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Compare and contrast the Neo Classical Age with the Romantic Age.

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Both time periods seem to be in stark opposition to one another when their values are placed against one another.  Neoclassicists were proponents of the belief that human action can result in objectivity and scientific purity.  This emphasis on rationality helped to drive the belief that human perfectibility in a strictly scientific sense is possible.  In this vein, there was a belief in a conformist and cosmopolitan reality, as both could serve to represent the highest level of human achievement and individual advancement.  By contrast, Romantics were not driven by objective reality, but rather by individual expression.  Cosmopolitan notions of society were replaced by the drive for individual solitude and a natural setting where individuals could fine "the truth" through nature.

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The neoclassical values reason, the intellect, the rational, order, balance.  The term is used somewhat synonymously with the Enlightenment and the Age of Reason.  Neoclassicism recaptures the values of Ancient Greece and Rome.  This is an age of great satire and the age of the essay.  Swift and Pope wrote during this period.

Romanticism is a strong reaction against this.  Romanticism values intuition, the spiritual, emotion, imagination, creativity, spontaneity, self-expression.  Romanticism points back to the Middle Ages, rather than to the classical.  This is the age of lyric poetry.  Woodsworth, Byron, Keats, and Shelley were romantic poets. 

This is, of course, a simplistic breakdown.  These movements or periods are extremely complex.  And I don't know why they valued their parents during these two periods.

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Compare and contrast the neoclassical age to the Romantic age, with reference to some of the important poets of each.

While neoclassical literature valued logic and reason, Romantic literature reflected the importance of the imagination and emotions.

Neoclassical writers drew inspiration from ancient Greek and Roman forms. In fact, the nomenclature of this period reflects that focus. Neo- means "new," so authors of this period sought to make the classics new by reviving those traditional literary values. Writers of the neoclassical period valued order and control in their work; to accomplish the goals of literary balance, they emulated the values of classical thinkers such as Aristotle.

Imagination is not valued in neoclassical works as much as an intentional focus on reason and logic. Writers therefore often turned to nonfiction as a means of expressing their ideas, since this genre better aligns with the goals of logic. Influential poets who emerged during this era include John Dryden, Alexander Pope, John Milton, and Oliver Goldsmith.

Writers of the Romantic period were guided by quite different values. Their works are often centered in nature and celebrate the joys of connecting deeply with natural elements. Writers of this era also examine the importance of the individual and his spirituality. Instead of looking to lofty ideals of the past, these writers examined both the struggles and the triumphs of ordinary people.

Works produced during this era reflect the importance of the imagination and praise a wide range of human emotions. These works sometimes include supernatural or gothic elements in their quest to be open to the possibilities of the human experience. Noteworthy poets of the Romantic period include William Blake, Percy Bysshe Shelley, William Wordsworth, and John Keats.

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