Romantic Lyric Characteristics, Themes and Authors

Anthony Golden
Romantic Lyric Characteristics, Themes and Authors

The romantic lyric is a traditional poetic expression that is used to convey an intense feeling, the result of deep reflection or the manifestation of any type of experience of the author as the "I" protagonist of his own work.

This poetic expression was born in Europe during the 19th century, as a manifesto of the romanticism movement. Its greatest exponents came from England, Spain, Germany, France and other countries where literature sought to vindicate the values ​​of freedom and love. However, its greatest heyday took place from the beginning in Germany.

José de Espronceda, representative of romantic poetry.

One of its essential characteristics is that it focuses on the author, therefore it focuses on the figure of the "I". This is how the romantic lyric ceases to be a descriptive manuscript and becomes the manifestation of the emotions, experiences, experiences and thoughts of its author..

Due to their human and emotional nature, the works delivered by the romantic lyric are highly dramatic, outrageous and violent..

Therefore, the spaces that are described in it can be unconventional (night cemeteries, desolate places or rooms highly charged with emotion).

Topics in romantic poetry

The romantic lyric always treats the following themes as a reflection of the life and interiority of the artist:

  • The vindication of freedom
  • Love
  • Subjectivity
  • The exaltation of the individual (I)
  • The desire for personal fulfillment
  • The break with bourgeois society (manifested in the rules, money and social classes)
  • Disregard for the norm
  • Generosity

In this way, the content of the romantic lyric ceases to be a simple narration or description of a landscape, and becomes the detailed description of the author's emotions..

For this reason, almost always the works that are included within this type of artistic production are outrageous, wild, mysterious and violent..

Few themes dealt with within the romantic lyric are superfluous or lack meaning, on the contrary, all of them are a way used by the author to express his personal feelings..

Being part of romanticism, this type of lyric renounces all rational argument and gives priority to feelings. For this reason, love is a fundamental part of his productions..

Structure and language

It is a polymetric and musical composition, using sharp rhymes, parallels, onomatopoeia, alliterations, the asyndeton, and the polysyndeton to achieve a rhythm..

It is also responsible for the creation of new musical forms, such as the sharp leaflet..

The romantic lyric takes up structures and musical forms that have fallen into disuse to give life to its romantic songs and compositions. In this way, it makes use of a language full of nouns derived from the plane of emotions..

In semantic terms, romantic lyric shows an evident preference for feeling and pain, disappointment, life, death, grief, and general dissatisfaction with life..

For this reason, it is common to see how it includes words such as illusion, shadow, pain, frenzy, impulse, rapture, chimera, grave, or passion..

The use of adjectives in romantic lyrics is also quite particular. This poetic composition tends to use qualifiers such as languid, magical, tenuous, mysterious, gloomy, gloomy, painful, gloomy, horrifying, among others. In order to give greater emphasis to what is being perceived by the author.

Its narrative type evokes the past, therefore, it can have an anachronistic tone or be full of archaisms. However, he always manages to maintain a familiar and close language for the reader, full of metaphors that seek the evocation of a superior message..

Direction and development

The romantic lyric is developed within a gloomy style and medieval setting. Like the epic, ballads and legends transmitted orally. Therefore, it is possible that it treats poems of former.

On the other hand, historically the development of romantic poetry occurred in two moments during the nineteenth century. Before 1850, romantic poetry was patriotic and social.

On the contrary, during the second half of the 19th century, the romantic lyric speaks of the "I" in a melancholic way and from intimacy.

This second form of lyric would prevail over time, and would continue with its marked pessimism and notion of love as a source of irreversible pain, madness and disappointment..

Characteristics of romantic lyric

Is intimate

The romantic lyric includes the personal aspects of the intimate life of the author, in this way, the limits between fiction, art and reality (the author's life) are blurred.

It is considered that there is a close correspondence between the artistic production and the life of its author.

Exhortation of the "I"

The romantic lyric exalts the individual, placing him in the foreground. For this reason, it is common to see how the author of the text is treated as the main character of the work.

Presence of religion

Within the works of romantic lyric it is common to find the presence of a religious god. In this way, it can be seen how some type of religion is always spoken of within this production.

Nature and mood

Within the romantic lyric a close relationship is established between nature and the author's moods.

This is explained in the way the author humanizes nature, endowing it with the feelings and emotions that he himself is feeling..

Authors and works

Jose de Espronceda

Espronceda is considered the pioneer and introducer of romantic poetry in Spain. Before him, this type of poetic production had not been successful in his country.

He is the author of numerous works and songs, among which the "Pirate Song" and "El Verdugo" stand out..

His characters are always marginalized from society and question the way in which Spanish society at the time was structured.

Rosalia de Castro

Among his works of romantic lyrical poetry stands out the booklet that gave rise to the Galician Songs.

The structure of his work is circular, and it occurs under the voice of a young woman who sings without having the ability to do it properly..


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