Romantic Era originated in Europe in the Mid 18th century. Also known as the Romanticism the reaction to the Industrial Revolution strengthened it. It was portrayed strongly through literature, science, music and arts and impacted history, education and historiography very highly. This paper will tackle the development in literature during the Romantic Era with emphasis on people, experiences, and events that influenced Romantic writers.
People played a great part in influencing Romantic writers. Between 1978 and 1800, Samuel Taylor and William Wordsworth in their lyrical ballads illustrated invigorating artistic skills in poetry. They expressed experiences, languages, imagination and emotion found in nature. Poets in romantic period wrote about the medieval, the supernatural, the marvelous and the exotic. The simple lives rural people had as well as everyday world’s aspects were the beauty these poets. The themes that were recurring were respect for pure nature, responsiveness to women and children, and heroic artist isolation. Writings of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe were based on human psychology and supernatural. New ideas also emerged as a result of romanticism leading to positive voices emergence and thus benefiting some parts of the society (Tim, Debbie and Peter, 18).
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German who influenced other young men by his novel ‘The Sorrows of Young Werther’. He influenced the sense of nationalism by unifying many separate states that Germany had. In Spain Jose de Espronceda was the most important poet in the country. Jose Zorrila and Gustavo Adolfo Becquer were among the best poets that followed. In Spain regional literatures were influenced by romanticism where writers wrote in their local languages. In the first period Brazil literature was developed in order to create a sense of national identity with authors like Jose de Alenxar and Goncalves Dias. The influence of traditions and themes of European evolving around despair and sadneRomantic Era originated in Europe in the Mid 18th century. Also known as the Romanticism the reaction to the Industrial Revolution strengthened it. It was portrayed strongly through literature, science, music and arts and impacted history, education and historiography very highly. This paper will tackle the development in literature during the Romantic Era with emphasis on people, experiences, and events that influenced Romantic writers. ss of love occurred in the second period. Castro Alves was the greatest writer in the third period whose poetry focused on social matters. William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor were co-authors of Lyrical Ballads in 1798, as Romanticism developed in Britain. Poets epitomized their claims towards social matters. There was less development of Romanticism in Roman Catholic countries than in other countries like Britain, though it developed when Napoleon rose. The paintings of Theodore Gericault in France were part of the Romanticism movement taking place in the country. In Portugal, Almeida Garret helped shape poetry by his work as an outstanding writer. United States authors focused on passionate landscape descriptions and heroic simplicity. Washington Irving and James Fenimore Cooper were the most prominent authors that time. War in the Romantic Era also played a big part in influencing Romantic writers. The French and Indian War of 1754 to 1763, French Revolution of 1789 to 1799, The Seven Years’ War of 1756 to 1763 and American Revolution had an impact on Romantic writings. The political and social chaos brought about by these wars produced strong feelings that channeled the outburst of literature which had never been experienced before. This led to Romantic Era literature (Tim, Debbie & Peter, 25). Romantic Era writings were unique and based on sense of nationalism, supernatural and love of nature. These can be related to what was going on during the political chaos. Writers who brought a sense of nationalism in their writing contributed in their own way to the fight showing how proud they were of their people and their countries. Long before Romantic Era, literature was meant for wealthy people especially the upper class but Romantic writings brought people together as if was for everyone especially the ordinary citizens. Romantic writers connected the upper class and the lower class to create one united society. Writers used their works during political and war chaos to reach out to those supporting it.
War also saw female writers rise during the Romantic era. While men went to war women remained at home without a way to express what they felt and fight for what they believed in. War time thus led women to write as a way of fighting for their cause. ‘War in the Air’ is Mary Favret work, one of the female Romantic writers who arose, using her work to infuse what she felt. Most works of writers have signs of political unrest and war effects which every reader should be picking out (Paula & Theresa, 43). Romanticism in some parts of the world influenced Romantic writers in other parts of the world. Individualistic of Romanticism in America was just like it happened in European parts of the world. Romantic Movement was attracted to those Americans who wanted to be free from religious traditions that were strict. They embraced to the new religion (transcendentalism) which made it less strict to have a personal relationship with God. American Romantic writers expressed their feelings on freedom from strict law and custom. These writers wrote against the American society materialism and called for transformation in culture. According to Bygrave Stephen (91), Romantic women writers were influenced by their position in the society as writers. Their writings were not included in the compilations of literature works done by male. Women writers were seen as losers both writers and readers faced pressures and anxieties which their male counterparts didn’t. The woman who was learned had anxiety of him being a good mother and a wife. A woman was thought to develop a dangerous act if she engaged herself in fiction when writing a novel. Public identity brought about by publication even brought more anxieties for women’s especially the impact of their work to culture. Fanny Burney a female author published her novel anonymously in that even her father didn’t know she was the author. She reveals the woman’s anxieties by pretending she is the editor but not the author. She hides her gender and name from the public. She states,
With a singular mixture of timidity and confidence, resulting from the peculiar situation of the editor, who though trembling for their success from a consciousness of their imperfections, yet fears not being involved in their disgrace, while happily wrapped up in a mantle of impenetrable obscurity.
(Burney, Evelina, 1982 edn p. 7)
Women writers wrote expressing their embarrassment of being writers of their novels but on the other hand having a sense of pride.
Romantic literature was portrayed in poetry and novels with different writers rising up. Writers influenced romantic writers as well as war and experiences of life. Romantic women writers were influenced by war and their position in the society as writers.
Paula, Feldman R & Theresa, Kelley M. Romantic Women Writers: Voices and Countervoices. UPNE. 1995
Stephen, Bygrave. Romantic Writings. Routledge, 1996
Tim, F., Debbie, L & Peter, Kitson J. Literature, Science and Exploration in the Romantic era:Bodies of Knowledge. Cambridge University Press, 2004