The Romantic Age (1798-1837)
The Romantic Age came into existence after French Revolution (1789). It was an industrial Revolution. The Romantic Age was a reaction to the Revolution. It was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement.
What was The French Revolution?
The French Revolution began on 14 July 1789. On that day the revolutionaries stormed the fort in an attempt the secure gunpowder and weapons. It was a battle to achieve equality and remove oppression. It was a revolt against The Monarchist (राजतन्त्रवादी) dictatorship (तानाशाही) of the Catholic (रोमन) King Louis XVI(16th). America was also involved in it. King Louis made unfair laws and rules. Under his rule, the people were confined (बंधी हुई) within his perimeters (परिधि). There was an unequal distribution of resources. All the countrymen were angry with his rules. He increased the taxes to support America in the revolution. The result of that bad rules and taxation was that there were many adversities (मुसीबतें) in the country as- crop failures, oppressive (दमन कारी) feudal (सामंती) system, social, political and economic difficulties. These difficulties led to the outbreak of the French Revolution.
The Revolution affected not only France but also England. It had a very crucial influence on British intellectual, political, and philosophical life.
The Effect of the Revolution of the British writer-
The writers of the Romantic period were much affected and inspired by the ideas of the French Revolution. Poets such as Blake, Wordsworth, and Coleridge considered the revolution fair and necessary for the establishment of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity (भाई-चारा) that it espoused (समर्थन).
What was the social and economic background of the Romantic Age?
At the end of the 18th century, the country was changing swiftly. There were a lot of development changes. Machines were taking the place of men. Agriculture, manufacturing, mining, and transport were changing. Steam power had become a practical reality. It radically improved Britain’s core industries, namely the production of textiles(कपड़ा), metalwork(धातु कार्य) and other manufactured goods, and the mining of coal and other raw materials. The result was that there was a violent conflict(द्वन्द, झगड़ा) between employers and workers due to the use of machines. Later on, it had taken the form of the French Revolution.
What was the literary background of the Romantic Age?
Romantic Age literature is considered the literature of Imagination, Emotions, Feelings, Passions, Freedom, and Expression. It was much related to Nature. It seemed that all the writers and poets were much shocked by the Revolution and wanted to feel some peace of mind in the society. They wanted to soothe the mind of affected people. There was unrest and violence everywhere.
The German poet Friedrich Schlegel is given credit for using the term ‘Romantic’ to describe literature for the first time. According to him- “Literature depicting emotional matter in an imaginative form.” Is the meaning of the term, Romantic.”
William Long said- “The essence of the romanticism was, it must be remembered, that literature must reflect all that is spontaneous(सहज) and unaffected in nature and in man and be free to follow its own fancy in
Thus, we can say that poets such as Wordsworth, Coleridge, Blake, and Shelly withdrew themselves into the inner world and were less concerned with the outer public world. They move towards nature and its elements. They preferred the beauties of nature rather than the ugliness of the industrial world.
Notable points of the Romantic Age-
The Romantic Age had many characteristics, out of which some are given here-
1- Romantic poets believed in individual liberty and sympathized with those who rebelled against oppressors.
2- Romantic poets were much affected by the use of machinery and embraced imagination and naturalness.”
3- Romantic poets preferred personal experiences and emotions often in simple, unadorned(सादा) language rather than the public, formal and witty works of the previous century.
4- They believed that feelings and emotions could create poetry.
5- According to Romantic poets (Wordsworth)-“Poetry is the spontaneous(सहज) overflow of powerful feelings”.
6- Romantic poets loved Nature. They thought that nature as transformative (बदल देने वाला). they were fascinated by the ways of nature and the human mind mirrored the other’s creative properties.
7- The Romantic poets used lyrics as their best to express their feeling, self-revelation(रहस्योद्घाटन), and imagination.
Smart Facts About the Romantic Age
1- The key to Romanticism is-
a- Ability to produce his own original work
b- Creation from nothingness
2- Romanticism criticize the past and cults sensibility.
3- Romantics were self-devoted, they think less about society.
4- They focused on individual liberty
5- According to romantic poets, the truest experience was to be found in nature.
6- Romanticism focused on the primary importance of the free expression of the feeling of the artist.
7- Friedrich Schlegel is credited for using the term ‘Romantic’.
Romantic Age and its Main Poets
The First Generation Romantics (At the time of the Revolution)-
The first-generation romantics were inspired by violence, battle, and the revolution. They were writing at the time when the revolution was going on. We can say that they had seen the beginning of the revolution. Their themes were based on the revolution and on that condition.
The Second Generation Romantics (At the End of Revolution)-
Although the second-generation romantics started writing when the war or revolution had already ended, the country was facing different social and political tensions.