characteristics of the romantic period in english literature

Characteristics Of The Romantic Period In English Literature

The Romantic Period is believed to initiate around 1798 and lasted until 1837. During the era, George lll was the king of England. There were several reasons and movements that led to the emergence of Romanticism. The period before romanticism was the Age of Reasons or Enlightenment age as known by many. French Revolution and American Revolution and Independence were significant historical movements that resulted in Romanticism.  

During the Romantic age, the true inner feelings of the poets were presented in their works. The romance and the feeling of love for nature are what this age mostly features. Prior to this age, the Industrial revolution took place and this played a great role in the lives of middle-class men. Many people, due to this revolution, left their homes in the villages and related areas and settled in the cities. The age of reason is believed to be one of the great causes of the depletion of emotions in humans. The significance of emotions was glorified during the romantic age. 

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Features Of The Romantic Age In English Literature

The attempt to explain the universe and human nature via the emergence of the Industrial Revolution and of scientific beliefs was something that authors of this age were in many ways revolting against. Some important characteristics and features of this age include:

Significance And Adoration Of Nature

Nature has been immensely glorified in the works of the authors of this age who valued the importance of emotions and powerful feelings. The writers also talked about the beauty of nature and the presence of divinity. Rural life has been idealized by them in their works and words. The authors were able to present their feelings and emotions with the use of the elements of nature. 

Emotions At Core 

The Age of Enlightenment in many ways led to the depletion of emotions and feelings in humans. The authors of the Romantic age rebelled against the rationalism of that age. Instead of looking for logic, reasons, and intellect in their works, people saw the prominent use of emotions, feelings, imagination, etc. Feelings of loneliness, feelings of sorrow, feelings of sadness, and many such emotions were the main focus. 

Creativity And Imagination

You will see examples of poems and other works of this age where authors used various supernatural elements which enhanced the reading procedure. The authors would never limit or inhibit their works with logic and reason and put their creative imagination into their works. Many poets of the age used these kinds of supernatural elements in their poetic works. 

Inspiration From Solitude

You must have already heard of many famous authors who lived a solitary life where they would spend most of their time alone and that loneliness provided them with the inspiration for creativity. They believed that the sense of loneliness is important for a better creation. Even if rejected by the world, the independent thinking of those living in solitude was valued more by the writers of this age. 

The Writing Style

The language of the writers of this age was simple and understandable. They did not use fancy language for expressing their emotions and feelings. They believed that simplicity will attract the readers to their works as they were writing for common people. The works of this age also had the use of free verse and did not follow restricted and strict rules while writing their poetry. 

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Important Authors Of Romantic Age

The popular and significant poets of the Romantic Age include:

William Wordsworth

The initiation of the Romantic age took place with the arrival of Lyrical Ballads which was a creation of both Wordsworth and Coleridge. His notable works consist of The Prelude, Daffodils, Ode to Duty, The Solitary Reaper, and more. The features of the Romantic Age discussed above are clearly seen in his works. 

William Blake 

William Blake was a very influential poet of that age who didn’t receive much fame and appreciation then but is now considered one of the bests. His notable works, especially Songs of Innocence, and Songs of Experience are his best creations and reflect the true quality of romantic poets. Fantasy and imagination were common in his works. 

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Rime of the Ancient Mariner is one of the popular works of S.T. Coleridge that found its place in the Lyrical Ballads. His other significant works include Kubla Khan and Christabel. Dejection: An Ode and Frost at Midnight are also his important works. The use of creativity and imagination in his works is also admired. 

John Keats

He was a significant second-generation romantic poet and has several popular works. However, he lived a short life and thus didn’t achieve the fame and popularity that he deserved. His famous works include Ode to a Nightingale, Endymion, Ode on a Grecian Urn, and others. 

Percy Bysshe Shelley

John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley had a great contribution to the age of romanticism. The glorification of nature, the presence of emotions and feelings, and many of the features of the romantic age can be seen in his works. Some famous works of Shelley include  A Defense of Poetry, Ozymandias, Ode to The West Wind, etc. 

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Final Words 

When feelings and emotions, the significance of nature, and other human aspects appeared to be depleting, the emergence of the Romantic age took place. The age where nature was considered superior and so were the emotions related to it. The core focus was on imagination and creativity and many writers of the age presented it in their works. We have discussed some famous poets of the Romantic age, do let us know what more you desire to read about.

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