Artistic movements: Romantic and Victorian Era

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Both the Victorian and the Romantic era works are distinct European artistic movements and literature primarily based in a specific historical era. The events that passed off between the 1770s and 1830 are collectively said to have occurred at some stage in the Romantic era which was characterized by using emotional language and the praises of nature. Victorian era, 1837 to 1901, during the existence of Queen Victoria made use particularly of more restrained languages and addressed the social worries such as poverty. To some extent, both movements were reactions to cultural changes
The poets in the Romantic generation thought that the world should be viewed from the heart rather than being than the intellect leading to the dramatic trade in the classical and rationalistic thoughts. The romanticism type of poetry mainly examined the inner feelings instead of the use of logic and was intrigued by mysterious and supernatural life. The romanticism era was developed new forms of expressions and appreciated folk traditions. In My Last Duchess by Brownings, the belief is based on the common people and democracy, and it is felt that nature should be left untamed.

Victorian Poetry

This was during the era when Britain grappled with a number of economic and social problems attributed to the industrialization as depicted in the Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It led to the shedding of the romantic ideals by the poetry industry, but still, there was a trace of the Neoclassical Age of the eighteenth century. However, the remaining optimism continued influencing the Victorian writers which led to the emergence of other styles later on such as the Realism and Naturalism. The poet gives an illustration how the women were viewed in the Victorian community, as an example is the reemergence of Dr. Hyde to pay off the relatives of the girl with a check after disappearing with her into a door in the street.


The following notions can be taken into consideration when considering the similarities between these two eras of poetry. In both eras, there is the maintenance of the rhymes, structure, and meters among others set up in a male dominated society especially in the Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In both, the pieces, the art, work and the people’s daily life is a reflection of the changes and occurrences that happened in the 18th and 19th centuries such as the technical progress and colonization. In the two eras, many literary works were based on the Bible interpretation causing the inquiry towards the church despite the fact that the two eras had different interpretations of the notion.


Use of Language

The use of language is a contrasting way used to illustrate the apparent difference between Romanticism and the Victorianism. Romantic literature is considered to be emotionally expressive and the phrases incorporated in such as ‘oh!’ are meant to give the impression of a sudden rush of feeling among other things. The over the top use of language led to a more restrained use of language in the Victoria era since the Jekyll and Mr. Hyde literature embraced nature and was geared towards documenting the world the way it naturally without any addition. It aimed towards the use of the latest expressions and language with the limited use of flowery metaphors and images.

Realism versus Idealism

The deep belief in the power of nature is one of the chief makers of Romanticism. My Last Duchess by Brownings is one of the poems that are famous for directing their creativity to the natural world mainly for the inspiration of the corrupted mind. It is because of such ideology that poems such as sonnets were written just to contemplate and marvel at the beauty of nature. However, other poet such as Tennyson has depicted the world as disturbing and dark with the inclusion of the misery of the working poor.

Emotion versus Restraint

Also referred to as emotional outbursts, Romanticism is made up of the continuous and spontaneous flow of powerful feelings. The romanticism poetry is well known for its sudden emotional expressions excitement, joy, and sadness. On the other hand, the Victorian literature is considered a deliberate craft. The poem, My Last Duchess by Brownings, for example, is a poem that employs the careful use of a structure that uses irony as a tool to gauge the expectations of the reader and unlike Romanticism, Victorian poems and novels are well recognized for their complicated reports.

Themes and Concentration

Romanticism mainly focuses on the literary enlightenment of the society, liberalization of the individual in the society artistic and the aristocracy. Other than the middle-class in the society, the poems also address conventional women in the society, how they are perceived and their roles. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde literature and poetry focus on the themes of industrialization, technology advancement and the realistic portrayal of life. Victorian poetry provided more attention to the poverty, economic hardship and the struggle with politics and daily life. Romanticism Poetry mainly focuses on the poets and nothing else beyond the eye of the poet, however, in Victorian literature, the experience and the views of the poet can involve the second person. Victorian poetry considers man not as part of nature but the ruler of nature while in My Last Duchess, Brownings emphasizes on the power of imagination and the relation of man to the supernatural.

October 07, 2021

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