Victoria Vu / 11ENA03
Writing Portfolio Task 1: Romanticism Informative Essay
Task: Compose an informative text about Romanticism. This must be 500-800 words and may include history, conventions and purpose of the literary movement.
Romanticism was the dominant artistic, literary and intellectual movement during the late 17th century to the mid 19th century and is known as the reaction against the Age of Enlightenment. This movement was a revolt against Enlightenment key values of science and reason and was centred around the celebration of individualism, emotions, imagination and sublimity. Romanticism transformed literature and art through the birth of several influential major poets and artists who have now become significant figures in today’s English literature and arts. This includes William Wordsworth who celebrated the beauty and spiritual values of the natural world, and Robert Burns, one of the first major poets of the period who was a great source of inspiration to other well-known poets such as Edgar Allan Poe, Coleridge, and Shelley.
The romantic movement originated in Europe, as a reaction against the confined aristocratic social and political norms of the Age of Enlightenment (1685-1815) and was influenced by political, social and economic factors. Political and social transformations from evolutionary events such as the Industrial Revolution (1780-1840) and the French Revolution (1789) contributed to the development and spread of the Romantic movement. During the French Revolution, the monarchy that ruled France for centuries collapsed, causing a complete social transformation. The French Revolution motto ‘Liberté, égalité, fraternité’ represented the three main principles, liberty, equality and fraternity which acknowledged the rights of the individual. This tripartite motto triggered great enthusiasm across Europe as the lives of individuals were significantly affected including writers at the time such as William Wordsworth, Coleridge, Lord Byron, and Shelley who all shared common approval and acceptance of this revolution. This newly acquired freedom of the common class began the turn of literature towards a new direction. Instead of focusing on writing to the aristocrats and clergy of higher classes, romantic poets began focusing literature on the working man. Furthermore, the rise of the Industrial Revolution during the Romantic period also promoted economic development and modernised technology leading to an increase in industrialisation. Consequently, masses of the population began moving away from nature and into cities to take up work in factories which greatly angered romantic poets at the time. Thus, the Romanticism developed into a movement against industrialisation which eventually spread to other European countries including Germany, Italy, France, England and eventually America.
Romantics were known as the rebels against the Enlightenment who fought against their beliefs and values. These Enlightenment beli...