Part of the Theatre History Curriculum

Unit 9: Romanticism

Created by Drama Teacher Academy

Romanticism broke away from the strictures of the neoclassical era preferring instead the Medieval/Gothic periods. The Romantic notion of finding beauty and humanity in the ugly is epitomized by Quasimodo in Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The movement rejected Enlightenment, scientific rationalism, and the Industrial Revolution; rather, it embraced intuition and emotion over reason. On one hand, the tail end of neoclassicism led to the well-made play. On the other hand, the emphasis on emotion led to melodrama and an artificial declamatory acting style.

The overview lays out the objective, pacing, lesson structure, and assessment strategy for the unit.
Additional Attachments
1: Set the Stage for Romanticism
In this lesson, students will be introduced to the 19th century and the Romantic period. They will complete a research project on the sociopolitical and cultural background of the era to set the stage for Romanticism.
2: Romanticism
In this lesson, students will be introduced to the characteristics of Romanticism in literature, painting, and music. For each category, students will analyze samples and discuss how these pieces illustrate the characteristics of Romanticism. Finally, students will create a theatrical moment that applies the characteristics of Romanticism.
3: Romantic Theatre
In this lesson, students will be introduced to the elements of Romantic theatre, examine what makes a “well-made” play, apply Goethe’s three questions of art criticism, practice a couple of Delsarte’s emotional gestures, and use those gestures to create their own modern melodrama.
4: Culminating Activity
Decide how students will demonstrate their knowledge of the unit. A variety of activities are provided. You can choose to have all your students do the same activity, or allow students to choose how they demonstrate their knowledge. Rubrics are provided for each activity.

Standards Addressed

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