________________________ Ms. Hettinger Romanticism “The Revolt of the Spirit” Late 1700s – 1800s (in Western Europe) Prominent Romantics • William Wordsworth (father of…) • Percy B. Shelley • Lord Byron • Samuel Coleridge • John Keats • Victor Hugo (novelist – Les Miserables) • Frederic Chopin (pianist) • William Turner (painter) Romantics’ Perspective • Society: Defy social convention! We see the wrong, but not how to right it. • Mankind: Passionately believe in the individual – the common man. We shout his misery. • Nature: Our religion and god – celebrate the “awe” fullness of it. • Classics: A respect for them More Opinions… • Man is humble and good, but what he creates can be evil. • Law is brutal and pitiless • Industrial Revolution: the machine (and science) will destroy our lives. Don’t trust them. • City vs. Nature: go back to nature and purity; the city is impure and full of evil. The Arts • Literature and Poetry: Frees men’s breasts and minds. (Therefore, full of imagery.) • Music: Pure emotion. • Painting: Represents nature as God created it. • Classics: Revisit them and allude to them frequently. The Supernatural & Gothicism in “Rime” (a result of opium?) • The poem is full of strange, macabre, uncanny or “Gothic” elements. Gothic horror fiction was very popular at the time it was written. Discuss how these elements appear in the poem. You should consider • the strange weather; • the albatross as a bird of “good omen”; • Death and Life-in-Death; • the spirit from “the land of mist and snow”, and the two spirits the mariner hears in his trance; • the angelic spirits which move the bodies of the dead men; • the madness of the pilot and his boy; • the mariner's “strange power of speech”, • and so on… • 1. Belief in natural goodness of man, that man in a state of nature would behave well but is hindered by civilization. The figure of the "Noble Savage" is an outgrowth of this idea. • 2. Sincerity, spontaneity, and faith in emotion as markers of truth. (Doctrine of sensibility) • 3. Belief that what is special in a man is to be valued over what is representative; delight in self- analysis. • 4. Nature as a source of instruction, delight, and nourishment for the soul; return to nature as a source of inspiration and wisdom; celebration of man’s connection with nature; life in nature often contrasted with the unnatural constraints of society. • 5. Affirmation of the values of democracy and the freedom of the individual. (Jacksonian Democracy) • 6. High value placed on finding connection with fresh, spontaneous in nature and self. • 7. Aspiration after the sublime and the wonderful, that which transcends mundane limits. • 8. In art, the sublime, the grotesque, the picturesque, and the beautiful with a touch of strangeness all were valued above the Neoclassical principles of order, proportion, and decorum. (Hudson River School of painters) • 9. Interest in the “antique”: medieval tales and forms, ballads, Norse and Celtic mythology; the Gothic. • 10. Belief in perfectibility of man; spiritual force immanent not only in nature but in mind of man. • 11. Belief in organicism rather than Neoclassical rules; development of a unique form in each work.
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