The Romantic Period
The Romantic period has many beginnings and takes different forms; so that in a celebrated essay, On the Discrimination of Romanticism (1924), A.O. Lovejoy argued that the word “Romantic” should no longer be used, since it has come to mean so many things that by itself, it means nothing. On the derivation of the word “Romanticism” we have definite and commonly accepted information which helps us to understand its meaning. Critics and literary historians differ widely and sometimes as violently, about the answer then have differed about love truth and other concepts. Romanticism is concerned with all these concepts and with others with equal importance. It is an attitude toward life and experience older than religion, as permanent as love, and as many-sided as truth. (Watson, J.R. English Poetry of the Romantic Period, Longman Inc. New York)
These were a lot of people that made the Romantic Period what it is today. Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-78) on the Romantic Period persuasive: not only did his writings anticipate specific movements and ideas, but their general tone and fundamental principles were influential in determining the broad movement of feeling and thought in the second half of the eighteenth century. (Watson, J.R. English Poetry of the Romantic Period, Longman Inc. New York) Toward the end of the discourse, Rousseau’s consideration of developing societies leads him to a condemnation of tyrannical government. Government he argues should be by construction, in which the good monarch should obey the laws of the state, while argues the subject of the monarch. Jean Jacques Rousseau was an important figure of the Romantic Period. (Watson, J.R. English Poetry of the Romantic Period, Longman Inc. New York)
The Romantic poets, with the exception of Blake, have always been celebrated for their love of nature. Wordsworth in particular described it with inexhaustible enthusiasm. For all of them there was a joy to be found in the natural world which was not present in man-made institutions or practices. Wordsworth is always known as the poet of nature. There is something rather strange about this, because he thought of himself as writing principally about man: when he is considered alongside the other Romantic poets. What’s so extraordinary about Wordsworth is not his evocation of nature but his insight into the nature of man, both individually and in society. (Watson, J.R. English Poetry of the Romantic Period, Longman Inc. New York)
Wordsworth’s poetry is filled with characters, as sharply defined as those in Greek tragedy. Wordsworth had an extraordinary ability to see the present problems of living in cities and the relationship between money and individual personality. Wordsworth’s experience of London gave him the insight to these problems and a lifelong attachment to these values to which the mass society denied: individuality, local loyalty, and the spirit of community. His ability to see the...