Attributed to Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
French Romantic poetry marked a dramatic break with a national tradition of verse which had been inherited almost unaltered from the seventeenth century. During the eighteenth century, the neo-classical conception of poetry as a rule-governed and highly stylized art had continued to prevail; verse was characterized by a solemn tone and narrow lexis, and there was a rigid distinction between poetic genres. Whereas Romantic poetry in England and Germany seemed already to allow the imagination free reign, in France poets needed first to reject these neo-classical conventions.
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