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Lecture 2

Week 21: Romanticism - Blake

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University of Toronto St. George
Helen Hatton

ENG202Y1 Week 21 3711 BLAKE -up until now, writing was mainly defined through political movements; eg. Tudors, Enlightenment era, etc. -> however, in late 1700s-early 1800s, sensibilities change -Defoe: his politics look to individualism, modern capitalism, etc. -> forward-looking; embodiment of Protestant work ethic -Swift: residual ideology backward looking; articulates ideas that were more popular before his time (and are dwindling) -modern conservatism -> Edmund Burke -> age of chivalry is gone; sophisters, economists + calculators now dominate; defended traditions, private property, sceptical of politics based on abstractions such as rights -> Rousseau -> man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains -> society destroys individual authenticity experienced in state of nature -> noble savage -> gov needs to protet individual freedom. -politics based on general will ROMANTICISM -Romanticism looks to freedom of individual spirit (not politically conservatism) but also has some of Burkes ideas -look to past for inspiration to wisdom (but not the same past as Pope or swift; Swift -> church + ritual, Pope -> literary mov) -> but look to LOCAL PAST (history, folkore, or a particular region) -travellers going to Alps -> travel to find more intense relationships to nature in wilderness -transcendence mind-altering drugs, culture of young children, nature -revolutionaries against ancient regime + alienatingexplotive nature of modernity House of Hanover -parliament makes biggest decisions succession, etc. -British navy, England -> major part of slave trade -literature (eg. Rape of the Lock) was originally written for aristocratic circles, but books now cater to wider audience Robinson Crusoe, Gullivers Travels, etc. -prose fiction + novel are more accessible to ppl (dont need insider knowledge of court, mythology, etc.) -subject matter = society, bonds btwn ppl, difficulty of consensus, necessity of mutual obligation -> novels demonstrate exchange of ideas in public sphere -> use public language -everyday world, nature The Cult of Sensibility Literary Terms
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