Handout -- Background to Romanticism

Handout- - Romanticism Some characteristics and emphases of Neo-Classicism and Romanticism NOTE that these characteristics take account of general

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Romanticism Some characteristics and emphases of Neo-Classicism and Romanticism. NOTE that these characteristics take account of general tendencies and do not apply to every work or author. Take all generalizations with more than a grain of salt. Neo-Classicism (late 17 th and 18 th centuries) Romanticism (late 18 th and early 19 th centuries) Reverence for Tradition Reverence for Novelty Maturity Childhood Political Conservatism Political Radicalism Culture Nature/the Primitive Society The Individual Emotional Restraint Emotional Expression Satire/Wit Lyric/Rhapsody Decorum Sincerity Reason Intuition/Inspiration/Feeling Deliberation Spontaneity Objectivity Subjectivity Poetry as Commentary Poetry as Prophecy Religious Orthodoxy Atheism, Pantheism, Mysticism, Heterodoxy Notable English Neo-Classicists: Samuel Butler (1612-1680) John Dryden (1631-1700) Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) Joseph Addison (1672-1719) Alexander Pope (1688-1731) Samuel Richardson (1689-1761) Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) Jane Austen (1775-1817) Notable English Romantics: William Blake (1757-1827) William Wordsworth (1770-1850) Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) Charles Lamb (1775-1834) William Hazlitt (1778-1830) Thomas De Quincey (1785-1859) George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824) Percy Shelley (1792-1822) John Keats (1795-1821) Mary Shelley (1797-1851) Notable American Romantics: James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851) Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) Walt Whitman (1819-1892) Edmund Burke, Anglo-Irish statesman, articulating something of the neo-classical or Augustan mindset in opposition to the romantic and democratic ideology of the French Revolution ( Reflections on the Revolution in France , Penguin, 182). Thanks to our [i.e. England’s] sullen resistance to innovation, thanks to the cold sluggishness of our national character, we still bear the stamp of our forefathers. We have not (as I
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conceive) lost the generosity and dignity of thinking of the fourteenth century; nor as yet have we subtilized ourselves into savages. We are not the converts of Rousseau; we are not the disciples of Voltaire; Helvetius has made no progress amongst us. Atheists are not our preachers; madmen are not our lawgivers. We know that we have made no discoveries; and we think that no discoveries are to be made, in morality; nor many in the great principles of government, nor in the ideas of liberty, which were understood long before we were born,
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This note was uploaded on 03/20/2008 for the course ENGL 78 taught by Professor Davidross during the Fall '07 term at UNC.

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Handout- - Romanticism Some characteristics and emphases of Neo-Classicism and Romanticism NOTE that these characteristics take account of general

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