Neoclassicism and Romanticism Antithetical Modes of Thought
Formula One • Neoclassicism values the orderly, social, and general; Romanticism values the exceptional, individual, and particular. • These modes of thought affected all aspects of society – political, social, philosophical, and religious, as well as artistic.
Neoclassicism • Arrived alongside the scientific revolution of the Enlightenment – resulting worldviews became much more mechanistic, naturalistic, and rigidly structured – even in art. • Strongly influenced by John Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690) • Tabula Rasa
Formula Two • Neoclassicism values reason; Romanticism values emotion. • Structured/Free • Planned/Impulsive • Practical/Idealistic • Realistic/Imaginative
Romanticism • Romantics believed that being in touch with ones passions and basic human drives, not denying them, would allow one a harmonious, worthwhile existence. • Was a rebellion at all levels against the repressive strictures of control set in play by Neoclassical thinking.
Formula Three • Neoclassicism values __________; Romanticism values nature. • Indoors, cultivation, city, man-made, trained • See p. 10 for others
Neoclassic vs. Romantic • Neoclassicists did recognize the power of emotion, though the tendency was to view “passions” as a danger to rational living: something to be kept under control through the institution of “reasonable” rules of conduct and propriety. • The Romantics wanted to indulge in humankind’s “natural” passions and thus celebrate life.
Alexander Pope • “Perhaps the quintessential writer of the Neoclassic period in Europe” (290). • For Thursday: from An Essay on Man • READ ‘THE DESIGN!’ & Epistles I and II • How is the poem structured? • What is the subject matter? • What seems to be Pope’s goal in writing this? • Find a couple of key passages and explain their meaning in your own words.