By: Hayden Madole Romanticism refers to a movement in art, literature, and music during the 19th century. Romanticism is characterized by the 5 “I”s Imagination Intuition Idealism Inspiration Individuality Imagination emphasized over “reason” Backlash against the rationalism characterized by the Neoclassical period or “Age of Reason” Imagination considered necessary for creating all art British writer Samuel Taylor Coleridge called imagination “intellectual intuition.” Romantics placed value on “intuition,” or feeling and instincts, over reason. Emotions were important in Romantic art. British Romantic William Wordsworth described poetry as “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings.” Idealism refers to any theory that emphasizes the spirit, the mind, or language over matter – thought has a crucial role in making the world the way it is. Immanuel Kant, a German philosopher, held that the mind forces the world we perceive to take the shape of space-and-time. The Romantic artist, musician, or writer, is an “inspired creator” rather than a “technical master.” Romanticism emphasized going with the moment, or being spontaneous, rather than being precise, controlled, or realistic. Romantics celebrated the individual. During this time period, Women’s Rights and Abolitionism were taking root as major movements. Walt Whitman, a later Romantic writer, would write a poem entitled “Song of Myself.” It begins, “I celebrate myself.” Romanticism began to take root as a movement following the French Revolution. The publication of Lyrical Ballads by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1792 is considered the beginning of literary Romanticism. Romanticism was a movement across all the arts: visual art, music, and literature. All of the arts embraced themes prevalent in the Middle Ages, such as chivalry and courtly love. Written by Edgar Allen Poe. One of the most important works of the time. A very important piece of work written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Considered to be one of the most important pieces of American Romanticism. It was written by Herman Melville. Neoclassical art was rigid, severe, and unemotional; it hearkened back to ancient Greece and Rome. Romantic art was emotional, deeply-felt, individualistic, and exotic. It has been described as a reaction to Neoclassicism, or “anti-Classicism.” Romantic Art In America, Romanticism’s strongest impact was on literature. Writers explored supernatural and gothic themes. Writers wrote about nature as a place to escape, to reconnect with the primitive and Edenic, and/or to connect with God. Setting: “pseudo-medieval,” e.g. in a dark castle or abbey with secret passageways and hidden trap doors Themes often focused on the darker side of human nature: betrayal, the desire for revenge, insanity, superstition, etc. Supernatural Elements: ghosts and spirits Mood and Tone: mysterious, dark, suspenseful, meant to arouse terror Hawthorne (1804-1864) was born in Salem, Massachusetts; many of his novels and stories are set in Puritan New England. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown” takes place in Salem in the late 1600’s, around the time of the Salem witch trials. Hawthorne’s ancestor was a judge during the witch trials; Hawthorne changed the spelling of his name to distance himself from this ancestor. Recurring themes in Hawthorne’s work: •the isolation and alienation of the individual •the workings of the inner mind, including psychological repression and madness •sin and guilt as universal •society’s (especially Puritan society’s) restrictions on sexual and religious freedom •the dangers of the mob mentality •dysfunctional family and other relationships “Young Goodman Brown” is in some ways, but not all, a “typical” example of the Romantic movement. Which elements in the text are “typical” of Romanticism (Recall the 5 I’s and other features of Romantic art and thinking)? Which do not seem to fit with the Romantic movement’s ideals? Which themes in “Young Goodman Brown” are typical of Hawthorne’s work in particular (Recall the list of themes)? This story makes several implicit arguments. What is Hawthorne arguing about Puritan society? About the plight of the individual? About human nature? Romanticism changed the lives of millions of people and changed the way everyone lived during this time. In a way, Romanticism was a trend that many people followed and ended up in having counter culture movements. Overall, Romanticism greatly helped out the arts and literature during this time.