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Classicism vs Romanticism

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1 Classicism vs Romanticism
Honors American Literature

2 Classicism (Age of Reason)
Definition: Believed that reason is the dominating characteristic of both nature and human nature, and both are governed by fixed, unchanging laws

3 Classicism 18th C (1700’s) Nature= a self-contained machine, whose laws could be rationally understood Valued clarity, order, balance Imagination had to be restrained by reason and common sense

4 Classicism Upheld tradition Resisted change Human limitations
Reason over Imagination Social over Personal all emphasized Common over Individual by Romanticism

5 Romanticism Definition:
Emphasized the emotions, an individual, intuition

6 Romanticism 1800 – 1830 Imagination gives expression to that which marks each person’s unique being All art is the imaginative expression of the inner essence of the individual/claim for individual freedom.

7 Romanticism Emphasized the human potential for social progress and spiritual growth Reflected political ideas in Decl. of Ind. “all men are created equal” which led to emphasis of the dignity and worth of the common indiv. and to social reforms to fulfill this ideal of equality

8 Romantic writers tried to express their own intuitive experiences.

9 Common Romantic Subjects
Nature The Past Inner World of Human Nature

10 Nature Emphasized beauty, strangeness, mystery of (not rational laws)
Saw as an organic process, constantly developing and changing Connection btwn human imagination and the natural world

11 The Past Later Romantic poets used dramatic incidents from early American history

12 Inner World of Human Nature
The exploration and expression of the writer’s most private inner being. Belief that this interior world of intense feeling is not ruled by reason. Interested in the irrational depths of human nature.

13 A Quick Comparison Age of Reason Romanticism Reason Imagination
Social (society) Personal Common Individual freedom Common sense Intuition Tradition Social reforms, spiritual growth (change) Rational law of nature Nature as mystery Human limitations Supernatural

14 Application How do the 3 common romantic subjects apply to “The Devil and Tom Walker” and The Scarlet Letter?

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