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The Romantic Period: 1798–1832 It’s about more than a feeling…!

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1 The Romantic Period: 1798–1832 It’s about more than a feeling…!

2 The Romantic Period: 1798–1832 Literary Highlights
Romanticism arises as a response to social and economic changes caused by the Industrial Revolution. Wordsworth and Coleridge publish Lyrical Ballads in Thus starting the Romantic Era. Keats, Byron, and Shelley write their greatest poems in the early nineteenth century.

3 Key Concept: Revolution Spreads
Lyrical Ballads, with a Few Other Poems Included both Coleridge’s long narrative The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Wordsworth’s “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey.” Both poems are now among the most important poems in English literature. Represented “a new kind of poetry”—spontaneous, emotional, self-revealing poems written in simple language about commonplace subjects.

4 Key Concept: Conservatives Clamp Down
Literature of the Times The Romantic poets were dedicated to political and social change believed in the power of literature thought imagination—not reason—was the best response to forces of change created private, spontaneous lyric poetry

5 Key Concept: Conservatives Clamp Down
Some Romantic Poets But to the eyes of the man of imagination nature is imagination itself. As a man is, so he sees To me this world is all one continued vision of fancy or imagination. —William Blake William Blake George Gordon, Lord Byron John Keats Percy Bysshe Shelley

6 Key Concept: Conservatives Clamp Down
Literature of the Times Romantic literature was dominated by poetry. Romantics thought poets were extraordinary people, necessary to humanity and society. Keats called poets “physicians,” Blake called them teachers, and Shelley thought they were the “unacknowledged legislators of the world.” The novel also thrived, however. Key novelists included Jane Austen, Maria Edgeworth, and Sir Walter Scott.

7 Key Concept: Comprehension Check
What new values and responses to change did the Romantic poets offer? [End of Section] 7

8 Key Concept: Industrialization Finds a Foothold
History of the Times England is the first nation to experience the effects of the Industrial Revolution. Swelling urban populations create desperate living conditions. The era’s misery and poverty are justified by an economic policy called laissez faire.

9 Key Concept: Industrialization Finds a Foothold
Industrial Revolution Production moves from homes to factories in the cities. Machines work many times faster than human beings. Communal land is taken over by individuals. Landless poor migrate to cities for work.

10 Key Concept: Comprehension Check
How did Gothic literature provide readers and writers in the Romantic period a new way to deal with the political and social upheavals around them? [End of Section] 10

11 The Romantic Period: 1798–1832 Introduction to the Literary Period
Your Turn Compose a brief description of Romantic writing. Consider using the following words in your description. literary device spontaneous inherent emotion overflow form and/or function [End of Section] 11

12 Themes of Romantic Poetry
Influences on Romantic Poetry Spread of democratic ideals through the American and French Revolutions and disillusionment after failure of French Revolution Reactions against harsh living and working conditions created for urban poor by the Industrial Revolution Fascination with nature and country life, which seemed a blissful retreat from city slums

13 Themes of Romantic Poetry
A New Focus in Poetry Invited readers to feel power and passion Tried to capture personal experience Romantic Period Restoration Era Order had just been restored. Society needed social change. Poets celebrated order, hierarchy, and enlightened rule. Poets wrote about personal feelings, supported individual rights, and used everyday language.

14 Themes of Romantic Poetry
A New Focus in Poetry Romantic comes from the word romance. A medieval romance is a tale of high adventure that idealizes knightly virtues and has supernatural elements. Romantic writers used elements of romance to go beyond Restoration Era formality and explore psychological and mysterious aspects of human experience.

15 Themes of Romantic Poetry
A New Focus in Poetry Romantic poets embraced imagination and naturalness instead of reason and artifice wrote about personal experiences and emotions, often using simple language saw nature as transformative; focused on the ways nature and the human mind mirrored each other’s creative properties Percy Bysshe Shelley

16 Themes of Romantic Poetry
Imagination: The Inspired Guide Many say the Romantic movement began in 1798 when Wordsworth and Coleridge published Lyrical Ballads. The Romantics are often considered nature poets. However, they are really “mind poets” who sought to understand the bond between humans and the world of the senses.

17 Themes of Romantic Poetry
Imagination: The Inspired Guide The Romantics saw imagination as the link between mind and nature. To them, imaginative experi- ences were especially moving, perhaps superior to human reasoning. The mysterious forces of Nature inspired them. All six of the major Romantic poets had their own ideas about imagination, but all believed that it could be stimulated by nature and the mind.

18 Themes of Romantic Poetry
Nature: The Wise Teacher If imagination is the Romantic poet’s guide to truth, Nature is the wise teacher that can deliver the lesson. Romantic poets considered themselves especially sensitive. They wanted to help people see the world in all its beauty, sadness, and tenderness.

19 Themes of Romantic Poetry
Nature: The Wise Teacher For the Romantic poets, nature was a balm to soothe the relentless hounding of an industrialized world. The poets had a strong sense of nature’s transformative properties. Poets tried to translate scenes of natural beauty into words so that readers might know the power of natural forces to shape thought and feeling.

20 Themes of Romantic Poetry
Nature: The Wise Teacher The Romantics’ interest in natural images and themes was reflected in Gothic literature. Novels such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein appealed to the imagination through Eerie settings Supernatural events Questions about humans’ ability to manipulate nature

21 Themes of Romantic Poetry
Experience: The Worthy Subject Romantic poets favored idealized rural settings. However, some celebrated the people who lived in crowded cities. They promoted rights to Healthful living conditions Relief from political or economic oppression Self-expression

22 Themes of Romantic Poetry
Experience: The Worthy Subject Some Romantics dreamed that poetry could offer an example of model behavior to improve horrific social conditions: Undemocratic governments Dangerous factories Child workers in coal mine Child labor Laissez-faire economic policies that left businesses unregulated

23 Themes of Romantic Poetry
EMOTIONS RULE Faith in Senses and Feelings Because the Romantic poetry valued individual experience, the rationalism previously admired was replaced by a trust in one’s emotions. The literature in England prior to this movement was witty, intellectual, and social. Romanticism rejects the social ‘us’ and embraces the ‘me’! Intuitions, feelings, and emotions ruled. Man’s heart was a more valued guide than his head. So, another characteristic of Romantic poetry is this enlightenment by emotion.

24 Themes of Romantic Poetry
Belief in the Supernatural Another characteristic of Romantic literature is the inclusion of supernatural elements. Perhaps, for the Romantics, Nature was so powerful that it could not be contained. Nature takes on a mysterious, sometimes even scary quality in literature of the Romantics. Supernatural elements play a large part in these works. Supernatural Natural

25 Themes of Romantic Poetry
Use of simple language Simple Language The Romantics searched for personal experiences and strove to communicate their power in meaningful ways. To achieve this, the Romantic writers employed simple and direct language. This was another way to reject the Neoclassical movement that hoped to emulate the ancient writers in lofty styles and language. Think of it this way… our most personal conversations, our most private, do not need elevated language to impress or ring true. This simple language is another Romantic characteristic.

26 Themes of Romantic Poetry
Ask Yourself 1. Where did Romantic poets look for inspiration? Why? 2. Why do you think Romantic poets wrote about nature during a time of change? [End of Section]

27 Forms of Romantic Poetry
Characteristics of Romantic Poetry Expresses the emotions and concerns of an individual as well as of society Varies the structure of traditional forms to suit a poem’s purpose Focuses on a poet’s personal connection to nature

28 Forms of Romantic Poetry
Function over Form The Romantics took poetry in a new direction. Romantic Poets 18th Century Poets Poetry was a strictly defined literary genre. Poetry was a playground of feelings. Poets experimented with forms and expressed feelings in natural language. Poets used formal language and structured traditional forms such as odes and sonnets. Function seems more important than form. Form seems more important than function.

29 Forms of Romantic Poetry
Ask Yourself 1. What was more important to Romantic poets, form or function? Why? 2. What topics did Romantic poets pursue? Why? [End of Section]

30 Lyrical Ballads, with a Few Other Poems
Early Romantic Poets William Wordsworth Lyrical Ballads, with a Few Other Poems “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey Samuel Taylor Coleridge The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Kubla Khan

31 Read Assigned Poems and Prepare for Literature Group )

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