English - Tenets of Romanticism
Tenets of Romanticism
The Romantics proclaimed the power of the individual self, and celebrated
the power of the individual, as opposed to the "social Man" that the Age of
Reason had appreciated. Following from this came the notion that the artist
was often his/her own best subject, particularly in poetry. Artists were
celebrated as godlike figures in the Romantic vision.
Among the great English Romantic poets were Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge,
Shelley, Byron and Keats. Each wrote a manifesto of his poetic philosophy,
but perhaps a couple of brief extracts from Wordsworth and Coleridge will
help make the main tenets of their Romanticism clear.
* Poetry should be like prose and adopt the "real language of men"
* Poetry originates in "the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings"
* The two cardinal points of poetry are; "the power of exciting the
sympathy of the reader by a faithful adherence to the truth of nature, and
the power of giving the interest of novelty by the modifying colours of the
imagination. The sudden charm, which accidents of light and shade, which
moon-light or sunset diffused over a known and familiar landscape, appeared
to represent the practicability of combining both. These are the poetry of
*A poem is that species of composition, which is opposed to the works of
science, by proposing for its immediate object pleasure, not truth.
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