In the late eighteenth century, a movement spread throughout the world that was known as the Romantic Era. The works of authors, artists, and musicians were influenced by emotions and imagination. Characters in literature during that time period heavily relied on impulses to guide them in their decisions. Whether it be the logical choice or not, they followed their hearts instead. The image that romanticism created was one of a perfect, unrealistic lifestyle because of the worship to the beauty of nature and human emotions. Although some romantic plays ended in a tragedy, it was due to the emotions that we are capable of feeling. Romanticism promoted the idea that people should follow their hearts. This, however, gradually came to an end in the mid-19th-century.
Queen Victoria’s reign started in 1937 and many changes started to occur. Along with a new ruler, came a new movement. This new era was called the Victorian Period and it coincided with Realism. The Realism Movement was “a reaction against Romantic and classical idealization and a rejection of conventional academic themes” (“Realism”). Thus, realistic views became the focal point in works abroad. Music and literature became less romantic and more logical. Music in Russia became more based on their nation than before, and literature all over the world promoted the new forms of thinking that were flourishing (“Music and Word”). Instead of focusing on themes from the Romantic Era, such as love, the attention was turned to everyday life and rational thinking. Due to the transition from Romanticism to Realism, literature and music from many different cultures became more logically based instead of emotionally involved.
Since the beginning of Realism, literature became more of a challenge towards the previous era. As an effect from the changes in thinking, literature tended to convey the transformation of thought processes. It was shown through the contrasting some of the characters’ logical actions to the other characters’ illogical behaviors. The characters in plays obviously differed from each other because they represented the realists and the romantics. Some of the realists’ perspectives had very strong opinions on emotional matters. The romantics relied on love, even when it was not a positive thing. Therefore, in contrast to the romantics, realists avoided love because they were more concerned with their life. The realistic characters’ blatantly point out and mocked the romantic’s foolish ways, just as this time period was doing.
Approaching issues with realistic and relatable situations, Henrik Ibsen was one of the authors that displayed characters with opposing thoughts. His plays talked of many controversial topics that existed in that time period, but were frowned upon. By writing about these subjects in a pragmatic way, he tried to open society’s mind to those issues. At first, his works were rejected, but over time they became more and more praised. A...