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Romantic Period Writings With Special Reference to Jane Austen - Essay Example

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When Romanticism was first introduced into literary horizon, it was hailed as “fanciful, light, and even inconsequential’. “Romance was originally a descriptive term”, which was often used in context of European, German and other types of fiction…
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Romantic Period Writings With Special Reference to Jane Austen
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Their female counterparts like Charlotte Smith, Hannah More, Anna Laetitia Barbauld, Helen Maria Williams, Felicia Dorothea Hemans, Jane Austen, and Letitia Langdon, too, played a major role in shaping up the literary scenario during the Romantic era. This paper examines in length the characteristics of writings of Romantic Age, especially by women authors. This paper also traces the ‘radical’ and ‘conservative’ elements found in the writings of Romantic era. Features, practices and characteristics of women authors are also dealt with and the way they expressed ‘radical’ and ‘conservative’ elements are also discussed. The age of romanticism The Age of Romanticism came into being as a result of two great revolutions- the American Revolution during the years 1776-1783 and the French Revolution, during the years 1789-1799. Prior to these two revolutions, literature and ideas were primarily associated with rationalism, intellectual aspects and facts. These were the effects of Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment- the two products of pre- Romantic era. However, they produced discontentment as they supported monopoly or supremacy of political power, which rested solely on the hands of the king and his nobles. Common people had no say in it. At the same time, the social and economic conditions too experienced a drastic change. Thus, romanticism rose from the sense of rejection of all those which denied the self, the resources and rights of the individuals. It emerged as a force opposite to Enlightenment, and supports complex interrelationship2. It was in Germany that Romanticism first gained popularity. German author Goethe is regarded as the godfather as well as the greatest exponent of Romanticism. Romanticism thrives on imagination and originality. The writings are regarded as authors’ own self, that is to say, the author becomes the ‘creator’ and nothing is imitated from the external world. In its early stage, Romanticism was only associated with the feelings of love. Goethe’s ‘The Sorrows of Young Weather’ introduced an ideal hero full of love emotions- a model which was later on borrowed by other romantic authors and poets. But from the very beginning, irregularity and deviation from prevalent and accepted norms marked the writings of Romantic authors’ interrelationship with their inner selves and nature3. During the age of Romanticism, culture and society were depreciating at a fast rate. With the advent of globalization and capitalism, a sense of self- determination arose among the common people. Different political developments took place. These events along with other were constantly repeated not only in the works on Romantic age authors, but in the works of Romantic painters, sculptures, and musicians as well4. In case of romantic melodramas, the structure follows the radical form. That is, with its sensationalism, it could convert a tragedy. This phenomenon could be observed in the works of Thomas Kyd and Tennessee Williams5. Women authors of romantic age During the romantic age, several women made remarkable contributions to the field of literature. Some of them are “Anna Radcliffe, Charlotte Turner Smith, Amelia Opie, Mary Shelley and Jane Austen6. These women are remembered for their literary works which are often considered as “perfect embodiment of woman’s soul”7. Their works depicted the long- suppressed feminism ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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