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Transcript of ROMANTICISM
The novel of manners
In the 19th century, we have the rise of the novel of manners. In this period, industrial and business interests, characterized the middle classes.
The novel of manners dealt with how these classes behaved in every day situation, and described their codes of conduct. The most important author of this period is Jane Austen,whose novels are based on that there is a relationship between manners, social behaviour and character.
- set in upper- and middle-class society;
- main themes: marriage, the complications of love and friendship;
- third-person narrator;
- dialogue is the main narrative mode, and it's also used as a vehicle for irony;
- passions and emotions are not expressed directly but more subtly and obliquely;
Characteristics of the novel of manners
Pride and Prejudice is a novel of manners by Jane Austen, first published in 1813.The story follows the main character, Elizabeth Bennet, as she deals with issues of manners, morality, education, and marriage in the society of the landed gentry of the British Regency. Elizabeth is the second of five daughters of a country gentleman living near the fictional town of Meryton in Hertfordshire, near London.
Pride and Prejudice
Reality and vision
English Romanticism saw the prevalence of poetry, which best suited the need to give expression to emotional experience and individual feelings.
gained a primary role in the process of poetic composition.
The imagination allowed the Romantic poets to see beyond surface reality and apprehend a truth beyond the power of reason.
It allowed the poet to re-create and modify the external world of experience
It is the way to overcome the power of reason and to have a new way to understand the nature.
With imagination the poet can re-create and modify the external world of experience
The poet was seen as a prophet or as a teacher whose task was to mediate between man and nature, and to criticize some aspects of the society
They appreciate the natural world and their work are rich in descriptions of natural elements and landscapes
For them nature is a "living force" became a a main source of inspiration and a source of comfort and joy
Nature helps man to overcome their sadness
Poetic technique, breaking free from models and rules, they searched for a new, individual style through the choice of language and subject suitable to poetry.
More vivid words replace artificial circumlocution
Syntax make fewer concessions to the demands of rhyme and metre
Symbols and images lost their decorative function to assume a role of vehicles for the emotions
Return to ballad, sonnet, lyric poem
Two generation of poets
Included William Wordsworth and S.T. Coleridge
They write about beauty of nature and the power of supernatural and ordinary things with the aim of making them interesting for the reader.
All died very young and away from home
They put in their poems their political disillusionment of the Revolution. Their poetry is like an imitation of life,a mirror of reality, but coincided with the desire to challenge the cosmos, nature and political and social order.
The Gothic Novel
The gothic novel developed in the second half of 18th century like the product of social inequity: the Industrial Revolution had destroyed the importance of every single human being, that became slave of powerful men. Gothic novels, in fact, can also be read as a denounce to the changes of this period.
The concept of Sublime also influenced the Gothic novel through the work of Edmund Burke, linked to the ideas of self-divinity and celebration of terror.
The Gothic novelists aimed to shock the reader.
The adjective "Gothic" is linked to:
medieval, because it was related to the Architectural Style of the Middle Age;
irregular and barbarous, as opposed to Classicism;
wild and supernatural, in the sense of mysterious and fearful.
great importance to terrifying descriptions;
ancient settings (castles, abbeys) with hidden passages and secret rooms;
settled in Catholic countries, place of terrible crimes due to the Protestant prejudice;
sense of mistery pervading everything;
presence of supernatural beings like vampires, monsters and ghosts;
heroine persecuted by unreal terrors (on the model of Richardson's "Pamela");
terrifying male characters victims of their negative impulses without command over them;
exagerrated reaction of the characters to mysterious situations or events;
very complicated plots with lots of misterious elements;
individualist man who wants to be like God and seeks forbidden knowledge.
For Romantics, the sublime is a meeting of the subjective-internal (emotional) and the objective-external (natural world) :
We use our emotions to overcome our rationality as we experience the beauty of creation.
Romantics are interested in natural experiences that consume us, perhaps moving us to tears, and giving us a humbling sense of the majesty of the natural world.
Beauty is what is well-formed and aesthetically pleasing while the Sublime is what has the power to force us to do something and to destroy us .
The preference of the Sublime represents the sign of the passage from Neoclassicism to Romanticism
For Burke the sublime is an idea capable of causing respect, reverence and admiration (inferior effects) and
t (highest effect).
This idea comes from the
of a place by a subject to a certain distance but able to get involved in the show.
The theme of
becomes a central element, according to which everything that can create ideas of pain and danger, is a source of the sublime, which produces the strongest emotion which the mind is capable of feeling.
The Egoistical Sublime
Romanticism can be seen as a creative period in
which the cultural view of the world was readjusted.
Man wanted to explore new possibilities of outlook, to use imagination to express his feelings without using rationality and to break the "subconscious" levels of human mind.
The word "Romanticism" derives from the French word "romance", and was used as word referring to :
picturesque in the landscape;
the feeling the landscape created in the observer (subjective and incommunicable emotions).
Childhood in Romanticism period was considered as
a temporary state, when a child was purer than an adult because he was unspoilt by civilisation and because his sensitiveness was uncorrupted.
Childhood was a state to be admired and cultivated.
The significance of the Individual
The Romantics exalted man for his individual mind, in particular the atypical, the outcast, the rebel.
Rousseau told that everything that was impulsive for human mind was good, and he saw civilisation as a form of corruption. The "noble savage" was a demonstration that instinctive knowledge could save man better than civilisation from this superior world.
The Cult of the Exotic
Romantics loved everything that was far away
both in space and in time.
They had interest in travel, to explore new dangerous
places, make new experiences and to change social outlook.
New trends in poetry
Some of the most important poets of this
period are Wordsworth and Coleridge,but
between them we can find several differences in fact Coleridge creates a fantastic atmosphere, full of supernatural elements and in Wordsworth we have description of reality.
Other author of this period are for example William Cowper who wrote "The Task" celebrating country life for its simplicity and domesticity or Thomas Percy. There is also an important group of poets, known as "the Graveyard school" because of their melancholy tone and the choice of cemeteries,ruins and stormy landscapes
New generation of poets established to abandon Augustan tradition, to prepare the way for the Romantic poets. This new generation of poets prefer to use subjective and autobiographical material, so we find lyrical an personal experience of life. The poetry was essentially reflective.
The setting was the country. Their appeal lay in the melancholy and suffering produced by war or contrasted love. Nature was described as a gloomy and wild place.
"The Castle of Otranto" is a novel written by Horace Walpole in 1764, generally regarded as the first gothic novel.
The novel tells the history of Manfred, the prince of Otranto, who is keen to secure the castle for his descendants against a mysterious curse.
The novel had a major effect on the reading public throughout Europe, with the poet Thomas Gray commenting to Walpole that it made ‘some of us cry a little, and all in general afraid to go to bed o’nights.’
Another famous gothic novel is "Frankenstein", written by Mary Shelley.
Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" is considered a Gothic novel because it incorporates numerous elements of Gothic literature, including a dark setting, the supernatural, the sublime and an atmosphere of terror and horror and the seeking of forbidden knowlwdge.
Gothic novel masterpieces
Emotion vs reason
From 1870 we have a new sensibility. You
think, in fact, that reason can' t solve all the
problem and also that the individual response
is more valid than communal. In this period we have also the interest in countryside and gothic elements, romantics people want to return to the past. Another thing is that people love something with there aren't the intervent of man. The key word of these period are: emotion, melancholy, exoticism,
emotion and nature.