Difference between Neoclassical and Romantic Periods

English Literature saw its development after passing through several stages to appear as what we see it today. Each stage was specifically a period in the history of English Literature, which facilitated classifying the literary texts on the periods based upon the style of writing that flourished then.

Various research paper writings have been studied, and then proper segregation was made for these literary periods. And therefore, it becomes essential to understand them if one needs effective assignment help.

After the Middle Ages, wherein texts were prominently based upon the religious aspects, the Renaissance engulfed England. It gave it the age known as the Golden Age of Literature or the Elizabethan era.

Queen Elizabeth was a great patron of literature and so during her times flourished some of the great dramatists of all times like William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe.
The age marked an advent of creativity into the field of literature. Thereafter it never saw backward. The succeeding Jacobian and the Puritan period, too, saw some of the most popular works like Paradise Lost by John Milton.

Within no time, King Charles II was restored to the throne of England and with him came more liberty into the world of arts, particularly literature. This marked the advent of the Neoclassical age or specifically the Restoration era in English Literature.

The Neoclassical era was further divided into the ages of Dryden and Pope and did share a few common as well as a few different characteristics. Then came the Romantic era, linking itself more to the people than to the crown.

The poets write more for the understanding of the commoner than to express royalty. And that is how we embarked on a journey of the advent of different ages in English Literature.

The Neoclassical and the Romantic era were the ones residing side by side. While the former spans 140 years, the latter spans roughly 30 to 35 years.

The historians came up with various research paper writings and defined neoclassicism and romanticism as terms that had their essential features, shared, to a varying degree, by all the writers of the age.

Therefore, we differentiate between the periods on the same basis. In the Neoclassical era, the authors exhibited a strong traditionalism, following the footsteps of the classical writers of Greece and Rome.

To their styles and ideas, the writers of this age added their novelty of styles. That is how the age got its name. For the writers of this age, literature was considered an art formally, that is, a set of skills, which require immense talent that needs to be continuously perfected by tremendous practice.

The Neo-Classical ideal was found in Horace’s Roman Ars Poetica and was the craftsman’s ideal that demanded finish, correction, and attention to every detail.

There were, of course, some special allowances for the natural geniuses born with innate ability and talent. But the dominant view of the era was that natural geniuses like Shakespeare and Horace were a thing of the past, and now it was rare to find the poetic graces in anyone.

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The writers of this age obeyed the established etiquette and the rules of writing set in the era.

In this era, human beings and only then were considered to be an integral part of any social organization and were thus a primary subject matter for literature. Poetry was held to be an imitation of human life and was designed to give both pleasure and instruction to the people who read it. Emphasis was always laid on what human beings possess in common, that is, representative characteristics and widely shared experiences, feelings, thoughts, and tastes.

The writers of this age viewed human beings as limited agents who ought to set themselves only accessible goals. Most of the famous works of the age satirize excessive human pride and widely attack it.

Thus, the neoclassical age focused more on humans as the center of the universe. The representative writers of this age were John Dryden, Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift, Samuel Johnson, Joseph Addison, and the like.

The Romantic era was way more different than the Neoclassical era. The subject matter and writing style widely varied, and the Romantics gave way to a more powerful touch with the people.

The prevailing attitude in this era favored innovation over traditionalism in the form, material, and writing style. In his preface to the Lyrical Ballads, Wordsworth stresses the importance of poetry, its existence as a spontaneous overflow of emotions recollected in a peaceful environment.

He also talked about poetic diction being the language of the common person rather than the elite class. Therefore, Wordsworth denounced the upper-class subjects and the poetic diction of the preceding century.

His severe treatment of the lowly subject in common language went against the Neoclassic rule of decorum which stated that serious gents should deal with actions of the aristocratic characters.

The other prominent poets who set examples in this era were Coleridge, John Keats, P. B. Shelley. Coleridge went on to further exemplify the subject matter of Romantic poetry by using his art of adding supernatural elements to his poetry and making the readers believe that to best appreciate a work, it is important that one exercises a willing suspension of disbelief.

To a great extent, nature, with all its flora and fauna, became the subject matter of Romantic poetry. It was described with utmost accuracy and sensuous nuance that could not be practiced in earlier times. The Romantics emphasized the return to nature.
Romantic poetry made the readers relate the speaker of the poem to the poet himself. Wordsworth was greatly inspired by the French ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity, and one could see refraction of them in his poetry.

And this is how the romantic period segregated itself from the Neoclassical one.