English Romanticism can be understood as a return to Renaissance (a return to the poetry of Spencer, Shakespeare, Milton). This return is anticipated by Cowper, Gray, Collins and Thomson.
· Revival of instinctual life (reason was not so important).
· Revival of the quest after love and beauty.
· Importance of Revolutions (American, French, the figure of Napoleon).
· New role of imagination.
· The realisation of the sublime, the half way between real and supernatural world, time and space.
· Life cycle, nature like a source of inspiration.
· In this period myths are revalued.
· Philosophers: J.J Rousseau is the first to use the word romantique in one of his works (Reveries du promemuer solitaire). Romance has French origins.
· Schlegel uses romantisch in a critic work meaning creativity and sentimental themes, used by the Sturm und Drang (in English: Storm and Stress, in which there is the exaltation of nature, uniqueness and freedom of the individual, ideal of genius.
· German idealism (Fichte, Hegel, Schelling).