7 junio, 2024

Genres of Romanticism and their characteristics

The genres of romanticism They are all the artistic manifestations that became popular with the emergence of this cultural movement in Europe at the end of the 18th century. Romanticism was produced to give the arts greater feeling and sublime traits. In addition, it was born to break the rules established by classicism.

The literary expressions that reached the most peak were poetry, prose and theater. These genres of Romanticism pursued creative freedom and tried to give a different perception of man, life and nature. On the other hand, the authors gave a predominant place to the traditional values ​​of each nation.

The genres of Romanticism put reason aside to give way to emotions. For example, poetry became enormously expressive, prose became customary and described the most outstanding historical events of the time, while theater broke with the units of time, action, and space.

There were many authors who joined the development of the genres of Romanticism with the intention of exciting and not educating. Some of the most prominent were Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, José de Espronceda, José Manuel de Larra, Jorge Isaacs, Rosalía de Castro and José Zorrilla.


Genres of Romanticism, representatives and works

The genres of Romanticism that achieved the greatest recognition were poetry, theater and prose. The most outstanding characteristics of each of them are described below, as well as the most outstanding authors and works are mentioned:

– The poetry

The poetic work that was produced in Romanticism was characterized by exposing two types of content. The first was related to the legends and heroic acts that occurred specifically in medieval times. For its part, the second had to do with the emotional and sentimental. It also had a creative, subjective and expressive nature.

Poetry also stood out for having many rhetorical, linguistic and symbolic resources. One of the most used figures was the metaphor. The feelings of man and his relationship with nature were exalted through exclamations and questions. In addition, the repetition of stanzas was applied throughout the poem to deepen the feelings.

The poetry of Romanticism also stood out for having a metric variety in the verses, so the authors dedicated themselves to recovering the silva, the eighth real and the romance. In the case of the rhyme, the consonant predominated, all through a melancholic and emotional language linked to the feelings and mood of the poet.

Authors and representative works

Some of the most outstanding authors and works of romantic poetry were:

Victor Hugo (1802-1885)

– Odes and ballads (1826).

– Autumn leaves (1832).

– The contemplations (1856).

– The punishments (1853).

– The legend of the centuries (1859).

Jose de Espronceda y Delgado (1808-1842)

– The Pelayo (incomplete).

– Poems (1840).

– The student from Salamanca (1837-1840).

– The devil world (1840-1841). Unfinished.

– Pirate song (1830).

Gustavo Adolfo Becquer (1836-1870)

– Rhymes and legends (1871, posthumous edition).

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

– Prometheus (1774).

– Roman elegies (1795).

– Venetian epigrams (1796).

– The Bride of Corinth (1797).

– Divan of East and West (1819).

Lord Byron (1788-1824)

– The Pilgrimages of Childe Harold (1812-1818).

– The Giaour (1813).

– The Corinthian site (1816).

– Manfred (1817).

– Don Juan (1819-1824). Incomplete.

Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)

– To Elena (1848).

–Annabel Lee (1849).

– Do you want to be loved? (1845).

– The happiest day (1827).

– The sleeper (1831).

Rosalia de Castro (1837-1885)

– Galician songs (1863).

– New fucks (1880).

– On the banks of the Sar (1884).

Fragment of The student of Salamanca

«It was after midnight,

ancient stories tell,

when in sleep and in silence

gloomy wrapped the earth,

the living dead seem,

the dead the grave leave.

It was the hour when

fearful voices sound

reports, in which they are heard

unspoken hollow footsteps,

and terrifying ghosts

in the thick darkness

they wander, and the dogs howl…”.

– Prose

Prose as a genre of Romanticism exposed two aspects of the narrative of great importance, which were the paintings of customs and historical novels. In these two manifestations, the love and respect for the nation was evidenced, as well as the exaltation of the traditions of each region.

For its part, the historical novel was based on the exploits of the heroes, the authors raised the freedom of man and his ability to be supportive to help the least favored. The pictures of customs presented the daily life and the most outstanding aspects of the reality of individuals from different territories.

Examples of representative authors and works

In prose or romantic narrative, the following authors stood out:

José de Espronceda (1808-1842)

– Sancho Saldana (1834).

– The peg leg (1835).

Enrique Gil y Carrasco (1815-1846)

– The Lord of Bembibre (1844).

Ramón de Mesonero Romanos (1803-1882)

– Matritense scenes (1832-1842).

– Panorama matritense: paintings of customs of the capital observed and described by a curious speaker (1835).

– Matritense scenes and types (1851).

Serafin Estebanez Calderon (1799-1867)

– Andalusian scenes (1846).

Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870)

– The Three Musketeers (1844).

– The Count of Monte Cristo (1845).

– Twenty years later (1845).

– Queen Margot (1845).

– The Vicomte de Bragelonne (1848).

– The black tulip (1850).

– The Mohicans of Paris (1854-1859).

– The case of the widow Lafarge (1866).

– Blanche of Beaulieu (1826).The knight Hector de Sainte-Hermine (1869).

Mary Shelley (1791-1851)

– Frankenstein (1818).

–Mathilda (1819).

–Valperga; or The Life and Adventures of Castruccio, Prince of Lucca (1823).

– The last man (1826).

–Perkin Warbeck (1830).

–Lodore (1835).

–Falkner (1837).

Emily Brontë (1818-1848)

– Wuthering Heights (1847).

Jane Austen (1775-1817)

– Sense and Sensibility (1811).

– Pride and prejudice (1813).

– Mansfield Park (1814).

–Emma (1815).

– Persuasion (1818, posthumous edition).

fragment of frankenstein (1818) by Mary Shelley

“… The alterations of life are by no means as many as those of human feelings. For almost two years she had worked tirelessly for the sole purpose of breathing life into an inert body. For this I had deprived myself of rest and health. She had wanted him with a fervor that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had succeeded, the beauty of the dream was fading, and disgust and horror filled me. Unable to bear the sight of the being I had created, I rushed out of the room. Already in my bedroom, I walked around the room without being able to fall asleep.

– Theater

The theater within the Romanticism movement was almost entirely dramatic. The plays were conceived with the aim of entertaining, distracting and moving the public. This meant that playwrights put aside the teaching role that productions had in the classicist era.

However, the theater presented several transformations that gave it special characteristics. Some of them are briefly described below:


The theater of Romanticism stood out for the creative freedom that the playwrights or authors gave to the works. Thus, the basic units of time, space and action were no longer used, which was due to the fact that the plot was more complicated and the actors required more time on stage.

As for the plot, it used to be carried out in three, four or five acts, all of which depended on the complexity of the drama. On the other hand, theatrical pieces combined tragedy with comic events. At the same time, the dialogues were written in verse and in prose.


The main themes that were treated in the plays of the romantic movement had to do with historical content of a legendary nature and also with love events marked by social norms. Love, pain, hopelessness, betrayal, disappointment and tragedy were constant arguments.


The theater was characterized by having heroic characters, both female and male. The hero was a physically attractive man attached to the ideas of love and freedom. On many occasions his experiences led to tragedy and the failure of his loved ones.

For its part, the protagonist or heroine was represented by the beautiful, the sweet and the fidelity of love. Her romantic essence led her to sacrifice for her loved one and to a life of passion, sadness, anguish and tragedy.


The stagings were characterized by the application of large sets designed to perfection to represent the drama. In general, the setting showed characteristics typical of the castles of the Middle Ages, in addition the places were dark and gloomy. The plays were accompanied by sound and lighting effects.

Examples of representative authors and works

The authors and the most outstanding works of the theater of the romantic movement were:

Ángel Saavedra, better known as the Duke of Rivas (1791-1865)

– Aliatar (1816).

– Gonzalo Arias (1827).

– The lighthouse of Malta (1828).

– Don Álvaro or The Force of Fate (1835).

– The Moorish of Alajuar (1841).

– The miraculous lily (1847).

Jose Zorrilla (1817-1893)

– The dagger of the goth (1843).

– Don Juan Tenorio (1844).

– It is better to arrive on time than to spend a year (1845).

– The mad king (1847).

– Creation and the universal deluge (1848).

– Traitor, unconfessed and martyr (1849).

Francisco Martinez de la Rosa (1787-1862)

– Padilla’s widow (1812).

– The girl at home and the mother in the mask (1815).

– Morayma (1815).

– The conspiracy of Venice (1830).

– Aben Humeya or The rebellion of the Moors (1836).

– Father’s love (1849).

Antonio Garcia Gutierrez (1813-1884)

– The troubadour (1836).

– The page (1837).

– The Monk King (1839).

– The Undercover of Valencia (1840).

–Fingal (1840).

– Zaida (1841).

John Eugene Hartzenbusch (1806-1880)

– The lovers of Teruel (1837).

– Mrs. Mencia (1839).

– Alfonso the Chaste (1841).

– The oath in Santa Gadea (1845).

– Pelayo’s mother (1846).

– The light of the race (1852).

fragment of The goth’s dagger (1843) by José Zorrilla

“Scene I

The ROMAN MONK, to the fire.


What a storm threatens us!

What a night, heaven help me!

And this fire goes out…

If it’s drizzling ice!

How great is God conceived

in this solitude!

From whom but from him does he receive

his breath the storm?

Whose is the terrible accent

and the glare that twinkles

when the wind whines

and the zenith flashes?


Romanticism: genres and authors. (2018). Spain: Rincon del Vago. Retrieved from: html.rincondelvago.com.
(2019). Spain: Wikipedia. Recovered from: es.wikipedia.org.
The genres of Romanticism….

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