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The Romantic Movement and Gothic Literature


The Romantic Movement and Gothic Literature Enlightenment (c. 1660-1790) An intellectual movement in France and other parts of Europe that emphasized the importance ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Romantic Movement and Gothic Literature

The Romantic Movement and Gothic Literature
Enlightenment (c. 1660-1790)
An intellectual movement in France and other
parts of Europe that emphasized the importance of
reason, progress, and liberty. The Enlightenment,
sometimes called the Age of Reason, is primarily
associated with nonfiction writing, such as
essays and philosophical treatises. Major
Enlightenment writers include Thomas Hobbes, John
Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and René Descartes.
Neoclassicism (c. 1660-1798)
A literary movement, inspired by the rediscovery
of classical works of ancient Greece and Rome,
that emphasized balance, restraint, and order.
Neoclassicism roughly coincided with the
Enlightenment, which espoused reason over
passion. Notable neoclassical writers include
Edmund Burke, John Dryden, Samuel Johnson,
Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift.
Sturm und Drang (1770s)
German for storm and stress, this brief German
literary movement advocated passionate
individuality in the face of Neoclassical
rationalism and restraint. Goethes The Sorrows
of Young Werther is the most enduring work of
this movement, which greatly influenced the
Romantic Movement.
Romanticism (c. 1798-1832)
A literary and artistic movement that reacted
against the restraint and universalism of the
Enlightenment. The Romantics celebrated
spontaneity, imagination, subjectivity, and the
purity of nature. Notable English Romantic
writers include Jane Austen, William Blake, Lord
Byron, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats, Percy
Bysshe Shelley and William Wordsworth. Prominent
figures in the American romantic movement include
Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Edgar Allen
Poe, Williams Cullen Bryant, and John Greenleaf
Transcendentalism (c. 1835-1860 )
An American philosophical and spiritual movement,
based in New England, that focused on the primary
of the individual conscience and rejected
materialism in favor of closer communion with
nature. Ralph Waldo Emersons Self-Reliance and
Henry David Thoreaus Walden are famous
transcendentalist works.
Five Main Romantic Themes in American Literature
  • Intuition (the truth of the heart) is more
    trustworthy than reason.
  • To express deeply felt experience is more
    valuable than to elaborate universal principles.
  • The individual is at the center of life and God
    is at the center of the individual.
  • Nature is an array of physical symbols from which
    knowledge of the supernatural can be intuited.
  • We should aspire to the ideal to change what is
    to what ought to be.

Pre-Raphaelites (c. 1848-1870)
The literary arm of an artistic movement that
drew inspiration from Italian artists working
before Raphael (1483-1520). The Pre-Raphaelites
combined sensuousness and religiosity through
archaic poetic forms and medieval settings.
William Morris, Christina Rossetti, Dante Gabriel
Rossetti, and Charles Swinburne were leading
poets in the movement.
Romantic Characteristics
  • Emphasis upon subjective emotion and spontaneity
  • 2. Love of ones own national literature and
    literary forms
  • Wild, exuberant writing dealing with unexpected,
    exotic and foreign topics
  • Objects contrasted with each other and arranged
  • 5. Love of the country and nature

One of Romanticisms key ideas is the assertion
of nationalism, which became a central theme of
Romantic art and political philosophy. From the
earliest parts of the movement, with their focus
on development of national languages and
folklore, and the importance of local customs and
traditions, to the movements which would redraw
the map of Europe and lead to calls for
self-determination of nationalities, nationalism
was one of the key vehicles of Romanticism, its
role, expression and meaning.
Neoclassical Elements Formal essay History
book Rhyming couplet Discipline Law Tradition Aris
tocrats Conservatives Even-tempered Reserved Forma
l portraits
Romantic Elements Mythical story Ode Supernatural
tale Democracy Freedom Revolution Commoners Liber
als Melancholic Outspoken Landscapes
True wit is Nature to advantage drest, What oft
was thought, but neer so well
expressed Something whose truth convinced at
sight we find, That gives us back the image of
our mind.
  • Alexander Pope,
  • An Essay on Criticism, Part 2,
  • 11. 297-300

Then a wish, My last and favourite
aspiration, mounts With yearning towrds some
philo- sophic Song Of Truth that cherishes our
daily life With meditations passionate,
from deep Recesses in mans heart,
immortal verse Thoughtfully fitted to the
Orphean lyre
  • William Wordsworth,
  • The prelude
  • Book 1, 11. 227-233

The Fighting Téméaire J.M.W. Turner
The White Horses John Constable - 1819
Liberty Leading the People Eugene Delacroix
The Voyage of Life - Childhood Thomas Cole
The Voyage of Life - Youth Thomas Cole
The Voyage of Life - Manhood Thomas Cole
The Voyage of Life - Old Age Thomas Cole
Gothic Literature
  • It was an offshoot of Romantic Literature.
  • Gothic Literature was the predecessor of modern
    horror movies in both theme and style.
  • Gothic Literature put a spin on the Romantic idea
    of nature worship and nature imagery. Along with
    nature having the power of healing, Gothic
    writers gave nature the power of destruction.
    Frankenstein is full of the harsh reality of
    nature. Many storms arise in the novel,
    including storms the night the Creature comes to
  • The most common feature of Gothic Literature is
    the indication of mood through the weather.

The Byronic Hero
  • This idea is based on the personality of George
    Gordon, Lord Byron who was a stormy, sensitive,
    fiercely proud man.
  • The Byronic Hero is a mysterious, somewhat exotic
    creature whose passionate intensity cuts him off
    from others.
  • They suffer from profound yearnings that are
    beyond the comprehension of lesser persons.
  • Aware of their superiority, these Byronic Heroes
    are frequently aloof, sometimes sullen.
  • They show disdain for the petty regulations of
  • They are sometimes imprisoned or become voluntary
    exiles, living examples of the restless spirit of
    the Romantics.