Difference between Romanticism and Transcendentalism

Romanticism vs. Transcendentalism

What is Difference between Romanticism and Transcendentalism? Romanticism and Transcendentalism are closely related, however, there are many concepts that have to do with both and that marks the difference between them. Transcendentalism and Romanticism can be seen by reference to nature, individuality, philosophy and spirituality. Below this post is all about difference between romanticism and transcendentalism.

Difference between Romanticism and Transcendentalism

Romanticism began in Europe in the eighteenth century. It was an artistic, intellectual and literary movement that gave shape to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. The movement emphasized an aesthetic experience and the feelings it generated, identifying new emotions such as anxiety, fear, terror and horror.

Transcendentalism also began during this period. The term was coined from the “transcendental” philosophy of Immanuel Kant. The thought of the transcendentalists was characterized by a strong faith in the power of divinity, nature and individualism. However, these beliefs are also related to those of the Romantics. On the other hand, the transcendentalists believed that God was the center of the universe and that it was to him that he had to keep all respect and reverence.

Ralph Waldo Emerson was one of the most popular transcendentalists, even now. He believes that wisdom and self-realization are the keys to growth. This concept is also related to good and evil. The lack of self-growth and terror between us generates evil, while happiness and generosity lead to good deeds. The Romantics also believed in some of these concept, However, they stressed the power of good in preventing evil.

Both Romanticism and Transcendentalism have always been movements appreciated above all, in the literary aspect. They may have been forgotten because of the expansion of ideas and contemporary modernity. Both movements are inspired by the exaltation and pursuit of something beyond the physical; something external from human perception. During the second half of the eighteenth century, these were the prevailing ideas.

Romanticism encompasses aesthetic categories such as the arts, literature and music. However, we cannot deny that much of the romantics were inspired by the classic ideal models. They also explored the ideas of the strange, the exquisite and the exotic; which they represented through their offices (writing or painting). On the contrary, the transcendentalists believed in a philosophy of refinement but still connected to sensual motives. Transcendentalism also made reference to religious motives, to inner spirituality and the essence of man in the defense of nature as something pure and divine.

Key Differences between Romanticism and Transcendentalism

  • Romanticism emphasized strong emotions and feelings, focusing heavily on patriotism and loyalty. On the other hand, the transcendentalists put the knowledge as central axis to achieve the personal growth and to transcend in this way to a type of intellectual spirituality. It also emphasized the power of divinity, nature, and individualism.
  • For Romanticism, it is emotions, feelings and freedom that are above personal growth. They felt that people should act according to what they were feeling; while Transcendentalism focuses on what is beyond, what is external to human perception. Beyond reasoning and traditional norms.
  • The Romantics do not emphasize the power of God in the universe, but the transcendentalists believed firmly in God and in miracles.