Fear and Romanticism

During the course of time, many themes began to get introduced in the literary works but the biggest progress could be seen in the Romantic literature produced during the era of Romanticism. Firstly, the literary term romantic or romanticism should not be mixed or confused with love stories, Harlequin romances, or anything of that particular genre. Even though love, as in any literary movement, plays a very important role in romanticism, but the term itself signifies something much more vast and different. (Lewis)Romanticism was actually a complex intellectual movement consisting of artistic and literary advancements. The movement has its roots back in the latter half of the eighteenth century in Western Europe. Charles Baudelaire, the famous poet and critic wrote: Romanticism is precisely situated neither in a choice of subject nor in exact truth, but in a way of feeling. Romanticism could really be called as a revolution against the aristocratic norms of the society which was largely dependent on class differentiation. (Kelly, 1989)The Romantic period observed huge political and social turmoil with notable political proceedings and social processes as the American and French Revolutions, the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, the prosecution and criticism of the transatlantic slave trade. Thus the themes in Romantic literature reflect the cultural and historical context of that period. Romantic literature stressed upon emotions which were previously alien to the previous authors. The themes stressed upon the emotions of love, romance, trepidation, wonder, and fear. (Curran, 1993)A person can easily see the birth of romanticism tracing back to burgeon in the middle of the 1700s. As a matter of fact, one of the supreme influences on the growth and expansion of romantic literature came from one of the most serious supporters and believer of Reason in the Enlightenment, the great author, and poet, Edmund Burke.

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