Essay Example on the Romantic Period

Published: 2023-01-13
Essay Example on the Romantic Period
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Women History Society Social issue Romantic literature Gender in literature
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 925 words
8 min read


The romantic period is an era characterized by artistic and musical aspects of the British literary history but at the same categorized as one among those with significant social and political changes. Scholars had however disputed on the exact time the era began as others state that it commenced in 1776 when America attained its independence, some 1783 and 1789. It is a unique period named after the literary form of romance; it was an era that ignored the classical historians and focused on the medieval romances. The great accomplishment of this period is the reclamation of medieval romance. Greenblatt and Christ state that there was "re-evaluation of those wild verse-tales of adventure, chivalry, and love" (Greenblatt & Christ, p.5). It brought back the fantasies induced on the readers of the medieval period. Scholars state that modern literature should follow the actions of this period and become romantic too. The romantic period can be described as artistic, musical, literally, and enlightenment movement. It was inspired by lyrical poets whose art was characterized by things happening in the natural world. There were also the abolitionist songs, fairy tales, and ballads.

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By a closer look at this text, I realize that the European nation was undergoing a significant change which was the transformation from agriculture as an economic activity and center of power to industrialization which was a modern version of economic activity. The change, however, took place in the form of revolution which started in America than to European nations. As a result of the revolution there was inflation, economic depression, which made the countries to plunge into tough economic times. The major happenings that took place during this time were the French revolution, abolition of the slave trade, and various reformations. The writers of this period never viewed themselves as romantic authors they were named so by the Victorian era critics who used the term to define them as modern rather than pre-modern writers. The critics put them in schools or sects, but they did so maliciously. It was considered as a watershed period where significant changes were expected because of the need to change from the traditional way of life that was characterized with conservativeness to modernity shaped by freedom and flexibility. Poems were much used as a form of expression, even in radical groups. Other types of literature included novels and drama. These forms of writing were used to push for the great revolutions that brought yielded results.

Women and society

In the late nineteenth century, women were given a low position in the community as compared to men. The women were subsumed, and men made all the decisions. A woman's place was to be a housekeeper meaning they had to take care of the children and husband. Women were not allowed to own property, be in leadership positions do business or any other activity except being home keepers. The radical thinkers began to advocate for women's rights so that they could get an education, and their status in society be elevated.

A good example is Mary Wollstonecraft, who was a great advocate of the uplifting of women status in the community. The debated was controversial as those argued that educating women would make them attract husbands but will not shape them into becoming good wives and mothers to their children. The writers who supported the elevation of women status in society argued that educating women would not be for their benefit but the community as a whole.

A closer look at this cultural context brings an understanding of the romantic period like that with significant controversies surrounding the lives of women. In exploring the lives of women in this period, it is evident that the romanticism period was characterized by the radical spirit in all spheres and women were not exceptional. There were great women writers whose literature was aimed at voicing the concerns of women in the society where men dominated all areas of life. The conservative writers do not support the enlightenment of women in them, but they could not oppose the ideas because the time for change had come. There are great women writers such as Mary Wollstonecraft and Catharine Macaulay who significantly wrote about the need to emancipate women.

The key assumptions that I found interesting in this literature are that there is no difference between a man and a woman as both have equal potential and if given the same opportunity women will also fit into the roles that the society consider to be for men. I also found out that women can be great scholars too and men cannot be the only good literature writers, Mary Wollstonecraft, Catharine Macaulay, and Hortensia among others are examples of great writers among the women. Similarly, the romantic period was a radical time whose ideas of women emancipation could not be suppressed anymore.

In the twenty-first century in America, women are still considered less potent than men, but it is also a time that can be compared to the romantic period where great women have stood for the emancipation of women. Women are taking more leadership positions in politics; for instance, Hillary Clinton was the first woman in modern society to go for the presidential seat. It is significant progress because women were not actively engaged in politics before. It is evident that there is a tremendous cultural transformation in America in the 21st century, where women have been enlightened than before.

Work Cited

Greenblatt, Stephen, and Carol T. Christ, eds. The Norton Anthology of English literature. Vol. 1. WW Norton & Company, 2012.

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