English Romanticism in the 1790s Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

"O Sylvan Wye! thou wanderer thro' the woods, / How often has my spirit turned to thee!" (http://www.uoregon.edu/~rbear/ballads.html) Now, the poet wishes to "transfer" the healing powers of nature that he himself has experienced to his sister. By stating."..Nature never did betray / the heart that loved her" (http://www.uoregon.edu/~rbear/ballads.html) Wordsworth assures his sister that she will also find peace in the middle of nature if she believes in the communion with nature. This prediction is an artifice of the poem and is not simple. "Wordsworth's ability to look to the future to predict memories of events that are happening in the present is ingenious and complicated. But Wordsworth beautifully clarifies this concept by using nature as the ideal link between recollection, foresight, and his relationship with another."(Eilenberg, Susan. Strange power of Speech: Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Literary Possession. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992).

Moreover, by imagining the future of his sister, Wordsworth feels that only by a common connection with nature, he and his sister can be tied together even after death, because nature makes them one soul that can read the same book of nature. "My dear, dear Friend; and in thy voice I catch / the language of my former heart, and read / My former pleasures in the shooting lights / of thy wild eyes." (http://www.uoregon.edu/~rbear/ballads.html)

Like "Tintern Abbey," there are also other poems that underline the Romantic features, stressing the importance of nature, loneliness, past and others in the act of creation. William Blake (who was also a painter) is the most viable example of the Romantic track in Britain. The central idea of his poetical creation is: "I must create a system or be enslaved by another man's." (Abrams, M.H. English Romanticism: The Spirit of the Age. Romanticism Reconsidered. Ed. Northrop Frye. New York: Columbia University Press, 1963. 26-72)

John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Shelley, Lord Byron, are also good example of representatives of Romanticism in Britain and they are influenced by the Medieval Era. They place the Romantic hero in the centre of their artistic creation. He is a complex character, made of opposites. He may be strong and sensitive, melancholical and choleric, tender and harsh. He is a mixture of gothic and romantic, leaving deep traces in the readers' mind. After the poets above mentioned, there was also William Butler Yeats, born in 1865, who decided to place his generation in the cathegory of "the last romantics."

In the countries which were mostly Roman Catholic, Romanticism was less pronounced than in Britain and Germany. It flourished only later, after the rise of Napoleon. The founder of Romanticism in France is considered to be "Francois-Rene de Chateaubriand" Francois-Rene de Chateaubriand. Historically speaking, in France, Romanticism is associated with the French revolution which brought not only a political change, but also an artistic one. The poems and novels of Victor Hugo with his valuable and well-known novels Les Miserables and Ninety-Three and Stendhal with his Le Rouge et Le Noir, the works of Hector Berlioz prove that. The charcaters of their novels have strong romantic features. They are thoughtful and meditative characters, have strong personalities and can make a change. They are creators and dystroyers of universes.

In Russia, the main representatives of the Romantic Movement are the novelists Alexander Pushkin, Mikhail Lermontov and the Fyodor Tyutchev. In their writings they depict the characters unable to adapt in a harsh society which cannot possibly house their dreems. They are very much influenced by Lord Byron, who is considered the creator of the Romantic Hero.

The Romantic hero is often met in the literature of Britain also. In England, for example, Bronte Sisters' Victorian novels reveal strong heroes with many Romantic traits. In Wuthering Heights, Emily Bront's only novel, one of the main characters is Heathcliff, a very complex character who may be very well considered one of the symbols of Gothic Literature (after Mary Shelley's classic Gothic character Frankenstein).

Gothic is a very important Romantic element, creating gloomy, harsh, helplessly in-love characters. Heathcliff, as his name shows it, is a complex gothic character, who acts by his impulse. He is an aggressive man, unable to recover after the loss of his love, Catherine. His love is, after her beloved's death, a lake of tears. The memory of Catherine haunts him. He is cursed to meet her ghost and stay stuck somewhere between life and death, where he can never find peace.

Another romantic and gothic male character is the enigmatic Edward Rochester, one of the main figures of Charlotte Bronte's, novel, Jane Eyre. Like Heathcliff, he is a complex character, hateful and selfish, whose love for Jane is not dystroying like that of Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights. His love is tender, but strange. When he faces his handicap, he is on the bound to give up hope and disappear from Jane's life. Eventually, Jane stops him from his act of despair and helps him reconcile with himself. Exactly like his mirror character in Wuthering Heights, Rochester is a purely romantic with deep gothic treats. His power as a character makes him once again an example of the attitude expressed at the beginning of the 19th century in the Romantic literature.

Romantic literature is very often mixed with music. This peculiar, yet full of significance combination creates the symphonic poem. Being a mixture of art forms, it has a double impact towards the art receiver, creating feelings. Sensivity, emotion, freedom of form are expressed in both literature and in music, during the romantic period.

Romanticism in music was best recognized in the works of German composers, but it was present also at Schubert,

Beethoven, Weber, Chopin, Liszt and Wagner. The music of Grieg,


Dvo-ak, and Tchaikovsky, Puccini, Strauss appeared at the end of Romanticism and it had less romantic features.

Romantic music has flexible forms, and transmits a mixture of feelings and moods, most of the time contradictory. It is like a journey into the deepest realms of nature where the hero is a solitary, dreamful man and sings his sadness, joy, despair, or glory. His voice (mostly solo) is usually accompanied by the piano.

If we drew the history of Romanticism in Music, we should first start with the first decades of the 19 century when the classical style was still most widely recognized and appreciated. Composers like Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven prevailed throughout Europe. Their music line was the inspiration of all the other classic composers and it did not break the music standards of that time. "This style provided so satisfactory a means for achieving the musical goals of the time that almost every composer wrote in some variation of it." (Longyear, Rey M. Nineteenth-Century Romanticism in Music. Ed. H. Wiley Hitchcock. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1969).

When the classic style ceased to transmit enough feelings and emotions, experimenting composers started to create a new kind of music. Their style was more aggressive and impulsive. They ceased to respect the classic frames imposed by the previous composers. The new musicians were more adventurous, and they did not feel the need to respect the clear form of the musicals. Instead of clarity, they used disrupted tones of music. They even had the courage to introduce long solo passages for an instrument in the middle of a symphony. They also surprised the audience through peculiar progression of chords even if it disrupted the harmony of the composition.

By expressing their new ways of approaching music, the new composers of the 19th-century created a new movement, opposed to the old classic one. The aesthetic values of Romanticism were highly appreciated in Germany and in central Europe. Therefore, the works of Franz Schubert and Carl Maria von Weber were the first romantic manifestations of the Romantic Movement in music, at the beginning of the 19th century.

The romantic musicians found their muse of inspiration in literary works, paintings, and other art sources. Therefore, they believed in the same art values, like freedom of form, peculiar vibration of feelings, impulsive reactions, uniqueness, etc. As literary works reveal solitary characters to bear the imprint of emotional experience, music reveals instruments that have exactly the same role as characters in literature. They create the emotional values. The French composer

Hector Berlioz and the Hungarian musician

Franz Liszt had the roots of their inspiration in literature. Plenty of music works were created in the 19th century. The most known and successful ones are written by Schubert,

Johannes Brahms,

Hugo Wolf,

Robert Schumann, and Richard Strauss.

During the 19th century, abstract music was expressed in chamber music and symphonies. In this respect, there are plenty of composers who may be given as example. Musicians like Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Tchaikovsky were the most important as they tried new free form music, adapted for the piano, mostly.

As in literature, the values of romantic painting are emotion and inner Self. Even though some of the Romantic works of art are inspired from reality (as it is history, in some of the…

Cite This Term Paper:

"English Romanticism In The 1790s" (2007, March 15) Retrieved January 16, 2018, from

"English Romanticism In The 1790s" 15 March 2007. Web.16 January. 2018. <

"English Romanticism In The 1790s", 15 March 2007, Accessed.16 January. 2018,