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Realism Definition in literary Realism Period 19th century and the Biedermeier Period (between romanticism and realism)

Updated on November 29, 2012

The Biedermeier Period - Definition and Characteristics

Characteristics of the in-between period of romanticism and realism:

One is content with these things which one still possesses. The world is limited to keep everything alright. The ideals of the classicism (Goethe’s ideals for example) have vanished, but they are still present as unreachable stars. Sadness and melancholy is everywhere.

Restoration of the homely world, what has sometimes a tragi-comedic aftertaste. Normally, the poems are tragedies or sometimes also criminative. Melancholy is also an important feature.

There is a conflict with the ideals and the reality.

Ethical ideals in this period: To have enough for living, taming the passion, subordination, feelings such as resignation, sentimental pessimism, stillness, melancholy, despair and self-abandonment.

The period between romanticism and realism has also positive sides. The situation is often calm and comfortable.

Realism Painting from the 19th century


Definition of Realism part 1: Civil Realism

There are two forms of realism: civil realism and the poetic realism.

Civil realism:

It is a narrative literature about the conventional normal live (most often novels or romans).
Poems have a narrative character. The civil realism wants to have things objective. This does not mean to describe like a camera (what would be the naturalism), but skilfully, artistically described.

Definition of Realism part 2: Poetical Realism

Poetic realism:

Many symbols appear in the literature world. There is a belief in humanity and the good in everyone and moral values are very important.

Other characteristics in the literature period of realism are realizing one’s duties, contribute to the community and to develop in his possible developmental frame. Moreover, the literature in realism is coined by a still, silent melancholy or resignation (Fontane and Meyer) or even bitter pessimism (Hebbel and Busch).

Another Realism Painting from the 19th century



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