What are the chief characteristics of the Romantic period?

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literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are a few tell-tale characteristics of the Romantic Period. many times people hear Romantic Period and believe that all of the texts during this period were about love. While love may exist as a side note in the text, it is far from a defining characteristic of the period.

1. Writers and artists of the Romantic Period (1800-1860-depending on what school you adhere to) created their works as an answer to the previous period (Age of Reason). Therefore, the Romantics valued their own perceptions and feelings over ones which were "forced" upon them by the preceding period.

2. In this quest for individaul feelings came an new appreciation of nature and freedom to explore one's own imagination. Writers, such as Washington Irving, and artists, such as Francisco Goya, wished to show the emotion of their works by playing with the color and emotion of their pieces.

3. Artists of this period also tended to focus on symbolism and myth. This is explored through their own understanding of personal perceptions of nature and the supernatural.