No theory or opinion can restrict the boundary of the French Revolution to a mere household matter of France. In reality, it unfolded a new era in entire Europe’s literature, social, economic, and political history. And as per this discussion, its significant impacts were acutely visible in the authors’ works, especially English writers. Also, because of this, French Revolution and English literature emerged as inseparable parts in literature-related discussions.
It is an undeniable truth that this revolution greatly influenced almost every territory of world history. The three pillars of the French Revolution, equality, liberty, and fraternity, shaped the fate of nearly all European nations with a new concept and pattern. And the most affected state was Great Britain. All essential spheres of this nation, namely, thoughts, ideas, concepts, economy, politics, and philosophy, were influenced heavily.
From the seed time, the principal idea of The French Revolution was equality. Moreover, the entire humankind on earth got the identity of one brotherhood. People of the world started possessing a feeling of oneness due to this uprising. A significant upgrade in the concept of humanity became universal with the ‘one brotherhood’ theory. And every individual of this brotherhood or amity for the first time developed a sense of equal right to expression, freedom, and opportunity. Even people from all over the world didn’t hesitate to sweep aside all kinds of divisions in classes. They even didn’t hesitate to downplay the differences in human society in the name of birth, rank, power, and wealth. For them, all these were illogical.
Apart from equality, another core objective behind this revolution was liberty. The word “revolution” itself developed a platform of protest against exploitation as well as oppression. One prominent instance was the old fortress of Bastille. French king used it as a prison for a long time. But with the emergence of the French Revolution, all revolutionaries marked it as a sign of oppression. World history can still remember the date July 14, 1789. Yes, It was the day when the “Paris mob” stormed the Bastille fortress. This incident witnessed the ending of the brutal monarchy based on suppressing human liberty.
Now, to discuss French Revolution and English literature first, it is necessary to know about the role of the revolutionaries regarding these two subject matters. It is indeed true that the revolutionaries were for sure visionaries. They sow the perception of the universal rejuvenation of humankind. Their vision defined the transformation of the old era into a new one. Yes, a new golden age that was not gone, only waiting to arrive. The philosophers unveiled that the conversion of human rights into perfection and completion was the ultimate destiny in this golden period. And in literature, romanticism acquired a new look as poets and authors began to define it with a newborn concept.
A state-of-the-art creative imagination surrounded every person. A new sense made an appearance with the feeling of living in the glittering sunshine of a “new dawn in human history.” After July 14, 1789, the whole atmosphere in Europe obtained a different sentiment and emotion. Poets choose the domain of romantics as the subject matter to write their poems. For them, every part of the universe, the sky, the stars, sun, moon, and nature were living beings. Their words made the loving nature alive that can talk to human feelings. Indeed, a sense of freedom and liberty to breathe and think freely appeared acutely in the authors’ words.
In a word, the physical revolution gradually made way for a notable revolution in the domain of ideas. The newly moulded French thought set the momentum of significant progression of Europe. Getting Space for healthy criticism was one of the most fruitful consequences of this advancement. However, according to some experts, the desire for a “Republic” made an inroad in people’s minds long before the French Revolution. In addition, eminent world philosophers Rousseau, Montesquieu, and Voltaire had disclosed the barrenness of the ancient regime. They had also exposed how certain influencing pockets in the society were responsible for injustice and inequality.
There is no denying that the French Revolution heavily hammered the said old tedious regime. As a result, the, so far, “static social order” faced a heavy blow. The long-gone elegance and the greedy privilege committee of the barren social order got no other choice but to accept the breaking up and ending of the old system. The most significant impact was visible in the arena of literature. “The Romantic revival in English literature” was huge due to this French uprising.
The poets who had the idea of equality and liberty in their hearts felt extreme suffocation because of “restrictions of classicism.” But the revolution successfully erased that stifling constraint. Famous English poets Wordsworth, Byron, Shelley, Cowper, Coleridge, and Burns also got influenced by every event related to the rising of France.
From all aspects, the uprising emerged as a potent force that profoundly shaped the English Romantic Movement. The leading creations of Coleridge and Shelley saw the daylight during this time of revolutionary enthusiasm. Furthermore, without this rising, Shelley and Byron could not produce their ever-green poems that still explore inspiration, vigour, and passion among the readers and new poets. In short, French Revolution and English literature surfaced together to complement each other.
In truth, authors, including poets and writers of this revolutionary period, started thinking more positively while penning their creations. For them, the revolt was bliss because it offered them the liberty to think, believe and tell in their own way. It appeared as if a holy spirit with the wings of liberty and equality got the freedom to breathe and fly through their words.