What are the similarities between Romantic literature and early Victorian literature?

An important similarity between Romantic and early Victorian literature is that both were reactions to rapid changes as industrialization and science transformed the economy and society. Romantic literature emphasizing natural beauty contrasted with man-made disruptions rebels against this "progress." Although Victorian literature is characterized by less floral and emotional language, it is similar in that it was also a response to changing times, with writers exploring challenges that "progress" produced.

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Both the Romantics and the early Victorians shared an interest in the gothic. Gothic literature was first established during the Romantic period, stressing the supernatural and the power of evil to corrupt the virtuous. Gothic literature was largely rejected by respectable and more literary writers for much of the late eighteenth century, but some major Romantic writers did turn out gothic works such as Matthew Lewis' The Monk and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Focused on more than bumps in the night, these Romantic works examined human failings and the dark depths of the human heart.

Early Victorian writers also used gothic tropes and imagery for more literary purposes as well as social commentary. Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist and The Old Curiosity Shop both indulge in gothic tropes such as a lecherous villain, an innocent menaced by evil, and shadowy imagery, while Emily Bronte uses gothic character types to comment on class divisions and gender inequalities in Wuthering Heights.

Romantic and...

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