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A. Origins of European Romanticism  1780-1840 1. Despite its focus on the individual and the freedoms of man….. ….Romanticism ultimately sought to REJECT.

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Presentation on theme: "A. Origins of European Romanticism  1780-1840 1. Despite its focus on the individual and the freedoms of man….. ….Romanticism ultimately sought to REJECT."— Presentation transcript:

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2 A. Origins of European Romanticism 

3 1. Despite its focus on the individual and the freedoms of man….. ….Romanticism ultimately sought to REJECT the principles of the Great Enlightenment (hence, a review of those principles…)

4 The Enlightenment was all about: A.Logic; reason; restraint; balance B.Science; discovery; the present and future C.Secular, non-religious belief systems D.Truth defined universally, objectively through reason and proof

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11 3. Inspired by great political/cultural revolutions of the time [France, USA]  Promised new era of the individual; no more monarchs  Inspired by advances of the Enlightenment, specifically that man could change the paradigms of society

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13 4. Becomes an artistic, literary, and intellectual revolution  Goethe (Germany)  Wordsworth (England)  Beaudelaire (France)

14 B. Characteristics and Attitudes of Romanticism

15 1. Instead of logic, emphasis on strong, irrational emotion (part. Love, Lament, and Horror) and imagination Reliance upon the senses; experience was validated through emotion and feeling, not proof Reliance upon a willingness to “suspend disbelief” Baudelaire: “Romanticism is not a subject but rather a way of feeling and perceiving.”

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20 2. Unlikely Plots and Characters; a Fascination with the Bizarre *Rise of Gothicism: supernatural themes, moods, and settings -Shelley’s “Frankenstein”; Matthew Lewis’ “The Monk” (England) -Freidrich Schiller’s “The Ghost Seer” (Germany) -Nathaniel Hawthorne; Edgar Allan Poe; Herman Melville (USA)

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25 3. Instead of a focus on the present or future…Exotic, Remote, or Pastoral Settings; Often Glorifying the Past (e.g. middle ages, ancient Greece) *Revival of Folk Legends *Rise of Nationalism and National Identity through Literature, Music & Art

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30 4. Instead of a focus on Science and Discovery…Emphasis on the Power of NATURE and man’s place IN Nature Nature is a Teacher and a Refuge; conflicting ideals with Science Nature reveals God/Spirit/Wisdom to the Individual Belief in the Innocence and Goodness of Man (usually, not the Goths), especially in Eden-like Natural Settings At its extreme (Gothicism), a distrust of Science and Social “Progress”

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34 5. In response to secular, non-religious beliefs…Deep Spiritual longings and meanings Renewal of religious and/or spiritual themes, ideas, and concerns Rebellion against the overly intellectual climate of Enlightenment Theory (but certainly no second Great Awakening)

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37 6. Opposed to Socially Determined Morality….New Emphasis on Individual Morality and the Individual’s Quest for Meaning in Society Government exists to serve the individuals who created it The best path to God/Faith/Spirituality is through individual choice Adolescence is natural time of rebellion and angst in which one must “find himself” Self-definition and self-invention

38 7. Unlike “universal truth,” Truth becomes more subjective, something all men (and women, to some degree) must ultimately seek and find Belief in the Sanctity of the Individual Society corrupts man through its “Harmful Morality” (Rousseau) View of “progress” with a degree of irony and suspicion

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40 8. Celebration of Art, the Artist, and Individual Expression through Art Romanticism was a unprecedented cultural and artistic phenomenon which changed the western literary landscape…and still endures Fueled by an increasingly educated populace with time to read Artists, writers and composers become vital voices in society… architects of social change and national identity


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