The Romantic Period
Don't try to hide your emotions; feel them, and feel them strongly. This emphasis on emotion was part of the Romantic period in literature, which eschewed the rationalism and realism of the time. Imagination and intuition were passionately pursued and offered an escape into new modes of free expression. Our first lesson will give you an overview of the Romantic period and introduce you to its characteristics.
Washington Irving (who also went by the names Diedrich Knickerbocker and Geoffrey Crayon in his own time) epitomizes the Romantic period. Today, he is still referred to as the father of American literature, since his writing helped shape a nation's identity. Our first lesson on Washington Irving will show how this writer's life shaped him while examining his style. You'll see how his humor and irony contributed to his distinctive style.
We'll also examine three of Washington Irving's short stories: 'The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,' 'Rip Van Winkle' and 'The Devil and Tom Walker.' Each lesson will center around a single story to offer a neat summary and analysis. You'll also gain a further understanding of Irving's style and characteristics of the Romantic period with each story. After meeting the headless horseman, witnessing a fortuitously heavy sleeper and dealing with the Devil, you'll see why Irving's works are still considered unforgettable.
Finally, what would the Romantic period be without a little poetry? Our journey will come to an end with a lesson on the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. We'll explore lyric poems to discuss the differences between free verse and blank verse and see how this applies to Longfellow's 'Paul Revere's Ride.' Our lessons take a cue from the Romantic period, using imagination to help you travel to higher realms of learning. Thanks for watching!