Romanticism In British Literature: The Age Of Revolutions

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Romanticism is a complex artistic, literary, and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18 th century. The beginning of romantic age is usually set to the year 1798, the year in which Wordsworth and Coleridge published Lyrical Ballads. A movement in the arts, whereby the imagination of the individual artist is given pre-eminence, as is imaginative truth. In English Literature, it denotes a period between 1785-1830, when the previous classical or enlightenment traditions and values were overthrown, and a freer, more individual mode of writing emerged. The Romantic period in British literature stands between and connects the Enlightenment’s promotion of commerce, reason, and liberty and the Victorian experience of industrialization and…show more content…
This is why this period is known as “The Age of Revolutions”. It had a deep impact on all aspects of British culture and literature. The French Revolution started as an age of political and social change which spread throughout Europe and which transformed the political culture of most of Europe. In Britain the Revolution, at least in its early phases, found many supporters in intellectual circles, who shared its democratic ideals and were both fascinated and fearful of its uncontrollable forces. Among these intellectuals were the Romantic poets of the first generation, like Blake, Wordsworth and Coleridge. Later, however, many of them got disappointed and disillusioned by the bloody outcome of the French Revolution and embraced more conservative ideals. After the initial symbolical gesture of eliminating the aristocracy, the revolution developed into a bloody power struggle between different groups. In particular, when the radical Jacobins seized power from the moderate Girondins in 1793, they used extreme measures to realize their revolutionary
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