romanticism n.
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  1. Romanticism • Beginning in the last decades of the 18th century, it transformed poetry, the novel, drama, painting, sculpture, all forms of concert music (especially opera), and ballet. • It was deeply connected with the politics of the time, echoing people's fears, hopes, and aspirations. • It was the voice of revolution at the beginning of the 19th century and the voice of the Establishment at the end of it.

  2. Romanticism • Origins of Romanticism: • The earliest stirrings of the Romantic movement are conventionally traced back to the mid-18th-century interest in folklore which arose in Germany • Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm collecting popular fairy tales and other scholars like Johann Gottfried von Herder studying folk songs--and in England with Joseph Addison and Richard Steele treating old ballads as if they were high poetry.

  3. Romanticism • It signaled the belief that products of the uncultivated popular imagination could equal or even surpass those of the educated court poets and composers who had previously monopolized the attentions of scholars and connoisseurs. • Imagination, Mysticism, Human Emotion were equal to the rationality of the Enlightenment era.

  4. Romanticism • Religion was basic to human nature, and faith could, in fact, be a road to knowledge. • Enlightenment thought tended to attack organized religion and relied on reason to gain understanding. • Imagination could supplant Reason • Further, there was a resurgence of the Art, literature and Architecture of the Medieval Era.

  5. Romanticism • There was a further interest in the impact and importance of folklore, folksongs, fairy tales and the use of vernacular languages (German as opposed to Latin) in the telling of these tales • In Germany, the predominance of the “Volk” became an early galvanizing force there. • Certainly we have seen the impact of this in the Twentieth Century, in a much more political fashion!

  6. Romanticism • Nationalism and Romanticism • The natural consequence of dwelling on creative folk genius was a good deal of nationalism. • French Romantic painting is full of themes relating to the tumultuous political events of the period and later Romantic music often draws its inspiration from national folk music. • Goethe deliberately places German folkloric themes and images on a par with Classical ones in Faust.

  7. Romanticism • It could also be seen in the spread of the Napoleonic Code throughout Europe. • Nationalism was both introduced by the French Troops, and engendered by their presence and conquest. • National identity and character focused on language, ethnicity, and culture

  8. Romanticism • Rousseau and Romanticism • Society and Material Prosperity had corrupted Human nature • Man was happy and innocent in nature, at his creation, and it was society that had change that • In concert to this, man must return to a more natural state to achieve happiness

  9. Romanticism • One could be morally and spiritually uplifted by cultivating a greater sensitivity to feelings. • The cultivation of empathy for the sufferings of others could even be a vehicle for social change, as in the works of Charles Dickens. • For Rousseau, the most referenced work was his text “Emile.” • In it, Rousseau emphasized the importance of the education of children be based on their individual freedom. They were to grow freely, like a plant.

  10. Romanticism • The Plant Metaphor is continued in the sense that the Parent of teacher is to provide nourishment and get rid of weeds, but otherwise it to leave the child autonomous. • Another key figure was Immanuel Kant, and his key work the critique of pure Reason.

  11. Romanticism • Kant creates hybrid of the rationality of the Enlightenment and the beliefs in human freedom, immortality and the existence of God. • Kant, unlike Locke and others from the Enlightenment, saw the Human mind not as a “passive mirror” and formed by sensory experience.

  12. Romanticism • Rather, the human mind imposed on thw rold some manner of sensory experience and understanding. • Further, Kant saw that all humans possessed an internal sense of moral awareness, as “moral imperative.” • Essentially, it is the human ability to act ina situation as other should act. • Lastly, the existence of god and eternal life stemmed from this “Moral Imperative.”

  13. Romanticism • Essentially it was the existence of what might be called practical reason or imagination or intuition and the power these possessed that reflected the power of the human mind. • It certainly deviated from the predominantly passive human understanding for thinkers like Hobbes and Locke.

  14. Romanticism • Romanticism and Religion • The Enlightenment had weakened, but hardly uprooted, established religion in Europe. • Contrast the basic tenets of Deism of the Enlightenment era with the new views of Religion in the Romantic Era

  15. Romanticism • A better metaphor for social change is the movement of waves on a beach, in which an early wave is receding while another advances over it, and elements of both become mixed together. • For all that many of its features were reactions against the rationalist Enlightenment, Romanticism also incorporated much from the earlier movement, or coexisted with the changes it had brought about. • Let’ examine briefly Deism, and contrast it with religion in the Romantic Era.

  16. Romanticism • Deism – It is incorrect to think of Enlightenment thinkers as those who were opposed to religion or Atheists. • Rather, they had quarrels with the way that Organized religion had become bastions of fanaticism and intolerance. • Remember the way that Voltaire railed against the Catholic Church, and its institutional abuses.

  17. Romanticism • Since the Universe could ultimately be examined by reason, then it must follow that God must also be rational, as opposed to mystical, and religion must also be based on the same rationality. • Religion must be rational and natural, rather than being mysterious and mystical, and God had set the mechanism of nature in motion, and left it alone after that.

  18. Romanticism • Deists did believe in the existence of God, and this could be proven through an examination/contemplation of nature • There was also a clear belief in life after death, and this eternal life was one of rewards or punishment that were based on the way that you lived your life.

  19. Romanticism • Religion in the Romantic Era • Methodism is probably the most salient example of the “flavor” of religion in the Enlightenment Era. • Methodism was a revolt against the deism and Rationalism of the Enlightenment Era.

  20. Romanticism • Methodism – Lead by john Wesley, Methodism became a central Religious pursuit in England during the Romantic era • Wesley’s conversion, if you will, came during a storm at sea. • He saw the deep faith of a group of German Moravians while he was fearing for his life. • What Wesley realizes through his own conversion is that the importance of the Emotional experience of his faith could not be preached from the pulpit of the Anglican Church.

  21. Romanticism • Wesley began to preach in open fields, and it became a very unconventional form of worship indeed. • It soon came to be that Methodism became a separate church and began missionary work as well. • Methodists stressed inward reflection a s away to achieve perfection.

  22. Romanticism • Hence, this manner of religion stressed emotion, and passion, rather than the dry form of rationalism proposed by deism. • It w a religion that stressed enthusiastic emotion as a way of conversion.

  23. Romanticism • Nationalism and History in the Romantic Era • Germany became a hot bed for the importance of culture and History in the definition of what nationalism is. • Johan Gottfried Herder – rejects the mechanism of nature as proposed by the Enlightenment thinkers. Herder, like Rousseau, sees making developing organically, over time, like plants.

  24. Romanticism • Herder was also a proponent of the importance of German Folk Culture – folk tales and songs. • The Brothers Grimm displayed the importance of language and culture. • This was also a clear opposition to the imposition of French Nationalism as forced upon them by the conquering armies of Napoleon.

  25. Romanticism • Hegel and History. • Hegel, like Herder, sees intellectual development as evolutionary, and fomented by conflict. • His was the Thesis, Antithesis, and Synthesis. • Hey concepts connected to this are:

  26. Romanticism • Since all historical epochs have equal importance because each epoch is a result of a previous one. • All cultures are of equal value because each contributes to the clash of culture that make the development of society possible.

  27. Romanticism • Romanticism in Art and Literature. • We have studied: • Mary Shelly; Frankenstein • Poetry • Art: John Constable and William Blake

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