The Romantic Age




The age was known for the fight for freedom.

The importance of the individual was greatly recognized.

The time was of “hope and change” (103).


Historical Events:

American Revolution in 1776 (The Declaration of Independence)

French Revolution 1789 (Declaration of the Rights of Man)

Reform Act 1832

Industrial Revolution (caused the rise of the middle class)



Poetry: Complimenting the political revolutions, a revolution in poetic language and themes used in poetry occurred during the Romantic period.

William Wordsworth “wanted his poetry to show that men and women ‘who do not wear fine clothes can feel deeply’ and praise those who live close to nature” (108). He wrote The Prelude, an autobiographical poem about the formation of an individual’s thoughts and emotions and attempts to understand him/herself. The main theme of this work is the relation between past and present.

William Blake’s opposition of the Augustan style is evident in his works. ‘London’ talks about the industrial revolution and how individuals were lost in the industrial society. In Blake’s opinion, London is a city which oppresses the individuals.

Prose: Novels were the result of the development of prose writing throughout the Romantic period.

Mary Shelley writes about a Genevan student who creates a livingperson out of the bones of the dead in Frankenstein. The living person then becomes an uncontrolledmonster. The theme of the work is the interest in the supernatural and thedifference between God’s creations and human creations.

 Jane Austen’s interest in morals and society is obvious in hernovel, Sense and Sensibility. Thenovel “contrasts two sisters: Elinor who is rational and self-controlled(sense), and Marianne who is more emotional (sensibility)” (121). The novelportrays these two characters’ pursuit for happiness.