Characteristics of Romanticism

Essay by CarenToddUniversity, Bachelor's March 2003

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The Fourteen Characteristics of Romanticism

1. Medievalism - looking on the past to a simpler lifestyle (the good ole days).

''Written in the Close of Spring'' by Charlotte Smith

2. Orientalism - (exotic locales) places that everyday people would not venture.

Mystery - emotional stimulus.

3. Primitivism - belief that man was born inherently good. (Noble Savage - writing

by people of primitive cultures - Africa, Native American) Society makes them bad.

4. Progress - Romantics were not against progress but feared the effects on

society. Man could create a better world without materialism.

5. Anti-intellectualism - belief that everything is just not rational.

''The Tables Turned'' by William Wordsworth

6. Sentimentalism - (emotions) very affected by what they see. Raw formality.

7. Humanitarism - believed that all men were created equal and that you should

help others.

8. Democracy - supporters of the French revolution until it became violent.

Agreed with the civil American revolution, used portage to fight for reform.

9. Originality - New poetic formats and genres.

10. Diversity - Authors wrote books and music, but did not write in one style.

Mastered the art of writing.

11. Confessionalism - art is a confession of the inner soul. Characters confess and

express how they feel.

12. Purgative Purpose of Art - authors believed their writings were cleansing their


''Lines Composed a Few Miles away from Tintern Abbey'' by William


13. Protest and Dissent - Original Protesters ills of society and the church. Not all

authors of this era believed in this.

''Lines Written in Early Spring'' by William Wordsworth

14. A love of the wild and picturesque - Nature is almost a character in novels.

Nature inspires creativity.

''Pastoral Poesy'' by John Clare