The Romantic Movement
The Romantic Movement develops in different ways depending on the country: it is a political movement in France, patriotic in Italy, literary in England and philosophical in Germany.
In England the Movement starts in 1798 (with Coleridge and Wordsworth’s “Lyrical Ballads”, whose Preface is the manifesto of Romanticism) and ends in 1837 with the reign of Queen Victoria. During this period poetry is seen as the ideal way to convey emotions. In fact, poetry focuses on the feelings and the personal emotions of the author, emphasizing the subjective and individual originality. Consequently, the poet is considered as a superior being thanks to his creativity and imagination, and has to work his own spirit and express through art his own experiences in order to make other people conscious of the truth. The poet is a genius with a social aim, which is spreading the truth about life among the people; he is solitary, meditates alone, and finds inspiration in nature. Nature is the main theme in the Romantic Period. The need to escape from reality exalts the unusual, the strange, the exotic, the supernatural, the rebel and the Middle Ages: the Middle Ages is the period in which most of the Romantic stories are settled, due to its darkness, the mysterious and magic atmosphere, the influence and power of the supernatural.
The first generation’s poets are deeply interested in nature and wanderings in the country (especially Coleridge and Wordsworth, the founders of the English Romanticism); the second generation’s poets are more involved in social affairs and supported freedom and rebellion (for example Byron and Shelley). The language used by Romantic poets and writers is that of common speech, in order to reach a great number of people.