Not being one of the great literary minds of the ages, when I thought of the Romantic Era or Romanticism, I envisioned novels jam-packed with smarmy love stories full of woe. I had no idea I was so wrong until now.
While the Romantic Era did have some love stories in them, its origins traced back to the mid-18th century when people became interested in folklore. Men such as the Brothers Grimm collected fairy tales and other people studied folk songs. This led them to believe that the imaginations of thecommon? people could rival more educated poets and composers.
Romanticism was partially a rebellion against the Enlightenment Era. It emphasized subjectiveness, irrationality, personal emotions, and the spiritual. It can be characterized by a new fond appreciation of nature, a choice of feelings instead of reason and intelligent thought, focuses more on passion and inner battles, and the opinion that the artist is a master whose creative spirit is more important than rules and procedures.
In the 1800’s, it traveled quickly to the West, and created a stir. The most popular orchestral music was from the Romantic Era. Even today, romanticism influences music. For example, the soundtrack for Star Wars was based on 19th century romanticism. I didn’t know that my favorite composer (Wagner) was from this era. I never paid attention-I just listened to Parsifal.
The Romantic Era especially influenced writers, such as Poe, both Bronte sisters, and even Mary Shelley, who wrote Frankenstein (which was hardly my idea of aromantic? piece of work before this section). Although it did have its dissenters, the Romantic Era did have some good intentions. For example, proponents of romanticism felt that rousing people’s emotions could help society as a whole (thinkA Christmas Carol? by Charles Dickens).