The Romantic Movement (1785

The Romantic Movement
Stuff Happening: 1785-1832
• 1783: Treaty of Paris ends
American Revolution
• 1788: Great Britain begins
sending convicts to Australia,
rather than America
• 1789: Storming of the Bastille!
• 1791: Mozart dies in Vienna
• 1799: Napoleon.
• 1800: World Population about
one billion
• 1801: United Kingdom
• 1802: Slave rebellion in Haiti
• 1803: Louisiana Purchase,
Morphine derived from
• 1807: UK outlaws slave trade
across Atlantic
• 1811: King George III is
declared insane – Regency
• 1815: Napoleon defeated at
• 1829: Scotch Tape invented
• 1830: First railway station in
US opens, lawn mower and
sewing machine invented
Terms Explained
• romance: the actions and feelings of people
who are in love, especially behavior which is
very caring or affectionate.
• Romance: episodic narratives concerned with
the exploits of knights, chivalry, and courtly love
(generally Medieval)
• Romanticism: a literary style and philosophy
focused on subjective experience, nature,
imagination, and the individual (late 1700s)
The Romantic Creed
“Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of
powerful feelings: it takes its origin from
emotion recollected in tranquility.”
– William Wordsworth, The Preface to Lyrical
Tenets of Romanticism
• Nature is beautiful, powerful, untamable
– Humanity must look to Nature to understand
• Emotions are important
• Poetry should be about common people!
– Written in common language, accessible
– Common people are closer to nature, less
Romanticism is Reactionary!
• Industrialization and
• Industry is artificial,
Nature is Real
• Enlightenment: Reason
over Emotion
• Emotion over Reason!
• Enlightenment: All
about the over-educated
• The common people are
Real, should have voice
• American and French
• The commoners do have
• Pre-Romantic Poetry:
– Romantic tendencies
• Emotional explorations
• Nature is powerful and untamed
– Neoclassic influences
• Imitating traditional literary forms
First Generation
• William Wordsworth
• Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Second Generation
– About twenty years younger
• Lord Byron
• Percy Bysshe Shelley
• John Keats
There’s Prose too!
• Gothic Novels: so Romantic--suspense, mystery,
magic, the macabre, untamed nature, and
Medieval settings
– Ann Radcliffe, Mary Shelley
• Novel of Manners: satirical look at society
– Jane Austen.
• Historical Romance Novels: set in a period
before the life of their author (often medieval),
with fictional and nonfictional characters
– Sir Walter Scott