An Overview of Romantic Period and Victorian Period

A brief summary of two periods.

The romantic and Victorian periods are two critical periods in English and world literature and art. The Romantic period was a dynamic and artistic literary movement. On the other hand, the Victorian period was more realistic. Let's focus them on more details and learn their similarities and differences.

Romanticism started in the 18th century and finished at the beginning of the 19th century. It was an emotional, aesthetic, and intellectual movement in Britain and Europe. And it was a reaction against Neoclassicism, or we can say it appeared against the 'reason.' The thought of individualism and freedom was part of it. There was a motto that every people are essential in Romanticism. And there was always a connection with history in this period. Its' target was industrial developments and urbanization. And also, Secularization and Spontaneity were not overlooked in these times. Nature was a symbol of Romanticism. And it can be said that nature was a summary of Romanticism. Because today if you look at or read a masterpiece of these times, you will see a part of nature in it.

Another important thing was solitary life. It was shown that solitary life is better than living with society in works that were made in this period. And there was an important point, and this point was childhood because they thought that children are innocent. Gothic was born in this period also. The work's language was simple, so the authors' targets were ordinary people. In English literature, there were great authors who represented Romanticism. I want to share some of the essential representatives: William Blake, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Keats, Jane Austen, Sir Walter Scott, and Marry Shelley. Marry Shelley is my favorite because Frankenstein has all themes about Romanticism; you can find whatever you look at about Romanticism in Frankenstein. The best thing about Romanticism is gothic because it gave us today's science fiction. Romanticism is enough; for now, let's look at the second topic.

The second topic is the Victorian Age; Victorian Age started in 1837 and finished in 1901 in Britain. Before talking about the characteristics of literature in these times, we should look at the most significant events that happened to understand easily because the events were unique and guided culture, technology, and art in the Victorian Age. Firstly, the Industrial Revolution reached its most vital position in England. Secondly, England became the world's imperial power and took control of Canada, Australia, India, and Africa. Thirdly, the first public railway was established. And lastly, The Reform Bill and The Second Reform Bill were accepted. With the help of all events, novels, poetry, and drama gained a new dimension.

The novel was the most dominant form in the Victorian age, and the Victorian Novel's primary theme was Realism; with Realism, authors reflected the problems in the world. The Victorian novel used journalistic techniques to make the novel closer to real-life facts. The novels were about the common person, which also happened to be the struggles of the lower class. And Novels were written with simple language and characterization. The most famous Victorian authors; are Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens, George Elliot, Thomas Hardy, and Emily Bronte. And Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol had a lot of impact on my childhood; it used to be my favorite book. Victorian Poetry had some influence on Romantics. Poets weren't so confident about the imagination, and the public role was private and poetic self. And Victorian Drama was influenced by other genres and gave us Oscar Wilde. Other elements about this period, science and faith, started an endless war; this war was such a great war that the other name of this era was the Age of Doubt. Utilitarianism was part of this era, and utilitarians thought of the greatest happiness for the most significant number of people. And women were the topic of discussion, and they were an angel in the house in this era. Also, People had anxiety; they felt displaced by technological developments. Now it is time to compare these two great eras.

As it was mentioned above, nature is a summary of Romanticism. By contrast, Victorian authors depict the world as dark and complex. For example, you can see nature in Frankenstein, but you see the complex and dark city in A Christmas Carol. While the Romanticism period is the era of Idealism, the Victorian period is the era of Realism. You cannot see beautiful ideas in the Victorian period; you just see the wrong side of the real world. And another difference is emotion. Emotion draws the most extensive line between these two periods. In Romanticism works, authors speak with their feelings, such as "oh, no, it is impossible!" on the other hand, Victorian authors do not express their feeling. They just write and pass. Because of the emotional difference, their language is also different. While reading a work written in the Victorian age, I feel like reading a document, but pieces of the Romanticism era make me feel more vivid. And we should not forget that in the Victorian Era, there were issues such as the struggle between science and religion, which also made a wall between the periods. And finally, I want to say that the Victorian Age is more unique than Romanticism because it has a queen name. These are the most notable differences between them. Now let's look at the similarities between them. 

These two significant era's wars and enemies are the same. Both of them fight against things that harm humanity, such as alarming technological developments, not being free, poor living conditions, terrible work conditions, and bad parts of urbanization. We can say that their targets are the same; they just think of human life. And also, the poetry of these two periods shows similarities with each other, we see imagination theme in the periods, but imagination in the Victorian Era is a little bit different. And in both Victorian and Romantic poetry, there is care about the issue of Isolation. These are the most striking similarities for me.

In conclusion, I wanted to explain to you the Romantic Age, and Victorian Age, and their similarities and differences. And as we all know, history always repeats itself. New ages will come and go. I hope we can recognize good parts of the ages and learn lessons from them.