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The Influence Of The French Revolution On Romanticism

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The literature of a country is affected and influenced by how the
people of that country live. This paper will prove that The French
Revolution greatly influenced 19th Century French Romanticism. First, the
cultural values of the revolution will be identified. Then, the different
aspects of Romanticism will be presented. The cultural values of The
French Revolution and Romanticism will then be linked. Finally, literary
examples will be shown to support this connection between the two
Before the Revolution, the citizens of France lived in a strict,
confined society with no freedom to express their feelings. Government
had imposed strong, unfair laws on the common people (Compton's
Interactive Encyclopedia "French Revolution"). They wanted a voice in a
stable government with a strong economy (Johnson 105) and a strong sense
of individuality and independence within the people. (Moss and Wilson 180)

Eighteenth- century literature was much like the society in which
it was produced, restrained. Society was divided into privileged and
unprivileged classes, (Leinward 452) with Eighteenth- century writers
focusing on the lives of the upper class. (Thompson 857) These writers
followed "formal rules"(Thorlby 282), and based their works on scientific
observations and logic (Thompson 895).
The Revolution gave the common people and writers more freedom to
express feelings and stimulated them to use reason. According to Thompson,
The Revolution "had a major impact on Nineteenth- Century European Life."
(895) It sent a strong wave of emotion and revival throughout France
(Peyre 59). This lead to new laws and standards for the citizens,
including newer, less imposing literary standards.
Romanticism marked a profound change in both literature and
thought. Romanticism, according to Webster's Dictionary, is defined as "a
literary movement (as in early 19th century Europe) marked especially by
an emphasis on the imagination and emotions and by the use of
autobiographical material." Although this may be true, there is no single
commonly accepted definition of Romanticism, but it has some features upon
which there is general agreement. First, it emphasized upon human reason,
feeling, emotion, and expression (Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia,
"Romanticism") while emphasizing the love of nature, beauty, and liberty.
(Leinward 528-529) Thompson defines Romanticism as " a major literary and
cultural movement" that was inspired by the imaginations, inner feelings,
and emotions of the Romantics. (895)
If one term can be used to describe the forces that have shaped
the modern world, it is Romanticism. (Peyre, 2) Romanticism has had such
a profound effect on the world since the late 18th century that one author
has called it "the profoundest cultural transformation in human history
since the invention of the city." (Compton's Encyclopedia, "Romanticism")

Harvey and Heseltine state that "The outstanding characteristic of
18th-century French literature had been attached to reason.... About the
turn of the century.... literature became a matter of senses and
emotions." (633) They also say that the movement of Romanticism "gave
practical expression to the new spirit..." because it recognized that the
bounds on literature were "too rigid". (634)
There are many direct relations how the French Revolution
influenced the French Romanticism that followed it in the Nineteenth-
The French Revolution had a major impact on the timeline and
progression of Romanticism. Vinaver states that "Neither a revolt or a
reaction, Romanticism was a revolutionary fulfillment... And this in turn
explains why the European event known as the French Revolution is at once
the climax [of Romanticism]...It's [French Revolution} date, 1789,
conveniently divides the Pre- Romanticism [era] from the full flowering of
the new culture." (6) Romanticism starts in about 1774, but does not take
off until the last decade of the 18th- century, the same ...

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Keywords: the influence of french revolution on romanticism, discuss the impact of the french revolution on romantic, impact of the french revolution on romanticism, influence of french revolution on romantic literature, how did the french revolution influence the latin american revolution

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