The Romantic Era
Characteristic of the intellectual movement that gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution. Studying the difference between "Songs of Innocence" and "Songs of Experience". Description of the main authors belonged to London Romanticism.
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Костанайский социально-технический университет имени З. Алдамжарова
Проверила: Гейко Н.Р.
Выполнила: Иншибаева А. ПД 41
1) What is Romanticism
2) How did Romanticism appear
3) What were 3 main trends in Romanticism
4) What is the difference between “Songs of Innocence” and “Songs of Experience”
5) What thing unites authors in Lake School
6) What authors belonged to London Romanticism
Romanticism (or the Romantic Era) was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution. In part, it was a revolt against aristocratic social and political norms of the Age of Enlightenment and a reaction against the scientific rationalization of nature. It was embodied most strongly in the visual arts, music, and literature, but had a major impact on historiography, education and natural history.
The movement validated strong emotion as an authentic source of aesthetic experience, placing new emphasis on such emotions as trepidation, horror and terror and awe--especially that which is experienced in confronting the sublimity of untamed nature and its picturesque qualities, both new aesthetic categories. It elevated folk art and ancient custom to something noble, made of spontaneity a desirable character (as in the musical impromptu), and argued for a "natural" epistemology of human activities as conditioned by nature in the form of language and customary usage.
Romanticism reached beyond the rational and Classicist ideal models to elevate a revived medievalism and elements of art and narrative perceived to be authentically medieval, in an attempt to escape the confines of population growth, urban sprawl, and industrialism, and it also attempted to embrace the exotic, unfamiliar, and distant in modes more authentic than Rococo chinoiserie, harnessing the power of the imagination to envision and to escape.
The modern sense of a romantic character may be expressed in Byronic ideals of a gifted, perhaps misunderstood loner, creatively following the dictates of his inspiration rather than the standard ways of contemporary society. Although the movement was rooted in the German Sturm und Drang movement, which prized intuition and emotion over Enlightenment rationalism, the ideologies and events of the French Revolution laid the background from which both Romanticism and the Counter-Enlightenment emerged. The confines of the Industrial Revolution also had their influence on Romanticism, which was in part an escape from modern realities; indeed, in the second half of the 19th century, "Realism" was offered as a polarized opposite to Romanticism. Romanticism elevated the achievements of what it perceived as heroic individualists and artists, whose pioneering examples would elevate society. It also legitimized the individual imagination as a critical authority, which permitted freedom from classical notions of form in art. There was a strong recourse to historical and natural inevitability, a zeitgeist, in the representation of its ideas.
Ask anyone on the street: "what is Romanticism?" and you will certainly receive some kind of reply. Everyone claims to know the meaning of the word romantic. The word conveys notions of sentiment and sentimentality, a visionary or idealistic lack of reality. It connotes fantasy and fiction. It has been associated with different times and with distant places: the island of Bali, the world of the Arabian Nights, the age of the troubadours and even Manhattan. Advertising links it with the effects of lipstick, perfume and soap. If we could ask the advertising genius who, fifty years ago, came up with the brilliant cigarette campaign, "blow some my way," he may have responded with "it's romantic."
These meanings cause few problems in everyday life - indeed, few of us wonder about the meaning of Romanticism at all. Yet we use the expression freely and casually ("a romantic, candle-lit dinner"). But literary historians and critics as well as European historians have been quarreling over the meaning of the word Romanticism for decades, as Lovejoy's comment above makes abundantly clear. One of the problems is that the Romantics were liberals and conservatives, revolutionaries and reactionaries. Some were preoccupied with God, others were atheistic to the core. Some began their lives as devout Catholics, lived as ardent revolutionaries and died as staunch conservatives.
The expression Romantic gained currency during its own time, roughly 1780-1850. However, even within its own period of existence, few Romantics would have agreed on a general meaning. Perhaps this tells us something. To speak of a Romantic era is to identify a period in which certain ideas and attitudes arose, gained currency and in most areas of intellectual endeavor, became dominant. That is, they became the dominant mode of expression. Which tells us something else about the Romantics: expression was perhaps everything to them -- expression in art, music, poetry, drama, literature and philosophy. Just the same, older ideas did not simply wither away. Romantic ideas arose both as implicit and explicit criticisms of 18th century Enlightenment thought. For the most part, these ideas were generated by a sense of inadequacy with the dominant ideals of the Enlightenment and of the society that produced them.
romanticism intellectual innocence experience
2. How did Romanticism appear
Romanticism appeared in conflict with the Enlightenment. You could go as far as to say that Romanticism reflected a crisis in Enlightenment thought itself, a crisis which shook the comfortable 18th century philosophy out of his intellectual single-mindedness. The Romantics were conscious of their unique destiny. In fact, it was self-consciousness which appears as one of the keys elements of Romanticism itself.
The philosophies were too objective - they chose to see human nature as something uniform. The philosophies had also attacked the Church because it blocked human reason. The Romantics attacked the Enlightenment because it blocked the free play of the emotions and creativity. The philosophy had turned man into a soulless, thinking machine -- a robot. In a comment typical of the Romantic thrust, William Hazlitt (1778-1830) asked, "For the better part of my life all I did was think." And William Godwin (1756-1836), a contemporary of Hazlitt's asked, "what shall I do when I have read all the books?" Christianity had formed a matrix into which medieval man situated himself. The Enlightenment replaced the Christian matrix with the mechanical matrix of Newtonian natural philosophy. For the Romantic, the result was nothing less than the demotion of the individual. Imagination, sensitivity, feelings, spontaneity and freedom were stifled -- choked to death. Man must liberate himself from these intellectual chains. Like one of their intellectual fathers, Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), the Romantics yearned to reclaim human freedom. Habits, values, rules and standards imposed by a civilization grounded in reason and reason only had to be abandoned. "Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains," Rousseau had written. Whereas the philosophies saw man in common, that is, as creatures endowed with Reason, the Romantics saw diversity and uniqueness. That is, those traits which set one man apart from another, and traits which set one nation apart from another. Discover yourself -- express yourself, cried the Romantic artist. Play your own music, write your own drama, paint your own personal vision, live, love and suffer in your own way. So instead of the motto, "Sapere aude," "Dare to know!" the Romantics took up the battle cry, "Dare to be!" The Romantics were rebels and they knew it. They dared to march to the tune of a different drummer -- their own. The Romantics were passionate about their subjectivism, about their tendency toward introspection. Rousseau's autobiography, The Confessions (1781), began with the following words:
I am commencing an undertaking, hitherto without precedent and which will never find an imitator. I desire to set before my fellows the likeness of a man in all the truth of nature, and that man myself. Myself alone! I know the feelings of my heart, and I know men. I am not made like any of those I have seen. I venture to believe that I am not made like any of those who are in existence. If I am not better, at least I am different.
Romanticism was the new thought, the critical idea and the creative effort necessary to cope with the old ways of confronting experience. The Romantic era can be considered as indicative of an age of crisis. Even before 1789, it was believed that the ancient regime seemed ready to collapse. Once the French Revolution entered its radical phase in August 1792 (see Lecture 13), the fear of political disaster also spread. King killing, Robespierre, the Reign of Terror, and the Napoleonic armies all signaled chaos -- a chaos which would dominate European political and cultural life for the next quarter of a century.
Meanwhile, the Industrial Revolution in full swing in England since the 1760 s - spread to the Continent in the 1820 s, thus adding entirely new social concerns (see Lecture 17). The old order politics and the economy seemed to be falling apart and hence for many Romantics, raised the threat of moral disaster as well. Men and women faced the need to build new systems of discipline and order, or, at the very least, they had to reshape older systems. The era was prolific in innovative ideas and new art forms. Older systems of thought had to come to terms with rapid and apparently unmanageable change.
In the midst of what has been called the Romantic Era, an era often portrayed as devoted to irrationality and "unreason," the most purely rational social science -- classical political economy -- carried on the Enlightenment tradition. Enlightenment rationalism continued to be expressed in the language of political and economic liberalism. For example, Jeremy Bentham's (1748-1832) radical critique of traditional politics became an active political movement known as utilitarianism. And revolutionary Jacobinism inundated English Chartism -- an English working class movement of the 1830 s and 40 s. The political left on the Continent as well as many socialists, communists and anarchists also reflected their debt to the heritage of the Enlightenment.
The Romantics defined the Enlightenment as something to which they were clearly opposed. The philosophies oversimplified. But Enlightenment thought was and is not a simple and clearly identifiable thing. In fact, what has often been identified as the Enlightenment bore very little resemblance to reality. As successors to the Enlightenment, the Romantics were often unfair in their appreciation of the 18th century. They failed to recognize just how much they shared with the philosophies. In doing so, the Romantics were similar to Renaissance humanists in that both failed to perceive the meaning and importance of the cultural period which had preceded their own (see Lecture 4). The humanists, in fact, invented a "middle age" so as to define themselves more carefully. As a result, the humanists enhanced their own self-evaluation and prestige in their own eyes. The humanists foisted an error on subsequent generations of thinkers. Their error lay in their evaluation of the past as well as in their simple failure to apprehend or even show a remote interest in the cultural heritage of the medieval world. Both aspects of the error are important.
With the Romantics, it shows first how men make an identity for themselves by defining an enemy, making clear what they oppose, thus making life into a battle. Second, it is evident that factual, accurate, subtle understanding makes the enemy mere men. Even before 1789, the Romantics opposed the superficiality of the conventions of an artificial, urban and aristocratic society. They blurred distinctions between its decadent, fashionable Christianity or unemotional Deism and the irreligion or anti-clericalism of the philosophies. The philosophies, expert in defining themselves in conflict with their enemy -- the Church -- helped to create the mythical ungodly Enlightenment many Romantics so clearly opposed.
It was during the French Revolution and for fifty or sixty years afterward that the Romantics clarified their opposition to the Enlightenment. This opposition was based on equal measures of truth and fiction. The Romantics rejected what they thought the philosophies represented. And over time, the Romantics came to oppose and criticize not only the Enlightenment, but also ideas derived from it and the men who were influenced by it.
The period from 1793 to 1815 was a period of European war. War, yes, but also revolutionary combat -- partisanship seemed normal. Increasingly, however, the Romantics rejected those aspects of the French Revolution -- the Terror and Napoleon - which seemed to them to have sprung from the heads of the philosophies themselves. For instance, William Wordsworth (1770-1850) was living in Paris during the heady days of 1789 -- he was, at the time, only 19 years old. In his autobiographical poem, The Prelude, he reveals his experience of the first days of the Revolution. Wordsworth read his poem to Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) in 1805--I might add that The Prelude is epic in proportion as it weighs in at eight thousand lines. By 1805, the bliss that carried Wordsworth and Coleridge in the 1790 s, had all but vanished.
But for some Romantics, aristocrats, revolutionary armies, natural rights and constitutionalism were not real enemies. There were new enemies on the horizon, especially after the Congress of Vienna (1814-1815). The Romantics concentrated their attack on the heartlessness of bourgeois liberalism as well as the nature of urban industrial society. Industrial society brought new problems: soulless individualism, economic egoism, utilitarianism, materialism and the cash nexus. Industrial society came under attack by new critics: the utopian socialists and communists. But there were also men like Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881) and Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) who identified the threat of egoism as the chief danger of their times. Egoism dominated the bourgeoisie, especially in France and in England. Higher virtues and social concerns were subsumed by the cash nexus and crass materialism of an industrial capitalist society. Artists and intellectuals attacked the philistinism of the bourgeoisie for their lack of taste and their lack of an higher morality. Ironically, the brunt of their attack fell on the social class which had produced the generation of Romantics.
Romanticism reveals the persistence of Enlightenment thought, the Romantic's definition of themselves and a gradual awareness of a new enemy. The shift to a new enemy reminds us that the Romantic Age was also an eclectic age. The Enlightenment was no monolithic structure -- neither was Romanticism, however we define it. Ideas of an age seldom exist as total systems. Our labels too easily let us forget that past ideas from the context in which new ideas are developed and expressed. Intellectuals do manage to innovate and their innovations are oftentimes not always recombination's of what they have embraced in their education. Intellectual and geographic contexts differ from state to state -- even though French culture seemed to have dominated the Continent during the early decades of the 19th century. England is the obvious exception. Germany is another example -- the movement known as Sturm und Drang (Storm and Stress) -- was an independent cultural development.
National variations were enhanced when, under the direct effect of the Napoleonic wars, boundaries were closed and the easy international interchange of ideas was inhibited. But war was not the only element that contributed to the somewhat inhibited flow of ideas. Profound antagonism and the desire to create autonomous cultures was also partially responsible. This itself grew out of newly found nationalist ideologies which were indeed characteristic of Romanticism itself. And within each nation state, institutional and social differences provided limits to the general assimilation of a clearly defined set of ideas. In France, for example, the academies were strong and during the Napoleonic era, censorship was common. Artists and intellectuals alike were prevented from innovating or adopting new ideas. In Germany, on the other hand, things were quite different. The social structure, the heavy academism and specific institutional traits blocked any possibility of learning or expressing new modes of thought.
Most important were the progressive changes in the potential audience artists and intellectuals now faced - most of them now had to depend upon that audience. Where the audience was very small, as in Austria and parts of Germany, the results often ranged between the extremes of great openness to rigid conservatism. Where the audience was steadily growing, as in France or England, and where urbanization and the growth of a middle class was transforming the expectations of the artist and intellectual, there was room for experiment, innovation and oftentimes, disastrous failure. Here, artists and intellectuals could no longer depend upon aristocratic patronage. Popularity among the new and powerful middle class audience became a rite of passage.
At the same time, intellectuals criticized the tasteless and unreceptive philistine bourgeoisie. Ironically, they were criticizing the same class and the same mentality from which they themselves had emerged and which had supported them. In this respect, the Romantic age was similar to the age of Enlightenment. A free press and careers open to talent provided possibilities of competitive innovation. This led to new efforts to literally train audiences to be receptive to the productions of artists and intellectuals. Meanwhile, literary hacks and Grub Street writers produced popular pot boilers for the masses. All these characteristics placed limits upon the activities of the Romantics. These limits could not be ignored. In fact, these limits often exerted pressures that can be identified as causes of the Romantic movement itself.
There were direct, immediate and forceful events that many British and European Romantics experienced in their youth. The French Revolution was a universal phenomenon that affected them all. And the Napoleonic wars after 1799 also influenced an entire generation of European writers, composers and artists. Those who were in their youth in the 1790 s felt a chasm dividing them from an earlier, pre-revolutionary generation. Those who had seen Napoleon seemed different and felt different from those who were simply too young to understand. The difference lay in a great discrepancy in the quality of their experience. Great European events, such as the Revolution and Napoleon, gave identity to generations and made them feel as one - a shared experience. As a consequence, the qualities of thought and behavior in 1790 was drastically different from what it was in 1820. In the Romantic era, men and women felt these temporal and experiential differences consciously and intensely. It is obvious, I suppose, that only after Napoleon could the cults of the hero, of hero worship and of the genius take full form. And only after 1815 could youth complain that their time no longer offered opportunities for heroism or greatness -- only their predecessors had known these opportunities.
The intellectual historian or historian of ideas always faces problems. Questions of meaning, interpretation and an acceptance of a particular Zeitgeist, or climate of opinion or world view is serious but difficult stuff. Although we frequently use words like Enlightenment or Romanticism to describe intellectual or perhaps cultural events, these expressions sometimes cause more harm than good. There is, for instance, no 18th century document, no perfect exemplar or ideal type, to use Max Weber's word, which can be called "enlightened." There is, unfortunately, no perfect document or ideal type of which we may pronounce, "this is Romantic."
We have seen that one way to define the Romantics is to distinguish them from the philosophies. But, for both the philosophies and the Romantics, Nature was accepted as a general standard. Nature was natural - and this supplied standards for beauty and for morality. The Enlightenment's appreciation of Nature was, of course, derived wholly from Isaac Newton. The physical world was orderly, explicable, regular, logical. It was, as we are all now convinced, a Nature subject to laws which could be expressed with mathematical certainty. Universal truths - like natural rights -- were the object of science and of philosophy. And the uniformity of Nature permitted a knowledge which was rapidly accumulating as a consequence of man's rational capacity and the use of science to penetrate the mysteries of nature. The Enlightenment defined knowledge in a Lockian manner-that is, a knowledge based on sense impressions. This was an environmentalist psychology, if you will, a psychology in which men know only what their sense impressions allowed their faculty of reason to understand.
The Enlightenment was rationalist - it glorified human reason. Reason illustrated the power of analysis - Reason was the power of associating like experiences in order to generalize about them inductively. Reason was a common human possession - it was held by all men. Even American "savages" were endowed with reason, hence the 18th century emphasis on "common sense," and the "noble savage." Common sense - revealed by reason - would admit a groundwork for a common morality. As nature was studied in order to discover its universal aspects, men began to accept that what was most worth knowing and what was therefore most valuable, was what they had in common with one another. Society, then, became an object of science. Society revealed self-evident truths about human nature - self-evident truths about natural rights.
Social and political thought was individualistic and atomistic. As the physical universe was ultimately machinelike, so social organization could be fashioned after the machine. Science pronounced what society ought to become in view of man's natural needs. These needs were not being fulfilled by the past -- for this reason, the medieval matrix and the ancient regime inhibited man's progress. The desire was to shape institutions, to change men and to produce a better society -- knowledge, morality and human happiness. The intention was at once cosmopolitan and humanitarian. The 18th century life of mind was incomplete. The Romantics opted for a life of the heart. Their relativism made them appreciative of diversity in man and in nature. There are no universal laws. There are certainly no laws which would explain man. The philosophy congratulated himself for helping to destroy the ancient regime. And today, we can perhaps say, "good job!" But after all the destruction, after the ancient idols fell, and after the dust had cleared, there remained nothing to take its place. In stepped the Romantics who sought to restore the organic quality of the past, especially the medieval past, the past so detested by the pompous, powdered-wig philosophy.
Truth and beauty were human attributes. A truth and beauty which emanated from the poet's soul and the artist's heart. If the poets are, as Shelley wrote in 1821, the "unacknowledged legislator's of the world," it was world of fantasy, intuition, instinct and emotion. It was a human world.
3. 3 main trends in Romanticism
Romanticism was an artistic and intellectual movement that originated in the late 1700 s in Western Europe. Transcendentalism was a group of new ideas in literature, religion, culture, and philosophy that emerged in the United States of America in the 1800 s.
Romanticism emerged as a reaction to three important trends in the 1700 s. One was the Age of Enlightenment, the idea that reason was all important. The Romantics believed that reason could only take you so far. To get a true understanding of life, you needed intuition and feeling.
The second was a reaction against classicism, which emphasized order, calm, harmony, balance, idealization, and rationality. The Romantics thought that life was wild and even messy. They thought that experience could not be squeezed into something orderly and calm.
The last was a reaction against materialism, which was the pursuit of money and wealth. Materialism increased with the Industrial Revolution. As factories were built in the cities to make wool get better grades into cloth, farmers were force off the land where they had lived and worked for generations. Work life in the factories was dirty and dangerous. Small children had to work twelve or more hours, six days a week. Many were killed on the job and the factory owners did not care.
The terrible condition of life in the cities was one of the main reasons that the Romantics appreciated nature so much.
Romanticism in England is most commonly connected at first with the poets William Blake, William Wordsworth and Samuel Coleridge. These three are known as the early Romantics. Later other great poets would come along. The most important of the later Romantics were John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Lord George Byron.
Coleridge and Wordsworth, who wrote the book "Lyrical Ballads" together in 1798, said in the preface of the book,
"The majority of the following poems are to be considered as experiments. They were written chiefly with a view to ascertain how far the language of...
THE ROMANTIC MOVEMENT
It was a very important cultural phenomenon; an ideological orientation that characterized many aspects of life, all in fact. All kinds of cultural manifestations were influenced by it. It started in Germany and extended all over Europe. It took place over a very long period from the late 18th Century up to the first half of the 19th. Yet the Romantic influence can be perceived throughout the whole of the Victorian Period (19th C.).
Romanticism is a rejection of the Neo-classical principles: hierarchy, balance, decorum, scale nature, rationalism, etc. It is a reaction against physical materialism.
In spite of being opposites, Neo-classicism and Romanticism share many things. For instance, Benevolism, which was the seed of Romanticism, first appeared a bit before the first half of the 18th Century.
Romanticism emphasizes on individuals, the imaginative, the spontaneous, the spiritual. Among the most characteristic attitudes of Romanticism are the following:
Strong appreciation of the beautiful: search for beauty is their main aspiration. There is a strong appreciation of the beauties of nature, which is the projection of perfection, it is a healing agent, something necessary to enjoy life. This idea can also be found in the previous century.
Emotion is on top of reason: emotion is praised at the expense of reason. The exaltation of senses over intellect is a constant item in Romantic literature. Things apprehended by means of feeling were preferred to those acquired by reason.
Exaltation of childhood: because of the association with spontaneity, freshness, gaiety and innocence. Children should be our point of reference. (Rousseau: man is good by nature and corrupted by civilization).
Exaltation of individual differences: the different mental potentialities that individuals have are very worth being taken into account. They are a source of inspiration for them. National and ethnic differences also are very interesting. They defend the different individual realities: exotic places, other countries customs, etc.
Exaltation on the figure of the hero: an exceptional human being, a model to follow, a Byronic protagonist. They show a deep interest in the hero's personal evolution.
Attraction towards the unsophisticated: the simple, the humble, the naive. This goes hand in hand with philanthropy, with Benevolism.
The continuous presence of opposites, of apparent opposites, is very significant of this period.
A new concept of the writer: the artist was an individual creator. His creative potential was more important than abiding the rules. Being original matters for the first time in history. Originality is the most important thing. This brings with it a new idea of the work of art as well. Poetry or literature in general was no longer a mere reproduction of reality (Neo-classical literature was a mirror over nature). External reality does matter, but it is the way it is reproduced, the author's personal interpretation, not the content, what is important.
Imagination is the gateway to reach the spiritual sphere. Experience is important too, but imagination is superior. It is the supreme mental faculty par excellence. It allows the individual to go beyond the world of experience in order to catch a glimpse of the divine.
There is also an obsessive interest in folk culture: something picturesque is something attractive because it is old and unspoiled. The past was something idealized because it would never come back. They found tight connections between their thinking and the 'agricultural past'. They were also very much interested in previous periods such as the Renaissance or the Middle Ages, which for them were not so dark.
We can also find a predilection for the mysterious: the awkward, the occult, all in all, a predilection for the sublime. The sublime is something very close to beauty, but they make you feel differently. Beauty infers peace, attraction… and the sublime, like a storm for example, makes you feel fear, which can also be very attractive. The sublime is the juxtaposition of both things: attraction and fear. According to the Romantics, the sublime allows you to reach a vertical axis, to realize that we cannot control the Universe. Another fantastic source for metaphor, for figurative language, for excessive feelings, etc.
Romanticism can be divided into two different faces:
The first face corresponds to the early Romantic period which was mainly concerned with establishing the theoretical foundations of the movement. Poetry and Philosophical treatises are the main literary forms used for defining Romanticism and its concepts.
The second face develops from the 1830' s onwards and is concerned with the spread of cultural nationalisms. As a consequence of this a renewed interest in the past, in origins sees the light. The past is idealized and recreated. A new genre emerged: the historical Romance which makes an emphasis on the imaginative component. The past is recreated with a touch of imagination, a good example of this kind of literature is Sir Walter Scott's Waverly Novels ('Ivanhoe').
The Romantic Movement had its own peculiarities in each country but we can distinguish two main branches: the German Romanticism which influences the whole of Europe except England, and the English Romanticism.
A third main influence upon Kant was exerted by Rousseau. He was a very different kind of thinker, a counter influence to the Rationalists, to the empiricists, to Hume. He rejected the predominance of reason over emotions (Emile). 'Man is good by nature, consequently, children should be brought up in the country, surrounded by nature and learn from experience. Nature purifies and civilization corrupts. Nature is a model to imitate'.
These three philosophical trends are completely opposite to each other but Kant uses the main ideas of each and innovates philosophical thinking. Like Rousseau Kant believed that, although human reason cannot justify the existence of a spiritual world, the spiritual world existed because we feel that God exists. Consequently Kant distinguishes two kinds of reason: theoretical or pure reason and practical reason.
4. The difference between “Songs of Innocence” and “Songs of Experience”
William Blake was the son of a London hosier. He was born in 1757 in London. When he was fourteen, he apprenticed to the engraver James Basire. This is where he developed his skills. He worked as an engraver, illustrator, and drawing teacher. During this time, he also wrote poems. His Songs of Innocence was published in 1789 and Songs of Experience was published in 1793. In 1794 an edition that combined both of the two, Songs of Innocence and Experience, was published. In 1809, Blake had financial problems and became depressed, he shut himself out from the rest of the world for the remainder of his live (Sparknotes).
The Lamb is one of the first of the poems in Blake's Songs of Innocence. In this poem, I take it as the Lamb symbolizing Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Lamb of God. The Lamb seems to be from a child's perspective also. When I picture Jesus, I see him as interacting with children and having a special fondness for them. There are many stories in the Bible about Jesus and children. A child in the poem is asking a question. He is asking who made him. In the second stanza, he attempts to answer the question. He says that he who made him also calls himself a Lamb and we are called by his name.
The Songs from Experience starts out with Earth's Answer. This is a sorrowful poem, full of dread. It can see no joy in the world. Even through the most light-filled times here on earth, he seems to find something dark and dreary with it. He seems to think that the father of men is selfish and vain. Why would He create sorrow and sadness, when it would be much easier for everyone to be happy?
Little Black Boy is the next poem. This poem is about a little black child and his mother. The mother teaches her child about God and how he loves everyone. He created everyone the way they are and loves them the way he made them. He doesn't care if you are black or white, when he comes to take you up to heaven with him it makes no difference. As long as you live according to his ways, he pays no attention to something such as skin color.
Holy Thursday is about many young orphans that are marching through the town to the church. They are going to church to pay respects and acknowledge the holiday of Holy Thursday. Holy Thursday is the day that Jesus Christ died for all of our sins. It is the day that we were forgiven and given the chance to have eternal life. They sang with great energy and loudness. This was a day that they got all of their troubles and hardships and put that energy into their praising God.
Many of these poems are hard to read because they are sad and not many are uplifting at all.
5. The thing unites authors in Lake School
The group of poets who gathered first in Bristol in 1795 and later in the Lake District introduced new accounts of the relationship of the mind to nature, new definitions of imagination, and new lyric and narrative forms. Their theories of creativity emphasized the individual imagination, but their practice of writing tells another story, one of collaborative writing. This practice originated in imagining a social community that Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey called pant isocracy, or government by all. Coleridge and Southey met in June 1794, planned to emigrate to Pennsylvania with a few friends to set up an ideal community based on abandoning private property, and together composed poetry and delivered public lectures to raise money for their emigration. Pant isocracy proved utterly impractical, and Southey withdrew from the plan in the summer of 1795. Their plans for a community of writers with shared property changed to a practice of collaborative writing, dialogic creativity, and joint publication.
6. The authors belonged to London Romanticism
1. Edmund Burke(1729-1797);
2. William Godwin(1756-1836);
3. John Thelwell (1764-1834);
4. Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834);
5. Lord Byron (1788-1824);
6. William Cowper (17931-1800);
7. William Blake (1757-1827);
8. Ann Radcliffe (1764-1823);
9. Robert Southey (1774-1843);
10. Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822);
11. Thomas Paine (1737-1809);
12. Mary Robinson(1758-1800);
13. Mary Anne Lamb (1764-1847);
14. Charles Lamb (1775-1834);
15. John Clare (1793-1864);
16. Anna Barbauld (1743-1825);
17. Robert Burns (1759-1796);
18. Maria Edgeworth (1767-1849);
19. William Hazlitt (1778-1830);
20. Felicia Hemans (1793-1835);
21. Hannah More (1745-1833);
22. Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797);
23. William Wordsworth (1770-1850);
24. Leigh Hunt (1784-1859);
25. John Keats (1795-1821);
26. Charlotte Smith (1749-1806);
27. Joanna Baillie (1762-1851);
28. Dorothy Wordsworth (1771-1855);
29. Lady Caroline Lamb (1785-1828);
30. Mary Shelley (1797-1851);
31. Johann Wolfgang Goethe (1749-1827);
32. Helen Maria Williams (1762-1827);
33. Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832);
34. Thomas DeQuincey (1785-1859);
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