1. The Romanticism Movement – Background History

1. Emotion Versus Reasons

The period from the Declaration of American Independence from 1716 to 1830 was marked by great revolutions: the Industrial Revolution and French Revolution. 

In the last thirty years of the 18th century a new sensibility became dominant and it came to be known in literature as ‘Romanticism’. It contained elements of introspection, nostalgia, emotionalism, individualism and led to a new way of the role of man in the universe. 

The rediscovery of the art and popular traditions of the Middle-Ages manifested itself in the ‘Gothic vogue’ which was the interest in what was wild, irrational, supernatural, horrific. 

The concept of Nature was submitted to revolution. Nature was no longer seen as a philosophical idea: something which man could rule by reason. 

Imagination and childhood had a new importance. Imagination gave expression to emotional experience not strictly accountable to reason. The willingness was accompanied by a concern about childhood. 

In the Romantic mind, a child was pure and his sensitiveness brought him closer to God. 

The Romantics saw the individual essentially in the solitary state, they exalted the atypical, the outcast and the rebel. 

2. Romantic Poetry

English romanticism saw the prevalence of poetry, which best suited the need to give expression to emotional experience and individual feelings. 

Towards the end of the 18th century there had been a growing appreciation of the power of the imagination,it gained a primary role in the process of poetic composition. 

The eye of imagination allowed the Romantic poets to see beyond reality. 

The poet became ‘a visionary prophet’ or ‘a teacher’, whose task was to mediate between man and nature, to point out the evils of society, to give voice to the ideals of beauty, truth and freedom. 

The Romantic poets continued to appreciate natura...

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