The Development of Individualism and Romanticism

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Individualism Romanticism is the cult of the individual – the cultural and psychological nativity of the self, the inner spark of divinity that links one human being to another and all humans to the Larger Truth. Artist became preoccupied with articulating the personal experiences they become, in turn, a representative one. The artists takes on a quasi-religious status not only as a prophet and moral leader, but also as a divinely inspired vehicle through which nature and the common man find their voices. The idea of man’s natural goodness and the stress on emotion also contributed to the development of Romantic individualism; they believed that what is special in a man is to be valued over what is representative (the latter is often…show more content…
Although interest in religion and in the powers of faith were prominent during the Romantic period, the romantics generally rejected absolute systems in favour of the idea that each person must create the system by which they live. • The Romantics wrote about how man has no boundaries and endless possibilities. ‘Who,’ Emerson asked, ‘can set boundaries to the possibilities of man.” “the romantics stressed the human potential for social progress and spiritual growth. • Rousseau “man is born free and everywhere he is in chains” • Blake – ‘bathe in the waters of life” • William Hazlitt: “by combining the mirror with the lam, in order to demonstrate that the poets reflects a world already bathed in an emotional light he has himself projected.” • Novalis shared the English romantic belief that the poet was a member of a special breed, “exalted beyond any other human being.” • Paul A. Cantor: “the artist stands above society as a prophetic visionary, leading it into the future, while free of its past and not engaged in its present activities in the sense of being essentially unaffected and above all uncorrupted by them)” • Music replaced painting as the art form considered most like poetry. M.H Abrams explains that German writers of
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