Home Latest Post Romantic period in English literature summary

Romantic period in English literature summary

by alwaysbecheerful_admin

The Romantic Period (1798–1832)

Romantic criticism in  English is due to the awakening of the sensibility that came over the English literary scene about the middle of 18th century.It came about as a reaction against rationalism which had prevailed during the Neo classical era and the Order ,discipline and the respect  for tradition and authority which the New- classicists  had inculcated ” The commonly had a assumptions about man, God and Society were breaking down, and the writers were thrown back on their own reactions and responses to the facts of life. Region had failed to answer the fundamental questions about the mystery of life, and so stress shifted to emotions and imagination as safer guides to truth. .

What is romantic literary criticism ?

The year 1798 marks an important milestone in the literary history of England. It was the year of publication of the Lyrical Ballads a collaborative work of William Wordsworth and ST Coleridge. This Publication marks The dawn of a new literary era in England,popularly known as Romanticism. Romanticism was born as a revolt against the Political, Social, Religious, and literary conventions of the contemporary times. The French Revolution of 1789 which was centred on the ideas of ‘Liberty’. Fraternity ‘Equality’,had considerable influence on English Romantic Movement. Man-nature relationship was explored by the Romantics. Romanticism advocated simplicity of theme, feeling and expression. It laid emphasis is on the concept of ‘Creativity’ in contrast to the Neo-classical idea of ‘Imitation’ as the basis of the creative art and therefore considers as imagination as a key principle in creativity. The poetry of this period is chiefly subjective nature and is based on themes of nature and natural beauty and sensitive portrayal of deep passions and emotions, and an intense love for freedom. This poetry also show an inclination towards Supernaturalism, Medievalism,Hellenism and Pantheism. William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Robert Southey, George Gordon ,Byron Percy Bysshe Shelley and John Keats are the six great Romantic poets. The great prose writers of this age Charles Lamb ,William Hazlitt, De Quincey, and Walter Scott. Wordsworth’s approach towards nature is reflected through his poems ” The Prelude”, “Tintern Abbey” , “The Solitary Reaper” and “The world is too much with us”. Shelley perceives nature as a source of optimism as is expressed through his poem “Ode to the West Wind”. John Keats polarises in his experience between art and nature; that is a recurrent theme in his Odes such as “Ode to a Nightingale”,”Ode
on a Grecian Urn” etc


Romantic criticism bears the greatest influence of Wordsworth and Coleridge. Wordsworth’s Preface to the Lyrical ballads has been described as the  unofficial Manifesto of the romantic criticism. The document makes suggestion which are the first many fields and brought about basic things in romantic theory and practice. It was here that he advocated the simplicity in theme and treatment in poetry also emphasized on the role of emotions and imagination in the creation of works of art demoralized much that was balls and engineers in English pretty girl tradition so that literary criticism in England could breathe the larger and freer atmosphere.


New definitions of poetry have been attempted pleasure and not instruction,is regarded the and or function of poetry.Coleridge ,”says if Poetry instructs, it does so only through pleasure .” Poetry  should transport and make men ‘Nobler and better’ through such transport by appealing to the heart not to the head. . In  the poetic process,imagination is stressed both as the basis of creations and of judgement on what is created.Imagination leads to the production of great work of art. Shakespeare is considered great only because his works  are the product of his imaginations and Pope is not great because he lacks imagination.The critic must also be gifted with imagination for only then he can appreciate the beauty of a work of art in his criticism. The critic must enter into the spirit of a work of art imaginations. Romantic criticism is also creative for it is as much the result of imagination as works of art. Poetry is not  considered as mere imitation or invention but as the expression of emotions and imagination.Then Romantic criticism is concerned with fundamental such as the nature of poetry and its functions, and not merely with literary genres, style or diction. It takes into account the theory of poetry and the process of poetic creation. It  is neither legislative, nor judicial, but analytic.    

You may also like

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x