The Romantic Movement

By: Tessah, Carlo, Katie, Alyssa and Brodie

The Romantic Era

The Romantic Era was a literary, artistic, and intellectual movement that traveled through Europe, the United States, and Latin America during 1750, and lasted until 1870. The Romantic Movement did not reach France until the 1820’s. Romantics searched for deeper appeals. This led the Romantics to view things with a different spin than the Enlightenment thinkers. For example, the Enlightenment thinkers thought of the Middle Ages as "Dark Ages", which was a period of ignorance and irrationality. The Romantics on the other hand, idealized the Middle Ages as a time of spiritual depth and adventure. Romantics believed that men and women were to be guided by warm emotions rather than the cold abstract rules established by Bourgeois society. The bourgeois promoted, defended, and were openly profited by the Revolution of 1830. When they rose to power, they brought with them certain social customs.


Romanticism was a literary movement that occurred in the eighteenth century. During this time, literature began to develop into a complex state compared to standard literary practice. As it developed, literature introduced imagination, emotion and sensibility. Writers began considering themselves interesting subjects for literary creation. People’s interest in urban life was soon replaced by interest in nature instead. Romantic writers focused solely on the french revolution and its promise of liberty, equality and fraternity. The chief writers were Wordsworth, Coleridge, Scott, etc. Mary Shelley belongs to the second generation of writers. The most famous writers were poets.

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During the Romantic period the art focused on emotions such as apprehension, thriller, and awe. Many artists used the beauty of nature to bring out the viewers deep feelings. This Romanticism art was a reaction against the growing knowledge of science, and rational thinking. The art came into play to show the mysteries of the world and extolled the value of humans. The artists would make humans and architecture seem more God like and infinite. Caspar David Friedrich was one of the best landscape Romantic artist. He lived from 1774 to 1840. Caspar was born in Baltic, and raised in Dresden. Two of his art pieces would be The Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog (1818), and The sea of Ice (1823-1824). These pieces really express the Romanticism era, due to his darker choices of colour, and expression of terror and mystery.


Poetry during the Romantic Movement combines literary, artistic and cultural ideals during the nineteenth century. Each piece provides natural, emotional and personal themes from the poet. Most believe that the poems characterize the poets to be writing as a physiological defence mechanism, rather than capturing the essence of the movement. Poets like William Woodsworth were continually trying to create a new kind of poetry. This new type would consist of colloquial language, so it was more understood by everyone. Romantic poetry was thought of as a work of art. The poems created natural emotion through the human mind, and the process of creating it was appreciated.

Relation to Frankenstein

Throughout the story of Frankenstein written by Mary Shelley, there are multiple elements of romanticism. For example, Victor explains that “Life and death appeared to [him] ideal bounds, which [he] should first break through…. A new species would bless [him] as its creator and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to [him]” (Shelley 51). This proves that Victor is a very romantic character, and the writers way of seeing things is exposed through his words. The writers believed that through Victor, they could relay a message that would create a new understanding of the world and the way humans live. There are also many romantic aspects such as the environment of the story. Victor describes Switzerland as colourful and lively; romantic descriptions. Frankenstein is a novel that was clearly written to emphasis romantic striving to accomplish things beyond our human existence, such as Victor’s quest of creating life from inanimate matter. The story is filled with elements in which are combined with romantic characteristics by allowing characters to express deep feelings and desires. A famous quote also relates frankenstein to the romantic period. "I am going to unexplored regions, to “the land of mist and snow," but I shall kill no albatross; therefore do not be alarmed for my safety or if I should come back to you as worn and woeful as the "Ancient Mariner."" The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is a prime example of the romantic period considering it was based upon the era.