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Romanticism Essay Topics & Paper Examples

Did Wordsworth or Coleridge Have Greater Influence on Modern Criticism?

After a brief introduction of the period that will contrast the Romantics with the century that preceded them, we shall move on to analyze the great poetic, theoretical experiment that most consider the Ur text of British Romanticism: “Lyrical Ballads”. We shall explore both the unique plan of “Lyrical Ballads”, and the implications of that plan for literary theory. In this elaborate introductory summary, we shall consider the contributions of the British Romantic poets. Our texts will be: Wordsworth’s Preface to the “Lyrical Ballads”, Coleridge’s “Biographia Literaria”, Shelly’s “Defense of Poetry”, Keats’ Letters. After this initial lecture on “Lyrical Ballads” itself, we’ll then devote one talk to Wordsworth. Coleridge, and Shelly. Rather than devote an entire lecture to Keats, we’ll…

Dark Romanticism in “The Devil and Tom Walker”

During the nineteen century in America, Dark Romanticism was very popular. Dark Romanticism is a literary subgenre that emerges from Transcendentalism. Transcendentalism believed that to discover truth people must see beyond the physical world, also believed that people can find God directly on nature. Dark romanticism explores the conflict between good and evil and the psychological effect of sin and guilt in the human mind. One of the famous Dark romantic writers is Washington Irving. He is well known for his short stories and his unrealistic characters and his detailed description of nature. Irving develops the characteristic themes of dark romanticism through symbolism in “The Devil and Tom Walker”. Many Dark romantics writer thought that nature had a spiritual influence…

“The Devil and Tom Walker” by Washington Irving

“The Devil and Tom Walker” by Washington Irving, takes place in the swamps of Massachusetts. Upon walking home one night Tom Walker decided to take a shortcut through the swamps. When Tom finds a deserted Indian fort in the woods he meets the devil. The devil makes Tom a deal. The deal that Tom could have all the gold he wanted if he gave the devil his soul. Washington Irving was a famous romanticist, focused on the romantic ideas that nature symbolizes life and supernatural events can be express ideas. In “The Devil and Tom Walker” there are multiple events that appear supernatural. When Tom is walking along in the woods he meets the devil or, otherwise known as, the…

Romanticism in Frankenstein

Romanticism was an intellectual movement that took hold in Europe during the late 18th century. Romanticism was born out of a direct opposition to Enlightenment views that emphasized reason, science and knowledge. The Enlightenment had evolved as a response to oppression by the church. During the Enlightenment Europeans began to question the laws of the church and state that were deemed biased and unfair. As a result to this oppression Europeans began to seek out knowledge and the philosophers of the time were seen as political thinkers and leaders. In contrast, Romanticism was a movement that opposed political norms that were the foundation of Enlightenment thinking. Romanticism placed emphasis on feelings, love, individuality and imagination to name a few. Romanticism…

“The Sandman” Analysis

The Sandman is about a man named Nathanael’s life and the monsters he faced. In his childhood he was told stories about the sandman. These stories tormented him for years because he was told the sandman took children’s eyes. Every night he would hear the “Sandman” walking down the hall to his father’s room. One night Nathanael hid in his father’s room and waited to find out who the “Sandman” really was. Come to find out, it was Coppelius, a man that had dinner with his family a few times in the past and was always tormenting the kids by touching their sweets with his big hairy hands. No one liked Coppelius. “Mother seemed to dislike this hateful Coppelius as…

Enlightenment and Romantic Views on Nature

The Enlightenment and Romantic periods had different views on nature through writings and paintings; however they also sought to recognize the limits in human knowledge through the study of nature. The Enlightenment was a period where it tried to explain and study the true nature of mankind and how it progressed. Natural history was the science of Earth’s development. G. L Buffon was the foremost practitioner and he was able to produce a multivolume ‘Natural History of the Earth. Buffon tried to classify the data of nature and provided a description and theory of Earth’s development with the drawings of fossils. The Romanticism was a movement in philosophy and the arts which focused more on the traditional ideas of nature….

To the Rose Upon the Rood of Time

The rose as a symbol had mytho-historical and personal overtones for Yeats, and this poem is the opening song of his early collection of poems entitled “The Rose”. As a symbol for Ireland it represents both the Romantic movement and the Irish Revival centering around Lady Gregory and the Abbey Theatre, and the rose atop the cross in particular evokes the Christian conversion of the indigenous Celtic people between the fifth and seventh centuries. As part of the part aesthetic, part political effort to forge the Irish character through literature, Yeats and his peers drew material directly from the ancient myth cycles of the pre-Christian Celts, and infused their poetry and drama with the heroic characters and ethos, and sometimes…

An Imaginary Life and Wordsworth

In both David Malouf’s novel ‘An Imaginary Life’ and William Wordsworth’s poems, it is palpable how diverse times and cultures influence the significance of the association humanity can have with the natural world. There are four key techniques which are portrayed by both writers, portraying of characters, symbolism, imagery and concern; these techniques are presented through themes. The portraying of characters is shown through the theme of finding oneself in nature, symbolism finding hope in nature, imagery is emphasized through the indication that it is easier to connect with nature as a child and concerns towards the writers are accentuate through the theme of drifting away from nature. These themes help the writers highlight their techniques to the readers. Although…

Dark Romantics or Transcendentalists?

Is there good in evil (transcendentalists), or is there evil in good (dark romantics)? I believe in both of these statements dark romantics and transcendentalists because people in this world do awful things that affect others but in some way they do things that can help our environment and our society. Such as not littering, cleaning up at home, and many other decent things. We have our marvelous side with a bit of evil that isn’t shown much. For example if someone wins the lottery no matter how good their intentions were to use it in a good way, money will release the inner evil they have which is greed. This person will waste their money on useless things that…

Romanticism and Transcendentalism

1. After reviewing the Romanticism resource page, list three characteristics of Romanticism. Also, identify three authors of the Romantic period. Profound love of nature, focus on the self and the individual, and fascination with the supernatural. Three authors of this period are William Cullen Bryant, Edgar Allan Poe, and Washington Irving. 2. Using the Transcendentalism resource page, list three characteristics of Transcendentalism. • Reverence for nature. • Celebrated individualism • Intuition 3. How did Transcendentalists feel about nature? What did Transcendentalists feel about the inherent nature of human beings (were humans inherently good or evil)? They admired and respected nature. They thought all people were inherently good. 4. Transcendentalists believe that individuals “transcend” by learning from and living in harmony…

Transcendentalism and Romanticism

Romanticism is a literary, artistic, and philosophical movement that began in Europe it shaped all the arts in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. In a general sense, romanticism refers to several distinct groups of artists, poets, writers, and musicians as well as political, philosophical and social thinkers and trends of the late 18th and early 19th centuries in Europe. Romanticism generally stressed the essential goodness of human beings. In its intense focus on the individual consciousness, it was both a continuation of and a reaction against the Enlightenment. (Romanticism) Romanticism did emphasize the individual, the subjective, the irrational, the imaginative, the personal, the spontaneous, the emotional, the visionary, and the transcendental. (Britannica) Romantic literature displayed a number of…

Romantic Period Poets

Before we are able to trace the motives that ushered in Romantic period, it is of paramount importance to point out the preceding period, which is known as Neo-classical era. The Neoclassical period spans 1600-1798 (the accession of Charles II to the publication by Wordsworth and Coleridge of Lyrical Ballad). It is called the neoclassical period because of reverence for the works of classical antiquity. The period is often called Age of reason, and science was used to glorify God and his creation. Be sure to get familiar with the terms Restoration (of the Stuarts to the monarchy [see Harmon and Halman, page 432]) and the Augustan period (after Emperor Augustus- because of the emphasis on the classics). Earlier in…

Poetry Analysis – Coleridge, Tennyson, Hopkins

The Romantic poet Percy Shelley once wrote, “Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar.” Both the Romantic and the Victorian periods of poetry followed Shelley’s vision of poetry as they exposed their respective societal issues. Romantic period lasted from1785 to 1830, a time in which England moved from an agrarian to industrial country and overall nationalistic ideals threatened the individuality of the poets and artists. The Romantic period of poetry was therefore very reactionary. It was a reaction to enlightenment ideas, to the disregard for human life in revolutions, and to the uniform of nationalism. The decay of social values that took place in the…

Romanticism and Lamb

I. In places like England during the early 1800’s, the Romanticism era was a popular form of literature. Romanticism focused primarily on nature, but also the goodness of human nature. In this letter from Charles Lamb to English romantic poet, William Wordsworth, Lamb’s diction, syntax, and imagery contribute to the haughty way he declines Wordsworth’s invitation. II. The author’s diction reflects his view that he feels that city life is more fitting for him than rural life A. While talking about the city, Lamb comments that there is an “impossibility of being dull” (l. 8) 1. Lamb feels that he could never be bored living in the city. 2. The word “dull” refers to the lack of fulfillment of living…

William Wordsworth: As the Poet of Man

“There have been greater poets than Wordsworth but none more original”, says A. C. Bradley. Wordsworth’s chief originality is, of course, to be sought in his poetry of Nature. It must not be supposed, however, that Wordsworth was interested only in Nature and not in man at all. Man, in Wordsworth’s concep­tion, is not to be seen apart from Nature, but is the very “life of her life”. Indeed, Wordsworth’s love of Nature led him to the love of man. Scarcely a poem of his is solely concerned with nature-description. His poetry is expressive of the formative, restorative, reassuring, moral and spiritual influence of Nature on the mind and personality of Man. Nature, of course, may dominate, but “the still…

Ode on Intimations of Immortality

The Romantic Poet William Wordsworth wrote “Ode on Intimations of Immortality” in the midst of the Romantic Period during the early 19th century. This was a time of new scientific thought, observing nature, and social reform. Critical Appreciation This great poem gives expression to the human instinct for a belief in immortality. The poem is built around what may be called the doctrine of reminiscence. The child remembers the life he led in heaven before his birth in this world. The child is, therefore, sur¬rounded by a heavenly glory. His memories of a pre-natal existence invest all Nature with a divine light. In other words, when the child looks at Nature, he finds all objects of Nature wrapped up in…

Imagination in Romantic Poetry

A large part of those extracts on Romantic imagination – which are contained in the fascicule on pages D64 and D65 – are strictly related to an ancient theory about Art and Reality’s imitation, the Theory of Forms concieved by a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician Plato – in Greek: Πλάτων, Plátōn, “broad”; from 424/423 BC to 348/347 BC. The Theory of Forms – in Greek: ἰδέαι – typically refers to the belief expressed by Socrates in some of Plato’s dialogues, that the material world as it seems to us is not the real world, but only an image or copy of the real world. Socrates spoke of forms in formulating a solution to the problem of universals. The forms, according…

Romantic Imagination

“The Creation of Adam” painted by Michelangelo in 1510, is one of the most beautiful and famous painting representing the Creation. It was painted on the ceiling of the Papal Sistine Chapel and is a masterpiece of High Renaissance art. It is a part of a larger scheme of decoration within the chapel, including various elements like a large fresco of The Last Judgement. Michelangelo demonstrated his skill in creating a huge variety of poses for the human figure, providing an influential pattern for other artists ever since. So at the time, it was not conventional. The technique employed was fresco. The colours are beautiful. It represents a metaphor of Humankind’s need for a covenant (accordo, convenzione) with God. “Elohim…

Romanticism Movement

Romanticism branched out of the age of humanism, and was an intellectual, literary, and mostly artistic movement that originated in Europe towards the end of the 18th century and at the beginning of the 19th century and was a revolt against the Neoclassicism which was popular in the previous centuries due to the Age of Enlightenment. The artistic movement rebelled against theoretical tradition. Many artists that participated in this movement drew inspiration from deep, emotional matters which they used as a foundation or starting point for many of their subjects and distinguished artistic styles. In shorter terms, the points that were emphasized in Romanticism were freedom, imagination, and of course emotion. Romanticism is therefore very much related to Realism in…

Love from a Romantic Perspective in the Poems

“Romantic” – this word holds many different connotations and brings to mind a collection of different images. It can be “fanciful, impractical, unrealistic”; it can be “ardent, passionate, fervent”; and it can be “imaginary, fictitious, or fabulous”. According to the dictionary, “romantic” is an adjective characterized by a preoccupation with love, or by the idealizing of love or one’s beloved. In the three poems I have chosen – “Let me not to the marriage of true minds” by William Shakespeare, “La Belle Dame Sans Merci” by John Keats and “Piano” by D.H. Lawrence, the poets use a variety of linguistic and literary devices, as well as explore different themes and imagery, to present love from a “romantic” perspective. The “romance”…

Nature in Romantism

The Romantic era of literature was an important part of the early 1800s. With a new country emerging, writers wanted to make a name for themselves and establish a uniquely American style. Many new ideas were put into the works of Romantic authors and became ubiquitous themes. As America was growing, the frontier was constantly changing and growing larger. On a daily basis, people were interacting with nature, discovering new plants and animals. This interaction with nature changed the very concept of nature. Romantic authors appreciated nature while others saw it as something to be conquered and profited from. Nature was starting to be seen as a helpful resource rather than a dangerous place to venture. Authors incorporated spiritual connections…

Frankenstien vs Bladerunner

Composers illustrate paradigms that correspond with their social, historical and economic contexts. The capacity of such ideals transcends with in time with Mary Shelly’s 19th century novel ‘Frankenstein’ and Ridley Scott’s sci-fi film ‘Bladerunner’ . Both texts pose similar disclosures regarding the existence and morals of humanity. As a romanticist Shelly condemns humanities intrusion with nature and attempts to override it. Similarly Scott replies with a critique of humanities ruthless ambitions. However the two texts are also in great contrasts as time shifts the criticism from rebellious un-godly behavior to greedy, capitalist, mass industrulisation in pursuit of ultimate commercial dominance. Both texts employ techniques such as allusion and charcterisation to depict similar dystopian scenarios as a result of humanities intervention…

The Prelude by William Wordsworth

By way of understanding and appraisal, it must first be asked what Wordsworth set out to do and then to what degree he succeeded. It has been remarked that he was one of the giants; almost single-handedly he revivified English poetry from its threatened death from emotional starvation. What Burns, Blake, and Cowper, his contemporaries, wanted to do and could not, he did. The neo-classically oriented writers of the so-called Augustan Age (1701 to about 1750), Swift, Gay, Addison and Steele, Pope, and to a lesser extent Richardson and Fielding, chose Latin authors of the time of the Pax Romana (hence the name Augustan) as their models. They admired Virgil and Horace for correctness of phrase and polished urbanity and…

Enlightenment

The end of the 18th century the idea of democracy rose in Europe. This idea makes appear a literary and artistic movement known as Romanticism that refers to the philosophy prevalent during the first third of the 19th century. This movement rejects the logic and reason inherent to the Enlightenment. The Romantics encouraged spontaneous and emotional responses to explore and describe the immeasurable aspects of the nature and people’s relationship to it. They valued imagination over reason, emotion over logic and heart than head. In this period appeared two highly sensitive poets whose work introduced the Romantic Age. They are Wiliam Blake and Wiliam Wordsworth. Their poems are characteristic of this movement in the way that both of them seek…

Elegy Written in a Coutry Churchyard

Q1. Discuss Gray as a transitional poet with special reference to ‘Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard’. The period 1730-1770 marks the beginning from a movement from one distinct phase of English poetry towards another .The poets were getting gradually exhausted with the neoclassical ethics of clarity, reason, sophistication, and etiquette, its economic wording, ,rationale and wit. In the literary circle can be perceived the advent of The Romanticism which however customarily began with the publication of ‘’Lyrical Ballads ‘’in 1798 which was an aesthetic rebellion against the principle of the fashionable formality of the eighteenth century Neoclassicism. These poets of this juncture- William Blake, Thomas Gray, and Robert Burns are caught in the middle of neoclassic writing and the…

The happy couple – descriptive writing

The lights were dimmed that the room gave off a vibe of relaxation and compassion. Burgundy silk curtains draped around the tall glass windows at the restaurant wall with a certain pattern to each. The young couple sat at the round table closets to closed window curtain. The table cloth was silk and the chairs was an old Victorian theme, swirls and designs engraved in its ivory wood. The couple stared into each other’s emerald eyes and gave each other a warm smile. A violinist came to their table playing a soft tune from the romantic period. The violinist bow skid across the strings as it crescendo its notes. The perfect vibrato of the violinist’s hand, made the tune bounce…

Petrarch Sonnet 104

I. Liszt and his Years of Pilgrimage “Western composers-Mendelssohn and Schumann, for example-wrote works using national color characteristics of various countries. In so doing they came to fabricate some imaginary national atmosphere, as in the making-believe Hungarian and Spanish music of Liszt, Brahms, Bizet. But above all, new national styles of their own developed in the various countries of East as well as West Europe”. The Years of Pilgrimage is a collection of Liszt’s trip. During the years of travelling performances in various countries, Liszt composed a set of large divertimento which depicts the artist’s lifestyle travelling. Among these tunes many are derived from the years Liszt spent with his lover Marie d’Agoult in Switzerland and Italy. These poetic tunes…

Poetry and Ozymandias Heart

How life goes on: the analyzing of diction and imagery in “ Ozymandias” The poem “Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley is about a traveler telling the speaker about a statue in the desert. This statue is half sunk in the sand and the traveler explains that the “sneer of cold command” on the statue’s face shows that the sculptor understood the passions of the statue’s subject. This man sneered at the people who were not as powerful as him, but he fed his people because of something in his heart. The Traveler goes on and says that on the pedestal of the statue, it is written, “My name is Ozymandias’, king of kings: / Look on my works, ye Mighty,…

The Dichotomy of Self Reliance and Conformity

The late 18th Century in American history was dominated by an era of emotional and individualistic values of oneself, and a powerful sense of limitless possibilities. This was the Romanticism Period. An incredible number of miraculous masterpieces were contrived during this period of enlightenment, including Nathaniel Hawthorne’s dramatically thematic and ambiguous short story, “Young Goodman Brown”, as well as Ralph Waldo Emerson’s intriguingly influential and uplifting essay, “Self-Reliance”. Hawthorne’s writing aspires to implicate theories and themes about the reality of the world we live in and to illustrate our individual limitations through the art of symbolism and irony. Emerson uses a unique approach in his writing, endeavoring to inspire people to appreciate the world they live in, and to have…

Intro to The Romantic Period

At the turn of the century, fired by ideas of personal and political liberty and of the energy and sublimity of the natural world, artists and intellectuals sought to break the bonds of 18th-century convention. Although the works of Jean Jacques Rousseau and William Godwin had great influence, the French Revolution and its aftermath had the strongest impact of all. In England initial support for the Revolution was primarily utopian and idealist, and when the French failed to live up to expectations, most English intellectuals renounced the Revolution. However, the romantic vision had taken forms other than political, and these developed apace. In Lyrical Ballads (1798 and 1800), a watershed in literary history, William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge presented…