Similarities and differences between the Romantic Age and the Victorian Period. Similarities and Differences between the Romantic Age and the Victorian Period What were the similarities and differences between the Romantic Age and the Victorian Period? The Romantic Age and Victorian Period had many similarities, but they had far more differences. They first differed in rule: the Romantic Age didn’t have a king or queen, but the Victorian Period did. They were similar and different in writing styles, and beliefs. The Industrial Revolution also had an effect on both time periods.The Romantic Period was from 1784 until 1832. The Romantics brought amore brave, individual, and imaginative approach to both literature and life.

During the Romantic Age the individual became more important than society. Individualism became the center of the Romantic vision. The Romantic Age in England was a movement that affected all the countries of Western Europe. Romanticism represents an attempt to rediscover the mystery and wonder of the world. The French Revolution, 1793-1815, gave life and breath to the dreams of some Romantic writers.They wanted liberty and equality for all individuals. The Industrial Revolution was changing England from a rural society to a nation of factories (Fuller, 280). England changed from an agricultural society to an industrial society and from home manufacturing to factory production.

When Napoleon came into power, people became as violent and corrupt as their former rulers. This was known as the Reign of Terror. “England emerged from the eighteenth century a parliamentary state in which the Almeida 2 monarchy was largely a figurehead,” according to Pfordresher.The Victorian Period was from 1832 until 1901. It marked the climax of England’s rise to economic and military dominance.

The Romantic spirit didn’t disappear, but it wasn’t the leading influence. “The Romantic Period shaded gradually into the Victorian Age, which gets its name from Queen Victoria,” said by Fuller in The New Book of Knowledge. Queen Victoria reigned for 63 years, 1837-1901, the longest in English history. Victorian England was mighty, and its empire circled the globe (Fuller, 284). During her reign, Britain emerged as the world’s foremost industrial nation.Many people were critical of the society in which they lived (Fuller, 284). Nineteenth century England became the first modern and industrial nation.

During Victoria’s reign great economic, social, and political changes occurred in Britain (Merritt, 320). Pfordresher said that “It ruled the most widespread empire in world history, embracing all of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, and many smaller countries in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. ”. England then started to become unstable and survival seemed doubtful. An English version of the French Revolution seemed dangerously close.The number of people doubled in England between 1801 and 1850.

Like the Romantic Age, the population shifted from rural areas to the newly industrialized cities. “The Victorian years did bring increasing efforts to achieve political, social, and economic reforms to meet the changes created by industrialization,” said by Pfordresher. Almeida 3 the 1840? s were the worst of the century for employment, hunger, and disease. Another difference between the Romantic Age and the Victorian Period is the way that the writers wrote and in what they believed.

Romantic writers were optimists, they believed in the possibility of progress, social and human reform. They saw mankind as generally good, but were corrupted by society. Romantic writers broke with the eighteenth century belief in the power of reason, instead they believed in imagination and emotion (Fuller, 280).

The preromantics were a group of poets who represented a bridge between classicism and romanticism. They signaled the awareness of social problems and the love of nature that became typical of English romanticism. William Blake was the leading preromantic poet. Merritt, 319). Romantic poets believed that nature was the principle source of inspiration, spiritual truth, and enlightenment.

“Poets of the Romantic Age focused on the ordinary person and common life in order to affirm the worth and dignity of all human beings, and to repudiate to evils of a class system that artificially designated a few select people as more important than others because of wealth, position, or name,” said Pfordresher. From 1786 to 1830 a few major poets emerged who permanently affects the nature of English language and literature.Robert Burns was a Scottish writer who wrote about characters, sometimes with a Scottish dialect another writer of the Romantic Age was Percy Bysshe Shelley, and idealist and social reformer.

John Keats wrote intense and vivid poems. Many deal with beauty and it’s inevitable passing. William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge were the first important English romantic poets (Merritt, 320).

In 1798 Almeida 4 Wordsworth and Coleridge wrote a volume of poems called Lyrical Ballads. It has sometimes been called romantic poetry’s declaration of independence (Fuller, 281).Victorian poets thought and wrote differently that the Romantic poets. Victorian poets dealt with the contrast between the prosperity of the middle and upper classes and the miserable conditions of the poor (Merritt, 320). In the later years of the period there were modern kinds of realistic writing. Some authors showed a new, deeper understanding of character. Lord Tennyson has been called the voice of Victorian England.

Lord Tennyson reflects the Victorian concern with moral codes in the retelling of King Author’s legends, “The Idylls of the King. PeterBrowning was another good writer, but she was more admired than understood (Merritt, 284). The Industrial Revolution took place in England from 1750 until 1850. During the Romantic Age, towns became cities and more and more villagers, forced by economic necessity to seek work in the growing factories, huddled together in filthy slums. Men, women and children worked from sunrise to sunset. For children of the poor, religious training, medical care, and education were practically nonexistent.Through the efforts of reformers, the church and government assumed responsibilities. Sunday schools were organized; hospitals were built; movements were begun to reform the prisons and regulate the conditions of child labor.

Gradually English society began to awake to its obligations to the helpless. In the Victorian Period the Industrial Revolution had started in the 18th century with the invention of the steam engine and machines for spinning and weaving. In northern England the “newly mechanized” textile industry expanded Almeida 5 rapidly.Industrialization destroyed old jobs as it provided new ones. During the population shifting there was bad water, no sanitation and little food. Men, women and children worked up to 16 hours a day, 6 days a week, in factories without safety regulations.

Industry became a major influence on English life. In Europe it produced revolutionary unrest (Fuller, 284). Industry and trade expanded rapidly, and railroads and canals crisscrossed the country (Merritt, 320). The Romantic Age and the Victorian Period had many similarities in the effect of industry on society and poetry.

They had a lot more differences in the background and the writing styles and beliefs of the poets of both times. So in conclusion, the Romantic Age and the Victorian Period had many similarities and differences. Fuller, Edmond. “English Literature. ” The New Book of Knowledge. volume 5. Danbury, Connecticut: 1995.

Merritt, James Douglas. “English Literature. ” World Book Encyclopedia. volume 6.

Chicago: 1996. Pfordresher, John. England in Literature. Glenview, Illinois: Scott, Foresman and Company; 1991.


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