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Home » » Is Romanticism a revival or a revolt?

English romantic movement was both a revival and a revolt. It was a revival of Elizabethan romance, imagination, love for nature and the beauty and it was a revolt against the classicism or neo-classicism of the 18th century. The romanticism of 19 century revived the spirit of Elizabethan renaissance like love for nature and beauty, medieval romance, supernaturalism, freedom, subjectivity etc. All the romantic poets add strangeness to beauty. They present ordinary things to be extra-ordinary, usual things to be unusual, throwing the colouring of imagination they take the readers into a strange land, for from the world of reality. 

The romantic movement is also a revolt because romantic poets reacted against the style of 18th century poets. The 18th century poets used simile, metaphor, allusion and other poetic dictions like heroic couplet in their poetry. As a result, their poetry was artificial, witty and intellectual for their understanding of common people. Their poetry was a criticism of life and society. On the other hand, romantic poets believed the language of poetry should be simple so that common people may be understand and get pleasure. Poets must not use poetic dictions. The 19th century romantic poets revolted against the 18th century poets and used simple language and language of the common man to be language of poetry. 

In fact, romanticism is a new poetic movement of 19th century. it is a movement for freedom and imagination, love for nature and beauty. The 18th century poets wrote about upper class society, fashionable life, artistic drawing room, but Wordsworth and his followers wrote about common people and ordinary objects of nature. Therefore, to the 18th century poets, nature means human nature, the feeling of sorrows, sufferings but to the romantic poets, nature means the world of leaves, trees, flowers, seas, hills, forest etc.


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