One of the most outstanding and distinct periods in the history is the Enlightenment and the Romantic Era. The Enlightenment period can be defined as a period when man used a reason or thinking in place of faith. In other words, the Enlightenment writers and thinkers used the scientific revolution ideas and concepts in their day-to-day lives. The Enlightenment age proponents used the reason to interpret and deal with the issues of religion, social life, morality and even politics. They believed the reason would deal with mans ignorance, superstition and tyrannical leadership. The Enlightenment was rational, empirical and glorified reason above every other aspects of human life. The Enlightenment proponents argued that every human being was able to reason and apply common sense for the better society.
The Romantic Period, on the other hand, was a time in history just after the Enlightenment, when artist, literature, freedom and creativity became valuable. The Romantic Period was developed during the second half of the eighteenth century. The main area of influence was literature, music and visual arts. The Romantic Period placed more emphasis on emotions, creativity and imagination. During this period proponents of the Romanticism formed the Romantic Movement. The proponents included Johann Hegel (1770-1831), William Wordsworth (1770-1850).
There are huge differences between these two schools of thought. Enlightenment thoughts emphasize on scientific reasoning and rationalism. The Romanticism goes beyond rationalism and exalts emotions, imaginations and creativity. The Enlightenment perceives life objectively. The Romanticism considers life to be subjective. Moreover, the empirical determinism of the Universe is emphasized by the Enlightenment theorists. Romantic proponents allow the human spirit to be creative to wander freely. The Romanticism is, therefore, a rebellion against the thoughts and ideas of the oppressive Enlightenment period. This resulted in the destruction of man’s ability by limiting him to what he can see and measure. Man should be a being which is free from the society’s restrictions.
Candide as an example brings out the themes and setting of the society in the Enlightenment period. The literature outlines how the society was governed in the Enlightenment period. The society had set structures of rules and regulations to govern them. There was very little freedom. Creativity and arts were looked down upon in favor of science and reasoning. The British poets, on the other hand, were so much influenced by the Romanticism. Tyutchev in his poems used a lot of natural scenes, for example, his work on “the world of winter and spring….” Many times he wrote and described people’s feelings and emotions. Tyuchev wrote greatly about passions of love in his work. Lord Byron had significantly influenced him to write romantic works.