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The Romantic Era

Romantic Notes

Christina Bertran

on 28 March 2012

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Transcript of The Romantic Era

The Romantic Period
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
and William Wordsworth
kicked off the Romantic Era
with the publication of their book
"Lyrical Ballads, with a Few Other Poems."
Historically, the Romantic Period began with the French Revolution in 1789
and ended with Parliamentary reforms of 1832.
A turbulent, revolutionary age
agriculture -----> industry
Turbulent Times, Bitter Realities
America in 1776 - Age of Revolution swept across western Europe, releasing political, economic, and social forces that produced some of the most radical changes ever experienced in human life.
The French Revolution = the triumph of radical principles. People of the day viewed this regime change as a spectator sport and would watch battles and beheadings for sport. Poets, such as Wordsworth, wrote about the excitement of the day.
King Louis kill hundreds with the lastest technology, the guillotine.
The unrest in France caused the English conservatives to become even more rigid, with concerns that upheaval would occur in England. To make things worse, Napoleon Bonaparte emerged as the first dictator of France in 1804. Needless to say, Napoleon = Tyrant. War ensued between England and France.
The Tyranny of Laissez Faire
Laissez Faire translates as "let the people do as they please."
*** Industrial Revolution***
Changes from agricultural and handmade items to mass produced machine-made items caused a shift in the life and jobs of the people. Huge factories were created in cities and the people had to go to the work. The Result - over populated cities and desperate living conditions.
As a result of the Laissez Faire policy - child labor, famine and homelessness were rampant.
With nowhere to turn and no hope in sight for many citizens in England, poets created a way for people to escape the horrors or their daily lives....by escaping into the imagination, a place where one could leave the world behind.
What does "Romantic" Mean?
It has nothing to do with love stories or soap operas...sorry.
1. "Romantic" signifies a fascination with youth and innocence, with "growing up" by exploring and learning to trust our emotions.
2. "Romantic" is applied to a stage in the cyclical development of societies: This is the stage when people need to question tradition and authority in order to imagine better ways to live.
3. The Romantic Era also describes when western societies reached the conditions necessary for industrialization. This demanded that people acquire a stronger awareness of change and that they try to find ways to adapt to it.
Poetry, Nature and the Imagination
Good poetry was " a spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings." - Wordsworth
Common belief of the time stated that poetry should use simple, unadorned language to deal with commonplace subjects for a particular purpose. Romantics believed that there is nature, and there are human beings to experience nature.
Romantics are often called Nature poets.
Romantics prize the beauty and majesty of nature. They presented imaginative experiences that are moving, not a description of the forest or a pretty flower.
Thus, the desire for witty satires declined. :(
The Idea of the Poet
Fulfilling the concept of genuine "speaking."
The Romantic poets focused on speaking with their hearts and minds through poetry. They felt that we should consider reading poetry as similar to eavesdropping on a private conversation. They charged themselves with creating convincing conversation for us to listen in on.
Poetry is supposed to be about human experience, about the fundamental relationship between the mind and other people and other things.
Eerie, supernatural, terror...yeah...that about sums it up.
1. The "little gothick Castel."
Horace Walpole began construction in 1747.
Consisted of Neoclassical architecture - with
quirky irregularities, such as rustic battlements
and overgrown landscaping.
2. Making Monsters
3. Exploring unseen evils
The Lure of the Gothic

The Downside of Industry
At the start of the rule of George III's son, there was an economic depression that caused the loss of many jobs. With the improvement of factory machinery, fewer employees were needed to complete jobs. As a result, unemployed workers rioted in the Luddite riots, destroying the machinery. This crime was made punishable by death after this extreme violence.
Postwar Problems
Unemployment swelled after the veterans of the Battle of Waterloo returned home.
The agricultural sphere was thrown into conflict as the Corn Law was passed. It taxed imported grain, which protected the income of landowners and small farmers, but devastated the poor and unemployed by keeping food prices high.
Factory workers banded together to try to fight for their rights, but Labor unions were illegal. In one incident, known as the Peterloo Massacre, 11 people were killed by troops trying to break up a demonstration.
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