Two main contributing factors 1. French Revolution 2. Industrial Revolution
French Revolution Influences 1. July 14, 1789 – storming of Bastille 2. Assertion of basic right of man opposed to rights of monarchy. Many romantic poets saw this as a turning point in history that would lead to a more civilized society. 3. Society becomes more violent Reign of terror 4. Napoleon becomes Emperor Many feared that Britain would come under French control. Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo in 1815
French Revolution Influences (cont) Many British liberals supported the French Revolution. William Wordsworth Percy Shelley Called King George III an “old, mad, blind, despised, and dying king.” William Blake Was bitterly opposed to the social, political, and spiritual abuses of the time
Industrial Revolution Economic Effects: Shift from agricultural society to industrial society Previously open fields and communally worked farms are now privately owned
Industrial Revolution Political Effects: Shift in power from landholding aristocracy to workers and factory owners New landless class Corn law – taxed imported grain Laissez-faire – “allow to do” – argues that an economy works best without government interaction.
Industrial Revolution Oppositions: Capital vs labor Owner vs worker Rich vs poor Labor Unions were illegal Peterloo massacre – the government tried to suppress workers from assembling. 11 workers were killed for having a company meeting.
Characteristics of Romanticism Technical characteristics: Use of lyric poetry Simple, unadorned language Use of first-person
Characteristics of Romanticism Subject matter: Nature The supernatural The past Individuality Rural, country life
Characteristics of Romanticism Philosophy: Emphasis on the power of imagination Poetry as a way to express feelings and self-reflection Poetry speaks of personal experiences and emotions
Major British Romantic Authors William Wordsworth Samuel Taylor Coleridge William Blake Percy Shelley John Keats Lord Byron Byronic hero – dark, brooding, handsome, restless, and a bit diabolical. Robert Burns – Scottish (used the dialect of his people in his writing)
Lyrical Ballads w/ a few other poems William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge composed a book of poems together.
Lake Poets William Hazlitt Robert Southey Dorothy Wordsworth Named the “Lake Poets” because they lived near a lake.
Romantic Prose Jane Austin – focuses most of her characters on everyday life Mary Shelley – Frankenstein – gothic take that expresses societies fears and anxieties.
Gothicism Genre developed during the Romantic Period Evokes terror in people Shows the darker side of human nature Considered the forerunner of modern mysteries or science fiction
Elements of the Gothic Novel An atmosphere of mystery and suspense Omens and visions Supernatural or unexplained events High emotion Women in distress