Characteristics of Romantic Criticism

Read this article to know about the major trends in Romantic Criticism in English Literature.

Also read: Detailed Summary of Romantic Movement

The Romantic Age in England was not only an age of glorious poetry, but also of glorious literary criticism. In fact, most of the eminent men of letters of the age were critics as well as creative writers.

romantic criticism

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Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Hazlitt, Lamb, Leigh Hunt and De Quincey all contributed to critical literature.

But the main critics who gave a direction to the current of literary criticism were Coleridge, Lamb, Hazlitt and De Quincey. (Read Summary of Kubla Khan by S.T. Coleridge)

All of them have often been categorised as “Romantic Critics.”

We can easily see the differences in their approach and opinion, still, they have common features too.

  • All of them reacted sharply against the Neo-classical Tradition of Dr. Johnson.
  • Unlike him, they did not indulge in what is called judicial or legislative criticism.
  • With some exceptions, their criticism is commendable.
  • They get into the mind of writers whose work they are examining and thus grasp psychologically the nature of his creative activity, which gets ultimately into his work.
  • Most of the Romantic Critics, particularly Hazlitt give critical judgements which may be called impressionistic (they depend upon their own personal impressions.)

Also read: Characteristics of Romantic Prose

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