1798, publication of the Lyrical Ballads. The Romantic spirit

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1 1798, publication of the Lyrical Ballads The Romantic spirit Performer - Culture & Literature Marina Spiazzi, Marina Tavella, Margaret Layton 2012

2 1. The word Romantic The Romantic Age the period in which new ideas and attitudes arose in reaction to the dominant 18 th -century ideals of order, calm, harmony, balance, rationality Caspar David Friedrich, Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog, 1818

3 2. Romanticism vs Enlightenment Enlightened trends Emphasised reason and judgement. Focused on society as a whole. Followed authority. Interested in science and technology. Romantic trends Emphasised imagination and emotion. Valued individuals. Looked for freedom. Represented common people. Interested in the supernatural.

4 3. English Romanticism English Romanticism a revolt of the English imagination against the neoclassical reason. influenced by the French Revolution and the English Industrial Revolution. The Romantics: expressed a negative attitude towards the existing social or political conditions; placed the individual at the centre of art; argued that poetry should be free from all rules.

5 4. The Romantics key ideas Focus on the beauties of nature, seen as a living being. Use of creative imagination. Exaltation of emotion over reason and senses over intellect. A new view of the artist as an individual creator. Fascination with the irrational, the past, the mysterious, the exotic. John Constable, The white horse, 1819, New York, Frick Collection

6 5. The Romantic nature Opposed to reason. A substitute for traditional religion. A vehicle for self-consciousness. A source of sensations. A provocation to a state of imagination and vision. An expressive language: natural images provide the poet with a way of thinking about human feelings and the self. J. M. Turner, Landscape with Distant River and Bay, c ; Musée du Louvre, Paris

7 6. The Romantic imagination A creative power superior to reason. Shaped the poets fleeting visions into concrete forms. A dynamic, active, rather than passive power. Allows human beings to read nature as a system of symbols. J.M.W. Turner, Rain, Steam, and Speed The Great Western Railway, 1844, London, The National Gallery

8 7. The Lake poets Wordsworth and Coleridge were known as Lake Poets because they lived together in the last few years of the 18 th century in the district of the great lakes in Northwestern England. In 1798, they published the Lyrical Ballads, the manifesto of English Romanticism.

9 8. The manifesto of English Romanticism The Preface to the Lyrical Ballads 1798 The poet Themes Language Linked to nature, emotions, feelings Interested in the lives of the humble Nature, memory, children Simple, common used to liberate imagination

10 9. The second generation of Romantic poets Percy B. Shelley, George Byron and John Keats died very young and away from home; experienced political disillusionment reflected in their poetry; were linked to individualism, escapism.

11 10. The Romantics on nature NATURE Wordsworth Coleridge Byron Shelley Keats a source of joy inspiration and knowledge a mother and a moral guide a universal force the representation of God s will and love the companion of his loneliness the counterpart of his stormy feelings when it was violently upset a source of enjoyment and inspiration pervaded by a guiding power leading man to love the creative mind benefits from the beauty of the natural landscape a kind of muse to the poet s artistic quest

12 11. The Napoleonic Wars ( ) In the Napoleonic era: the British navy dominated the sea; the French army dominated the European continent; the great hero of the British navy was Admiral Horatio Nelson defeated the French-Spanish fleet off Cape Trafalgar on the Atlantic coast of southern Spain in 1805.

13 11. The Napoleonic Wars ( ) The total defeat of Napoleon in 1815 at the battle of Waterloo in Belgium where the British troops, commanded by Arthur Wellesley, overcame the French. Their consequences 1. the acquisition of the Cape of Good Hope, Trinidad, Singapore, Ceylon and Malta was of strategic interest; 2. enormous financial costs; 3. Britain was on the verge of starvation, bankruptcy and evolution.

14 12. The Luddites Poverty Deteriorating working conditions Mechanical looms and spinners replacing skilled craftsmen led to outbursts of machine-breaking culminating in the Luddites Riots of They caused so much alarm that the government made machine-breaking punishable by death.

15 12. The Luddites In 1819, during a peaceful public meeting in Manchester, soldiers fired into a crowd and eleven people were killed the so-called Peterloo Massacre.

16 13. The Regency The period between 1811 and 1820: the Regency. The Prince Regent, later to become George IV, acted as monarch during the illness of his father George III ( ). In 1830 William IV succeeded his brother and his short reign saw a new political awareness leading to the new age of reforms.

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