Romanticism or romantic era, typically, is the expression when it comes to art of sharpened emotional sensibilities and heightened imaginative emotions. Emotion and Imagination are the bedrock of Romanticism. Pater thought-about the romantic character in art as consisting in “The addition of strangeness to beauty”. Thus, the 2 distinguished components of romanticism are ‘curiosity’ and ‘beauty’. They are integral components in Romanticism: the one intellectual and the other emotional. Further qualities of romanticism are a refined sense of mystery, an exuberant intellectual curiosity and for elemental simplicities of life. Romanticism stands for freedom and liberty, and has subsequently been designated as ‘Liberalism in literature’. It stands of freedom from every kind of bondage of guidelines and rules, and leaves it in free delights of their romantic fancy. It paves the way in which for wonder and delight and heralds the daybreak of a new method of looking at life not the way in which of orderliness, clarity and tranquility, however the way in which of exuberance and emotional enthusiasm. The Romantic Revival came to start with of the nineteenth century, completely throwing over-board the values that have been held closed by the classicists headed by Pope.

Characteristics of Romantic Poetry

  • A protest towards custom – The movement was marked and is at all times marked by sturdy response and protest in opposition to the bondage of rule and custom, which in science and theology, also in literature, have a tendency to higher the free human spirit.
  • Return to Nature – In the poetry of Romantic Revival the curiosity of the poets was transferred from town to country life and from the factitious decorations of drawing rooms to the pure magnificence and loveliness of nature.
  • Expression of individualism – In Romantic Poetry emphasis was laid on liberty and freedom of the person. Romantic poets have been the individual. Romantic poets have been in opposition to tyranny and brutality exercised by tyrants and despots over human beings crushed by poverty and smashed by inhuman rules.
  • Medievalism – In many means, Romantic poetry proved to be the poetry of escape from the sorrows and sufferings of mundane life of their times to the Middle Age where they discovered sufficient beauty and pleasure to feed the waning flame of their souls. The folklore and the legendary wealth of the Middle Ages contained in Percy’s “Reliques” instantly impressed Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and Scott’s “The Lady of the Lake”.
  • Hellenism – Romanticism revived a curiosity with ancient Greek mythology, tradition and literature exercised a profound affect on Romantic poets.
  • Supernaturalism – It is one other excellent quality of romantic poetry. A way of wonder and thriller was imparted to poetry by poets like Coleridge and Scott.
  • Subjectivity – Subjectivity started to have to full play within the poetry of age. The poets of this era have been in favor of giving subjective treatment to the objective realities of life.
  • Melancholy – The Melancholy the Romantic poets exhibits an intense personal observance. Keats’s melancholy has its secret in personal sorrows and a life based upon sensation. The observance of unhappiness sounds via all of the odes of Keats for Shelly, “Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought”.
  • Lyricism – In romantic poetry, lyricism predominates and the poets of this college should their credit a variety of 5 lyrics. They excelled the heroic couplet of the classical age in melody and sweetness of tone.

Read About: What is Neoclassicism in Literature? | Characteristics of Neoclassicism

Precursors of the Romantic Revival

Neo Classicism reigned supreme in England for more than a century, until the first solve of Romanticism was fired in 1798 with the publication of the ‘The Lyrical Ballads” by Wordsworth and Coleridge.

Subject Matter – Romantic

Style – Neo classical.

William Blake and Robert Burns are the immediate fore-runners of the Romantic Revival. His ‘Songs of Innocence’ and ‘Songs of Experience’ reveal a charming simplicity, unearthly visions and eternal music. He introduced the note of mysticism in English poetry and this is his unique contribution to Romanticism. Burns is the greatest song-writer of Britain.

The Elder Romantic Poets

  • Wordsworth – He is the high priest of nature. For him, nature is the manifestation of the ion of the living god. He finds a living god. He finds a divine spirit permeating through all the objects of Nature. His ‘The Prelude” has been referred to as the epic of mind. It is very autobiographic. In his poem ‘Tintern Abbey”, Wordsworth speaks of the four stages in his development as a lover of nature. Wordsworth did not write of Nature alone, but of Man and Man in relation to Nature.
  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge – He is essentially a poet of the supernatural. According to Garrod, he makes supernatural natural. In his poems, he gives an air of reality to the weird and the super natural. His poem ‘Christabel’ is a triumph of supernaturalism. In his “Rime of the Ancient Mariner ”, he takes us to  the realm of supernaturalism.

The Younger Romantic Poets

  • Shelly – Shelly is a lyricist. In ‘Alostor’, ‘Adonais’ and his wonderful lyrics, he is ‘like a wanderer following a vague, beautiful vision, forever sad and forever dissatisfied’. He is the most poetical of all poet, ‘a perfect singing god’.

When we read his poems like the ‘Dejection Ode’ or ‘The Cloud’, ‘The Skylark ’ or “The Ode to the West Wind” we really feel that Shelly is able to enchanting us generally by his fantastic thoughts and at all times by his music and visible impact.

  • George Gordon Byron – Lord Byron voices the discontent of quite a few Europeans who have been disenchanted on the failure of the French Revolution to provide a wholly new type of government and society. His well-known poems are ‘Prisoner of Chillon’ and ‘Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage’.
  • John Keats – Apart from Shelly and Byron, Keats was content to worship the precept of magnificence in all things. He, at all times retained himself aloof of political & social affairs. In the ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’, he proclaimed the everlasting fact that beauty and truth are one and inseparable. The “Ode to a Nightingale’ is a real feast to his senses. The ‘Ode to Autumn’ reveals the power of making myths.

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