Romanticism in Spanish literature (19th century)

Romanticism in Spanish literature (19th century)

What period of literature are you referring to? : Romanticism in Spanish literature (19th century)

During this century different systems of government occurred in Spain, from the absolutist restoration of Fernando VII to the different liberal revolutions. In France, it is the moment when the French Revolution takes place.

Summary of Spanish literature
Theatrical performance of the play Don Juan Tenorio . Photo of the Classical Theater of Seville.

Romanticism, in contrast to Baroque and Neoclassicism, is characterized by:

  • Individualism and subjectivism : art and literature become the expression of the self, of feelings. Its only objective is to move.
  • Irrationalism: emotions, dreams, fantasies, the supernatural.
  • Defense of freedom.
  • Idealism: search for unattainable ideals.
  • Exoticism: the rejection of modern society leads the romantic to escape, to set his works in distant times (Middle Ages) or in places not yet dominated by European civilization (East, America). The most perfect form of escape will be death and thus, for the romantic, death is the relief of suffering , the best way to escape his tormented being, his aching and melancholic soul and in continuous conflict.
  • Rebellious and youthful spirit.

What literary genres were cultivated?

With romanticism , poetry returns with force , after a century practically abandoned. Poetry is the channel to express feelings and fears.

In theater, drama was the genre par excellence of romantic literature and stage design acquires great importance again.



Main works and most representative authors

The most notable Spanish romantics in literature are:

  • José de Espronceda: lyrical poems (“Song of the pirate”, “The beggar”, “The guilty of death”, “The executioner”), The student from Salamanca, The devil world, Song to Teresa .
  • Gustavo Alfonso Bécquer: Rhymes
  • Rosalía de Castro: Galician songs and On the banks of the Sar
  • Ángel Saavedra, Duke of Rivas: Don Álvaro or the force of fate
  • José Zorrilla: Don Juan Tenorio Romanticism in Spanish literature (19th century)

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