Romanticism And Percy Shelley's Influence Of Romanticism

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In reaction to The Enlightenment, the period of Romanticism rises in the nineteenth century; with its major influences in the arts. Romantics focused on the individual and emotion over reason. Nature is their biggest influence. Through nature romantics could be closer to a supreme being. When it came it religion, the romantics were drawn to Christianity, but did not consider themselves Christians. In her essay “Defence of Poetry,” Percy Shelley describes the characteristics of Romanticism, when describing poetry. She uses phrases like “the expression of the imagination,” to describe poetry. (Percy Shelley, Defence of Poetry). In her essay Shelley describes what true poetry is and consists of. Her descriptions resemble the ones of Romanticism. Thus, what is Romanticism? It is one of the hardest periods to define as Hobsbawm states, “As a style, a school, an era in the arts, nothing is harder to define or even describe in terms of formal analysis…” (The Age of Revolution, 257). Even though Romanticism can be described as undefinable, its presence could be felt throughout Europe. Socially the middle class had the least impact of Romanticism, some even say that the romantics were anti middle class. In fact, Hobsbawm explains how romanticism entered the middle class when he says, “Romanticism entered the middle class culture, perhaps mostly through the rise in day-dreaming among the female members of the bourgeois family.” (The Age of Revolution, 272). However, the pre-

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