Pre-Romantic Poetry

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Emotion vs. reason: describe the main features of Pre-Romantic poetry as a reaction to 18th century Enlightment. (1 pagine formato doc)

Marco Merli Marco Merli III A liceo classico October 2nd , 2004 Emotion vs.
reason: describe the main features of Pre-Romantic poetry as a reaction to 18th century Enlightment. The Pre-Romantic Age is a period of transition between the Enlightment and the Romanticism: in the last thirty years of the 18th century, the faith in reason, which characterized the first part of the century, started losing its value. The consequence of the industrial revolution was an “ugly world”, in which men followed precise schemes of living ruled by rationality. As a result of the unsatisfaction for the present situation, men and especially poets turned their attention to feelings and emotion.
So the nature was no more an organism which man can rule through rationality, but became something real and living, existing as a man exists. The poets' attention was given to sensibility, to the natural and real world. So everyday life, stories of poor people and folk traditions became common themes in that literary context. Even though its structure was still similar to the Augustan one, poetry was strictly related to his author as a person and not only as a poet: his feeling, thoughts and personal experiences was reflected in his works. Melancholy and sadness were dominate feelings, connected to the historical and social context, which in England evolved before than in the rest of Europe. An interest in suffering and death grew and ruins, ancient castles and graveyards became popular settings: desolate and peaceful places in contrast with the new active and chaotic society. The concept of “sublime”, an elevated feeling (often of fear or terror) produce by what's terrible and infinitive, was developed too and become a recurrent theme in Pre-Romantic poetry.