Romanticism in the 19th Centur

Romanticism began in the early 19th century and radically changed the way people perceived themselves and the state of nature around them. Unlike Classicism, which stood for order and established the foundation for architecture, literature, painting and music, Romanticism allowed people to get away from the constricted, rational views of life and concentrate on an emotional and sentimental side of humanity. This not only influenced political doctrines and ideology, but was also a sharp contrast from ideas and harmony featured during the Enlightenment. The Romantic era grew alongside the Enlightenment, but concentrated on human diversity and looking at life in a new way. It was the combination of modern Science and Classicism that gave birth to Romanticism and introduced a new outlook on life that embraced emotion before rationality.
Romanticism was a reactionary period of history when its seeds became planted in poetry, artwork and literature. The Romantics turned to the poet before the scientist to harbor their convictions (they found that the orderly, mechanistic universe that the Science thrived under was too narrow-minded, systematic and downright heartless in terms of feeling or emotional thought) and it was men such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in Germany who wrote “The Sorrows of Young Werther” which epitomized what Romanticism stood for. His character expressed feelings from the heart and gave way to a new trend of expressing emotions through individuality as opposed to collectivism. In England, there was a resurgence into Shakespearean drama since many Romantics believed that Shakespeare had not been fully appreciated during the 18th century. His style of drama and expression had been downplayed and ignored by the Enlightenment’s narrow classical view of drama. Friedrich von Schlegel and Samuel Taylorleridge (from Germany and England respectively) were two critics of literature who believed that because of the Enlighten…

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