The Romantic Movement and Gothic Literature Enlightenment (c. 1660-1790) An intellectual movement in France and other parts of Europe that emphasized the importance of reason, progress, and liberty. The Enlightenment, sometimes called the Age of Reason, is primarily associated with nonfiction writing, such as essays and philosophical treatises. Major Enlightenment writers include Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and René Descartes. Neoclassicism (c. 1660-1798) A literary movement, inspired by the rediscovery of classical works of ancient Greece and Rome, that emphasized balance, restraint, and order. Neoclassicism roughly coincided with the Enlightenment, which espoused reason over passion. Notable neoclassical writers include Edmund Burke, John Dryden, Samuel Johnson, Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift. Sturm und Drang (1770s) German for “storm and stress,” this brief German literary movement advocated passionate individuality in the face of Neoclassical rationalism and restraint. Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther is the most enduring work of this movement, which greatly influenced the Romantic Movement. Romanticism (c. 1798-1832) A literary and artistic movement that reacted against the restraint and universalism of the Enlightenment. The Romantics celebrated spontaneity, imagination, subjectivity, and the purity of nature. Notable English Romantic writers include Jane Austen, William Blake, Lord Byron, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley and William Wordsworth. Prominent figures in the American romantic movement include Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Edgar Allen Poe, Williams Cullen Bryant, and John Greenleaf Whittier. Transcendentalism (c. 1835-1860 ) An American philosophical and spiritual movement, based in New England, that focused on the primary of the individual conscience and rejected materialism in favor of closer communion with nature. Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Self-Reliance” and Henry David Thoreau’s Walden are famous transcendentalist works. Five Main Romantic Themes in American Literature Intuition (“the truth of the heart”) is more trustworthy than reason. To express deeply felt experience is more valuable than to elaborate universal principles. The individual is at the center of life and God is at the center of the individual. Nature is an array of physical symbols from which knowledge of the supernatural can be intuited. We should aspire to the ideal –to change what is to what ought to be. Pre-Raphaelites (c. 1848-1870) The literary arm of an artistic movement that drew inspiration from Italian artists working before Raphael (1483-1520). The Pre-Raphaelites combined sensuousness and religiosity through archaic poetic forms and medieval settings. William Morris, Christina Rossetti, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and Charles Swinburne were leading poets in the movement. Romantic Characteristics 1. Emphasis upon subjective emotion and spontaneity 2. Love of one’s own national literature and literary forms 3. Wild, exuberant writing dealing with unexpected, exotic and foreign topics 4. Objects contrasted with each other and arranged asymmetrically 5. Love of the country and nature Nationalism One of Romanticism’s key ideas is the assertion of nationalism, which became a central theme of Romantic art and political philosophy. From the earliest parts of the movement, with their focus on development of national languages and folklore, and the importance of local customs and traditions, to the movements which would redraw the map of Europe and lead to calls for self-determination of nationalities, nationalism was one of the key vehicles of Romanticism, its role, expression and meaning. Neoclassical Elements Romantic Elements Formal essay Mythical story History book Ode Rhyming couplet Supernatural tale Discipline Democracy Law Freedom Tradition Revolution Aristocrats Commoners Conservatives Liberals Even-tempered Melancholic Reserved Outspoken Formal portraits Landscapes True wit is Nature to advantage drest, What oft was thought, but ne’er so well expressed; Something whose truth convinced at sight we find, That gives us back the image of our mind. -Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism, Part 2, 11. 297-300 …Then a wish, My last and favourite aspiration, mounts With yearning tow’rds some philosophic Song Of Truth that cherishes our daily life; With meditations passionate, from deep Recesses in man’s heart, immortal verse Thoughtfully fitted to the Orphean lyre… -William Wordsworth, The prelude Book 1, 11. 227-233 The Fighting Téméaire J.M.W. Turner The White Horses John Constable - 1819 Liberty Leading the People Eugene Delacroix The Voyage of Life - Childhood Thomas Cole The Voyage of Life - Youth Thomas Cole The Voyage of Life - Manhood Thomas Cole The Voyage of Life - Old Age Thomas Cole Gothic Literature It was an offshoot of Romantic Literature. Gothic Literature was the predecessor of modern horror movies in both theme and style. Gothic Literature put a spin on the Romantic idea of nature worship and nature imagery. Along with nature having the power of healing, Gothic writers gave nature the power of destruction. Frankenstein is full of the harsh reality of nature. Many storms arise in the novel, including storms the night the Creature comes to life. The most common feature of Gothic Literature is the indication of mood through the weather. The Byronic Hero This idea is based on the personality of George Gordon, Lord Byron who was a stormy, sensitive, fiercely proud man. The Byronic Hero is a mysterious, somewhat exotic creature whose passionate intensity cuts him off from others. They suffer from profound yearnings that are beyond the comprehension of lesser persons. Aware of their superiority, these Byronic Heroes are frequently aloof, sometimes sullen. They show disdain for the petty regulations of society. They are sometimes imprisoned or become voluntary exiles, living examples of the restless spirit of the Romantics.