Romanticism means delving into the subject, realism is based on the object.
According to such laws, there is a symbolic art of the mythological type. Such art was the goal of the Romantics. Balzac called the art of romanticism "the art of images" and this is legitimate.
Romantics created images of huge, mythological scale, images-myths. "We can say that every great poet has the purpose to turn into something integral the part of the world that was revealed to him, and on the basis of this material to create their own mythology," – said Schelling, developing the foundations of literary mythmaking. So, Old Seafarer Coleridge, Manfred Byron, Quasimodo Hugo are not just literary characters. They embody the global philosophical idea – about the inviolability of Nature (Old Seafarer), about the revolutionary changes in society (Quasimodo).
This does not mean that romantic artists were not interested in public life at all. AA Elistratova called Byron’s poetry "poetry of politics" in the depths of Romanticism top lab report writing websites arose a social novel (Victor Hugo, Georges Sand, Eugene Sue), but most romantic artists still contrasted their own work of urgency, trying to penetrate the eternal, timeless spheres by the power of art.
MM Bakhtin said of the artists of Romanticism that they always bring to art something "ghostly, horrible, subconscious." It has to do with the ethical metaphysics, the distrust of the human mind that has always been inherent in romantics.
From the first steps in the development of romanticism at the center of his worldview was the personality of the artist, who is able to capture what is elusive for rational analysis. The personality of a genius artist acquires the meaning of a prophet, but an ironic prophet. Romantic irony, as a special aesthetic phenomenon, was first defined in the work of Friedrich Schlegel, who interpreted irony as "the only form in which what comes from the subject is in some way separated from it and objectified." That is, the artist must perceive himself and his own gift not as absolute integrity, but as independent substances.
Talent is a given objective spirit that guides the creativity of a carnal and imperfect person. The artist must overcome the subjective worldview, and give free rein to the objective spirit, to understand that ingenious works of art are created not only by him, but also by Nature, the Universe. That is, the artist must be ironic not only about the imperfect human society, but also about himself, because he is also part of this society. The work of an artist is a much higher than the personality of the artist himself.
The phenomenon of romantic irony is directly related to the phenomenon of the dual world, another fundamental concept of the romantic concept of art. Any real fact is imperfect and untrue. An artist who is forced to exist in it should not take the hustle and bustle of life seriously. His vocation is another, ideal world. Hegel described the phenomenon of the dual world as follows: "On the one hand, the spiritual kingdom, which is complete in itself self On the other hand, before us is the realm of the external, which does not maintain strong ties with the spirit . "
Almost every romantic artist existed in his work in a dual world, but the attitude to his purpose at different times was different. If at the beginning of the development of romanticism the ability to imagine was regarded as an indispensable prerogative of the "whole man" (Schelling), as a happy gift of the "seeker", then the further development of romantic thinking was described by one of the late romantics, A. Musse, as follows: with an ardent soul, in need of the infinite … were isolated in painful delusions. "
The late stage of development of romanticism acquires the qualities of demonism. An ironic attitude towards reality changes into hatred for it. In the works of Hoffmann, Byron, Musset there are motives for the aestheticization of evil, crime. The rejection of the romantic hero from the generally accepted norms of life begins to be interpreted as the only possible choice for the artist. "Demonic" romances have never been slaves to evil, they have divided it into domestic, infamous, and evil, which belongs to the "spiritual realm." They looked at the latter with respect and identified it with contempt for talent and will.
The Romantics were absolute artists. Calculation, careerism was completely foreign to them. They built their own lives according to the laws of art, lived it tragically, causing horror to contemporaries. This opinion can be confirmed by the lives of Byron, Shelley, Poe and many others. Life-creation was a manifestation of utopianism, which was inherent in romanticism. The deification of beauty led to the denial of the ordinary, the universal, and this in turn caused such a rebellious mood that creativity acquired a demonic aura.
Romanticism as a trend ceased to exist in the late nineteenth century. with the disappearance of existing literary circles, but romanticism as a universal worldview remained, and took a very important place in the context of the development of neorealist trends of the late nineteenth – early twentieth century. (symbolism, neo-romanticism), he took an honorable place also in the broad current of modernism of the twentieth century.
Understanding the creative process as an irrational act, the artist’s separation from being a "gray mass", the search for a bright personality and unusual conditions for its existence, beginning in the nineteenth century, since the beginning of the destruction of the feudal world objective comprehension of the world, and deny the objective approach.
The ecstatic service of the utopia of beauty, the denial of everything habitual and frozen, led to the idealization of an exceptional personality, an exceptional environment. Therefore, romanticism formed the basis of elite culture, which will take shape in the period of stability, in the late nineteenth century. Everyday life, repetition are the basis of eternal values, the denial of the foundations led to the denial of the dogmas of human existence, to amoralism. Thus, romanticism served as a service in the emergence of the marginal culture of the twentieth century, which is separated from all social in general.
The focus of the Romantics on the national identity of art had both positive and negative consequences. One cannot but acknowledge the role played in the development of world culture by the activities of the Brothers Grimm and the Heidelberg group of Romantics in general (Arnim, Brentano, etc.). Great is the merit of A. Duran, who first published Spanish folk songs (collection "Romancero"). In Ireland, T. Moore showed the uniqueness of ancient culture, in Sweden – E. Tegner, in Finland – E. Lonroth.
Romantics for the first time focused the attention of mankind on the masterpieces of the medieval epic, which in the age of classicism was not valued other than savagery. But the activities of, for example, Kleist, Schwab, Arnim in the twentieth century. acquired the importance of sources of fascist ideology. But, it should be noted: without national identity, without reflecting the aesthetic aspects of national existence, romanticism can not be imagined, but it does not mean a completely negative sentence. Each romantic artist had his own attitude to national specifics, and if A. Mickiewicz was focused on all things Polish, then, for example, Germain de Stahl studied the originality of the German and Italian souls, and all his life denied the idea of Exclusivity and complacency of French culture.
The aesthetics of romanticism involves the struggle against any normative. At the beginning of the XIX century. the main enemy of the romantic schools was classicism with its sharp distinction between high and low style, tragic and comic, with strict requirements for each genre, with the obligatory examination of each work from the standpoint of reason. The Romantics contrasted all these requirements with the attitude of naturalness. The attitude towards naturalness is also a measure of realism (remember Shakespeare’s "mirror up to Nature"). What is the difference? In the Preface to Cromwell, Hugo mentioned the Shakespearean mirror, but added that the mirror of romantic art must be concentrating.
Romanticism inherited from sentimentalism a cult of feeling, but romantics were interested not so much in feeling as in passion. Therefore, the reception of contrast is of particular importance to them. The sharp distribution of light and shadow gives creativity a special expressiveness, but also deforms the imagery, gives it features of whimsy, fantasy. Contrast can manifest itself on different levels: as a juxtaposition of two opposite worlds (Hoffman), as the creation of emphatically beautiful and emphatically ugly, grotesque images (Hugo), but the violation of plausibility will be present.
Romanticism destroyed the normative system of genres and changed it into a cult of mixing of opposite features. Thus arose the lyric-epic and lyro-epic-dramatic genres (Byron, Shelley). Interest in folklore led to the creation of a literary tale (Tick, Hoffman, Andersen). Interest in everything original, unique led to the discovery of color, and interest in historical color – to create a genre of historical novel (Scott).
It is wrong to oppose romanticism and classical realism, although these directions are certainly different. Romanticism means delving into the subject, realism is based on the object. Romanticism operates with imagery, which is aimed at separation from the ordinary (exceptional personality in exceptional circumstances), realism studies the ordinary, what is regularly repeated at a certain historical time, and creates typical images (typical personality in typical circumstances). But Academician V. Zhirmunsky rightly noted: "Realism, which has not passed through romanticism, differs in a certain abstractness and schematicity."
The Romantics’ study of identity led to costumbrism, a literature that focused on the study of the original temperaments of individual peoples. The "father" of classical realism, the "physiological essay," is certainly related to Costumbrian literature.
The traditional psyche aroused an ironic attitude in the Romantics. They paid attention first of all to incredible ups and downs, to pathological manifestations (bifurcation of personality, hallucinations). And these moments were studied very deeply (Hoffman, Kleist). It is safe to say that the Romantics made a great contribution to the development of artistic psychology, revealing the human soul as an inexplicable phenomenon, beyond the control of rational analysis.