The romantic age - William Blake

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The romantic age. William Blake, con le tre poesie famose(The lamb, The tyger, London) (11 pagine formato doc)

THE ROMANTIC AGE THE ROMANTIC AGE The age of revolutions Great Revolutions characterized the second half of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century: the American Revolution with the Declaration of American Independence in 1776, the Industrial Revolution, the French Revolution.
These events affected the cultural and literary aspects of life. 1776 the Declaration of American Independence was written by Thomas Jefferson and it was signed in Philadelphia. For the first time in history it was stated (affermare) that every person has “a right to freedom and pursuit (conseguimento) of happiness”. In 1787 George Washington became the first president of the USA.
1789 the French Revolution broke out.(scoppiò) Its motto was “liberty, equality and fraternity”, this represented a message of optimism. England was isolated and far from the big revolutions that characterized Europe in this period (the end of the 18th century). However the message of the French Revolution, liberty, freedom and equality influenced English intellectuals and poets conveying to their works a sense of optimism and faith (fede) in the revolutionary power of the people. Therefore when the regime of Terror was established, a general feeling of disillusionment pervaded their works. The first generation of Romantic poets shared the feeling of faith in the ideals of the French Revolution. The second generation of Romantic poets were disillusioned. 1760 - 1820: it started with the Agrarian Revolution (enclosure system). There were many inventions: the power loom, the steam engine, and an improved communications and transport infrastructure. Emotion versus reason In the second half of the Augustan Age there were already signs that artists were tiring (stanchi) of classical models. They began to write about mysterious and medieval settings. There was a growing (crescente) interest in feeling as opposed to thinking, a dominance of emotions and desire over reason, a strong sense of melancholy. This new sensibility appealed (faceva appello) to the heart and it claimed (reclama) for the supremacy of feelings and emotions. These new interests were in opposition with reason. There was also a search for new literary models. In this period writers began to rediscover the art and popular tradition of the Middle Ages, to love eastern settings, supernatural events, mystery and emotion. This new sensibility contained elements of introspection, nostalgia, emotionalism, individualism and led to (portare a) a new way of considering man in the Universe. Romanticism was an artistic and intellectual movement originated in late 18th century in Western Europe. Nature was no longer seen as something that man could rule by reason but as a real living being. Reason is declared a failure as a means, an instrument to explain reality. Romanticism stressed the importance of nature in art and language and the experience of the sublime through a connection with nature. It stressed s