Romanticism in British Literature

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Romanticism in British Literature

Ms. MengouchiRomanticism in British Literature


IdealismIntuitionNatureFreedom from tradition


Denis Diderot future is built on reason: man is born to think for himself. His works were banned by the government.Jean Jacques Rousseau: feeling over thought, to feel is to exist .American revolution inspired new ideas of equality and liberty in Europe Influences

Both (Diderot and Rousseau) believed that control and authority are repressive and thought that man needs freedom.Rousseau: Man was born free and everywhere he is in chainsCivilized man is born and dies a slaveMan is innately good, but science is wicked and civilization is harmful and all cultures are corruptCalled for the end of civilization Nature never deceives us, it is we who deceive ourselves Jean Jacques Rousseau

FRENCH REVOLUTION: Political upheaval in France inspired dreams of liberty.1793 Louis XVI is executed by the GuillotineFrench Revolution inspired ideas of freedom and liberty to the British

1780 French Revolution

Romanticism revolted against Industry, commerce, rationality, science, the new technology-oriented world.Revolted against the repressive organized lifestyle of the modern world.Revolution against authority and hierarchy

There are two Generations:First Generation Romantics: William Blake, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor ColeridgeThey are known as the Lake poets because they originate from Lake DistrictThey were against change, wanted a return to poetry, imagination and legend. (Nostalgia for the past) They wanted a return to the magical and Mysterious.

Major Figures

The Second Generation Romantics: John Keats, P. B. Shelley, Lord ByronThey defied the standards of society, revolted against and transgressed the laws.Sought to give meaning to life They were self-sufficient and individualisticTheir poetry was self regarding and subjective.They were envoloped in passion and emotion, incorporating so much more intuitive thought, the supernatural, the exotic.Sought satisfaction and made it unreachable.

German literary figure, one of the fathers of Romanticism.1774 The Sorrows of Young WhertherA love story between Wherther, a poet, and Charlotte, a married beauitful woman.The book encouraged society to prefer love rather than class, lineage, and money.In Romanticism it is noble to follow ones heartJohann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Imagination is the source of artSought freedom: he thought the system enslaved him.Chose poetry and painting to express his uncommon ideas. Life is a prison, will and imagination are locked out of imposed systems Blake was influenced by the ideals and ambitions of the French and American Revolutions.William Blake 28 November 1757 12 August 1827

Blake and Wordsworth had a grief for children who had to workBlake wrote The Chimney SweeperSpontaneous childhood visions are the source of adult Inspiration1726 Rousseau: Wisedom of little children, spontaneity, adults are repressive (like reason)Industrialization Vs Child innocenceThere is human nature in child innocence, and rational corruption in adult disciplineInnocence is a source of creativity and genius

William Wordsworth(7 April 1770 23 April 1850

Revolution promised freedom for the future of humanity: Human nature seems born again The dream of a new world is broken by the turn of events in FranceConflict between France and Britain.Wordsworth became wanderer in search of peace.Landscape restored his faith in human nature.

Poetry about human passions

Celebrated nature (daffodils, oak trees, rivers, butterflies)

Hated anything mechanical and industrial

Preferred simplicity and nature rather than industry.In Bristol he wrote poetry with Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Both saved Romanticism from the chaos of the French revolution.

Both made a bond to change the world through poetry

The Lyrical Ballads 1798-1800A collection of poems written by both W. Worsdworth and Samuel T Coleridge.This collection is considered as the bible of Romanticism for it contains its main principles.They wrote with the same purposes of the French revolutionPeople cease to be subjects and become citizensTopics were the same as earlier poetry (rural poor, beggars, deserted mothers) but what made it different was its depth of moral and psychological complexity

Samuel Taylor Coleridge 1772 1834He gave lectures on Revolution after the French RevolutionWrote The Rime of the Ancient Mariner in which a voyager shots an Albatross and his ship was followed by ghosts. A warning that man should respect other creatures.Through this poem, the search of freedom led Romantics to the Natural world

Coleridge explored the limits of human imagination which inspired him Kubla Khan (1797) Opium For Coleridge, Mind is a mystery discovered through imaginationImagination is the human soul, able to create a new world.God and religion are not at the centre of the world.

John KeatsHe experienced the horror of conducting operations without anesthesisWrote peoples pain in poetryA poet is a sage, humanist physician to all men. (words are medicine)

Percy Bysshe ShelleySought the meaning of life and claimed that it was found in Atheism.Had different love affairs, sought self gratification. By violating social conventions, Shelley pioneered a notion of Free LoveDriven by Individual will and feeling

Lord Byron The great object of life is sensation1812 Childe Harolds Pilgrimage a poem of a wanderer looking for an exotic experienceImpossibility of satisfation both of Byron and his character Childe.Desire for extreme experienceHeightened sensation

Mary ShelleyShe was poet and NovelistWrote Frankenstein Gothic sotries of ghosts and beasts, supernatural, mystery, antiquityFear of the supernatural

Gothic Architecture

ConclusionTHE FIVE Is OF ROMANTICISM:INNOCENCE AND YOUTH: YOUTH IS NOT CORRUPTED thus free from the evils of societyIMAGINATION: A SOURCE OF INFORMATION which deserves explorationINSPIRATION: BY NATURE. Nature is more valuable than towns and cities. People are free from judgement and from negative influencesINTUITION: INNER VOICEINDIVIDUALISM: A DIVINE SPARK IN EVERY HUMAN BEING

References:Wordsworth, William, Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. Lyrical Ballads and Other Poems. London: Wordsworth Editions, 2003. Print.