Romanticism EmphasisDo American romantics' writers place more emphasis on emotion or reason?

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bmadnick eNotes educator| Certified Educator

More emphasis is placed on emotion since the individual was considered more important during this time. People were more interested in what the response of the individual was to his/her surroundings and events rather than relying on being told what their response should be. Feeling and emotion were considered much more important during this period of time, and this is why poetry became the highest form of literature. Poets wanted to experience "the sublime", a feeling of being filled with a sense of wonder and magic.

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

During the Romantic period, poetry was elevated to the highest art, the "sublime," as mentioned above.  The language of the soul, its intuition and feeling was paramount, and the experience and emotion of a connection to nature was also part of the discourse of Romanticism.  For instance, in his "Thanatopsis," William Cullen Bryant extols the beauty and grandeur of nature.  Indeed, Romanticism was a rejection of the rational emphasis given to artistic efforts prior to this movement.