General

Difference Between Neoclassicism and Romanticism

Main difference

The main difference between neoclassicism and the romantic movement is that neoclassicism focuses on objectivity, order, and restraint while romanticism focuses on imagination and emotion.

neoclassicism vs romanticism

Neoclassicism is also known as the “Age of Enlightenment.” It is also known as the predominant movement in European art and architecture during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Romanticism is a term that describes the changes within art from about 1760 to 1870. These changes can be seen as a direct reaction against the values ​​of neoclassicism. The visual arts of neoclassicism were serious, impassive, and heroic. There is a use of somber colors to convey a moral narrative defined by self-sacrifice and self-sacrifice. In the visual arts of Romanticism, nature was a dominant theme. However, nature was regarded as an uncontrollable and unpredictable power, which can result in cataclysmic extremes. Often, In British and French paintings of this time, there is a recurrence of images depicting shipwrecks. This representation symbolizes the struggle of men against nature. Neoclassicism, often referred to as the Augustan age, resulted from a conscious imitation of Augustan writers. The main contributors to this movement are Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift and Daniel Defoe. The vision of these writers and poets on nature was a revival of classical theory. They consider nature as “a rational and understandable moral order in the universe, demonstrating God’s providential design. Romanticism has a wild and spiritual vision of nature. The Romanticism movement covers so many themes, styles, and content in literature. In general, romanticism in literature refers to the individual and the individual’s imagination rather than to society as a whole. The art of neoclassicism pays homage to classical Greece and Roman art.

Comparison chart

neoclassicism Romanticism
a literal movement that emphasized objectivity, order, and restraint a literal movement that emphasized imagination and emotion
Importance is given to
thought and reason. emotions and self-experience.
poetry theme
Human beings, social organization nature to a great extent
Importance of diction
Plus Less
Tone
Cam, rational tone Spontaneous and moody tone
Inspiration
Classical Age (Greeks and Romans) medieval and baroque period
Duration
Lasted from about 1660 to 1798 It lasted from about 1789 to 1832

What is neoclassicism?

Neoclassicism is a movement of literature that is inspired by the classical era. The prefix “Neo” in this term means new. Writers of this time were keen to bring something new, to acquire or carry forward some of the classic traits at the same time. In addition, the neoclassical writers were inspired by the writers of the classical period, the Latin and French writers. They also tried to imitate the style of these writers along with the Greeks and Romans. This movement was a reaction against the Renaissance and lasted from about 1660 to 1798. The best-known neoclassical writers are John Milton, Alexander Pope, Voltaire, John Dryden, Jonathan Swift, and Daniel Defoe. The popular genres of this movement are; essay, parody, satire, novel and poetry. The basis of neoclassicism was in classical forms and themes. The ideologies of neoclassicism also extended to painting, sculpture, and literature. Neoclassical arts are defined by clear and intentional lines, proportional harmony, and a sense of rational logic. It was a rejection of the earlier arts, but it did introduce an important philosophical movement, the Enlightenment. Enlightenment thinkers challenged the traditions of European society, asserting that only what could be empirically and rationally proven could be trusted. They based this idea primarily on Greek philosophy, which held that individual logic was the only path to absolute truth. This movement is typically divided into three periods; The Age of Restoration (1660 to 1700), The Age of Augustus (1700 to 1750), The Age of Johnson (1750 to 1798). The main characteristics of neoclassical literature are: Enlightenment thinkers challenged the traditions of European society, stating that only what could be empirically and rationally proven could be trusted. They based this idea primarily on Greek philosophy, which held that individual logic was the only path to absolute truth. This movement is typically divided into three periods; The Age of Restoration (1660 to 1700), The Age of Augustus (1700 to 1750), The Age of Johnson (1750 to 1798). The main features of neoclassical literature are: Enlightenment thinkers challenged the traditions of European society, asserting that only what could be empirically and rationally proven could be trusted. They based this idea primarily on Greek philosophy, which held that individual logic was the only path to absolute truth. This movement is typically divided into three periods; The Age of Restoration (1660 to 1700), The Age of Augustus (1700 to 1750), The Age of Johnson (1750 to 1798). The main characteristics of neoclassical literature are: The age of Johnson (1750 to 1798). The main characteristics of neoclassical literature are: The age of Johnson (1750 to 1798). The main characteristics of neoclassical literature are:

  • Structure
  • Restriction
  • Simplicity
  • Decorum
  • Order
  • Logic
  • Objectivity

What is romanticism?

Romanticism is a movement in English literature that lasted from about 1789 to 1832. The Romantic movement is known as a reaction against the Industrial Revolution and Neoclassicism. Romanticism emphasized personal, subjective, irrational, imaginative, spontaneous, emotional, visionary, and transcendental works of art. Writers and poets were the first to give initial expression to romantic ideas. While the painters were inspired by the latest poets and writers. All of these art forms agreed that the experience of deep inner emotion inspires artistic endeavor. He rejected neoclassicism creating a work of art that was highly emotional and dramatic. Romanticism considered emotions above thought and reason. Romanticism was the reaction against the industrial revolution by an escape from the modern realities of population growth, urban sprawl, and industrialism. Most of the works of this period gave great importance to the language of the common person. Although, the writers of the romantic period did not attach much importance to diction. Romantic poetry reflects the personal feelings of the poet. William Wordsworth is one of the famous writers of this age who includes all these features in his poetry. Other well-known writers from this time include William Blake, ST Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, and Keats. The main characteristics of this movement are: the writers of the romantic period did not give much importance to the diction. Romantic poetry reflects the personal feelings of the poet. William Wordsworth is one of the famous writers of this era who includes all these features in his poetry. Other well-known writers from this time include William Blake, ST Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, and Keats. The main characteristics of this movement are: the writers of the romantic period did not give much importance to the diction. Romantic poetry reflects the personal feelings of the poet. William Wordsworth is one of the famous writers of this age who includes all these features in his poetry. Other well-known writers from this time include William Blake, ST Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, and Keats. The main characteristics of this movement are: Other well-known writers from this time include William Blake, ST Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, and Keats. The main characteristics of this movement are: the writers of the romantic period did not give much importance to the diction. Romantic poetry reflects the personal feelings of the poet. William Wordsworth is one of the famous writers of this era who includes all these features in his poetry. Other well-known writers from this time include William Blake, ST Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, and Keats. The main characteristics of this movement are: Other well-known writers from this time include William Blake, ST Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, and Keats. The main characteristics of this movement are: the writers of the romantic period did not give much importance to the diction. Romantic poetry reflects the personal feelings of the poet. William Wordsworth is one of the famous writers of this age who includes all these features in his poetry. Other well-known writers from this time include William Blake, ST Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, and Keats. The main characteristics of this movement are: William Wordsworth is one of the famous writers of this era who includes all these features in his poetry. Other well-known writers from this time include William Blake, ST Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, and Keats. The main characteristics of this movement are: William Wordsworth is one of the famous writers of this era who includes all these features in his poetry. Other well-known writers from this time include William Blake, ST Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, and Keats. The main characteristics of this movement are:

  • Imagination
  • Subjectivity
  • emotions

Key differences

  1. Neoclassicism emphasized structure, restraint, and objectivity, while Romanticism emphasized imagination, emotion, and subjectivity.
  2. Neoclassicism gave importance to logic and conversely, romanticism gave importance to emotions and self-experience.
  3. Neoclassicism examined society. On the other hand, romanticism examined nature.
  4. Neoclassicism draws inspiration from the culture of ancient Greece and Rome and classical art, while Romanticism draws inspiration from the Industrial Revolution and the Enlightenment.
  5. Neoclassical writers used a calm and rational tone on the other side. Romantic writers used a moody, spontaneous tone.

Final Thought

Both movements had an important role to play within their respective time frames.

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