Friday, 12 April 2013

Literary Perspectives on the Individual - Part 3: The Romantics

Dear All,

The Romantic Movement in Europe is crucial for our present understanding of the Individual. Please watch the following Introductions to Romanticism and then read the suggested poems.

Introductions to the Romantic Period:

BBC Series (on British Romanticism)

(1) The Romantics - Nature:

(2) The Romantics - Liberty:

(3) The Romantics - Eternity:

The Romantic Spirit - Series in Several Parts

"The Golden Age"

"Paradise Lost"


"Triumph of Death"

"The Romantic Hero"

"The Romantic Explosion"

"The Triumph of Romanticism?"

Examples of Romantic Poetry in England

William Blake (1757-1827)

Visual Art


"Love's Secret"

"Mad Song"

"The Tiger"

"To the Evening Star"

Video about Blake

William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

"Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood"

"Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey"

"Resolution and Independence"

"I Wondered Lonely as a Cloud"

"To a Skylark"

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)

"The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"

Illustrated youtube version in 5 parts:

"Kubla Khan"


"The Eolian Harp"

George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824)

"Stanzas for Music"

"She Walks in Beauty"


John Keats (1795-1821)

"Ode on a Grecian Urn"

"Ode to a Nightingale"

"Ode on Melancholy"

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)


"Ode to the West Wind"

"To a Skylark"

"Love's Philosophy"

"Prometheus Unbound"

Mary Shelley (1797-1851)

Frankenstein - or the Modern Prometheus (novel)

In Germany, there was a pre-romantic movement that promoted similar ideas, called Sturm und Drang (1760s to 1780s). The most prominent representatives of that movement were:

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

-> bilingual handout (with my translation) or check out a different English translation at:
(scroll down to the very bottom of the page!)

-> bilingual handout (with my translation) or check out a different English translation at:
(scroll down to the very bottom of the page!)

The Sorrows of Young Werther

Goetz von Berlichingen

Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805)

The Robbers

Intrigue and Love

Don Carlos

"Ode to Joy"

... and there is much more....




  1. I did not have chance to go through all those links except the first one. Luckily I had covered the Romantics in another course, as that video really did not like to get to the point. Did anybody else find the video took too long to say anything?

    1. I had a really great link last term - but it was taken down for copyright reasons. The best thing is always to read more of the original poems and form your own opinion. Click on the links to some of the poems....

  2. The Romantics is the period when writes composed a lot of great masterpieces. Even though they mainly focused on applying the use of new patterns, form and structures, beautiful words and phrases, their works still did great jobs in reflecting their perspective on my issues of the current society .

  3. I believe that the romantic is the nature of part of human being. People are difference to show the romantic way such as speaking, writing, and acting.

    1. Yes, I think you are totally right. Unfortunately, this "romantic way" gets suppressed by many systems - including our current North American education system....

  4. One question: what is the difference between romantic poem and lyric poem? From what I understand, they look the same because lyric poem is also about personal or emotional feelings.

  5. Wordsworth and Coleridge's mission was a quest for liberation, collaborating on a book for a new age, called the lyrical ballads. From which they withheld their names, making the statement that art was beyond individual recognition, and with this book they gave politics a human face.
    Their most notable poem is "The rime of the ancient mariner"
    Which is now a epic Iron Maiden song.

  6. I don’t really love poetry but this part of the romantics and their point of views from different artistic methods were very interesting to see due to the elements, structure and tools these people use to express their ways of thinking and ideas. The area where I can relate more to the romanticism is in music where just listening to some masterpieces from this era blows your mind away and gives you lots of things to think about

  7. Blake writes his poems in plain direct language. he presents his view in visual images rather than abstract ideas. in his Tiger, i can see, the rich people as tigers and the poor people as lamb

  8. Much of what we think of when we think of poetic conventions springs from this era: an unabashed love of nature, passionate, evocative language, an emphasis on true love and passion. Most of the works during this period are guided by emotions. The association with nature is evident most of the time. Nature is regarded as an extension of the human personality, capable of sympathy with man's emotional state. Especially in Wordsworth's works, delight is found in unspoiled scenery and in the innocent life/ childhood.