Presentation on theme: "The Romantic Period 1780-1830. The Romantic Period A more daring, imaginative, and individual approach to life and literature Individual more important."— Presentation transcript:
The Romantic Period
The Romantic Period A more daring, imaginative, and individual approach to life and literature Individual more important than society Optimistic world-view based on the possibility of progress and social and human reform Favored democratic ideals Shunned all forms of tyranny and the spreading evils of industrialism: pollution, alienation of people from nature, alienation of people from one another Society shunned any form of social injustice
An Age of Revolution 1776—American Revolution 1789—French Revolution ◦ Peasant class in France rose up and overthrew the French aristocracy Industrial Revolution ◦ England changed from an agricultural nation to an industrial society ◦ Moved from home manufacturing to factory production ◦ More towns became cities ◦ More and more people moved to cities for work, living in slums ◦ Children were exploited as a child labor force ◦ Increasing numbers of people lived in poverty
Reforms Gradually society began to realize its obligation to the poor and helpless ◦ Sunday schools were organized ◦ Hospitals were built ◦ Prison reform began ◦ Child labor became regulated ◦ Simplicity and naturalness replaced artificiality and excess of British society
View of Man Romantic writers saw humanity as naturally good, but corrupted by society and its institutions of religion, education, and government Writers dreamed of a society in which there would be liberty and equality for all.
Art and Literature Romantic Poets ◦ Focused on nature as the principal source of inspiration, spiritual truth, and enlightenment Nature was seen as the “eternal language” whereby God teaches and molds the human spirit (Coleridge) ◦ Focused on the ordinary person and common life in order to affirm the worth and dignity of all human beings (class, wealth, and position were unimportant) ◦ Tone varied from awe and reverence towards nature and man to anger and outrage towards unfair societal rules ◦ Supernatural/exotic theme occasionally employed ◦ Utopian ideal was established Define: Coleridge’s Utopia:
Themes: Nature ◦ God is in nature (can be found in nature) ◦ God as Creator Man as creator Individualism (the common man) Social justice/injustice Imagination Industrialization Revolution Utopia Supernatural/exotic
4 Major Poets William Wordsworth ◦ Ordinary life is best subject because people are sincere and natural ◦ Ordinary language is best suited to poetry-most natural ◦ Expression of feeling is most important in poetry ◦ Poetry stems from “an overflow of powerful feelings” ◦ Poems: “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey,” “Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802,” “The World is Too Much With Us”
Samuel Taylor Coleridge ◦ Poem: “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” Percy Bysshe Shelley ◦ Poems: “England in 1819” and “Ozymandias” John Keats ◦ Poems: “When I Have Fears” and “Ode on a Grecian Urn”
Your Wordsworth Moment Think of the most beautiful natural scene you have seen, the one that took your breath away. Focusing on imagery, reflect on the following questions and jot down your thoughts. ◦ What did the scene sound like? What did you hear? ◦ What did the scene smell like? ◦ What did it feel like? What did the air feel like? ◦ What did the scene look like?
Wordsworth Moment Compile your reflections on the most beautiful natural scene you have seen. Write a poem, either free verse or a sonnet, in which you depict that scene. ◦ Use imagery ◦ Use at least two similes and two metaphors ◦ Use at least one line of repetition