Romanticism is a philosophical and artistic movement of the eighteenth and nineteenth century that marked a change in the emotional core of literature, philosophy, art, religion, and politics in reaction on the enlightenment. It is a contrast to neo-classicism characterized by the predominance of imagination over reason and formal rules, the love of nature —nature is good; cities are harmful to humans—, the power of individual, an interest in human rights, sentimentality, childhood innocence, the revolutionary spirit and melancholy. Romantic writers reject most of traditional form and themes. According to the Musical Quarterly, probably no two persons may exactly the same conception of what romanticism is. Victor Hugo for instance, defines romanticism has “liberalism in nature”
The Romantic Movement was marked by several authors including William Wordsworth, Alphonse de Lamartine, and John Keats. The following lines are going to introduce these authors by giving a brief background and detailed information about their works in accordance with romanticism characteristics.
William Wordsworth, a major English romantic poet, born in 1770 and died in 1850. He writes his poetry as an analysis upon nature. Even though Wordsworth is very much into nature he still keeps his identity as human. He is a great romantic writer because his writings reflect characteristics of the movement. As a poet, he wrote numerous poems and odes—Lyric poems in the form of an address to a particular subject, meant to be sung—. In this part you are going to be introduced to one of his famous odes, Ode: Intimations of Immortality. This poem is long and complicated but shows the Wordsworth connection to nature and how he makes an effort to understand why human fail to acknowledge the value of natural world. He regrets how time has gone fast we grow up and there are all these childhood memories. In the seventh stanza of the poem he wants a child to hold on to the glory of nature instead of acting like an adult while he isn’t. This is the problem we encounter nowadays in our society. Today because of technology, cultures, civilizations, and other major evolutions, children are very different from how we used to see them ten years ago. For instance, you may find a six year old girl with a cellphone. To be serious who will that girl call? Dora the explorer?
Behold the Child among his new-born blisses,
A six years ‘Darling of a pigmy size!
See, where mid work of his own hand he lies.
Fretted by sallies of his mother’s kisses… (797)
He shows how beautiful nature is by describing his view of the rainbow, the roses, water, etc. “The Rainbow comes and goes, and lovely is the Rose… Waters on a starry night are beautiful and fair…” (796)
In “The English Romantic Poets, a review of Research”, Ernest Bernbaum states:
The interpretation of Wordsworth’s attitude toward nature has since 1900 passed through three stages: first it was misrepresented; later it was stated correctly...