Romantic Period (1798-1832)

1. Background

An artistic, literary, and intellectual movement that originated in Europe. It focused on nature, spontaneity, imagination and emotions. A literary rebellion to change from an agricultural society to industrial nation.

Romanticism affected arts and culture in general. Its main feature was a reaction against the eighteenth century and the Age of Reason. In fact, "Romanticism", or the "Romantic Movement", was a reaction against the rationalism of the eighteenth century, the view of the physical world increasingly dominated by science, and the mental world by the neoclassicism of the Enlightenment. During the Romantic period changes in various fields took place: in philosophy, literature, politics, religion, music and painting. All changes were represented and symbolized by the English Romantic poets. The Romantic period coincided with the French Revolution. It was seen as a political enactment of the ideas of Romanticism, which, at the beginning, involved breaking out of the restrictive patterns and models of the past.

2. Poets

  • First Generation : William Blake, William Wordsworth, and Samuel Coleridge
  • Second Generation : John Keats, and George Gordon, Lord Byron

3. Wordsworth Poems (TL;DR)

Tintern Abbey

Poet reflects on how Tintern has changed in 5 years and pities how humans are neglecting the beauty of nature. References to innocence and maturity as time progresses.

These beauteous forms, Through a long absence, have not been to me

London, 1802

London, dead poet, addressed as a apostrophe/allusion.

Thou should'st be living at this hour

It is a Beauteous Evening, Calm and Free

Dat feeling when evening rolls around…

It's a beauteous evening, calm and free

Composed Upon Westminster Bridge

Morning, quiet, London, beautiful.

Earth has not anything to show more fair

The World is Too Much with Us

Change in society is too overwhelming for people to appreciated nature.

The world is too much with us; late and soon

My Heart Leaps Up

Personification of a rainbow, feeling of seeing a rainbow never grows old.

My heart leaps up when I behold;

A rainbow in the sky:

The Solitary Reaper

Lone girl singing melancholy to a friend.

Behold her, single in the field,

Yon solitary Highland Lass!

4. Kubla Khan

An unfinished 4 stanza poem written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1797 recalling a dream. The speaker attempts to amplify the affect of nature and its beauty by describing a sacred river flowing through beautiful scenery. The speaker also describes a dome and how it creates a warlike environment as the poem progresses.