Romanticism Some Historians and Literary Critics Essay

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Some historians and literary critics are still debating over the concept of Romanticism as a determined period starting at the end of the eighteenth century and lasting until about the 1950s. Whether is was a movement or a succession of movements, and Romanticism is generally considered a predominantly artistic movement that appeared by the end of the eighteenth in the nineteenth century in Europe as a counter-reaction to the age of reason, the enlightenment. The age of revolutions needed the rationalism of the enlightenment in order for the world to engage on the way to progress. The hegemony of the western colonial powers knew a new stage when the American colonies fought for their independence and established the new country that will change the history of the world for ever.

The great empires saw a social change that would inevitably reverse the way their subjects envisioned the world, their roles in it and start to make the difference between the divine right and civil rights. Eugene N. Anderson considers the Romanticism in Germany to be the result of "the social transformation from the culture of caste and absolutism to that of class and constitutional rule."

The new industrial made people and more especially, artists, open to seek refuge into a state of mind that would supply a counterbalance to the always expanding horizon of the urban. Human and nature seemed more and more estranged and the human nature appeared to drift in a direction that was reined by mercantilism.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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Anderson considers that the German Romanticism came mainly as a response to the intellectual and spiritual threat posed by the French Revolution and Napoleon. "The fact of living in a time of cultural crisis conditioned the thinking and acting of the young German Romanticists as no other experience did. It forced them to deal not merely with a single aspect of life but with the totality of man, society and universe. & #8230;in the decade or so beginning with the late 1790s Romanticism offered a way of deliverance for persons caught in a crisis."

Humanity acquired new valences, as defined by Novalis: "nothing more than living in common."

The idea and new values of community forced the romanticists and the consumers of their works to rethink the individual in the context of society as a structure that needed all its parts in order to function properly.

Romanticism reconsidered and analyzed in-depth the importance of beauty and art for humanity was, taking Nature back to its place as the primary source for the beauty and human nature as an intrinsic part of this source. In his Letters Upon the Aesthetic Education of Man, 1794, J.C. Friedrich Von Schiller, emphasized the importance of understanding and placing oneself in accordance with one's epoch while at the same time knowing that man was "introduced into this state, by the power of circumstances, before he could freely select his own position"

. The human being as the work of nature arrived at a state where it needed to seek to identify the ends those circumstances have let loose. The laws of nature still apply to nature's work even if the most superior being of them all, humanity, does not seem to be aware of their interdependence.

Schiller explains why reason is not necessarily the natural form of human existence and thus paves the way to the response to the age of reason: Romanticism, along with other Romanticists. "She [Reason] takes from man something which he really possesses, and without which he possesses nothing, and refers him as a substitute to something that he ought to posses and might possess… Before he had opportunity to hold firm to the law with his will, reason would have withdrawn from his feet the ladder of nature."

Romanticism has often been considered the artistic movement that encouraged those exalted and often lacking the sense of reality artists and art lovers. Some considered it the field of those sick, as opposed to classicism, for example, that was the field of the sound. In the above mentioned spirit expressed by Schiller, Baudelaire simply explains Romanticism "the latest expression of the beautiful," "a conception analogous to the ethical disposition of the age"

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