The Romantic Era was a time when artists and writers placed a high estimate on human potential. Striving for individualism became an initiative as writers of the Romantic Era continued to break out of the mold and challenge the parameters of creativity. Among writers there arose a "defiant attitude toward limits" (Greenblat). This resulted in the creation of new genres out of the old, including genres within genres. William Blake went so far as the "reinvent" the book using illuminated painting as seen in his Songs of Innocence.
Another example of detachment from common ideals is found in Wordsworth's preface to his Lyrical Ballads. Wordsworth makes it clear that he intends to discontinue the use of many "common" phrases in speech. He wants to break out of the mold and use poetry as an exercise in self-sufficiency. Byron was also a strong contender for individualism. The characters in his poems often declare their own independence and self-sufficiency.
[...] Wordsworth's poem would have been quite different if he had placed it elsewhere. The open space associated with the country gives the impression of solitude. Similar to Wordsworth, George Gordon Lord Byron also makes use of words such as “solitary,” etc. Along with this, he also had a habit of alienating his characters, making them more individual and self- reliant. In his play, Manfred, Byron detaches his main character from society, thus making him an uncommon man and a more appealing hero. [...]
[...] William Wordsworth's poem entitled The Solitary Reaper demonstrates the value of individualism in a very pastoral setting. The title itself contains the word “solitary,” and other words including herself,” etc. are used in the poem. The first few lines read: “Behold her, single in the field, Yon solitary Highland Lass! Reaping and singing by herself; Stop here, or gently The poem goes on to describe the song as being melancholy, yet beautiful, communicating some secret pain or sorrow and in the end, the listener is changed for having heard the reaper's song. [...]
[...] Individualism and Alienation during the Romantic Era The Romantic Era was a time when artists and writers placed a high estimate on human potential. Striving for individualism became an initiative as writers of the Romantic Era continued to break out of the mold and challenge the parameters of creativity. Among writers there arose a “defiant attitude toward limits” (Greenblat). This resulted in the creation of new genres out of the old, including genres within genres. William Blake went so far as the “reinvent” the book using illuminated painting as seen in his Songs of Innocence. [...]
[...] Byron's capitalization of the word “Wilderness,” is a direct display of the view of nature during the Romantic Era—a place where man can go to seek solitude and understanding as the hero Manfred does in his description of himself. Once again, loneliness is a necessity in Byron's work. Later in the same passage, Manfred tells the witch that there were times when he found himself back among his fellow men which would cause him to feel degraded and clay again,” at which point he would return to nature—to the Wilderness—and spend his time in meditation. Works Cited: Greenblat, Steven. Norton Anthology of English Literature. 8th ed New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc 1-22, 314- Print. [...]
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