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Romantic Period Essay, Research Paper

The Enlightment was the movement that spread and caused and influence in it s society. Romanticism, was wide spread in many different areas. Since the middle ages, had there been in artistic movement that made a big change. That changed was quickly traveled on to Germany and England and quickly spread through to the Western Hemisphere. The beginnings on the last decades in the 18th century transformed poetry, novels, drama paintings, sculptures, all forms of concert music especially opera and ballet. It was deeply connected with the politics of it s time, echoing peoples fear, hopes and aspirations. It was starting to become what is called the voice of revolution at the beginning of the 19th century and the voice establishment at the end of it. The last shift, was a result of a triumph of the class that invented and adopted a romantic movement.

Many things occurred and where invented around the Romantic period. Inventions such as omnibuses that gathered several people in horse carriages and took them around town, to producing fuel gas with coal were several of the few. Unfortunate people started to get hurt a little more. Around August of 1819, workers gathered at the St. Peters field to protest their unfairness working conditions. About 600 people were injured and approximately 17 were killed. Wealthy people lived in huge homes. Dandy began to be a word very well used describing conscious men filled with style. Most dandy s used the color black as evening wear. Music like always continued to be a popular form of entertainment. In 1813, the Philharmonic Society was formed and won acclaim for it s talented musicians. Among the many Beethoven was one of them. People would attend museums to view famous painting along with sculptures. Fairs were very well attended, while the fortune-tellers and fire-eaters entertained the people.

In the Romantic Period, the person was valued over society, imagination over logic and natural over artificial. Romantics discovered inspirations in nature, folk art, past and their passions. Most romantics viewed the explanations of cities, the prospering of industries and the minimizing of farming. In an effort to reclaim nature, the romantics made it central force in there lives and literature. Nature meant so much to them. It meant love, delight, and was a model of moral perfection. To all this, libertarianism was popular Romantics rejected several themes of previous periods. To most libertarianism and nature went hand in hand. There had not been a time, that Europeans didn t celebrate nature in such form. But attitudes towards nature common in the western world today emerged mostly during the Romantic period. The Enlightment invented a source of truth, known as the natural law. Society related principal to civic behavior.

Despite all the criticism novels little by little began to be accepted. Authors used various styles including gothic, historical and the basis of the novel reality. Several novels of the time include: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (1818), Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott (1819) and the very well known Emma by Jane Austen (1815). Several other great poets around the time include William Blake, Robert Burns, Mary Wollstonecraft and George Gordon Lord Bryon. Out of these poets the one that interests me the most is Lord Bryon. He uses his life and experiences as the primary sources where he drew inspiration. His life style and various affairs with many women were much scrutinized. All though Bryon lived and wrote during the Romantic Literary Period, what shows of more in his works is what s now known as the Byronic Hero and very intelligent satire. The public seemed to love his work but he didn t receive critical acclaimed or approval until very much after his death. Aside from a difficult childhood and attacks on his works by critics, Lord Bryon was also faced with a physical handicapped. Bryon never let any of these obstacles stand in his way all though the effects of these hard ships didn t show in his works. When he was only nine years old, his nurse sexually abused Bryon. This experience seems to explain some of his views about the opposite sex. After falling in love with his distant cousin, Mary Chaworth, he felt rejection and pain once again. Mary quickly grew tired of Bryon and left him. Soon after he began poetry about an ideal and unattainable love. The following year Bryon had an affair with his half sister, Augusta Leigh. In 1814 a daughter is born to them. Meanwhile Bryon also gets engaged to Anabella Milbanke. This marriage however didn t last.

Critics did not readily accept Lord Byron s early poetic works. They were savagely attacked and were considered immoral and inferior. T.S. Elliot once said, Byron added nothing to the language, discovered nothing in the sounds, developed nothing in the meaning of individual words…Byron writes a dead or dying language. Byron was also criticize for his political and philosophical views. He was very much into Napoleonic politics, and Byron even went as far as to have his carriage made as an exact replica of Bonaparte s. Lord Byron s unsympathetic views of Romantic theory really set him apart from other writer s of his era. Bryon was willing and able to exploit any situation where comic relief was possible, especially when seriousness was intended. The art of attacking his enemies with the verbal abuse seemed to come naturally to Byron. He was able to react quickly to anyone that insulted him. Controversy seemed to amuse him and thieved in it. This, however, was more prominent in his earlier works. As Byron matured he found more subtle ways of countering personal and political enemies. (Beaty 18) Published in 1812, Childe Harold s Pilgrimage answered the public s demand for romantic adventures. The Giaour, The Bride of Abydos, The Corair, and Lara later followed Chile Harold s Pilgrimage. Much of his popularity may be attributed to his possession of just the right style and just the right moment. In 1816, in Dover, on Byron s last night in England, he visited the grave of the 18th century satiric poet, Charles Churchill. Like Churchill, Byron had been the flavor of the month.. (Muldoon 5) Byron s popularity, when it came, came very quickly. Byron was quoted saying, I woke up one day and found myself famous. His very witty and wise satires were influenced by, and he said, … the simple truth. Byron s most successful satires drew from any of his own philosophical views. Byron drew inspiration from many places. His work, The Curse of Minerva was inspired by a surge of Phil Hellenism. He seemed to believe, as in shown by the quote, I fell most religious on a bright, shiny day. That different religions were just forms of superstition. Byron s extreme sensibility, which caused him to react sharply and to retaliate against whoever offended him, also caused him to act very intensely towards those he loved. This is the reason why some collections of his early poetry celebrated the sweet sadness of love while others mockingly derided it. Bryon sometimes used these incompatible and almost opposite feelings along with traces of cynicism to reflect the poet s very own ambivalence. Bryon used a combination of medieval and classical influence in conjunction with his modern sensibility to create his prototype of the conflicted romantic hero. One of Bryon s greatest works, Don Juan, has a very unique edge. It is a long, conversational epic. The poems deep meanings are masked with wickedly biting and humorous satire. This poem really provides sagacious insight into social and political issues of Bryon s era.

Unfortunately for Bryon, he was detested for much of his life. He wasn t given recognition of being a great poet until after his death. Upon his death, Bryon became a national hero to an England that once denounced him. Isn t that very Byronic? Pun very much intended. I believe he d be very amused to know this. Now Bryon is considered to be one of the most influential writer s of the 19th century, proving his greatness and establishing his position among the other great names in British literature.


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