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Romantic Writings

  • Date Submitted: 05/04/2014 10:45 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 30.5 
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Romantic Writings

1 'Romantic' came into use in England early 19th C - life could be lived by ideals rather than rules.

2 Retrospectively 'Romantic' came to mean a group of writers from the turn of 18th C to middle of 19th C (1780 t0 1830) who seemed to have such a belief and have other characteristics in common. - Academic category.
      (Historically - academically - British Romanticism - poetry not prose   6 main writers; Blake; Wordsworth; Coleridge; Byron; Shelley; Keats - Northern publishers;   Scott; Clare; Burns)

3 Response to recent political revolutions - historical context

4 Reaction to Classicism - aesthetic
Tendencies common to romantic texts:-
The assertion of the self and what it wishes, feels, fears and soon, (RW, p. 6)   Private experience is publicly valid   - Their assertion of the powers of the self
The desire to transcend particular circumstances, or the claim to have done so (RW, p. 6)   Desire for transcendence   - Their assertion of the validity of strong feeling.
Romanticism might describe a certain kind of writing, or writing from a particular period
Three criteria or conceptions of poetry: - Imagination - Nature - Symbol & Myth (allegory)
Imagination   (view of poetry) for defining a work as Romantic
However we should not measure a new work against these criteria.   Wellek looks at certain poets and identifies these criteria in their work.   These elements (imagination, nature, symbolism and myth) are identified as key to Romantic writing
Limitations (According to Bygrave)
      Coherence - both Blake & Byron stand somewhat outside these criteria - Wordsworth mainstream, Byron a tributary - However, it is argued (Bygrave) that the ideals of youthful Wordsworth were manifest in Byron
      Exclusion from the orthodox canon - assumptions of the omission of women and minorities - excludes some male, prime example John Clare - This is never true for texts and should not be true for...


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