Romanticism: and introspection of renaissance


William Wordsworth

We frequently categorise English literary periods with alternative titles in order to comprehend and correspond them with distinctive characterizations since they tend to reflect predefined conceptualisations and interpretations displayed by the magnificent authors of the time. They proffered their own vantage points in response to contemporary instances of the period, and at times they made it accessible for the readers to wander in an alternate dimension in a bid to escape reality. Romanticism was an intellectual movement in England that began in the late 18th century and lasted until the mid-19th century, focusing on literary, lyrical, and musical art forms. Its sheer awesomeness continues to be experienced till today.

Romanticism a revolt or revival

There are  different versions on the historical roots of romanticism. A school of thought holds that it was a revolt against the preceding Augustan age, dissenting rationale, pragmatic approach, disingenuousness, idealism framework, and neoclassicism that was deeply embedded in the literary works, although others presume it was the re-emergence of the splendid renaissance and the awakening of the Elizabethan poetic ideologies.

 According to Newton, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. 

This is truly the case with romanticism since the Augustan age was rife with deception, satires, audacious political stances, preposterous comedy, and a complete absence of individualism where nature, emotional responses, fantasy, and individual freedom were nowhere to be encountered. As a result, after decades of silencing by neo - classical doctrines, the later writers rebelled to resurrect the marvels of renaissance. The call for romanticism was felt strongly following French romanticism, which was the direct consequence of the French Revolution, which fiercely opposed the Augustan ideals. William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Blake, became the face of romanticism in England. They were the patrons of the philosophies of the golden English renaissance, when fiction, individual freedom, independent thinkers, and subjectivity cast their shadows on music, literature, and sculpture. It wouldn't be erroneous to characterise romanticism as a reawakening of the Renaissance. As a result, while this literary movement can be labelled as a romantic revival, we can also presume that it is was rebellion against the classical belief of the 18th century.

Romanticism as renaissance of wonder 

Watts Dunton said the above phrase. The glory of this age is often linked with the golden renaissance because it conjured up and featured its lyricism, creativeness, sentimentality, and love for common folk, in contrast to the preceding era where the protagonists were from England's aristocracy portraying their charming manner while having coffee at grand coffee houses discussing social and political practises through satirical outlook. In "The rape of Lock," the chief writer of the Augustan period, "Alexander Pope," held up a mirror to the English society of the time.

Coleridge once said,” Imagination is the living power and prime agent of all human perception. 

 Coleridge's belief in imagination caused him to abandon the instantaneous actuality and wander in unknown kingdoms. Coleridge has beautifully depicted natural phenomena in the form of fog, mist, mythical bird, ship sailing on unfamiliar waters in “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner '' and dealt with supernaturalism and exotic images. "Kubla Khan," a vision in a dream with mysterious caves and a powerful Mongolian ruler, represents the poet's imagination and transmits the reader ’s attention to exotic lands with explicit details. Wordsworth is renowned as a Nature Poet since he believed that nature could foist generosity on humans and bring harmony to their establishment with their brethren. "Tintern Abbey," "The Solitary Reaper," and "Daffodils" have displayed the poet's psychological development and genuine affection for nature's magnificent configurations. “Jerusalem '' written by “William Blake '' had a central theme of England’s lost innocence and the horrific consequences of development. “Lord Byron, Walter Scott, John Keats,” have identified the connection between human beings and nature by having established the ultimate purpose of poetry as liberation with gothic and surreal backgrounds. In relatively brief, it touched the Renaissance's sensibility by restoring its splendour and totally and utterly dismantling the illusionary aristocratic English society based on scepticism and distrust. The distinct features made this 

Aesthetic sensibility of romanticism

The romantic poets broke free from the constraints of regulatory frameworks and prejudices. They explored the esthetical elegance of regular folks from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds living simple lives while elevating adoration, companionship, and compassion. They pretty much covered the essence of country life. Straightforwardness and originality are the key attributes of romantic literature.


The mediaeval fairies, demons, and elves reappeared with multiple other gothic stances. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the integration of romance, supernatural causation, and fiction was popular. Gothic literature was an integral part of late romanticism, with its intensifying dark themes. One can sense the fear and horror with the tiny possible details such as the gloomy backdrop, the havocs of eternal damnation, the horror of the unexplainable, and the ramifications of one's deeds paint a spellbinding picture of fear and panic in “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” for which the below classic example would suffice the purpose.

An orphan’s curse would drag to hell
A spirit from on high;
But oh! How more horrible that that
Is the curse in a dead man’s eye!”
― Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

The human connection with the nature

Romantic poets linked human lives to nature. They saw humans as mysterious, wild, and liberated as nature. We must all evolve in lockstep with nature. The romantic poets exalted the wilderness to the point where human existence became indistinguishable from it. In the midst of industrialisation, the poets used sublimation to make the spiritual connection. Their faith in nature was paramount. “Nature never did betray

The heart that loved her.”

The essence of Solitude

The mock poetry of England's legendary coffee houses has given way to romantic poetry that depicts ordinary people from the countryside in their most basic settings. The poets lauded the idea of solitude. Being alone in nature, they believe, allows humans to feel and experience it with all of their senses. They saw men contemplating and sublimating in secluded natural forms.

I wandered lonely as a cloud 

That floats on high o'er vales and hills, 

When all at once I saw a crowd, 

A host, of golden daffodils; 

Beside the lake, beneath the trees, 

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

                                                                                          “I wandered lonely as a cloud”

 William Wordsworth.

The poet used a wide range of literary devices to emphasise the affiliation between nature and the human psyche. The poet attempted to portray the blissful charm of hills and valleys with simple words and haphazardly transmitted his message of revitalising a lonesome soul with the abundance of nature's gifts. 

Love for History

 Romantic poetry transmits us to far-off unfamiliar and exotic locations, which is one of the primary features of the early mediaeval period. In their works of literature, the romantic poets extolled the mediaeval era. They drew inspiration for the theme in the Middle Ages, with magic, love, and adventure. They were blind to the wonders of time and space. One such reference can be seen in Kubla Khan, "Stately pleasure-dome” built in Xanadu has a sacred river Alph that runs through the caverns that are measureless to men, down to the sunless sea. Furthermore, the writers and poets felt compelled to keep alive the traditions of fairy tales.  They genuinely wished to safeguard this heritage from outside influences.


British nationalism was a repercussion of Napoleon nationalism which united the whole country together. Since then, it has become the distinctive feature of romantic poetry as it shows affection for folklore and national languages, customs and traditions.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s ideas influenced the progress of the age of enlightenment throughout Europe. Countless writers across the continent commemorated their nations and depicted the affiliation between the cultural and political universes under his influence. Romantic literature transformed into a tool for promoting political consciousness and a torch bearing the responsibility to embrace nationalism.

To summarise, Blake, Coleridge, Shelley, and Byron, Wordsworth were the romantic era's marvels. They evidently did not intend to be marionettes of Augustan philosophies. They each possessed their own exceptional artistic abilities that empowered them to permeate their visions and enlighten the world with their poetic imagination. For the common folk, they were like a brim of light in a dark and bleak world.  They endowed the arena to the rural life with nature in the backdrops, explored the endless themes and ended up turning the face of literature in England during the period. Not only did they challenge the constraints of science and logic, but they also returned to mediaeval times and re - established its splendour.


  1. An amazing read. The way this fragment reflects the history of English literature is , is commendable.

  2. Your writing is captivating.

  3. Amazing it is
    Must read article

  4. Very well written .

  5. Well written!


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