Romanticism was a literary movement that originated in the late 18th century that followed the period of the Enlightenment while challenging the utter classism that prevailed during it. It was characterized by legitimizing human emotions, thoughts, and feelings while giving them authority and credibility at the same time.
There was artwork, poetry, and literature produced during this era by the Romantics who believed in the ethics of romanticism. Such people rejected utmost belief in science and technology and were dissatisfied with how things were being done in the preceding period. The romantics demanded - and worked for - more autonomy, liberty, and agency for individual people, in contrast to mere nations as a whole, scientists, machinery, or the dominant classes.
- Some common themes of romantic works could be as follows:
- Sheer emphasis on human emotions, thoughts, and feelings
- Vivid descriptions of the inner dialogues
- Glorification of nature
- Dissatisfaction with materialistic things (that aren’t enough for the peace of the soul)
- Depth in Imagination
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, with its sheer emphasis on human emotions and their significance as well as paranoia against scientific advancement, is a great example of typical romantic work. Some of the quotes, in particular, do justice to the romantic themes:
“Chemistry is that branch of natural philosophy in which the greatest improvements have been and maybe made. A man would make but a very sorry chemist if he attended to that department of human knowledge alone.”
Also, in order to show the misery of the newly-created monster, who was highly capable of doing almost anything except for feeling human emotions, the description goes as well:
The summer months passed while I [the monster] was thus engaged, heart and soul, in one pursuit. It was the most beautiful season; never did the fields bestow a more plentiful harvest, or the vines yield a more luxuriant vintage: but my eyes were insensible to the charms of nature.
So, the romantics were the people who believed in the ideology of romanticism and spent their respective lives accordingly.