Pre-Romantic and Romantics tendencies

The second half of 18th century was the period of the "sublime" typical of the new pre-Romantic sensibility with the predilection for night, darkness and death. This type of literature was called "Gothic". The begin of the Romantic Age coincide with the French Revolution; the impact with it was immense and in its first phase, the Romantic poets were in favour of it, later the bloody excesses of the "Reign of Terror" cooled that enthusiasm. For the Romantics the imagination was the central point of the creating process and of interaction between the human mind and the physical world, in fact no poetry had ever contained so many descriptions of nature as we find in the works of Romantics. They saw a natural scene as much more than simply physical, they endowed it with life, passion and feeling. In this period simple scenes, objects and people began to acquire a new value. The interest in the commonplace had its counterpart in fascination with the supernatural and magic. Dreams, nightmares, visions were all cultivated by the Romantics. The first-person lyric, formerly regarded as a minor genre, now become major. They also discovered that reality and truth are subjective. Romantics' individualism was reflected in isolation from society that had three forms: isolation in nature, revolt and the voluntary exile from the mother country. The best pre-Romantics poets were Thomas Gray and Robert Burns.

The most important figure of the first generation of Romantic poets were: William Blake, William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. They are characterized in general by the e emphasis of "the self" and it's relationship with the nature. Their characteristics were: the simple language, the pantheistic view of nature, the support of the French Revolution, the critic to the social convention and the importance of sensibility. The most representative figure of the second generation where were: Lord Byron, Percy Shelley and John Keat. They are more interested in the problem connected with life and art and their characteristic were: the complex versification, the isolation from society, the critical attitude and the importance to interest and sensibility.

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