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Romanticism in literature, began around 1750 and lasted

until 1870. Different from the classical ways of Neoclassical

Age(1660-1798), it relied on imagination, idealization of nature

and freedom of thought and


Two men who influenced the era with their writings were

William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, both English

poets of the time. Their edition of Lyrical Ballads , stressed the

importance of feeling and imagination. Thus in romantic

Literature the code was imagination over reason, emotion

over logic, and finally intuition over science. All of these new

ways discouraged and didn t tolerate the more classic way of


Other significant writers of the Romantic Age are noted still

as shaping an age of open-mindedness and freedom. Lord Byron

was one of these authors, he wrote Don Juan . Another is Percy

Bysshe Shelley wrote in terza rima, a three line iambic

pentameter set up of bcb, cdc, ded, and so on. Johan Keats

created his own fairy tale land in the lyrical poem Ode on a

Grecian Urn .

Nature and the natural surroundings were important in

romanticism. Taking pleasure in untouched scenery and the

innocence of life was the basis and theme of The Seasons by

the Scottish poet James Thomson. This

inspired the nature tradition present in English literature, such as

the works by Wordsworth.

Another aspect in romantic writings, most times connected

with the nature feel, was the look on rural life as being almost a

romantic melancholy. This was sensing that change was looming,

and the way of life they had been adapted

to was being endangered. References to this can be found in

Ode to Evening by William Collins, and Elegy Written in a

Country Churchyard by Thomas Gray.

With the freedom that Romanticism brought came the

broadening of the writers horizons. The Middle Ages became

topic of many stories and settings. The nostalgia of more Gothic

times put more exotic ideas into the author s minds. The

supernatural became a substantial part of the literature.

Outcomes of this new idea were Lines Written a Few Miles Above

Tintern Abbey , by Wordsworth, and The Castle of Otranto ,

written by Horace Walpole.

The world of the supernatural and exoticness was reinforced

by two main things. One was pure rebellion against the

standards of the eighteenth-century rationalism, such as the

structure of neoclassical society. The second was the rediscovery

of folk tales and ballads, particularly the ones collected by Facob

and Wilhelm Karl Grimm, also know as the Brothers Grimm.

These gave an inspiration to write many of the pieces of a

supernatural nature for the writers of the Romantic Age.

The Romantic Age started to lose it s glitter by the middle of

the nineteenth-century. Literature started to get serious again

focusing on issues such as problems of religion and faith and

politics of the English democracy. Now instead of journeying to

mythical places through the reading people wanted and writers

wrote about truth. Yet through the years literature of the English

Romantic Age will never even now be forgotten as it still impacts

some of our authors of today.

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