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Romanticism Essay, Research Paper

The start of the Romantic Age coincided with the start of the French Revolution in 1789. It ends in 1837. Just as the revolution was changing the social order, the romantic poets were taking literature in a whole new direction. The mechanical reason that pervaded the work of the previous era was replaced by strong emotions and a return to nature. Animals and respect for nature were frequently used subjects in works of his period. The first generation of poets included William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Sir Walter Scott. Their primary contribution to literature was with their lyrical ballads. They used the typical romantic themes of respect for nature and all of its creatures. Wordsworth is above all the poet of the remembrance of things past, or as he himself put it, of “emotion recollected in tranquility.” Some object or event in the present triggers a sudden renewal of feelings he had experienced in youth; the result is a poem exhibiting the sharp discrepancy between what Wordsworth called “two consciousness.”

The poem “Michael” is founded on the actual misfortunes of a family at Grasmere. In this poem, Wordsworth describes about a relationship of father, named Michael, and a son, named Luke. Michael is a shepherd in Grasmere valley. He is married to a woman, named Isabel. She is a housewife, who makes wool and rope to pass her time. They have a child, named Luke. Michael takes his son with him, so he can help him out with his work. Michael has special bond with his son. Luke is like a friend to his father. Michael has rocked his cradle like a woman’s gentle hand. He has raised Luke like a mother raised his son. He has also changed his clothes when Luke was a little boy. When Luke has turned eighteenth, he decided to go to a big city for work, and free his land. Michael takes his son to the mountain valley, and he shows him a work they have done together. Michael tells him that he is going to work without him after he is gone, and he kisses his son and cries. Luke leaves the house in the morning before sunrise. Neighbors wish him good luck, and pray for him as he passes their doors. After some days, his parent receives a letter from their relatives that he is doing very well. Luke writes his parent letters full of amazing news. Months after months, Luke becomes slower in his work and forgets about everything his father told him. He follows wrong path that brings him disgrace and shame. He goes back home, but nothing is same like he left it. He is no more young, he is getting old, and his body strength is not like before. He loses his property, and also the cottage that has named the Evening Star. Everything he owns is gone except the oak tree which still stands.

In conclusion, Michael, who loves his son more than anything, tells his son not to leave them alone; however, Luke goes to a big city, and forgets about the goals he has been told to complete. He brings shame and disgrace to himself, and he loses everything he owns.

The Romantic Period corresponds to the 19th century. Marked by the Romantic movement in literature and art during the first third of the century, the 1900’s was an age that spawned a large number of isms; Romanticism, Transcendentalism, Marxism, Darwinism, Idealism, Existentialism, Nihilism, Realism, Pragmatism, Socialism, Communism, Liberalism, etc. Behind this explosion of ideas lay the backdrop of the Industrial Revolution and the concurrent development of the modern capitalist economy. Being so close in time it is hard to get an objective view of the 19th century, but its importance for us cannot be overlooked. Perhaps a full understanding of the current 20th century will require a much firmer grasp of the previous century than we have now.

The number of writers included in the Romantic period far exceeds the number in former periods of the Modern Era. Perhaps this is due to the happy occurrence of a greater number of talented minds existing in the 1900’s than in previous centuries, or perhaps because of the intellectual progress of the human race. More likely, however, is the simple fact that being closer in time it is harder to distinguish the true classics from the almost classics.


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