Realism tells it like it is, depicting a subject without exaggeration, embellishment or interpretation. For authors, this means describing everyday and banal activities. Truths are not masked by style, romance or fantasy. Authors who used this realist style included George Elliot, Gustave Flaubert, William Dean Howells, Guy de Maupassant and Émile Zola. The trend began with 19th-century French literature.
Caliban is the mistreated, deformed servant of Prospero in Shakespeare's The Tempest, described as a freckled whelp, hag-born, not honour'd with a human shape.
Romanticism came into being in the second half of the 18th century in Western Europe, as a reaction to the rationalisation of nature through science. The movement encouraged the expression of extreme emotions through art, music, poetry and fiction, and championed strong links between humanity and the sublime.
One reoccuring theme found in Romantic literature was the evocation of the past. Authors included James Macpherson, Goethe, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Keats and William Blake.
In music, Romanticism reached its zenith in composers such as Liszt and Wagner, while in art Goya and Delacroix embodied the movement.
Listen on Spotify: Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde by Richard Wagner.
In the tale told by Ovid, a nymph called Echo falls in love with the vain youth Narcissus. He spurns her, more interested in his own good looks. Echo is heartbroken and spends the rest of her life pining for him until only her voice remains. Meanwhile, Narcissus is punished by the Gods. Taking a drink from a pool in a forest, he falls in love with his own reflection. Of course, nothing can ever come of this, so Narcissus dies in despair. His soul is sent to hell and the narcissus flower grows in his place, continuing to gaze into the water.