What are the principles of Romanticism in English poetry?  Please discuss them in brief points.

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pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In general, some major principles or themes of Romanticism were:

  • The importance of emotion.  Romantics believed that people should heed their emotions rather than trying to be logical and rational.
  • Nature.  They felt that nature was important and that people ould learn from it.  They felt that people should try to "connect" with nature.
  • Pantheism.  This is related to the last point.  The idea of many gods representing, for example, aspects of nature would appeal to romantics.
  • Dreams and visions.  This is related to the first point.  They thought these had deep meaning and claimed (Coleridge and "Kubla Khan" for example) at times to get their poems in dreams

There are others, but these are the ones that are most important.

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favoritethings | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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The Romantics felt that the experience of intense emotion was of far greater value and merit than the exercise of logic.  To them, the ability to feel intense emotion is something that we are all born with, and so they felt that it was somehow fundamental to our humanity.  We must learn logic, unlike emotion, and so it seemed of lesser value to them. 

For the Romantics, experiencing nature, especially the sublime in nature -- the great beauty and tranquility of a sunset, the overpowering hopefulness associated with sunrise, the awesome terror created by a powerful thunderstorm -- would help to restore human beings to a more fundamental state.  This often had to do with nature's ability to inspire intense emotion with us; they felt that experiencing and appreciating nature was morally improving.

The Romantics very much respected the idea of the artistic genius, someone who seemed to be inherently able to tap into supreme creativity and expression via art -- whether it be poetry or painting or something else. 

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