What is Romantic language and style?

1 Answer

literaturenerd's profile pic

literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

The Romantic writers, both authors and poets, idealized the individual, the imagination over realism, and the dreamworld. Romantics also incorporated nature, or Nature personified, in their texts. Essentially, nature had a power which matched, and sometimes exceeded, that of humankind.

The language of the Romantics' is elevated and eloquent. Romantics employed the use of numerous rhetorical devices (metaphors, similes, and personification), and they looked at the world through "rose colored glasses" (an optimistic view of the world which failed to show the world realistically). 

Emily Dickinson, a Romantic poet, personified Death in "Because I could not stop for Death." Death is given the ability to walk around and, essentially, collect its "partners" in a carriage headed for the end of the road (or the person's life). 

Mary Shelley, a Romantic novelist, uses elevated and eloquent language in Frankenstein. "I am by birth a Genevese; and my family is one of the most distinguished of that republic. My ancestors had been for many years counsellors and syndics; and my father had filled several public situations with honour and reputation." 

William Blake, another Romantic poet, played with the idea of nature's power. In "The Tyger," Blake illustrates the power of nature while questioning its existence in the first place. Curiously enough, Blake is successful in both elevating and questioning nature's power in the same piece.