Romanticism was a European movement and it involved different arts suches literature, painting, sculpture and music. According to the different culture, social and political context of each country, it took on different aspects. Romanticism was born in Germany in 1770 and it was anticipated by the so-called “Sturm and Drang” which included such poets as goethe and shiller who believed in the freedom of the individual and asked for a return to nature.
In Germany, Romanticism was essentially a philosophical movement.
In Italy, Romanticism was a patriotic movement and was connected with the Risorgimento and the fight for independence. The main exponents of the movement were G.Leopardi, U.Foscolo, A.Manzoni, whose “Promessi sposi” described the lives of simple people against a background of great historical events.
In France, Romanticism developed later. It was introduced by Madame de Staël and Jean-Jacque Rousseau who believed in man’s natural goodness and his consequences corraction by society.
In England, Romanticism whose essentially a literary movement and poetry became one of the most vital forms of literally expression.
Romanticism represented a reaction against the neo-classical and rationalistic ideals of the 18th century. English romantic poets were against all kind rules and conventions, institutions and system. They prized feelings and emotions above reason and they believed in the power of immagination. They so immagination as a source of spiritual energy and the poet, through it was able to modify or even recreate the world around him. The typical romantic poet was inclined to mysticism, the exotic, the strange, the unreal, the marvelous. The poet wonted to escape from reality becaming a dreamer and an individualist romantic poets looked at the medioeval world for inspiration so popular ballats, ancient Scandinavian and Celtic themes were admired as well as the poets of the past such as Shakespeare, Spencer and Milton.
The romantic poet became a prophet a teacher;
he didn’t address a selective audience but he wanted to be understood by everybody. They also were interested in childhood.