romanticism • Literary movement in England began in 1798with the publication of the poetry collection Lyrical Balladsby Wordsworth and Coleridge • Initially published anonymously & initially met with lackluster critical reviews. • Wordsworth published second edition under his own name in 1800 and described poetry as “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings”.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge William Wordsworth
INSPIRATION FOR LIT. MOVEMENT • Artistic ideals of Romanticism did NOT reflect mainstream views of society (as they did in Neoclassical period) • Revolutions • movement of protest • expression of desire for personal freedom & radical reform • Poets rebelled against Enlightenment predecessors • New modes of literary expression • Experimented with poetic language and subject matter • Took language and subjects from common life • Focused on freedom and self expression • Serious poems about personal experiences with strong emotions • Rejected science and industry in favor of communion with nature as insight into human experience
Effects of LIT. MOVEMENT • Democratic attitude of Romantic era broadened concept of “acceptable” English and narrowed gap between language of scholars/aristocrats and the common person • Poetry and prose included regional dialects, colloquialisms, slang, strong emotions, and some archaic language
Defining features - poetry • Personal experience and glorification of the individual • Spontaneity in language and thought; emotional outbursts • Use of nature as stimulus for contemplation • Focus on humble subjects, ordinary people and objects • Fascination with supernatural , exotic, and unknown
Illustrated collection of poems printed & illuminated by Blake (1794) “Two contrary states of the human soul” = collective book subtitle
Illustrated collection of poems printed & illuminated by Blake