The Romantic Age. 1798-1832. Clarification. The word “romance” originally referred to highly imaginative medieval tales of knightly adventure written in the French derivative of the original Roman (or romance ) language, Latin. romance as “freely imaginative idealizing fiction”.
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The word “romance” originally referred to highly imaginative medieval tales of knightly adventure written in the French derivative of the original Roman (or romance) language, Latin.
romance as “freely imaginative idealizing fiction”
Late 17th-18th century
Late 18th-early 19th century
Imagination and emotion
Value of the individual
Revitalized interest in medieval subjects and settings
Democratic idealism, insistence on rights => interest in language and experience of common people, artistic freedom
Urbanization and exploitation => love of natural world/remote settings, concern for downtrodden and oppressed
Aspiration and disappointment
Love of nature
Faith in the individual
Power of intuition and imagination
Yearning for the mysterious
Contempt for the strictness and rigidity of previous generation
English is the most hospitable and democratic language that has ever existed, unique in the number and variety of its borrowed words.
Anglo-Saxon = foundation, but more than 70% of words have been imported
“English speech, the sea which receives tributaries from every region under heaven” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
“that glorious and imperial mongrel, the English language” –Dorothy Thompson
Open a dictionary at random and examine the etymology of the words listed at the top of fifteen pages.
Record the earliest source for each word. Words noted as AS or OE are native; the rest are borrowed.
What is the ratio of native words versus borrowed words?
Among the borrowed words, what percentage are derived from Latin? From Greek? From French? From other languages?
Compare and discuss implications.
Outsider/outlaw who challenges the divine and social order of things
Isolation => contradiction
In the world vs. above the world
In the summer of the year 1797, the author, then in ill health, had retired to a lonely farmhouse between Porlock and Linton, on the Exmoor confines of Somerset and Devonshire. In consequence of a slight indisposition, an anodyne had been prescribed, from the effects of which he fell asleep in his chair at the moment that he was reading the following sentence, or words of the same substance, in Purchas's Pilgrimage: "Here the Khan Kubla commanded a palace to be built, and a stately garden thereunto. And thus ten miles of fertile ground were inclosed with a wall." The author continued for about three hours in a profound sleep, at least of the external senses, during which time he has the most vivid confidence that he could not have composed less than from two to three hundred lines; if that indeed can be called composition in which all the images rose up before him as things, with a parallel production of the correspondent expressions, without any sensation or consciousness of effort. On awaking he appeared to himself to have a distinct recollection of the whole, and taking his pen, ink, and paper, instantly and eagerly wrote down the lines that are here preserved. At this moment he was unforunately called out by a person on business from Porlock, and detained by him above an hour, and on his return to his room, found, to his no small surprise and mortification, that though he still retained some vague and dim recollection of the general purport of the vision, yet, with the exception of some eight or ten scattered lines and images, all the rest had passed away like the images on the surface of a stream into which a stone has been cast, but, alas! without the after restoration of the latter!
Found older poets too conservative
Byron: living to the fullest, fairness and justice
Shelley: faith in human nature, beauty
Keats: art of poetry, transience
Sir Walter Scott: novelist
Charles Lamb: essayist
“And yet a little tumult, now and then, is an agreeable quickener of sensation; such as a revolution, a battle, or an adventure of any lively description.”
From creation to decay,
Like the bubbles on a river
Sparkling, bursting, borne away.
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Poetry “should be great and unobtrusive, a thing which enters into one’s soul, and does not startle it or amaze it with itself, but with its subject.”
A lyric poem in the form of an address to a particular subject, often elevated style or manner and written in varied or irregular meter.