Romantic Literature


Romanticism (or the Romantic era) was an artistic, literary, and intellectual movement that originated in Europe toward the end of the 18th century. Partly a reaction to the Industrial Revolution, it was a revolt against the scientific rationalization of nature.It was embodied most strongly in the visual arts, music, and literature, but had a major impact on historiography,educationand the natural sciences e.g biology. Its effect on politics was considerable and complex; while for much of the peak Romantic period it was associated with liberal and radical attitudes, in the long term its effect on the growth of nationalism was probably more significant.

Although the movement was rooted in the German Sturm und Drang movement, which prized intuition and emotion over Enlightenment rationalism, the ideologies and events of the French Revolution laid the background from which both Romanticism and the Counter-Enlightenment emerged. The confines of the Industrial Revolution also had their influence on Romanticism, which was in part an escape from modern realities; Romanticism elevated the achievements of what it perceived as heroic individualists and artists, whose pioneering examples would elevate society. It also legitimized the individual imagination as a critical authority, which permitted freedom from classical notions of form in art.

In English literature, the group of poets now considered the key figures of the Romantic movement includes William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats,Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly, Percy Bysshe Shelly, and the much older William Blake.


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