Literary Analysis of the Enlightenment Period and Romanticism

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During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the literary world witnessed the birth of the Enlightenment and Romantic Periods. There were similarities as well as very notable differences between the two. There were also two prominent voices that gained notoriety during each of these two periods. Voltaire is considered to be the pioneer of the power of reason and Rousseau is looked upon as a legendary figure of Nineteenth Century Romanticism. This analysis will evaluate the two eras, both writers and a literary piece. The Enlightenment Era gave way to an age of reasoning. During this time, the writers were regarded as philosophers. They came up with diverse theories and possessed different points of view. Never the less, the…show more content…
The focus is now shifted to individualism, emotions, and nature. (James 485)These themes provided new ideas and different means to interpret and understand the world in a whole new light. Reasoning was no longer the most important concept that guided society’s way of looking at the world. During the Romantic Era, the individual became more important than in the past. According to J.M. Cohen, this era encouraged people to look at themselves not as fragments extending from heaven to the natural world but as inimitable entities eminent in their own authenticity. (Cohen, 7) This idea indicates that man is a distinct being entitled to explore and express his own feelings and thoughts. Simply put, examine the man as an individual and not as a unit. The Romantic Era was a period of that examined emotions and put them into words. Romantics abandoned the logical traditional Western World thought which believed that intelligence was the method used to understand the world. However, the Romantics opted to espouse imagination and feelings as a veritable approach to empathize the world. (James ,488) Lastly, the Romantic Era blended human emotions with nature. The interfacing of emotion and nature was emblematic of Romantic poetry, whether it engrossed the idea of bequeathing human emotions to an innate article like a river or connecting the scenery to the temperament of the writer. (James, 491) This kind of beauty that is
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