winning near the goal---yet, do not grieve; She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss Forever wilt thou love, and she be fair!Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu; And, happy melodist, unweari-ed, Forever piping songs forever new; More happy love! more happy, happy love! Forever warm and still to be enjoyed, Forever panting, and forever young; All breathing human passion far above, That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloyed, A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.
20Who are these coming to the sacrifice Who are these coming to the sacrifice? To what green altar, O mysterious priest, Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies, And all her silken flanks with garlands dressed? What little town by river or sea shore, Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel, Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn? And, little town, thy streets for evermore Will silent be; and not a soul to tell Why thou art desolate, can e'er return.O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede Of marble men and maidens overwrought, With forest branches and the trodden weed; Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought As doth eternity. Cold Pastoral! When old age shall this generation waste, Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st, "Beauty is truth, truth beauty"---that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
21OdeDefinition: “An ode is a formal address to an event, a person, or a thing not present. There are three types: Pindaric, Horatian, and Irregular.”Examples: “Ode to the West Wind” by Percy Bysshe Shelley and “To Autumn” by John Keats
22Keats, “To Autumn” SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness, Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; Conspiring with him how to load and bless With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run; To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees, And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core; To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells With a sweet kernel; to set budding more, And still more, later flowers for the bees, Until they think warm days will never cease, For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they? Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,— While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day, And touch the stubble plains with rosy hue; Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn Among the river sallows, borne aloft Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies; And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn; Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft; And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store? Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find Thee sitting careless on a granary floor, Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind; Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep, Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers: And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep Steady thy laden head across a brook; Or by a cyder-press, with patient look, Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.
23LyricDefinition: “An ancient subdivision of poetry. One of poetry’s three categories, the others being narrative and dramatic. The poet addresses the reader directly and states his own feelings.”Examples: “Frost at Midnight” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge and “To Spring” by William Blake
24Coleridge, from “Frost at Midnight” The Frost performs its secret ministry, Unhelped by any wind. The owlet's cry Came loud--and hark, again ! loud as before. The inmates of my cottage, all at rest, Have left me to that solitude, which suits Abstruser musings : save that at my side My cradled infant slumbers peacefully. 'Tis calm indeed ! so calm, that it disturbs And vexes meditation with its strange And extreme silentness. Sea, hill, and wood, This populous village ! Sea, and hill, and wood, With all the numberless goings-on of life, Inaudible as dreams ! the thin blue flame Lies on my low-burnt fire, and quivers not ; Only that film, which fluttered on the grate, Still flutters there, the sole unquiet thing.
25Blake, “To Spring”O THOU with dewy locks, who lookest down Through the clear windows of the morning, turn Thine angel eyes upon our western isle, Which in full choir hails thy approach, O Spring! The hills tell one another, and the listening Valleys hear; all our longing eyes are turn'd Up to thy bright pavilions: issue forth And let thy holy feet visit our clime! Come o'er the eastern hills, and let our winds Kiss thy perfumed garments; let us taste Thy morn and evening breath; scatter thy pearls Upon our lovesick land that mourns for thee. O deck her forth with thy fair fingers; pour Thy soft kisses on her bosom; and put Thy golden crown upon her languish'd head, Whose modest tresses are bound up for thee.
26SonnetDefinition: “A sonnet is a poem of fourteen lines, usually iambic. There are two prominent types: the Petrarchan and the Shakespearean.”Examples: “Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802” by William Wordsworth and “Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley
27Wordsworth, “Composed Upon” Earth has not anything to show more fair:Dull would he be of soul who could pass byA sight so touching in its majesty:This City now doth, like a garment, wearThe beauty of the morning; silent, bare,Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lieOpen unto the fields, and to the sky;All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.Never did sun more beautifully steepIn his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!The river glideth at his own sweet will:Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;And all that mighty heart is lying still!
28Shelley, “Ozymandias” I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stoneStand in the desert. Near them on the sand,Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frownAnd wrinkled lip and sneer of cold commandTell that its sculptor well those passions readWhich yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.And on the pedestal these words appear:`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!‘Nothing beside remains. Round the decayOf that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,The lone and level sands stretch far away".