The Romantic Period was a literary movement in Europe and America during the late 1700s through the middle 1800s. Romanticism was characterized by five basic systems of beliefs. It should not be surprising that these were completely different from the characteristics of the Enlightenment. Romanticism was an intentional revolt against the rational, formal, reasonable period of the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment was too scientific and did not focus on romanticism.

The Romantic Movement emphasized emotions over reason; feelings and intuition were more prevalent than intellectual ideas or thoughts. Note how different this is from the previous period, the Age of Reason. Emotions, even passions and sexual attractions, were addressed in literature written during the Romantic Period.

Writers during the Romantic Period wrote from their imaginations rather than presenting life realistically. So, in contrast to the realistic literature written during the Enlightenment, literature written during the Romantic Period was imaginative and unrealistic. Romantic literature was also a break with classicism, which creates its own themes and forms. They understood that the human mind believed beyond reason.

Another difference between the Romantics and the writers of the Enlightenment was a focus on individual concerns rather than on society\'s. No longer was public life more important than private life nor did the concerns of society take preference over the problems of individuals.

Two other characteristics of the Romantics concerned the characters who were featured in their literature. These writers felt a reverence for nature and the common man. Rural life was considered ideal, and heroes of the literature during this period were usually from humble origins. A revolutionary difference from literature of the past was the Romantics' use of normal everyday language in their poetry--the language of the common man. Also, there was an increasing importance of children and women. Children, especially, were esteemed in literature of the Romantic Period, and females were much more likely than in the past to be significant characters. Rousseau, who was a French thinker, apposed many aspects in the Enlightenment. He believed that material aspects of life corrupted nature and that society corrupts humans. Rousseau also believes that children grow like plants, which means they are very organic. He wanted children to explore and learn on their own. He said that if you educate people in that matter, society would be organic.

Rather than the nonfiction of the Enlightenment, most literature written during the Romantic Period was fiction. Poetry and novels were the prevalent genres. Women authors were much more common also; however, women often used masculine names (or pen names) because they felt their works might not be respected or taken seriously if readers knew they were females.

In my opinion, I see positive elements of the Romantic thought. I believe that society should be characterized on emotions, imaginations, individual concerns, reverence for nature and the common man and importance of children and women. I believe that it is very essential having children being very important. I am of the opinion that children should be cherished more then anything. So, as you can see, I think that the Romantic thought is very positive to society.

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