The term “romantic” first appeared in England in the seventeenth century meaning “extravagant, unreal” ... (1 pagine formato doc)
ROMANTIC PERIOD ROMANTIC LITERARY MOVEMENT The term “romantic” first appeared in England in the seventeenth century meaning “extravagant, unreal” but in the end of eighteenth century it assumed a meaning connected with feelings, imagination and emotional pleasures.
The growth and development of the Romanticism are linked up with some historical events: the American Revolution, the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars; they are important for their ideals of freedom and democracy. English people believed in these ideals of freedom, equality and fraternity but the Period of Terror left them disillusioned or made them turn into conservatives. Other factors of great importance were the philosophical thoughts of French writers (Voltaire, Rosseau) and the German literary and nationalistic movement called “Sturm und Drang” (Goethe, Schiller).
The literary movement took different ways: philosophical in Germany, revolutionary in France, patriotic in Italy, literary in England. In literature we can see a clear break with the previous ideas: the presence of reason, common sense, realism and formality of the Augustan Age are replaced with the individualism, free expression of personal feelings and emotions and imagination as source of inspiration that characterized the Romanticism. The English Romantic period was dominated by poetry with these features: - interest in imagination and emotions; - simple language (artificial poetic diction replaced by ordinary spoken English); - return to earlier verse forms instead of the heroic couplet: blank verse, sonnet, Spenserian stanza, Italian third and eighth rhyme, folk ballad stanza; - Attention on individual subject as centre of life and art instead of on the concept of “man in society”: egotism and individualism; - the artist (the poet) is seen as a prophet divinely inspired, a man unique in his creative faculties; he enjoys, in making poetry, the same freedom that God had in creating the World: a genius free from external rules except those self-imposed; as a prophet he must bring the truth to the others; - introspection and meditation; Romantic melancholy; - spirit of revolt: titanism; exaltation of mystic, supernatural and irrational; Hellenic ideal of beauty, “concept of poetry for poetry sake”; interest in history (specially the rediscover of Middle Ages); escape from reality in exotic and distant places (Gothic novels); - Imagination is the highest faculty, a sort of third eye, a god-like power able to modify and recreate the real World; use of fancy and fantasy together with imagination; - Nature seen as a kind of mirror and an escape from the industrial towns: Nature and Man are two inseparable parts of the Universe; the Romantic conception of Nature was influenced by the Renaissance Neoplatonism (this World is the image of an ideal metaphysical one), Pantheism (Universe is moved by a Mighty Power which is everywhere in Nature), German Ideali